Blog - Curry Twist

Roast Potatoes In Düsseldorf, Germany

A visit to Düsseldorf never disappoints. This city has so much to offer with it's charm, elegance, high fashion, good food and local beer. Add museums, historic churches, a vibrant waterfront  and you've got enough to keep you busy for days!

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Düsseldorf's delightful Altstadt or old town nestles by the waterfront, overlooking the Rhine river that is the lifeblood of the city. Stroll along narrow, cobbled streets as you explore shops, restaurants and bars. Nearby is the broad expanse of the waterfront with a tree lined promenade for walks along the river. The riverfront is also lined with more bars, creating an especially lively, boisterous scene on summer weekend evenings! 

Düsseldorf is Germany's fashion capital and its main shopping street, the Königsallee or Kö for short, is where you find it. Here you can window shop or wander inside for some high end designer shopping. With a lovely, huge park at one end and a beautifully landscaped canal running through its centre, the Kö is a great place to fritter away an afternoon.

And if all this exploring tires you out, step into one of Düsseldorf's beer halls to revive yourself. Often dating back several centuries, these legendary establishments are brimming with beer and bonhomie. Some of the historic, well known ones have been brewing from their own secret recipe for generations and are very atmospheric inside.

It is impressive to see servers balancing huge trays of beer glasses in one hand, held high over diner's heads as they weave their way through the crowd. Empty glasses are plucked up as soon as they are set down, replaced unasked with a full one, with a running tally pencilled on the paper coaster beneath. Ask for a glass of wine like I did, and you're going to get a very disgusted look!
Beer hall food is all about sausages, meats and potatoes, served in hearty proportions. Better not eat here if you're looking for healthier vegetarian fare! Potatoes in roasted or mashed form are usually a delectable part of every meal.

These are not your everyday roast potatoes (although we did eat them almost every day in Germany!). They have so much flavour to them thanks to the mustard, bacon, vinegar and herbs, that they would go well with practically anything. 
Try more easy, delicious German style recipes such as Roasted smashed garlic potatoes or Currywurst  

German Style Roast Potatoes

1 lb small potatoes (in assorted colours if possible)

3 tbsp oil, divided

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)

2 slices bacon, chopped

1 tsp grainy Dijon mustard

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Heat oven to 420F. Line a baking tray with parchment.

Wash, scrub and halve potatoes, leaving the peel on. Toss with 2 tbsp oil, salt and pepper. Spread on tray. Bake for 30 min or until soft and lightly browned. Switch off oven and let potatoes continue to roast in it's fading heat for another 10 min.

Warm remaining 1 tbsp oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bacon. Cook 7-8 min until onions are softened and bacon is rendering it's fat.

Add roasted potatoes and continue cooking for another 10 min until potatoes are lightly crispy in the bacon fat.

Add mustard, vinegar and parsley. Cook for 2 min, then transfer to a serving bowl.

Serves four

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Goulash Soup In Cologne, Germany

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One of the greatest attractions of visiting Cologne is its magnificent Gothic cathedral. Its soaring spires can be seen from a great distance, long before you enter the city. Take the train in as we did, and you will be overwhelmed by the sheer size of this imposing cathedral as it towers right above the station!

We marvelled at the beautiful filigree designs, intricate carvings and impressive main doors of the building as we made our way inside. Started in 1248, this cathedral is a World Heritage site and one of Germany's most visited places. Inside, amongst its many treasures, is the reliquary of the Three Kings which is believed to hold the remains of the three wise men who bore gifts for the infant Jesus. These holy relics made Cologne one of the  greatest pilgrimage sites in medieval Europe and spread the fame of the cathedral across the continent. 

Cologne's magnificent cathedral is only one of the reasons people flock to this vibrant city. With museums to explore, a lively nightlife and lots of restaurants, bars and cafes, there is never a dull moment here! We loved exploring the Altstadt or old town, with it's atmospheric medieval streets, historic buildings and boisterous beer halls. Try and visit on a weekend when It gets especially fun and lively!

A stroll along the bustling waterfront, lined with picturesque old buildings and parks, thrumming with street musicians and artists is a fun way to spend an afternoon or evening. Here you can people watch to your heart's content while sipping on something restorative and see ships glide by on the nearby Rhine river.

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We had a delicious bowl of goulash soup here one crisp afternoon during our recent visit. Goulash soup, with it's warming, comforting flavours is perfect for colder weather. In Germany, it can vary from being thick and almost stew-like to a thinner, soupier version. However you choose to make it, make sure to serve some crusty bread on the side!

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The smoky notes from the bacon, roasted pepper, toasted caraway and smoked paprika, along with the red wine add depth and richness to this hearty stew-like soup. Serve with a dollop of sour cream for extra richness!
For another variation of this dish, try Hungarian style Goulash

 Goulash Soup

2 tbsp oil

2 medium onions, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large sprig thyme

2 slices bacon, chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 stick celery, chopped

1 medium potato, peeled and chopped

1 sweet red pepper (roasted or fresh), chopped

1-1/2 lb boneless stewing beef, cubed into bite sized pieces

1 tbsp all purpose flour

1 cup red wine

2 cups beef broth

4 large juicy plum tomatoes, fresh or canned, chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 tsp each: smoked paprika, sweet paprika, oregano, toasted ground caraway or cumin seeds, sugar

2 tbsp each: chopped fresh parsley, red wine vinegar

Warm oil in deep saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, thyme, bacon, carrot, celery, potato and sweet pepper. Saute for 10 min until bacon has rendered its fat and vegetables are softened.

Add beef cubes and brown for 5 min. Add flour, stirring to incorporate, about 30 sec.

Add red wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up all the brown bits sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add broth, tomatoes, salt and pepper as well as all the spices and sugar. Bring to a gentle simmer, then cover and cook on low heat for 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

The vegetables should be practically disintegrating into the soup and the meat should be fork tender at this point. If soup is too thin, uncover, increase heat to medium and boil off some of the extra broth. Remove thyme sprig.

Mix in the vinegar and fresh parsley and serve.

Serves four

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