A World in a Pan .....

A wonderful new website has just come to my attention ... it is called A World in a Pan
..... the new culture sensitive cooking school concept!

It features recipes from all over the world for you to try out and enjoy ... This month they have added a recipe from my own kitchen ... the "Austrian Quickie"

Be sure to stop by and browse their site and check out my addition ... lol!

Wine Food Pairing - Old Pilot Meet Up!

Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.
E. Hamilton Lee, 1949

BigAl and some up his "old" pilot buddies had a meet up at the Weingut Tinhof. Wine food pairing is tagging along to watch the festivities.

Hans Tinhof is actually one of the crowd also, but he just isn't quite as old!

These guys go way back together with crazy, scary stories that they tell about their flying adventures ...

BigAl was very big into precision flying .... coming in 2nd in the World Championships held in Canada in 1979.

Here he is holding up a picture from one of his acrobatic stunts ..... YIKES!!!! I'm glad he doesn't do that anymore ... that upside down plane looks pretty close to the ground to me!

I had to have a couple of glasses of wine just to look at that picture .... lol .... of course, I chose a Blauer Zweigelt to settle my nerves and it seemed to do the trick. Pretty soon I was ready to join in the terrific feast that the Hans Tinhof crew prepared.

All traditional Austrian dishes from the fresh breads to the different wursts .... YUMMO!

Here are the boys posing together ... BigAl, Karl Zimmerman, Fuchs, and Hans Tinhof.

Wine food pairing toasts all the old pilots. CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing - A Schnitzel Throwdown!

Wine food pairing says move over Bobby Flay ...

We are having a schnitzel throwdown here in little Breitenau Austria!

Schnitzel is one of many Austrian claims to fame, but the Wiener Schnitzel ... oh my! Named after the capital of Austria, Vienna or "Wien" as it is called in the German language, it traditionally is made using veal .. but schnitzel nowadays can come in any meat variety. Schnitzel, of course is any cutlet pounded thin, breaded with flour or crumbs and sauteed quickly in butter.

If I am feeling saucy then the pusstaschnitzel is the best ...... pusstaschnitzel is smothered in

flavorful peppers, onions and tomatoes ... YUMMO!

If I am in the mood to be "healthy" ... then putenschnitzel is for me ... made with white meat turkey .... and then a garnish of fresh lemon to be squeezed on top ...

I can't decide ... both are great and the Gasthaus Sindlhofer in Breitenau Austria makes them best ...

Does a throwdown need an absolute winner? Wine food pairing decides not to decide ... lol. CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing - Wine and Cheese Feast!

Wine food pairing has learned a lot about the European customs of Austria. One thing I know for sure ... if you go visiting you always must bring something .... flowers, wine or a sweet treat. Of course, for me, I love it when someone visits us and brings a new wine into the house!

A surprise visit from our friend Hans and in his sack of goodies was an Italian wine ... Oh Boy!!!!

Giordano Vei Cavour ... the name rolls off my tongue .... and good manners means we all sit down to enjoy the wine! A ruby red wine made with selected black grapes that was smooth and gentle in flavor. We had just come back from the market and we had a terrific "stinky" cheese and fresh pumpkin seed rolls to pair with this food and wine bounty.

If that wasn't good enough, I remembered seeing some of our neighbors red grapes hanging over our side of the fence. I sent BigAl out to clip a few and we added the grapes to our wine and cheese feast!

Does it get better than this? The freshest foods, good friendships and super wines ... a wine food pairing success. CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing - Must Love Wine!

Wine food pairing has been surfing the net and found a cool new wine site "Must love wine"

....... Must Love Wine is a social network for wine lovers to chat and share knowledge about their favorite wines.

What's not to love about that!

Be sure to check it out ... and enjoy. CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing - Breitenau Austria Headquarters

Wine food pairing is giving you a glimpse of our Breitenau Austria headquarters. For winter, it is definitely Florida for us, but BigAl inherited his parents home in Austria just a little over a year ago and it has been nothing, if not an adventure for this American girl as we visit and stay for a few weeks in the late spring and fall!

The lifestyle and the culture is so different from what most Americans live with. The villages are wonderful little jewels that you pass through in a blink of an eye and it seems that all are well maintained and ready for show. Especially considering most of it is old .... I mean really old .... Breitenau, where our house is located was first mentioned in documents dating back to the 1100's ... that's older than me and BigAl put together ... lol!

Things that we take for granted in the US are also different ... for example..... you go grocery shopping and want a shopping cart? You must put a 1 euro coin in the chained lock on the cart and pull it out ... yes, you get you 1 euro back when you return your cart. This is everywhere.

When you complete your shopping ... do you want your items bagged? You must bring you own bags then ... no paper or plastic over here! The first time back when we shop I always forget and have to juggle with my purchases.

Dogs are welcomed in all eating establishments. This is great for Houdini who loves to sit at the table and enjoy his meal along with us ... of course all the dogs are well mannered that come into the restaurants . Water and even sometimes treats are brought out be the wait staff ... many times before we are served!

Now to get REALLY SERIOUS about the differences in countries and talking about something close to my heart .... WINE!

The wine is wonderful in Austria, the Germans even import it and mixed it up with theirs and still call it German wine ... lol! There are vineyards everywhere and wine is served almost like water here.

Another really great thing is that the local wines are extremely inexpensive. It is not unusual to pay only a couple of euros for a wonderful bottle of wine. We even have wine farmers that make the rounds here and deliver! They have been coming to the house for so many years they just pull in and open the cellar windows and stock us up for the next year ..... how cool is that!

We have the "party" room in the cellar that is specially made to hold over 100 bottles of wine and it is all set up like a traditional wine house ... perfect for BigAl, the wine babe and our friends!

It is certainly a different lifestyle over here and I must say, other than my language skills that need a lot of improvement, I enjoy coming over here and spending time. BigAl, of course, is my translator so I know what is going on and so far I have managed to stay out of trouble (pretty much)!

Wine food paring toasts Austria. CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing - An Austrian Quickie!

Hahahaha! Wine food pairing serves an Austrian quickie! You guys must have dirty minds ... I would never write something naughty ...lol!

The Austrian quickie I was referring to is a quick one pan meal .... onions and green peppers sauteed in EVOO then toss in potatoes, tomatoes and sausage. S&P to taste and you are good to go on a wine and food adventure!

Now for the "real deal" you will want to pan fry a couple of eggs in butter, what else, and lay them on top with a sprinkle of fresh chives .... pickles are always a great Austrian garnish ... gherkins are the favorite !

I used Pussta (meaning pepper) sausage. Now BigAl says this stuff is from Austria, but I know that the Hungarians also make some mighty spicy stuff. This pussta sausage was so hot it made my eyebrows sweat ... pretty darn hot!

I served a local Austrian white wine with it to cool us down a little ..... Mullerthurgau Welschriesling from the vineyards not too far away. It certainly did the trick!

Hot crusty bread and a platter of farm cheeses and finished the meal up and we were singing zip-pe-de-doo-da in no time flat ...lol!

So many of the Austrian meals are quick and simple, you just need the fresh ingredients to pull it altogether .... wine food pairing across the pond. CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing - Chicken Parm for the Soul

Ahhhhh! I have been wine food pairing with all the traditional Austrian specialties for the last few weeks now and I just had a hankering for something different.

The fridge showed a couple of chicken breasts that were calling out to me. What to do ... I also felt like pasta would be good. How about chicken Parmesan served over a bed of pasta ... sounds like a perfect wine and food plan to me ...lol!

It was kind of funny to think about it, but I started off my chicken breasts very much like the Austrians do their schnitzels ... whacking, dredging, dipping and dredging again ... then sauteing in butter and EVOO ... great minds must think alike.

Angel hair pasta goes into boiling salted water for a couple of minutes and I heat up a red sauce that I got at the local market ... the jar of sauce was imported from Italy and being that they are neighboring countries I figured I'd be pretty safe. Well, it was pretty good, not like having Mama in the kitchen, but definitely worthy of a quick meal.

Everything was layered on a large pasta platter and I thinly sliced some parm to top it all off. A salad of fresh greens drizzled with my favorite balsamico vinegar and pumpkin seed oil and dinner was ready for serving.

BigAl found a Blauer Zweigelt from Österreich (austria) in the downstairs wine cellar, popped the cork and we were ready. Zweigelt was named after Dr. Zweigelt, the grape scientist who developed it in 1922, it's a modern variety designed for commercial wine, with a relatively short growing season that helps it thrive in the Austrian area. The Zweigelt grapes make a juicy, tart red wine that's served on almost all Austrian tables as their red table wine. YUMMO!

The scene was set with the leaves outside just starting to turn colors with the crisp fall days, a savory chicken parm on the table and a delicious zweigelt swirling in our wine glasses catching the candlelight. Chicken parm for the soul? Wine food pairing says why not. CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing - Austrian Comfort Food!

An afternoon with our good friend Hans Tinhof and where should we go eat? We are all ready for wine and food!

A wine food pairing is always an adventure adventure ..... Hans' hueriger, Weingut Tinhof, is closed for the next couple of weeks and we are looking for some traditional Austrian food.

We load up in the car and head on out to the Hotel Restaurant Schwartz. We have been here many times and always enjoy it ...... it is a great place to stop on our way to the house in Breitenau after the long flight over from Florida when there is nothing to eat in the house.

Hans and BigAl toasting to the wonderful Austrian afternoon and longtime friends!

Alfred had a light tasty lunch of thinly sliced beef and cucumbers drizzled with vinegar and EVOO served alongside a mixed salad ....

Hans also went for the beef, but in a more hearty fashion with Austrian dumplings and a pasta casserole. Warm and filling .... Austrian comfort food ...

I went for the stuffed green pepper in a yummy tomato sauce served with parsley potatoes .... the filling was a mixture of rice and pork and well seasoned. It was just what the doctor ordered for a crisp fall afternoon. Definitely food for the soul!

I paired this up with a blaufrankish (red table wine) and I was a happy girl, indeed!

What more to life is there? Good food and wine and great friends to enjoy them with ... wine food pairing. CHEERS!

Oh My! Wine Food Pairing at Peischinger Dorfwirt

Wine food pairing ... a lazy afternoon in Austria.

In a small village just a few minutes from our home in Breitenau is Peischinger Dorfwirt. This lovely Gasthaus is located in Peisching Austria .... Peisching has been around in Austrian history since the 12th century and for an Amercian girl, like myself, I am amazed to see bits and pieces still standing today several centuries later.

It is always a treat to eat, drink and visit with the owners, the Family Beistiner, who have known BigAl and his family for many, many years .... the gasthaus has been in the family for five generations. The last time I was here I enjoyed watching the storks nesting in a chimney across the street. How cool!

Peistinger Dorfwirt has a traditional Austrian kitchen and while they do have specials and a menu, they really will make what you request as long as they have it on hand ... a very friendly, customer oriented place. A great place for wine and food!

We visited with our friend Ralf ( yes, it is spelled that way!) and he was quite pleased at not only the food, but the great service. It was a wonderful sunny Austrian fall day and we sat in the garden to enjoy the terrific weather and all the people passing by.

These small villages are so special in the fact that it doesn't take to long before you meet someone that you know .... that means, of course, that you have to sit a bit longer to chat and then maybe order another glass of wine. In my case, it was a Blauer Zweigelt ... it showed me once again that their are many different variations of this tasty red wine. The zweilget here was full bodied and was great with or without food.

Ralf went with a white wine spritzer and thought it was perfect for the sunshine filled afternoon and of course, BigAl can't get enough of the local Austrian beer ... lol!

We all went with the "specials" of the day ... the boys went with a beef schnitzel, served with a rich sauce, topped with thinly sliced fried onion rings, potato patties and pickle ... I had a bite and it was delicious.

I decided on a chicken breast stuffed with spinach and then topped with the most amazing cheese sauce made with Emmanthaler swiss cheese ... YIKES ... this was sinfully rich and was paired with a fresh pasta that even made it better!

With any rich meal in Austria, it very important to have a digestive aid .... lol ... you know what that means ..... SCHNAPPS! I was going out on a limb here, but I asked Johann the owner if he had any of my new favorite "NUSS Schnapps" ... after a conference with BigAl as to asking what I was asking for he came out with the most wonderfully sweet liquor that was truly the nectar of the Gods .... Oh My!

The afternoon was a complete wine food pairing success! Next time you are in Austria, be sure to stop by. CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing does Oktober-Schoppen in Breitenau

Oh my ... it is October in Austria and Holiday celebrations have begun .... wine food pairing wanders over to the Gasthaus Sindlhofer where the Musikverein Breitenau (Music Club of Breitenau) is holding a fund raising event. Coinciding with Oktoberfest it is always well attended from not only Breitenau but from as far away as Vienna where people come to enjoy the food, music and friendship ...

The band played all kinds if great to tapping Austrian music and really got the crowd stirred up ... fans standing on benches and clapping wildly ...

Two of our friends Mandy and Gunter Kwas enjoying a cool beverage and the great tunes!

Franz and Finny Sindlhofer, owners of the Breitenau Gasthaus Gemuetlichkeit sat at the extra special table for the "who turned 60 this year" table and were able to enjoy the festivities instead of serving ......

Then the food started coming .... schnitzels and wursts of all types ... YUMMO!

The music club, cooked and served as well as keeping the crowds entertained ....

Even the "burgermeister" of Breitenau (mayor) got into the swing of things and pitched right in to make sure things ran smoothly ...

These two cute young ladies were really the "stars" of the whole affair ... I don't know their actual job description in the German language, but I dubbed them the "schnappsie" girls. They came table to the table and offered up some of the best high octane schnapps from that little wooden barrel. Served in tiny pewter schnapps shot glasses ... they waited for you to give the glass back ... I tend to sip on my schnapps, but I was encouraged to just "chug" YIKES ... talk about bringing tears to your eyes! I'm not sure if I was crying from the "burn" or it was just so darn good!

This was a terrific fall afternoon just south of Vienna in the small village of Breitenau Austria. The sky was bright blue, the sun was shining and the air crisp. Perfect for the days activities. Another wine food pairing experience. CHEERS!

WFP - Pizza Pie in Breitenau Austria!

Friday night in America and millions of people make their way to their local pizza parlor for their favorite pie and a cool beverage .... wine food pairing decided that it sounded like a darn good idea and that is exactly what we did in Breitenau Austria!

Now in Austria, it is not like they have local pizza "joints" on every corner ... the traditional Gasthaus and Heurigers abound in this country.

Our little village of Breitenau has one great little place called Pizzaria Ciao Italia! Owned by this fellow from Tunisia, it had the best of both worlds ... the inside setup looked quite traditional Austrian, but the pizza was thin crust all the way!

As you know from many of my posts, my German is spotty, at best and while I have learned a lot in the recent years, I still rely on BigAl to get me through the difficult parts of reading a menu ....

Well, we went over all the pie choices and he patiently read all the choices, we made our decision and then somehow, when our pizza came, it had had on it the dreaded ANCHOVY ...... !

Who invented these nasty guys, anyway? I guess when BigAl actually placed the order he didn't have his reading glasses on and read out the wrong name .... oh my!

A second pie was on its way in nothing flat and it was SUPER ... I loved the crust and the toppings were just right. AHHHH .... you hear that sigh of satisfaction?

I paired my pizza with Zweigelt, the tasty local fave and of course, a Kruegerl (0.5L)of beer ..... a Gösser "Gut, besser, ein echtes Gösser!" is what they say ...

To help digest all that pizza I thought I would ask if the had my new best favorite NUSS Schnapps. This is really on a limited basis and is not available in stores ... it is a homemade thing and only if someones Mom or Grandma makes it. Well, it so happens that he had some homemade schnapps that he made with Tunisian dates ... YUMMO ... is was a winner!

A great Friday night out in Breitenau Austria .... another wine food pairing adventure. CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing Goes to Sooss!

This time of year the heurigers are especially popular in Austria. The heurigen being a wine restaurant that is only open for a short period certain times of year. These delightful restaurants offer their own wines from their vineyards. Wine food pairing set "Richard" our friendly "navi" towards the village of Sooss to meet up with BigAl's cousin Carley and his wife, Guggi. Sooss has been around for a long time .... the church, the heart of the village, was built in the 1400's.

Carley chose this evenings meeting spot. The Weinbau Grabner-Fuchs, you can see, is a traditional, homey Austrian Heuriger that offers their own great wines and food freshly made in their deli ... in fact, you can watch them prepare the food!

Franz and Rosa Grabner have owned the place since1962 and it is extremely popular with all the locals, but tourists travel from all over to enjoy their hospitality.

They have several house specialties with including Blunz'n (blood sausage), Surschnitzel (a cutlet that has been "brined" before preparation), Schweinsbraten (pork roast) and Schinkenfleckerl (ham layered with wide noodles).

As I browsed the deli, the Schinkenfleckerl caught my eye and I had a portion of that along with a mixed salad. The Schinkenfleckerl was quite good ..... ham layered with wide lasagne type noodles and a crusty top! The mixed salad was fresh greens, some type of cold cabbage salad and then a sweet cole slaw type salad added on top. YUMMO!

Guggi had the same except she went with a frittanensuppe as a side. A brothy soup that has thin pancakes sliced "noodle like" and added to the broth, very good!

Well, the "boys" ... Houdini included went for the traditional fried chicken called gebackenhendl. this beats out Colonel Chicken any day! Dredged a couple of times in flour and special seasonings it is the best. Usually served with lemon slices to squeeze on top, it is a real treat for an American girl used to the American way of frying chicken.

Carly advised to go with the house Zweigelt. This red wine proved that all zweigelt's are not created equal. This was terrific and we all proved this by consuming several "achterls" (1/8 th of a liter)! Talk about a wine and food experience.

As usual, we always get a liter of mineralwasser mit gas (sparkling mineral water) to go along with. Houdini prefers his water to be still ... no "sparkles"!

We all had a great evening, the owners were terrific hosts and throughout the evening we had a few other friends stop by. Houdini even had a Maltese buddy stop by named Caruso. They have been "buds" since Houdini was just a baby, so a lot of sniffing had to be done to get reacquainted!

One of the cool things about restaurants in general in Austria ... no one rushes you ... There is no turning a table to make a profit. Once you sit down, you can have the table until the place closes down at night ... and this is quite normal. Everyone relaxes and eats and drinks or not ... it really doesn't matter. Young and old alike.

Wine food pairing in Sooss Austria with family. CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing - Blaue Blunz'n in Moedling!

Wine food pairing goes to the town of Moedling for a grand wine and food experience with our friend Winnie. The Blaue Blunz 'n is a place that he has been coming to for years and it certainly lived up to its praise!
Here are the boys ... toasting to good health ... BigAl with a pilsner and Winnie with a Red cuvee.

Our server has been friends with Winnie for over 20 years and so there was a lot of joking and good times for everyone!

The restaurant has several specialities, so it was difficult for everyone to choose .....

Jungenschweinebraten for BigAl ... a big word for a young pork roast. This was roasted slow at a low temp with garlic cloves buried deep inside like little flavor treasures! It was served with the traditional Austrian dumplings .... one made with potato, the other from bread, then placed on a "sauced up" plate and dusted with caraway seeds. A slice of fresh bread added to this and BigAl was in Jungenschweinebraten heaven ... lol!

Winnie opted for Wildschwein (wild boar) . "Wild" meat is on all the menus this time of year with hunting season open. They prepared this "tasty boy" with pieces of bacon for even more wonderful flavor! Potato patties and a yummy gravy completed this "hunters" special.

Now, I was looking for less exotic fare and went with puntenschnitzel (turkey schnitzel) garnished with lemon slices. It was just what I was looking for and I enjoyed a local Blaufrankish with my meal.

Winnie and I compared our wines, his the cuvee and mine the Blaufrankish and I must say that I liked his cuvee
better ....

Now with any heavy meal in Austria ... it seems that most of them are "heavy" you need a digestive aid ... in this case a schnapps. I asked the server to bring me the house specialty ... you can never go wrong with that ... and she brought out a Himbergeist schnapps. Very mild as far as schnapps goes, it is always served in small glasses like this. The himber is flavored from raspberries and is not sweet at all, but has a delightful nose to it.

Now I thought that we were done, but Winnie insisted on something sweet to end the meal and ordered a OH so terrific KaiserSchmarren ..... this is a traditional Austrian 'pancake' that is pulled apart while it is cooking and then dusted with powdered sugar and then served with fruit. Ours was served with fresh plums that they had picked earlier off the tree and then "stewed" .

What a great meal! Food and wine like this is such a treat ... something that can't be indulged in everyday, but oh so good.

Another wine food pairing adventure in Austria. CHEERS!