German cuisine gets its due at last in Walter Staib's new book, Black Forest Cuisine: The Classic Blending of European Flavors.
It may not conjure up the brio of Italy or the elan of France, but the Black Forest is a special place in southwestern Germany.
It's the land of Grimm's fairy tales, cuckoo clocks and really primo ham, not to mention the eponymous cake.
It's also the childhood home of Staib, proprietor of Philadelphia's historic City Tavern and former White House chef, and he is eager to share the region's culture and food with readers.
"If I had to choose the most popular dish in the Black Forest, this might be the one," Staib writes of this recipe for Russian Eggs.
Here, Staib suggests caviar for a garnish and recommends homemade mayonnaise for the dressing, but you can use prepared mayonnaise, thinned with a little olive oil.
Bill Daley writes for the Chicago Tribune, which provided the recipe analysis.
RUSSIAN EGGS (RUSSISCHE EIER)
2 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 teaspoon each: powdered mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup each: finely cubed carrots, finely cubed celery root, fresh peas, all cooked and cooled
1 potato (about 1 cup), cubed, cooked, cooled
2 heads Bibb lettuce, cored and leaves separated
8 hard-cooked eggs, cooled and peeled
For garnish: salmon or sturgeon caviar and fresh, curly-leaf parsley, chopped
Whisk together the mayonnaise, mus-tard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and cayenne in a bowl to make a dressing.
Combine the carrots, celery root, peas and potatoes in a bowl.
Reserve 1 cup of the dressing for serving and gently toss the vegetables with the remaining dressing.
To serve, place several leaves of lettuce on each plate and spoon the vegetables over top.
Slice the eggs in half lengthwise and arrange two halves on top of each plate of vegetables.
Spoon the remaining dressing neatly over the top, spoon a dollop of caviar on top of each egg half and garnish with parsley.
Per serving: 626 calories, 61 grams fat, 9 grams saturated fat, 237 milligrams cholesterol, 10 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams protein, 761 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber