Pros: beautiful photographs, comfort food
Cons: not much that's new or different
It seems like the food of Austria is starting to make a little bit of a splash in the US, with the release of Neue Cuisine by Kurt Gutenbrunner. The food is traditional and filling, made for shorter summers and cold winters. While Gutenbrunner's book is a more cafe-oriented haute cuisine survey of Austrian cooking, The Viennese Kitchen takes a look inside the typical Austrian kitchen. The recipes in the book all come from the author's family recipe collection, and you can tell that they were lovingly prepared over the years. There is nothing too complicated, and only a few unusual entries, but you still get the taste of Austria from the recipes.
The book itself is a solid hardcover, with thick matte pages and gorgeous photographs, not only of the food, but also Vienna. In addition, the author has included family photographs of the people who prepared the recipes originally. It makes for a beautiful remembrance of an Austrian family's cooking life. The book covers all the usual categories, from appetizers to desserts, although a bit light on anything involving green vegetables.
I tried the recipe for Lachsfleckerln, which is a kind of salmon noodle souffle. It was warm and comforting, although I almost wished there was some sort of spice or flavoring besides the butter and sour cream. However, if served alongside a fresh green salad, as the instructions mention, I can see it being a complete and satisfying meal. I can't wait to try some of the amazing sweets that fill the later chapters.
Baked Noodles with Salmon
Butter, for greasing
1 1/2 tbsp fine breadcrumbs
7 oz extra-broad egg noodles (or Fleckerln if available)
3/4 lb poached boned salmon
5 tbsp/2 1/2 oz butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
Grease a 9-inch square baking dish with butter and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, then tip out the excess breadcrumbs.
Break the noodles in half and boil in salted water for 7-10 minutes, until al dente, then drain. In the meantime, coarsely chop the salmon in a food processor and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy, then add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating throroughly after each addition. Stir in the sour cream and the salmon. Season with salt and pepper.
In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks.
Mix the noodles into the creamed mixture and fold in the egg whites. Transfer to the baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes. Serve with a green salad.
Note: Square egg noodles (or Fleckerln) can be purchased in kosher delicatessens. Otherwise, standard egg noodles are a fine substitute.