Cooking

Finger Food

Tim Wiechmann's vegetarian mash-up of Eastern European sausage
Tim Wiechmann's Vegetarian Cvapi at Bronwyn
Give traditional sausage the finger. | Photos: Tasting Table

Chef Tim Wiechmann doesn't want his German-leaning restaurant Bronwyn in Somerville, Massachusetts, to be hemmed in the three S's— sausage, schnitzel and spaetzle, all of which his kitchen happens to turn out quite well. But Wiechmann wants to branch out.

So when developing his new fall menu, Wiechmann looked to more far-flung parts of Eastern Europe for inspiration.

"Making good sausages is part of the identity of the restaurant, but we don't want to become just another beer hall," Wiechmann says. He's at our Test Kitchen telling us about the dishes he's playing around with, like zganci, fried buckwheat noodles topped with smoked venison pastrami (yes, please).

Cvapi (see the recipe) is another new Bronwyn dish with roots in Eastern Europe (Bosnia, to be exact) and some out-of-the-box elements that turn it into more of a mash-up. The name loosely translates to "finger sausages," but Wiechmann did a 180 and opted instead to make a vegetarian version, taking inspiration from Middle Eastern falafel.

"I took the falafel thing, using ground raw chickpeas, and added in a very Italian thing: chestnut flour," Wiechmann says as he mixes the simple batter, adding a little egg and crème fraîche to bind the dough together, before shaping it into "sausages" he deep-fries until they're golden brown and a little crisp on the outside.

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His accompaniments skew more classic: A simple cream sauce with gorgeous wild mushrooms, and bright plums stewed quickly in white wine with cinnamon and vanilla. When layered together, the dish is richer than we thought it would be—and with its warm spices, just what we want to eat this fall.

Or as Wiechmann puts it, in more cheffy terms, "You've got your soft, crispy fried thing, and then your creamy, deep dark mushroom sauce and your sweet saucy plums. There you are... Your palate is covered."

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