I'm spending a month in Germany -- what to cook in my very small kitchen?

We (my husband and I) spend a month in Germany about twice a year. We have a very small apartment, with a tiny kitchen, one fry pan, 2 pots, a colander, a couple of bowls and not much else (I've been slowly buying small kitchen equipment like good knives and stashing them at our sponsor's office between visits). I try to cook 3-4 nights a week. I need to add to my repertoire, but I don't want to buy quantities of spices, etc. that I won't use up. I currently make:
- a roast chicken (I have an oven and a roasting tray) and various things I can do with chicken leftovers
- pasta -- mostly just Barilla pasta sauce with maybe some mushrooms or other veges added
- egg dishes -- eggs in tomato sauce, for example
- schnitzel, because the pork is so good in Germany and my husband loves schnitzel

This is a somewhat small city, so it's hard to get "exotic" ingredients. In fact, I don't do much fish, as I can seldom find fish that looks appetizing (even though we aren't far from the north sea). I'm willing to bring a few spices or condiments (if they will go in a suitcase) from the US, but not my entire spice rack. We typically go in the fall and spring, so do best with things in season then. Can people suggest main dishes/one dish meals/side dishes that will allow me to put a bit of variety in our menus but also to be able to use up the ingredients they require -- I hate to leave behind a half jar of something that won't keep unrefrigerated.

Robin J
  • Posted by: Robin J
  • October 4, 2017


Nikkitha B. October 15, 2017
I find grilled cheese a comfort in any small kitchen, and so customizable. With this one, swap feta and provolone with soft/hard German cheese, and heat it up on your stove, pressing your sandwich with a different pan as a makeshift press.

Lynn B. October 15, 2017
Käse-spaetzle is delicious and can be served as a main course or a side dish. Boil the pasta and drain. Brown some sliced onions. Combine the two, along with shredded Emmanthaler cheese and serve. Nice with a salad, or alongside schnitzels.
Marion C. October 15, 2017
A nice beef or pork stew is welcome on a cool and rainy Berlin evening. Pack some smoked paprika and thyme in your suitcase. These spices go with the other things your cooking. I envy you the time in Berlin. Its my home town.
MarieGlobetrotter October 7, 2017
If I were you, I would make the most of the local food. German food is under appreciated, if you want my opinion. As you may know, in the evening, Germans like to do Abendbrot. Get some nice walnut bread or Vollkorn bread, some German cheeses, cold fish filets (lox, herring, Matjes...), make a cold potato salad, spread some Quark on a slice of bread topped with chives and radishes...the list is endless
Buy some Spatzle and Maultaschen - easy to find in supermarkets. Serve the Maultaschens in a broth or gently cook them in a pan. Spatzle is better served with just some butter and herbs, maybe some mushrooms.
sexyLAMBCHOPx October 5, 2017
I would pack some Wondra for schnitzel.
MMH October 5, 2017
I don't know the name of the dish but I have a friend who makes a traditional dish where she cooks the sausages in sauerkraut.
AntoniaJames October 5, 2017
My mother made that, frequently, when I was growing up. (One of my father's grandmothers was German and passed down a love for food like that to my dad; my mother spent part of her early life in the Germantown neighborhood in Philadelphia, so she liked those dishes, too.) It's so easy, and perfect for a tiny kitchen, if you can get your hands on a rectangular or oval baking dish: Slice onions, soften / saute to light brown in oil or bacon fat on the stove. This is necessary because the acid in the sauerkraut and wine will slow down / arrest softening. Mix onions, well rinsed sauerkraut and a small head of fresh green cabbage, sliced razor thin (my addition) and put them in the baking dish. Nestle some good sausages (prick them a few times beforehand) along with a few bay leaves, and juniper berries if you have them, or caraway seeds; then, pour 2 -3 cups of Riesling or Gewurtz over it, cover with foil and bake in a hottish oven for about 45 minutes; remove the foil, expose the sausage and continue to cook for another 20 - 30 minutes; crank up the heat to make it brown a bit. Also great with spare ribs! And a ham bone if you have one! Cook some potatoes, quartered but not peeled, on the stove in salted water. Toss with chopped parsley and a touch of butter and salt. Serve with the choucroute (what my mother always called this - French for sauerkraut).
Also, consider taking herbs and spices with you from home in small plastic bags. I always do that when I travel and know I'll be cooking in an unknown kitchen, which is often. It makes a world of difference, and the volume / weight are negligible. It's well worth the effort. Have fun and please, report back on how it turns out! ;o)

Voted the Best Reply!

pierino October 5, 2017
Even in a small town you should be able to find good German sausages from the local butcher. There might be some unique to your local.
HalfPint October 5, 2017
Take advantage of the great pork (and pork products like sausages) and dairy in Germany. Some ideas:
-pork chops and sauteed apples
-bratwursts and sauerkraut
-pulled pork
-Red beans and rice
-braised chicken (like coq au vin)

Check out Rachel Khoo and Smitten Kitchen. They cook in the tiny kitchens and have developed their recipes in said kitchens.
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