Dining Outside the Home: The Sherman in Batesville, Indiana! Listed as one of the Historic Hotels of America, The Sherman is the “Gathering Place of Generations”, established in 1852. Located among the sleepy hills of southern Indiana, German culture remains the theme within and without. The German Tudor style architecture is easily identified by the half-timbering on the two-story building which houses the enchanting hotel, European corner café, private alcoved restaurant, antique Belgium bar, and popular outdoor biergarten. German cuisine, known for its specialties, speaks volumes of Oktoberfest-style renderings. From flavorful brauts to international beers to scrumptious desserts, the extensive menu pleases the palate of travelers, historians, celebrities, and residents alike. The next time a road trip takes you on a journey of exploration, stop for awhile to bask in the hospitality known throughout the area at The Sherman.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Elevated Edibles: German Pretzel Burger! One glance at this plate will have you snapping your head back in a double-take. What appears to be a classic burger suddenly reminds you of something else. Could it be the bun? The “x” on top is a dead giveaway as well as the deeply browned glossy finish. That’s because it’s a pretzel bun. Oktoberfest wouldn’t be the same without these signature foods: soft pretzels, aromatic sauerkraut, buttery cheese, and tepid beer. Are you up for the culinary adventure? Climb aboard the passenger train. Que Será, Será…Whatever will be, will be.
GERMAN PRETZEL BURGER
4 quarter-pound frozen ground beef patties, thawed
4 slices Swiss cheese
4 pretzel burger buns, sliced
4 tablespoons butter
14-ounce can shredded sauerkraut, drained
4 leaves romaine lettuce
Dijon mustard, as condiment
Prepare hamburger patties per package directions. Top with a slice of Swiss cheese. Set aside. Butter tops and bottoms of pretzel buns. Place buttered side down in a warmed iron skillet over medium heat. Heat until buns are toasted golden brown. Warm sauerkraut in a covered microwave-safe dish for 1 minute on High. To assemble burgers, place a romaine lettuce leaf on the bottom bun. Transfer a burger with Swiss cheese to place over lettuce. Spoon sauerkraut on top. Season with Dijon mustard. Replace lid of pretzel bun. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Enjoy!
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food for Sharing: German Chocolate Brownies! Take a journey to the Land of Chocolate. It’s a place where milkshakes are thick and creamy and go down easy. You can nibble on chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, candy bars for lunch, and dark chocolate cake as a bedtime snack. No calories exist because chocolate is good for you! Wouldn’t that be lovely? It would be Paradise, in my opinion. Today’s recipe requires a little more self-control than that. You can do this!
GERMAN CHOCOLATE BROWNIES
Ingredients for Crust:
1 box devil’s food chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
Ingredients for Filling:
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9″x13″ pan with foil. Lightly spray with nonstick oil. Mix together chocolate cake mix, melted butter, and egg. Press into the bottom of the pan. Bake 7 minutes. Remove from oven. For the filling, combine sweetened condensed milk, almond extract, egg, pecans, and coconut. Mix well. Pour over chocolate crust, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. Bake 25 minutes or until top is golden brown. Remove from oven; cool. Cut into brownie squares.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Enjoyable Eats: Grilled Brats, Onions, and Peppers! As you can see I was so busy sneaking one more meal of grilling outdoors before the weather changes that I almost forgot to take a snapshot. Here’s what’s left of a one-pan supper that is super-easy. Garden green peppers and sweet onions definitely complement the different spices that make up bratwurst. The reason the sausage links are cut up is because my husband and I wanted more of the “stuff” and less of the bun. Problem solved. Go bunless.
GRILLED BRATS, ONIONS, and PEPPERS
1-pound package German bratwurst
3 green peppers, stem, seeds, and rubbed removed
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
Preheat the grill on medium to 350°. Cut the bratwurst into bite-sized chunks. Transfer to a grill pan. Cut the green peppers into bite-sized chunks. Transfer to the grill pan. Cut the sweet onion into bite-sized chunks. Transfer to the grill pan. Give the pan a light coating of nonstick oil. Sprinkle seasoned salt over vegetables. Lightly toss the bratwurst, onions, and peppers. Place grill pan on the grill. Close lid. This infuses the mixture with a nice smoky flavor. Cook 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally for that charred caramelized appearance. Serve immediately.