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  • Chef Vincent Michael

Käsespätzle, Paprikás and Busiati alla Trapanese Make Food Travel Worthwhile.

Updated: Nov 27, 2018

Käsespätzle is a hearty dish of small dumplings, cheese, and bacon, layered in a crock and baked to perfection. You should eat it if you linger in the magical Black Forest of Germany for any amount of time. A bierstube owner will look at you cross-eyed if you attempt to order much else with it aside from beer. It is perfect in all regards--a smoky, creamy yet toothsome one-pot star. I am developing my rendition, as I've had my youthful fascination with little dumplings rekindled in the land of fairy tales.

The last light of Sasbachwalden sets the forest aglow.

Paprikás is most often made with chicken where restaurants are concerned in Hungary. Sweet paprika dominates a simple thickened braising liquid enhanced before serving with heavy and sour creams. After having the real deal in old Buda, I can't get it out of my dreams at night. Paprika was meant to be a predominant flavor in Hungarian dishes, and paprikás showcases the best aspects of the deep red spice. I will be using a French adaptation of the paprikás reduction, Sauce Hongroise, in the holiday menu.

Busiati is a long coiled noodle that is eaten in different parts of Sicily. Esther and I enjoyed it with shrimp, pistachios, and best of all, with Pesto alla Trapanese, a mortared sauce highlighting Sicilian almonds, sweet cherry tomatoes, and pecorino. All variations are satisfying, but there is something special about eating Busiati alla Trapanese where the sea moans through broken buildings that is worth traveling to try. The noodle itself is extruded on a daily basis for restaurant and home use in Sicily. I am in the pondering stage on this one. The mystery goes deep in Trapani; it seems to linger with me even now.