Oktoberfest


As happiness (and perhaps some Hefe Weizen) warms Bavaria’s annual autumn celebration, Austria’s nearby alpine forests and streams produce a satisfying dinner to accompany the steins of beer.  Today brings Forellenfilet mit Waldpilzen, or Filet of Trout with Forest Mushrooms, as described on the Taste of Austria section of the country’s tourist board website.

This would be a nice way to conclude a successful day in the woods, foraging for mushrooms and pulling a wriggling trout from a crystal pool.  The two main elements complement each other, with the fish’s buttery mildness softly elevating the mushrooms’ rich loamy notes.

There’s that, and there’s a butter thick with chopped herbs that’s broiled into the filet just before serving.  This strongly recalls the green forest that produced both the trout and the mushrooms.  The butter is a nice touch too, demonstrating that the French aren’t the only ones who delight in its rich creaminess.  Here’s a shot of the herb butter, just before it wento into the refrigerator to chill:Herb Butter

Accompanying the fish is a fairly simple concoction of “new” (i.e., small) potatoes parboiled until nearly tender, then finished off in a pan, sauteed with butter, garlic and dry mustard, seasoned, then sprinkled with chopped parsley.  The site recommends potatoes as a side, but doesn’t provide much instruction beyond that.   What you see above is an improvisation, then, which worked fairly well.

One of you lived for a while in Germany, and suggested trying that country’s cuisine.  While Austria is just across the border, its population also is German, by and large, meaning this dish more or less satisfies that suggestion.  It also satisfies the diner, no matter whether a sudsy stein is nearby.  Ein Prosit!

*****

Forellenfilet mit Waldpilzen

(Filet of Trout with Forest Mushrooms)

For the fish:

  • 1 trout (i.e., two filets)
  • flour for coating
  • salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter, and vegetable oil, for frying

For the herb butter:

  • 5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup freshly-chopped herbs (*1)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 squeeze of anchovy paste (*2)
  • salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste

For the garnish:

  • 10 ounces fresh forest mushrooms, chopped (*3)
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • finely chopped parsley, to taste (*4)
  • salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
  • butter, to saute

Season the filets with salt and pepper, drizzle them with lemon juice, and set them aside.

Mix the finely chopped herbs with the butter.  Stir in the anchovy paste and the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.  Chill in the refrigerator for at least twenty minutes.

Place a medium pan over a medium flame.  Add the butter to the pan and, when melted, stir in the shallots and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until translucent, about five minutes.  Add the mushrooms and saute, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are tender, about ten minutes.  Remove from flame.

Meanwhile, place another pan over a medium flame and add the butter and oil.  Dredge the skin sides of the filets in flour and lay them, skin side down, in the pan.  Cook until they just begins to become golden, about two minutes, then flip and cook the other side for a couple minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and smear generous amount of herb butter on top.  Place the pan beneath a broiler and cook until the butter foams, about two minutes.

Serve over a bed of the chopped mushrooms, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

NOTES:

1 – Select herbs that go well with fish.  I chose tarragon, dill and parsley.  Chervil would be another possibility.

2 – This likely is located in the market’s “Italian” section, although this is an Austrian preparation.  Oh well; both countries once were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

3 – The recipe recommends chanterelles, which would have been an excellent suggestion were they available.  Because chanterelles are quite expensive and are nearly impossible to find, I substituted a mixture of “wild” mushrooms.

4 – Although I prefer cilantro to parsley, the former would have been completely out of place in a Central European preparation, meaning I retained the more traditional ingredient.

*****

“New” Potatoes

  • 12 small potatoes, about two inches apiece, scrubbed and peeled (*5)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and add water to cover, plus an inch.  Set saucepan over a medium-high flame and bring to a boil.   Reduce flame to medium-low and simmer for twenty minutes.  Remove from flame and drain potatoes in a colander.

Place a medium skillet over a medium flame and add the butter.  When melted, add the garlic and stir until golden, about two minutes.  Add the potatoes and the dry mustard and stir frequently, until the potatoes just begin to take on color, about five minutes.

Remove from flame and season with salt and pepper.  Plate and sprinkle with minced parsley.

NOTES:

5 – Most varieties of small potatoes will do.  In this case, I chose Honey Golds.

 

 

26 thoughts on “Oktoberfest

  1. yum just as well I’ve just finished a very filling tasty lunch … those spuds look delicious!

    I lived and worked in Bavaria when I was 21, great place and people … had my first real experience of snow there 🙂 You can keep the beer although their new year parties were something else 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Much appreciated, Kate! If this entry gets your seal of approval, it flatters, as you must’ve partaken of an Oktoberfest or two during your stay in Bavaria.

      Beer has its place, though I have to be “in the mood,” as it were. Still, for an Oktoberfest post. a stein pretty much is required.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. agree you needed to include the stein … went to the dances but never really drank grog … the Germans were able to hold their grog [unlike Aussies who often become obnoxious or aggressive] and sing and dance wildly 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “(S)ing and dance wildly.” That’s kind of the whole idea, isn’t it, Kate?

        Besides, it’s not just the Aussies. Visit any bar here in the US on a Saturday night and you’re bound to be surrounded by boisterous/chatty people, simultaneously in love, and spoiling for a fight. Both men and women. Perfect time for another round of shots.

        Why do you think we call it “Liquid Courage?”

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Neither do I, Kate, not really. You’ll find wine, rum, etc. on my pantry shelf, but it’s largely a cooking ingredient.

        Oh, I enjoy, and even savor, the occasional glass, but I’ve consumed less in a lifetime than many do on a particularly “happy” weekend, or at a wedding! Some don’t even wait until the reception. “What is Uncle Joe shouting at the priest?”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s been a while since I’ve read your kitchen sagas, but as the holiday season has almost begun, I had to make time to see what you’ve been up to. And as usual, your recipe is delightful! Again, I’m not a big fan of seafood, but the mushrooms sauteed in herb butter sound heavenly. A lovely recipe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Andrea! (That’s your name, isn’t it?)

      Truth be told, I’m not fish’s biggest partisan either, though variety calls for an occasional break from the usual chicken-shellfish-vegetarian rotation. …if for no other reason to keep things interesting for me and for you, in the audience.

      Mushrooms rule, don’t they? This isn’t the last time you’ll see them here. My only regret is that I couldn’t use chanterelles, as the original Austrian recipe did. Next time, next time…

      Like

  3. Honey Golds are a delicious variety of potatoes; and your entire post, here, is a delicious melody of art.

    I feel as if I have just been dined at a fine restaurant, served the choicest entree, while elegant waves of smooth jazz flow about the silkened tablecloths, easily absorbing into this smooth-textured meal.

    Though, appreciated by all, truly ‘awe-inducing’, to the most refined tastes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Much too kind, Tamara! Really, if the food has earned even a quarter of the praise you lavish, it seriously jeopardizes my “Amateur” status.

      “You just got called up from the Triple-A. You’ll be batting in the Big League tonight, son.”

      Aren’t Honey Golds marvelous, Tamara? When I spied them at the market, they called out, stepping forward then and there to accompany the trout. In fact, I recalled some preparations featuring New Potatoes. Was it really so, or were the potatoes merely whispering in my ear? A mystery!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve been thinking that the “Amateur” title doesn’t seem fitting, really. And the “terrified” should be exiled, too.

        Perhaps, “Dazzling Delights”, or “Creative Creations”, or “Artistic Edibles”. I’m not as efficient at picking out titles, as you are at preparing these magnificent masterpieces …😃

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh my, touching praise, Tamara. Thank you!

        Still, the moniker stays for now, because it’s from “The Mikado,” and I do love me some Gilbert & Sullivan.

        Plus, “Terrified” definitely applies, because an Epic Fail awaits one of these weeks. What then? “Nothing today. Sorry. Um…..let’s see…uh…Did you hear about the new James Bond?”

        That’s what keeps me up at nights…or should. If I had any common sense it would.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ah, Tamara, understood.

        My personal insomnia-chaser is a book. Lots of them, actually. The completely childish rationalization is that as soon as I fall asleep, the next conscious moment will be the alarm summoning another morning commute.

        A banal comment about adulthood was going to follow, but really, was it any different when school held our childhoods in constant dread?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the regard!

      Certainly, a fishing license would be one way to stock the refrigerator, though I prefer a driver’s license, as it brings me to the local market’s seafood counter. Nothing particularly outdoorsy about that!

      How utterly suburban of me, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You make it really easy for anyone to follow your recipes! Which is super duper cool….

    Happy weekend 🙂 Looking forward to your maple dish (well, your maple tree picture)

    Love, light and glitter

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Eliza!

      Now that I’ve foretold, there no choice but to stand and deliver. It won’t do, now, to post a picture of a bottle of Aunt Jemima. “Here’s something with artificial flavors somewhat approximating maple.”

      (Gulp!)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Same here, Daniela, at least with regards to fish that doesn’t need to be shelled. Trout and its cousin salmon are two glorious exceptions.

      Honestly, this recipe made me a little nervous, as I though Germans didn’t excel in the kitchen aside from making the occasional strudel. Otherwise, way too much sauerkraut and far too many -wursts. And I say this being partly of German descent myself.

      Imagine the pleasant surprise at finding something that works! It would’ve been even more tempting had I located chanterelles, as in the original. Still, the mushrooms I did source were enough to lose myself in the reverie of gathering mushrooms on the forested slopes of an Alp!

      Liked by 1 person

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