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EASTER

Recipe: How to make German Easter bunny strudels

Easter in Germany looks different than usual this year, but you can still celebrate at home with these cute bunny shaped strudels.

Recipe: How to make German Easter bunny strudels
Easter bunny strudels. Photo: Lora Wiley Lennartz

The recipe below is for an all vegetable version. It has a mix of asparagus, carrots, onions and yellow pepper. However, you can easily substitute for your favorite vegetable combination or a lovely mix of seasonal spring vegetables. Additionally, you could add potatoes, cheese – and even ground meat for a non-vegetarian version.

To create the shapes, you will need a 20cm rabbit shaped cake pan, cardboard cutout or chocolate mold. Use any of these to trace rabbit shapes onto the rolled out puff pastry. Creating these strudels is a fun Easter holiday kitchen project to do with children.

Easter Rabbit Vegetable Strudels

Prep Time: 40 minutes 

Cook Time: 30 minutes 

Yield: 4 Strudels 

Ingredients:

    •    1 package of puff pastry (about 1/2 kilo total)

    •    1 large egg

    •    30g butter

    •    75g shredded carrots 

    •    8 baby asparagus spears

    •    1 yellow onion

    •    1 yellow pepper

    •    1 tablespoon chopped chives

    •    1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

    •    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

    •    Defrost the puff pastry. 

    •    Chop the asparagus spears into pieces. 

    •    Peel the onion and chop into small pieces. 

    •    Dice the yellow pepper into small pieces. 

    •    Place the  butter in a medium sized skillet over medium heat. 

    •    Add the onions and cook until almost transparent. Add the asparagus, shredded carrots, and yellow pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until the vegetables start to soften but are still crisp. Do this for about 10 minutes.

Photo: Lora Wiley Lennartz

    •    Mix in the chopped fresh chives and fresh thyme.

    •    Season the vegetable mixture with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. 

    •    Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

    •    Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

    •    Roll out the puff pastry. Place the rabbit shape on top of the puff pastry and use a sharp knife to cut around the shape to create a rabbit shaped piece of puff pastry. Repeat this 7 times. 

    •    In a small separate bowl beat the egg with a fork. Use a pastry brush to coat the edges of four of the puff pastry rabbits with the egg. About 1.5 cm all around.

    •    Divide the cooked vegetable mixture evenly on the puff pastry shaped rabbits with the egg brushed frames. 

    •    Working with one piece at a time, place the top pieces of puff pastry over the vegetables and use your fingers to carefully but firmly seal the edges together. 

    •    Use the scraps of the puff pastry to roll small balls and larger balls, one each for each puff pastry rabbit. Place the smaller balls on each rabbit for eyes. Place the larger ones where the tail should be. 

    •    Transfer the puff pastry rabbits to the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush the outside of the rabbits with the leftover egg. 

    •    Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. 

    •    Remove from the oven. Transfer the rabbits to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Lora Wiley-Lennartz is an Emmy nominated television producer and a food/destination blogger who splits her time between Germany and New York City. Read her blog Diary of a Mad Hausfrau or follow her on Facebook for traditional German recipes with a twist.

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FOOD & DRINK

How did the Wiener Schnitzel become an Austrian icon?

Despite being Austria's national dish, the origins of the Wiener Schnitzel lie further south. Here's the story of how the breaded meat dish came to popularity in Austria.

How did the Wiener Schnitzel become an Austrian icon?

The Wiener Schnitzel might be almost as famous at the city of Vienna itself; so much so the BBC says the Wiener Schnitzel “defines Vienna”. 

It turns out however that the dish was not invented in Austria at all. 

Even though there is Wiener (Viennese) in the title, the schnitzel actually originated from Milan in Italy as cotoletta alla Milanese, although the original recipe used a thicker cut of meat and was cooked with the bone in.

How did the Wiener Schnitzel become an Austrian icon?

As with many stories delving into Austrian history, the tale of the Wiener Schnitzel involves royalty, mythology and nobility. 

The story goes that Czech nobleman and Austrian Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky brought the recipe back to Vienna from Milan in 1857 after a trip there during the Habsburg rule.

READ MORE: Which Austrian cheeses are protected foods and why?

Radetzky described the dish as a “deliciously breaded veal cutlet” and the emperor requested the recipe. It was a huge success and the schnitzel quickly became popular across Vienna.

Today, the humble schnitzel is the country’s national dish and a key part of Austria’s culture.

You can even find it in cafes and bakeries as a sandwich version called Schnitzelsemmel, which is a schnitzel served in a bread roll.

What is a Wiener Schnitzel?

In case there are some readers out there that are unfamiliar with the Wiener Schnitzel, it is a piece of veal that is breaded and fried, then served with potatoes and a wedge of lemon. 

National Geographic describes the dish as “unassuming” but don’t let that fool you. The schnitzel dominates most menus in Austria and can even be found in restaurants specialising in international cuisine.

The schnitzel is also popular in households across the country, but outside of restaurants it is often cooked with pork instead of expensive veal.

READ ALSO: Caffeine, war and Freud: A history of Vienna’s iconic coffee houses

How to make Wiener Schnitzel

Impressing your Austrian friends with a homemade Wiener Schnitzel is easy.

Simply pound the meat (veal or pork) to an even thinness. Then dip it in flour, followed by egg and breadcrumbs. Fry the meat until it is golden brown. You want it to be crispy but not burnt.

Serve with boiled potatoes and a lemon wedge. A side of cranberry sauce is optional but recommended.

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