Welcome everyone, John here once again. We last met for Team EATS during the prior Champions League matchup against Celtic. Keeping with the tradition of tackling the non-Italian foods, I’m delighted to take you all on another journey north – not as far as Scotland, but just over the alps into the land of Chocolate, lederhosen and Oktoberfest (jah, my favorite!), where the football is played with a frightening albeit beautiful mechanical precision and efficiency of a Mercedes Benz. Yes, as Juventus travel to Munich to face the one team I was afraid to draw in the quarterfinals, we’re here to bring you a little slice of Deutschland for all Juventikni.
Perhaps fittingly, whilst Turin is located in Piedmont – literally at the “foot of the mountains” – Munich is situated on River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps; the metaphorical hat, if you will. The capital of the state of Bavaria, it derives it’s name (“München” referring to “place of the monks” in German) from it monastic history. Having been completely ravaged during World War II, as most major German cities were, it was meticulously rebuilt. Truly, the wondrous Allianz Arena where Bayern Munich call home is a fitting symbol of the modern-day city and Germany.
For today’s recipe, I went with a simple yet classic favorite: German potato pancakes. I don’t usually eat a lot of carbs or starches (if I need to get them somewhere I’d rather drink them, thank you very much), but not because I don’t like them. I’d probably be far healthier if I didn’t have the desire to stuff myself with gluten and flour-based simple carbohydrates. I wish I could hate them, but I can’t – which perhaps makes this recipe is even more apropos. Considering my nationalities, an epic rivalry with Italy, and a national team which might as well begin each tournament it enters in the semifinals just to save everyone else’s time, I really want to dislike ze Germans, if nothing more than out of sheer jealousy. Yet, it seems like each and every German I’ve ever met has been nothing short of kind and friendly.
Oh yea, and then there’s their women’s national team (slightly NSFW). Congratulations, Germany. You’ve earned my complete respect. Bygones are indeed bygones.
As I normally do, I name a drink pairing as well as soundtrack. This is often served a breakfast dish (as I chose as well), but it’s not beneath me to drink a Beck’s Sapphire at any time of day. The crisp lager pairs well with the golden brown potatoes. As far as the former, I was excited to explore the eclectic genre of Bavarian music. German is, after all, the language of love.
Ah, hearing those beautiful abrupt syllables mix together like the engine of a diesel-feuled Panzer IV is like poetry with every sentence.
At any rate, I initially went with the childhood classic “99 Luftballons” by Nena, but when the YouTube video ended (you didn’t really think I had the mp3/CD did you?), my wife – who was upstairs and couldn’t properly hear what was happening in the kitchen – asked my why I turned Blondie off.
After I finished drafting the divorce papers, I got back to cooking and decided to go with the most famous German on Earth, David Hasselhoff. You don’t speak ill of Debbie Harry (even unintentionally) in my house.
And as an aside, we all know that you don’t mess with the Hoff.
German Potato Pancakes
Difficulty: Easy, Price: $10.00, Time: 45 minutes
1. Shred the potatoes. This recipe could not be more simple, especially if you have a food processor like I do. If you don’t have one, try using a large cheese grater.
2. Mix the egg, flour, baking soda, salt and pepper in a bowl. Once mixed, combine with the shredded potatoes.
3. Put the oil in the pan and turn the heat up. Once the pan is hot, drop heaps of the potato mixture into the pan, and flatten with a spatula.
4. Let them cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until golden brown. It is very important that you are patient, as I lost a couple which will eventually just be made into home fries for eggs or something. If they are not cooked well enough on each side, they will fall apart.
5. Remove from the pan onto a paper towel to soak some of the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Consume. Imagine each delicious bite another step towards the London final.
I recommend serving with a side of applesauce and sour cream. I got the idea from my favorite local breakfast place, and it’s a surprisingly tasty combination.
Also, as you can see I learned the hard way that after you shred the potatoes, they will brown when exposed to air. It didn’t affect the taste at all, but if the color/presentation is that important to you, keep them submerged in water until they’re ready for the pan.
They may not look like much, but they taste fantastic. Essentially, they’re large hash brown discs. What’s not to love?
Taking part in TeamEATS this week? Post pics of your dishes in the comments section below.
Mangiare è l’unica cosa che… Conte!
Back by popular demand, TeamEATS is a culinary guide to cooking and consuming the opposition. Each week, we pick a recipe from the home cuisine of Juve’s upcoming adversary, put on the kitchen apron and… cook it and eat it. Buon Appetito!