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SAY HELLO TO CARAWAY by Sandra Lewis Print E-mail
by Sandra Lewis    Wed, Dec 14, 2005, 12:25 PM

Caraway is a staple in my spice cabinet, but I can count on one hand (maybe just a few fingers) the number of dishes in my recipe collection that includes this spice that's produced by a member of the parsely plant family.

Even though it's rarely on an ingredient list for a meal in my house I do love it.  I bet it's just as rare on your list (like maybe never) and you may not even know if you like it.   If you're a rye bread fan then you are acquainted with this delightful spice.

One of the oldest spices in culinary history, caraway gets a lot of play in European cuisine, especially Eastern Europe, German, and Austrian cuisine.

So it’s no surprise that it was over a plate of schnitzel this past weekend at Franki's Little Europe, an Eastern European restaurant in Dallas, that I was again reminded of how much I enjoy the pungent, but sweet and tangy flavor of caraway.

gfront1.gifFranki's Schnitzel features veal lightly covered in a most delicious sauce of white wine, caraway, and garlic with a slight hint of sour cream. 

As I ate I thought that I need to add more caraway dishes to my repertoire.

Franki’s new owner Jeffrey Batt was very forthcoming with the how to’s of putting this dish together when I asked.  But why bother? It’s just as easy to have a nice evening out at this quaint eatery that's been tucked away for years at the back of Casa Linda Plaza.

So say hello to caraway; as a start I'd suggest you try the schnitzel at Franki's :).

But if you're in the mood to experiment at home, sprinkle it on some steamed carrots with a little brown sugar and butter; add it your next batch of cole slaw; or try the cider-caraway pot roast recipe I've posted below. 

With apple juice and carrots, this recipe is a good starting point for a caraway taste test and is the perfect ending to a fall/winter day.  The gravy is wonderful ladled over hot, buttered noodles.

Cider-Caraway Pot Roast
1 - 2 ½ - 3 pound beef chuck roast
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 medium onions, sliced and separated into rings
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
1 cup sliced carrot
1 teaspoon caraway seed
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup sour cream
4 teaspoons corn starch

Trim fat from roast. If desired, sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven, brown roast on all sides in hot oil. Drain fat. Add onions, apple cider, carrot, caraway seed, and garlic. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 1 ½ to 2 hours or till tender. Remove meat and vegetables from pan.

For gravy, skim fat from pan juices. Measure juices. If necessary, add water to equal 1 ¼ cups. Combine sour cream and cornstarch. Stir into juices; return to pan. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Sandra's Kitchen Notes:

  • This  recipe was originally published in Better Homes and Gardens "New Cook Book".  Of course, I bought my book a long time ago (I won't say how long) so there's no guarantee that it's in the current publication. :)
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