For my husband’s birthday yesterday, we hosted a German-themed dinner at our place. I don't know much about German food, but I like experimenting with new cuisines and creating new recipes. I started researching authentic German delis and products in the LA area. Finally I found a place called Alpine Village down in Torrance, so I took it as a great excuse to go on a culinary adventure.

This is only half of the pastry selection

This is only half of the pastry selection

I LOVE going to specialty grocery stores and markets. I’ve discovered some delicious and weird finds in Japanese supermarkets and make it a priority to visit the Italian food shops on The Hill when I’m back home in St. Louis. So, I of course needed to experience the German culinary complex that is Alpine Village.

As soon as I arrived, I didn’t know where to start because I was too excited. There is a restaurant, café, market, and entire miniature village with German wares! I decided to stay on task and get what I came for in the market: sausages, pretzels and beer.

But then I found all sorts of dried, smoked meats. And the bakery counter was AMAZING. So in addition to the (five) pretzels, I naturally needed a Danish. And pickles…and cheese…and German grapefruit soda with beer mixed in.

Polish sausages with minced garlic and black pepper

Poaching liquid: half beer, half water, some peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves and onion

For dinner I poached some Polish sausages in a bath of beer and onions before searing them in the cast iron pan. I served them with German potato salad, pumpernickel and German cheese, pretzels and mustard and gherkins. And then, a chocolate "Funfetti" cake for dessert. I think we will be eating salads for the next few days...