Ventanas Magazine  
follow us: facebook twitter newsletter
Top Leaderboard  
Subscribe to
Advertise in
Pick it up at
Back Issues
2011 - Volume 2 Issue 2
¡Comidas Sabrosas!
Entertaining at Home
Article: Bob Skolnick
Photos: Jesse Ramirez
Share |
Is it possible to have two reasons to have a party? As the weather turns cooler, the Blue & Orange and the Crimson & White rise to occupy the thoughts and appetites of alumni and students of UTEP and NMSU. Football is as much social as it is athletic. No matter the team records or any given week's opponents, the time before the game is reserved for friends and family to gather in the stadium parking lots to enjoy drink, food and speculation on game results.

    There's nothing like the "real deal." To make our Oktoberfest authentic, we went to Marina's German Bakery and purchased rolls, pretzels, strudel and cookies. To our surprise we found they also carry authentic German brats and sausages. The German people, particularly in Bavaria, take great care and pride in the taste and quality of their sausages. I asked Michael, the bakery owner and master baker, which ones he recommended. He made a suggestion of four different items–Muenschner Sausages, Knackwurst, Nurenberger Sausage and Stadium Brats. Each had their own unique flavor and "crunch texture." They were all superb and made a big difference in the success of our Oktoberfest tailgate.
Tailgating hosts and hostesses take great pride in their game day menus. While a great many tailgating parties orient towards southwest cuisine and good ole burgers and dogs, why not reserve an October game day for a traditional Oktoberfest menu? A word of caution—bad behavior fueled by too much beer, whether in Munich, El Paso or Las Cruces, is "verboten."

Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival held each year in Munich, Germany. It runs from late September to early October and over six million people attend each year. The original festival started in October 1810 to commemorate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The tradition carried on and now centers on beer, music and a variety of German food favorites. Traditional German Oktoberfest menus include Hendl (chicken), Schweinsbraten (roast pork), Steckerfisch (grilled fish on a stick), Wurst (sausages) along with Brezn (pretzels), Reiderdatschi (potato pancakes) and Rot Kraut (red cabbage) to name a few items.

Our Oktoberfest menu is a collection of items that are popular in this country, yet offer the flavors of the German Oktoberfest traditions. We were able to source many authentic bakery items and sausages thanks to Marina's German Bakery, located at 2033 Trawood Drive in El Paso. A special thanks to Michael and his staff.
  Click on any "Oktoberfest Tailgating" course below to reveal or hide its cooresponding recipe.

• Königsberger Klopse - Poached Meatballs in Lemon and Caper Sauce - Serves 4

  ½   lb   lean boneless ground beef
  ½   lb   lean boneless ground pork
  ½   cup   finely chopped onions
  2   slices   homemade-type white bread with crusts removed
  2   each   medium eggs
  3   each   flat anchovy fillets, drained, coarsely chopped
  1   tbsp   butter
  2   tbsp   heavy cream
  2   tbsp   finely chopped parsley
  ½   tsp   finely grated lemon peel
  ½   tsp   salt
  ¼   tsp   freshly ground black pepper
  Poaching Liquid
  2   qts   beef stock
  1   each   medium-sized onion, peeled and pierced with 1 whole clove
  1   each   small bay leaf
  1   tsp   salt
  4   tbsp   butter
  4   tbsp   all purpose flour
  3   tbsp   fresh lemon juice
  1   tbsp   capers, drained
  2   tbsp   sour cream
  4   each   traditional German pretzel - Laugen Brezeln
  4   each   cheese & bacon pretzels - Laugen - Kase Stangen
  To Prepare
  1.   Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small sauté pan over moderate heat, and in it, cook the chopped onions until they are transparent. Remove the sauté pan from the heat. Tear the bread into small pieces into a large bowl, add the heavy cream and mix well. Add the onions, ground meat, anchovy fillets or anchovy paste, parsley, eggs, lemon peel, ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper. Knead vigorously with both hands until the ingredients are well combined. Moistening your hands lightly with cold water, shape the mixture into eight large meatballs, about two inches in diameter.
  2.   In a heavy saucepan, bring the beef stock, whole onion, bay leaf and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil over high heat. Boil the seasoned stock uncovered, for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to low and drop in the meatballs. Simmer the meatballs uncovered until the meatballs rise to the surface of the water. When they rise, transfer them to a warm serving platter and cover them with clear wrap and set aside at room temperature. Strain the poaching stock through a fine sieve into a bowl and put it aside.
  3.   In a sauce pot, melt four tablespoons of butter over moderate heat. When fully melted and bubbling, stir in the flour. Pour in three cups of the strained stock and bring it to a boil, beating constantly with a whisk until the sauce thickens and is smooth. Reduce the heat to low, add the lemon juice and capers and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Stir in the sour cream and taste for seasoning. Add the meatballs and simmer until they are thoroughly heated. To serve, return the meatballs to the platter, and pour the sauce over them.

• Liechter Kartoffelsalat - Summer Potato Salad - Serves 4

  6   each   medium-sized red potatoes (about 2 pounds), scrubbed, but not peeled.
  1   cup   finely chopped onions
  1   cup   cooked & chopped bacon
    cup   chicken stock, fresh or canned
    cup   olive oil
  1   tbsp   white wine vinegar
  2   tsp   Düsseldorf-style or spicy brown mustard
  2   tsp   salt
  1   tsp   freshly ground black pepper
  1   tbsp   fresh lemon juice
  To Prepare
  1.   Drop the unpeeled potatoes into lightly salted boiling water to cover them completely. Boil them briskly until they show only the slightest resistance when pierced with the point of a small, sharp knife. Be careful not to let them overcook or they will fall apart when sliced. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then peel and cut them into 1/4-inch slices. Set the potatoes aside in a bowl tightly covered with clear film.
  2.   In a heavy two to three quart saucepan, combine the chopped onions, chopped bacon, chicken stock, oil, vinegar, prepared mustard, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for five minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  3.   Pour the sauce over the potato slices, turning them about with a spatula to coat them evenly. Let the potatoes cool to room temperature, then taste for seasoning and serve.

• Roast Beet & Red Onion Salad - with Sour Cream Dressing - Serves 4

  4   each   large-sized beets
  3   each   red onion
    cup   olive oil
  20   oz   unsalted butter
  1   tsp   ground cumin
  1   tsp   soft brown sugar
  2   tbsp   orange juice
  2   tbsp   orange zest
  4   tbsp   chopped chives – to garnish
  Sour Cream Dressing
  6   oz   sour cream
  2   tbsp   chopped chives
  1   tbsp   chopped thyme
  1   tsp   lemon juice
  To Prepare
  1.   Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Trim the leafy tops leaving a short stem from your fresh beets and wash thoroughly. Roast the beets whole so they will not bleed. Cut each onion into six large wedges., leaving the bases intact so the wedges hold together. Coat the beets and onions with the oil and place in a large baking dish and bake for an hour and fifteen minutes. Remove them from the oven and place the roasted beets and onion wedges on separate plates to cool. While still warm, peel the skin from the beets, trim off the tops and bottoms and cut the roasted beets into wedges.
  2.   Heat the butter in a sauté pan, add the cumin and brown sugar and cook for one minute. Add the orange juice and low simmer for several minutes. Add the beet wedges and orange zest and stir gently over low heat for several minutes.
  3.   Prepare the sour cream dressing in a stainless steel bowl by mixing together the sour cream, chives, thyme and lemon Juice.
  4.   Arrange the beet wedges and onion wedges on a platter and serve with the sour cream dressing. Garnish with chopped chives.

• Edible Fruit Football - Serves 12

  1   each   medium seedless watermelon – scooped and meat cut into cubes
  24   each   fresh strawberries – cut into quarters
  1   bskt   fresh blueberries
  24   each   fresh cherries – pitted and cut in half
  1   each   large fresh pineapple – peeled and cut into cubes
  6   each   large oranges – peeled and cut into wheels
  1   each   medium cantaloupe – peeled, seeded and cubed
  6   each   red apples – cut in small dice
  6   oz   orange juice
  4   oz   strawberry syrup
  To Prepare
  1.   Cut top off of watermelon and scoop out the flesh in large chunks. Decorate the watermelon into a football-shaped basket. Cover with clear wrap and refrigerate until ready to fill.
  2.   Trim and cut all fresh fruit and place into a stainless steel mixing bowl.
  3.   Add orange juice and strawberry syrup and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

• Grilled German Brats & Sausages - Serves 12

  6   each   stadium brats
  6   each   Muenschner sausages
  6   each   knackwurst
  6   each   Nurenberger sausage
  3   btls   Oktoberfest beer (3 bottles for the poaching and 3 bottles for the cook)
  1   pt   beef stock
  4   each   Spanish onions- sliced thin and separated
  1   cup   vegetable oil
  24   each   Broetchen rolls (German rolls)
  2   cups   spicy brown mustard
  2   cups   sauerkraut
  To Prepare
  1.   Combine the stock and the beer, and bring to a boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes and remove from the heat.
  2.   Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy bottom skillet and sauté the sliced onions until caramelized or golden brown. When browned, set aside and hold warm.
  3.   Remove the sausage from their cryovac wrapper and quickly rinse in cold water.
  4.   Place the rinsed brats and sausages in the hot stock – beer mixture and let steep for 30 minutes.
  5.   Remove the brats and sausages from the stock, and on a hot barbecue grill, grill the brats and sausages until lightly browned on all sides.
  6.   Slice the Broetchen rolls and take a grilled sausage and slice down the middle length-wise and place on the fresh roll.
  7.   Top with spicy mustard and grilled onions.

• Jaeger Schnitzel Sliders - Serves 12 - with 2 sliders each

  1   each   5 – 6 lb pork loin – boneless
  24   each   fresh mushrooms – sliced
  1   each   large onion – diced medium
  2   cups   beef stock
  1   cup   sour cream
  1   cup   vegetable oil
  1   tbsp   granulated garlic
  1   tbsp   ground thyme
  1   tsp   coarse ground black pepper
  1   tsp   salt
  2   oz   Wonder Flour – if needed
  24   each   noten rolls (or any other 3 inch knotted rolls)
  To Prepare
  1.   Rinse the boneless pork tenderloin and trim off the "silver" strap by inserting a knife tip under the "silver" and slide the knife away from you to trim off the strap.
  2.   Season the tenderloin with salt, pepper and granulated garlic mixed with the vegetable oil. Rub the pork loin with the spice and oil rub. Let stand covered under refrigeration for six hours.
  3.   Remove the pork loin from the oil marinade and place in a lined roast pan in a 400-degree oven and roast the pork loin until medium rare. Use a meat thermometer to determine the degree of doneness. Remove the pork loin roast from the oven and let cool at room temperature.
  4.   Slice the pork loin into 3/4-inch slices and place under refrigeration for later, finishing for service.
  5.   In a small sauce pot, sauté the onions until slightly browned, then add the mushroom and sauté until soft. Add the beef stock and bring to a simmer. In a separate cup, whip the sour cream until smooth. Slowly add in some of the hot stock to the sour cream and stir to temper the sour cream and bring it up in temperature. Then fold the sour cream into the mushroom and onion stock, stirring vigorously to blend all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and thicken if needed with Wonder Flour.
  6.   To serve, warm the rolls and slice. Take the pork loin medallions and brush them lightly with oil and grill them on a hot barbecue grill to take them from medium rare to medium to medium well. Place a medallion on your Knoten roll and place a tablespoon of the sour cream mushroom sauce on the pork medallions.

• Kartoffelpuffer mit Apfelmus - Potato Pancakes with Applesauce - Makes 8 pancakes

  6   each   medium potatoes (about 2 pounds), preferably baking potatoes
  2   each   eggs – large
  ½   cup   finely grated onion
  ½   cup   matzo meal
  1   tsp   salt
  ½   tsp   ground white pepper
  ½   tsp   granulated garlic
  1   cup   vegetable oil
  2   cups   applesauce
  To Prepare
  1.   Peel the potatoes and drop them into cold water to prevent their discoloring.
  2.   In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs enough to break them up, add the onion and gradually beat in the flour, matzo meal and salt.
  3.   One at a time, pat the potatoes dry and grate them coarsely into a sieve or colander. Press each potato down firmly into the sieve to squeeze out as much moisture as possible, then immediately stir it into the egg and onion batter.
  4.   Preheat the oven to 250˚. In a heavy eight to ten-inch skillet, heat the vegetable oil over high heat until it splutters. Pour in ⅓ cup of the potato mixture and, with a large spatula, flatten it into a pancake about 4 inches in diameter. Fry it over moderate heat for about two minutes on each side. When the pancake is golden brown on both sides and crisp around the edges, transfer it to a heated, ovenproof plate and pat off the excess oil with paper towels, then keep it warm in the oven. Continue making similar pancakes with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the pan when necessary to keep it at a depth of ¼ inch. Serve the pancakes with applesauce.

• Ratkohl mit Äpfeln - Red Cabbage with Apple - Serves 4 to 6

  1   each   2 to 2 ½ pound red cabbage
  2   each   medium cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1⁄8-inch thick wedges
  1   each   onion, peeled and pierced with 2 whole cloves
  ½   cup   finely chopped onions
  1   cup   chopped bacon
    cup   red wine vinegar
  2   tbsp   granulated sugar
  2   tsp   salt
  1   each   bay leaf
  1   cup   boiling water
  3   tbsp   dry red wine
  3   tbsp   red currant jelly
  To Prepare
  1.   Wash the head of cabbage under cold running water, remove the tough outer leaves, and cut the cabbage into quarters. To shred the cabbage, cut out the core and slice the quarters crosswise into 1⁄8-inch-wide strips.
  2.   Place the cabbage into a large mixing bowl, sprinkle it with the red wine vinegar, sugar and salt, then mix to coat the shredded cabbage evenly with the mixture.
  3.   In a heavy casserole, mix the bacon and a little oil over moderate heat. Add the apples and chopped onions and cook, stirring frequently until the apples are lightly browned. Add the cabbage, the whole onion with cloves, and the bay leaf; stir thoroughly and pour in the boiling water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, and reduce the heat to its lowest possible point.
  4.   Cover and simmer for one and a half to two hours, or until the cabbage is tender. Check periodically to make sure that the cabbage is moist. If necessary, add a tablespoon of boiling water. When the cabbage is done, there should be almost no liquid left in the pan. Remove the onion and bay leaf, and stir in the wine and the currant jelly. Check for seasoning, then transfer to a heated bowl and serve.

• Bayerisher Apfelstrudel - Bavarian Apple Strudel with Kipferl - 12 servings

  Strudel Filling
  8   cups   thinly sliced, peeled and cored tart apples
  6   tbsp   fine dry bread crumbs
  3   tbsp   dark rum
  4   tbsp   granulated sugar
  1   tsp   cinnamon
  ½   cup   finely chopped pecans
  ½   cup   seedless raisins
  Strudel Dough
  1   tbsp   oil
  2   each   large egg
  ½   cup   warm water (more if needed)
  ¼   tsp   salt
  2   cups   sifted flour
  ½   cup   melted margarine or butter
  6   each   Kipferl – chocolate cookies
  6   each   Kipferl – sugar cookies
          Confectioners' sugar or whipped cream, optional
  To Prepare
  1.   To make the strudel dough, in a mixing bowl, beat together oil, egg, water and salt; then slowly add the flour while beating, until a firm dough, which pulls away from bowl, is formed. Knead several times until smooth and elastic. Cover the dough with clear wrap and let stand 30 minutes.
  2.   In a stainless bowl, combine the bread crumbs, the sliced apples, dark rum, sugar, cinnamon, raisins and chopped pecans.
  3.   After standing for 30 minutes, cut the dough with sharp knife into two equal parts. Roll out each piece on floured cloth to a 12-inch wide x 20-inch long rectangle. Brush each rectangle with melted margarine.
  4.   Spoon on the apple & nut mixture lengthwise down the center of the dough rectangles.
  5.   Fold the dough over apples on one side, then the other. Seal the edge with beaten egg. Slide the strudel rolls onto greased baking sheet. Brush with melted margarine.
  6.   Bake in a hot oven (400°) 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for 20 minutes. Cut each roll into two-inch slices. Serve warm or cold, garnish with sprinkled confectioners' sugar or top with tablespoon of whipped cream.
    If you want to drink your beer like a real German, it should be served at 44.6 to 48.2 degrees Fahrenheit, which is generally the temperature you would get from chilling it in the refrigerator. To pour the perfect mug, the Spaten websites advises, "One needs to tilt the beer and the glass towards one another and pour the beer until the head has reached the top of the glass. Let the beer sit for a while, so the head can settle. Then pour as much as necessary in until you have a nice, creamy head."
Nothing represents Oktoberfest like a big, frothy mug of beer. Many companies brew an Oktoberfest or Märzen-style beer so you won't be hard pressed to find a six-pack.

But if you want the original and authentic Oktoberfest brew, you need to be a little selective. Only six German breweries have the right to officially call their product an Oktoberfest beer. These six are the only ones allowed to serve beer at the Oktoberfest celebration. They must make their beer within the city limits of Munich and adhere to strict German standards that precisely define how much barley, hops, malt and yeast are to be used. For the true original, try Spaten Oktoberfest. It has been brewed in Munich since 1872, and it is the world's first Oktoberfest beer.

At Spaten, they take beer brewing seriously. They use only quality raw materials, paying close attention to the purity of all the ingredients right down to the water that is taken from their own deep wells. For their Oktoberfest beer, special attention is given to ensuring the right balance of malt to balance out the bitterness of the hops. The result is a smooth, medium-bodied beer with a roasted malt flavor and a trailing sweetness. The clarity of its copper amber color speaks to the pureness of the ingredients and brewing process in which Spaten takes so much pride. Enjoy this tasty Oktoberfest brew. It is perfect for a cool, autumn setting. ///
Medium Rectangle #1
Medium Rectangle #2
Medium Rectangle #3
Medium Rectangle #4
Southwest Subscriptions
Newsletter Sign-Up
Las Cruces Magazine