Saturday, October 15, 2011

Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding

This is the bread pudding that Mom made when we were kids--the only thing I liked raisins in other than Hot Cross Buns. The best part was the yummy brown sugar sauce in the bottom of the pan. We always just served it straight from the pan. The recipe is from an old newspaper article.

Serves 4.

1 cp dark brown sugar
3 slices bread
1 cp raisins
2 T butter
3 eggs
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

1. Measure into top of a double sauce pan: 1 cp dark brown sugar.

2. Butter: 3 slices bread, using 2 T butter for the 3 slices. Dice the bread and sprinkle over the brown sugar in the sauce pan.

3. Add: 1 cp raisins.

4. Beat: 3 eggs, 2 cps milk, 1/8 tsp salt and 1 tsp vanilla. Pour over bread. Do not stir. Place over simmering water and cook for 1 hour. The brown sugar will form a sauce.

5. Serve warm or cold. Turn out onto serving plate to serve.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Beef and Snow Peas Stir Fry

Mom says to do a bit of the meat at a time so that all the moisture doesn't come out.

12-16 oz beef (flank steak is best), sliced very thin
8 oz snow peas, strung if necessary
1/4 cp soy sauce
1/4 cp dry sherry
1/2 cp water or broth (chicken or beef)
1 T cornstarch
1/4 tsp Sembal Oelik (garlic chili paste)
1/2 T fresh ginger

Combine soy sauce, sherry, water/broth, Sembal Oelik. Stir cornstarch into a bit of water and then add to sauce. Stir. Set aside.

Stir fry ginger for 30 sec on med-high, then add meat and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add snow peas and stir fry another 3 min on med-high. Stir sauce and pour into pan. Stir contents then set heat to low and cover for ca. 5-10 min depending on how well you like the snow peas to be done. Serve over rice sprinkled with green onion sliced thinly on the bias.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Elsässer Flammkuchen (Alsatian Flamecake/pie) from Teubner

I found out about this yummilicious creation the last time I visited Germany. I guess I never knew about it because I was a vegetarian when I lived there! We make this only every once in a while because it's rather fattening and decadent--and more-ish! I'm putting the recipe I follow below I'm also putting a link to another recipe with a picture and then a link to the Wikipedia entry about it. Oh, how I wish I had a glass of Federweißer to drink with this delicious onion and bacon pizza! (News flash: Hop'n Mad Apple Cider from Angry Orchard--http://angryorchard.com/#!/hopn-mad-apple/--tastes a LOT like Federweisser!!!)

Other sources for information:
http://www.modernbeet.com/archives/237

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarte_flamb%C3%A9e

Makes 2
Dough
300 g AP Flour
2 g instant or active dry yeast or 5 g fresh yeast
1 tsp salt
2 T + 180 ml lukewarm water

Topping
200 g onions
150 g bacon, uncooked
375 g crème frâiche (Click on the link for directions on how to make your own creme fraiche. However, my recipe from Das Teubner Handbuch Backen actually calls for double cream, so if you want to be absolutely as authentic as you can be, follow the directions from this link http://www.ochef.com/843.htm.)
freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground pepper
salt
2 T oil

Additional Necessities
flour for your work surface and for dusting
2 cookie sheets
oil for the cookie sheets

1. To make the dough, sift the flour in a bowl and make an indentation in the middle. Put the yeast and 2 T of lukewarm water in the indentation and stir to dissolve, mixing in a little of the flour from the edge. Sprinkle the salt over the flour. Pour 180 ml of lukewarm water over the flour and knead to a smooth dough.

2. For the dough into a ball and cover. Leave in a warm, draft-free place to rise till it is doubled in volume.

3. For the topping, peel the onions and slice into 2mm-thick rings. Cut the bacon into 3 mm-thick slices.

4. Knead the dough well and cut in half. Roll each half out on a lightly floured surface to 45 cm round that is paper-thin. Roll the edges under about 1 cm so that the edges are lightly raised.

6. Heat the oven to 250C/475F. Spread each dough half with the crème frâiche, then the onions and bacon. Grate a bit of nutmeg over each half and then grind a bit of pepper, sprinkle with salt and, lightly, oil.

7. Dust the edges of each dough half with flour. Bake each Flammkuchen in the middle of the preheated oven 10-15 minutes till they are crispy. Serve hot immediately upon removing from the oven.

Creme Fraiche (Crème Frâiche)

1 cp heavy whipping cream
1 T buttermilk

Heat cream slightly and stir in buttermilk. Leave out on the counter, covered loosely, until it thickens up. This may take several days. Store in fridge after it thickens.

Used in Elsasser Flammkuchen (Alsatian Flammkuchen)--you'll need to make about 1 1/2 cups of Creme Fraiche.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pork Chop Casserole

I got this recipe from a German friend, so I'm translating (if things sound weird). My mom really loved this! It tastes great with baked potatoes--pop them in about 20 minutes before you put the casserole into the oven (don't forget to prick them and rub with butter).

Serves 4.

2 lb pork chops ca. 3/4" thick
ca. 2 cp heavy cream
2 packages onion soup mix (this will be intense--you may prefer to use only 1)
1 sm can mushrooms
200 g Emmentaler cheese (we used Havarti), grated or sliced thinly

Heat the oven to 425F.

Put the pork chops in a casserole dish (ca. 9 x 13). Mix the cream with the onion soup mix and pour this over the pork chops. Drain the can of mushrooms and scatter these over the chops and around them, making sure they get covered with the cream mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes, then sprinkle the cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes more.

Chicken and Cashews

If you think this is a little bland, you can spice it up with some ginger. If you add all the cashews and then refrigerate it, the cashews will go soft and aren't as nice, so I'd suggest adding them to each serving before eating.

Serves at least 4.

1 T cornstarch
1/2 cp chicken broth
1/4 cp soy sauce
1 lb chicken breasts, skinned, boned and cut in matchstick sized pieces (easier to do when slightly frozen)
4 T oil, divided into 2 T and 2 T (or less if you're cutting down on fat)
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/2 lb some green vegetable like broccoli or asparagus
2 lg carrots, cut in 1/4" slanting slices
2 sm onions, cut in half, then in 1/4" slices
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2/3 cp roasted cashews

Mix the cornstarch with a bit of the soy sauce, then add this and the rest of the soy sauce to the chicken broth. Stir and set aside.

Place wok or frying pan on high heat. When pan is hot, add 2 T oil. When oil is hot, add chicken and stir fry until it is opaque (ca. 3 minutes). Remove to a plate or bowl and set aside.

Add remaining 2 T oil to pan. When oil is hot, add celery, green veggie, carrot, onion and garlic. Stir fry for at least 1 minute on high. (I prefer my veggies more well-done.)

Turn heat down to med-low. Return chicken to pan. Stir liquid ingredients and add. Stir and cook till liquid thickens, ca. 1 minute. Stir in most of the cashews and garnish with the remaining ones.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Catalina Dressing

This is from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook and tastes especially delicious with (spicy) arugula and grated sharp cheddar cheese and tomatoes (mixed in with the other lettuce if you're not a big arugula fan). I also like to add chopped green olives and/or hard-boiled egg. This tastes very similar to the Russian Salad Dressing that I posted but is a lot less trouble! Sweet and tangy--if you don't forget the vinegar like I did last time! Also, you must use white wine vinegar--don't try to substitute anything else.

2/3 cp vegetable oil
1/4 cp ketchup
1/4 cp sugar
1/4 cp white wine vinegar
1 T grated onion (the recipe recommends using the large holes of a box grater, but I just use powdered onion)
1/2 tsp Worcestershire
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp Tobasco

Shake all the ingredients together in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and allow to sit for 1 hour, shake vigorously to recombine before using. The dress can be refrigerated for up to 7 days.  Bring to room temperature, then shake vigorously to recombine before using. (I'm sure I've had this longer than a week in the fridge and it was fine. What is in there to go bad? Just the oil and it's refrigerated so...)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hot Cross Buns

This is from an old Fleischmann's cookbook. Mom sent me this recipe when I lived in Germany, and I've been making it ever since, so about 16 years. I go a little heavier on the spices. If you knead as Betsy Oppenneer recommends, you will only need about 4 - 4 1/2 cups of flour and they will be soft and moist.

5 1/2 -6 cp all-purpose flour
1/3 cp sugar
2 packages of yeast (ca. 2T)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cp evaporated milk
1/2 cp water
1/3 cp butter, cut into pieces
2 eggs
1 cp chopped dates or raisins (I prefer currents.)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Powdered Sugar Frosting (recipe follows)

In a large bowl, combine 2 cp flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, cinnamon, salt, allspice, and nutmeg. Heat milk, water and butter until very warm (120 to 130F). Gradually add to dry ingredients; beat well, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 2 eggs and 1/2 cp flour; beat well again. With spoon, stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.

Punch dough down. Remove dough to floured surface. Knead in dates/raisins (currents). Divide dough into 18 equal pieces (about 75g each); shape into smooth balls. Place in/on greased pan/sheets. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Brush egg white over rolls. Bake at 375F for 20 minutes or until done. Remove from pans; let cool on wire racks. Drizzle or pipe Frosting onto each roll to make a cross.

Powdered Sugar Frosting: In small bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted; 1 to 2 tablespoons evaporated milk; and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Stir until smooth.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mary K's Gingerbread

1 teaspoon each of mixed spice and cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
100 g butter, plus a little extra to grease the tin
3 large tablespoons golden syrup (about 75gm)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 180 deg Celsius. Butter a 23cm by 12cm loaf tin and line the bottom with baking paper. Put spices, flour and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Put butter, golden syrup and milk into a saucepan and place over low heat. Mix until melted and smooth. Quickly stir in the baking soda and add this mixture to the dry ingredients in the bowl. Mix well and pour into the tin. Bake for about 30 mins or until skewer comes out clean. Remove from over, cool a little, turn out onto rack and cool completely. Serve with cheddar cheese.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Alison Holst's Gingerbread

I once posted a recipe for Fresh Gingerbread which I received from a friend in NZ and which she said was from Alison Holst (her mother said it was probably from a newspaper article). That recipe got so many hits that when I got the opportunity to visit this friend in NZ, I felt duty-bound to do some research into the real AH Gingerbread Recipe! I have uncovered two other recipes, one made with boiling water and one with milk, neither of them with fresh ginger. The first recipe posted below (calling for boiling water) is from Alison Holst's Kitchen Diary, Volume 7 from 1984. The second recipe (calling for milk) is from The Best of Alison Holst.


I have tried the gingerbread made with boiling water (the first one below), and I have to say that, while it tasted fine, I probably would not make it again. I much prefer the fresh gingerbread recipe.

Gingerbread Made with Boiling Water
This gingerbread recipe is light in colour. I think it is best cooked in a fairly large, square tin.  I use a 23 cm square aluminum tin, with fairly low sides--the sort I use for a shortcake. In a tin this size the gingerbread will finish up about 2 cm deep.

100g butter
1/2 cp (packed) brown sugar
1/2 cp boiling water
1/2 cp golden syrup
2 eggs
2 cp flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon

Cut the butter into small squares and put it into a large bowl with the brown sugar. Pour the boiling water over it (to melt the butter) then measure the syrup with the same hot wet measure. Add the eggs and beat the mixture with a rotary egg beater until the last of the pieces of butter have dispersed and the egg is mixed thoroughly.
Sieve or sift the dry ingredients into this, and give a very brief "burst" with the beater again to combine the liquid and dry ingredients. (The flour should be measured lightly into the measuring cup, not compressed.)
Pour the fairly thin mixture into a 23 cm square tin lined along the bottom and two sides with a folded strip of grease-proof paper.
Bake in an oven preheated to 200C, turned down to 180C when the gingerbread is put in.
Cook until centre springs back when pressed, and until a toothpick comes out clean, 20-25 minutes.
Invert on to a cake cooking rack after five minutes.


Gingerbread Made with Milk
Serve this gingerbread warm for dessert, cold as a cake on the day it is cooked, and after that, butter the slices. This recipe makes two loaves or 20-cm-square cakes. Freeze one of these if you like.
100 g butter
3/4 cp sugar
2 eggs
1 cp golden syrup
1 cp milk
3 cp flour
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

Soften but do not melt the butter. In a large bowl, cream it with the sugar until light-coloured. Add the eggs and beat again. Warm the golden syrup just enough to make it runny. Remove from heat and stir in the milk. Sift or sieve the dry ingredients together several times.

Fold the syrup mixture and dry ingredients alternately into the butter mixture. Take care not to overmix. Fold together only until no more dry flour remains. Turn into two loaf pans or two 20-cm-square cake pans, or one of each size, each lined with a strip of baking paper. Bake at 150C, until a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the gingerbread, about 30-40 minutes for the square pan, 40-45 minutes for the loaf pan.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tabouli (Tabouleh)

This is from The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. It serves 6, but if you want to serve fewer and make it last longer, I'd suggest keeping it in the fridge and not adding the tomatoes till you're about to eat your portion. I like the chickpeas in it, but some people don't. I also add cucumber, black olives and feta cheese, crumbled.



1 cup bulgur
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 
1 teaspoon garlic -- crushed
1/2 cup chopped scallions -- include greens
1/2 teaspoon dried mint flakes (I get mine from a bag of mint tea.)
1/4 cup olive oil -- (good quality)
fresh black pepper
2 medium tomatoes -- diced
1 cup fresh parsley -- chopped and packed

OPTIONAL:
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
1 chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup coarsely grated carrot
1 chopped cucumber -- or summer squash

You should begin to soak the bulgurr at least 3 hours before serving time. It needs to thoroughly marinate and chill.

Combine bulgur, boiling water, and salt in a bowl.
Cover and let stand 15-20 minutes, or until bulgur is chewable.
Add lemon juice, garlic, oil, and mint, and mix thoroughly.
Refrigerate 2-3 hours.

Just before serving add the vegetables and mix gently. Correct seasonings.
Garnish with olives.