Floury versus waxy potatoes
Waxy potatoes tend to hold their shape and remain firm and compact when boiled. Floury potatoes become fluffy and airy inside and are best used for baking, roasting, mashing and deep-frying. Due to their low sugar content they tend to fall apart when boiled.
Store in a thick brown paper bag, in a cool, dry, dark place. Discard any potatoes that have developed a green tinge, indicating a rise of (potentially dangerous) solanine levels. Opt for unwashed potatoes where possible as the dirt protects the potatoes.
In Germany, smoked eel is eaten with your fingers. To remove the odour of the eel after eating, pour schnapps over your fingers.
Rare roast beef
Using a meat thermometer helps to determine precisely when the beef is cooked to rare. Simply insert the thermometer into the centre of the thickest part of the beef (avoiding the bone, fat and gristle), it will be cooked to rare when it is 50°C, medium-rare will be 55°C, medium is a little over 60°C.
If you do not have a tenderising meat hammer, try bashing your schnitzels with a rolling pin. Wrapping the pin in glad wrap makes it easy to clean.
Crispy potato pancakes
When making potato pancakes wring out the excess moisture in the potatoes (after you grate them) in a clean, dry tea towel. This will ensure a crisp batter.
If you find that your goulash is too fatty either let it rest on the stove for a few minutes and then skim off the fat. If you have a little extra time place the goulash in the fridge and allow the fat to solidify on top of the dish. Remove fat before reheating.
Be careful not to over-handle hamburger patties when you are moulding them. The more you touch them the more compact the meat will become. This will result in a tough, dense hamburger.