Newest Recipes
Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 88 other subscribers

Archive for the ‘Appetizers & Snacks’ Category

postheadericon Lithuanian Bacon Buns

The Southern Coal region of Pennsylvania is known as “Little Lithuania”.  Anthracite and the industry surrounding it lured many Lithuanians in during the 1860s-1910s era.  Shenandoah (Pa), earned itself the nickname, “the Vilnius of North America” and was a much larger town then than it is today, with a population of upwards of 40 000, a quarter of them Lithuanians.  Lithuanian migration to the Coal Region was often a result of Lithuanians back home being discriminated against under the Russian Imperial rule with their language banned between years 1865 and 1904.  The locations with the most Lithuanian heritage in Schuylkill County are Shenandoah itself, Shenandoah Heights, Frackville, Mahanoy City, Mount Carmel, and Tamaqua.  Almost every town here has (or had) a Lithuanian church, cemetery, and club(s).  Is it any wonder that Lithuanian foods are such a part of our Coal Region heritage and holiday celebrations?  A Christmas time treat in many homes in the Coal Region is lasineciai – Lithuanian Bacon Buns. These special bites of heaven are passed  around during Christmas in Lithuanian homes. accompanied with the salutation, “Linksmu Kaledu,” which means Merry Christmas!

NOTES:

  • Semi-frozen bacon is much easier to cut into pieces.
  • Use a nice, meaty bacon like you find at a good farmers’ market or butcher shop.
  • You can make these with frozen, thawed bread dough from the grocery store, but they will not be the same taste and texture as the scratch made dough – which is rich and a little sweet like a brioche dough – but it does cut down dramatically on prep-time.
  • As you make successive batches and get more proficient, you may find you prefer to pinch off individual balls of dough and flatten, fill, and shape them using that method rather than a cutter.

Lithuanian Bacon Buns

Lithuanian Bacon Buns

Lithuanian Bacon Buns

Ingredients

    Filling
  • 3/4 pound good bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
    Dough
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons from a jar of yeast
  • 3 large room temperature eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    Egg Wash
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons water

Instructions

    Filling
  1. Put bacon and onion in frying pan, add water to barely cover. With lid on, simmer until water evaporates watching closely.
  2. Place filling in refrigerator to cool completely.
    Dough
  1. Scald milk. Whisk in butter, sugar, and salt. Cool to lukewarm (110 - 115 F degrees).
  2. Whisk in the yeast.
  3. Place this mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer or other large bowl.
  4. Add the beaten eggs and flour and beat vigorously with wooden spoon or mixer's paddle attachment until smooth.
  5. Lightly grease top of dough, cover bowl with towel and let rise until doubled in warm spot.
  6. Punch down dough and let rise until doubled one more time.
  7. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut in half and work with one half of dough at a time, keeping other half covered.
  8. Roll dough about 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick. Cut out 3 inch circles of dough with a round cutter.
  9. Place a tablespoon or so of cooled bacon mixture in center of circle.
  10. Fold over and pinch edges of dough together to completely cover the filling.
  11. Shape into a ball or torpedo shape and place seam side down on parchment lined baking sheet leaving space between buns to rise and expand. Repeat with other half of dough; re-roll scraps.
  12. Cover rolls lightly with greased plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled.
  13. Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Brush rolls with egg wash.
  14. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Brush with butter when removed from oven if desired.
  15. Can be served hot, at room temperature or reheated in the oven.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/11/29/lithuanian-bacon-buns/

 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page

postheadericon Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls

With Halloween almost here and little ghouls and gobblins ready to descent on us for goodies, I got thinking back to my childhood when we “went Halloweening” in the Coal Region (many of us in Schuylkill County didn’t call it going “trick or treating”. We also worked for our treats — performing a song, dancing a little jig, reciting a poem or a joke — there was no “grab and go” collecting of treats when I was a kid!!)). It was inevitable someone passed out something other than chocolate — or that really cheap, junky candy mix stuff– and I always hoped for a popcorn ball.  I just loved them. Crunchy, and sweet, and salty, and usually wrapped in waxed paper, they were best eaten the night received and I made sure mine never saw the light of the net day! I think this little blast from my past is going to be on my to-do list this weekend.

Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls

Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls

Old-fashioned Popcorn Balls

Ingredients

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 20 cups good quality popped corn

Instructions

  1. Spread popcorn on a baking sheet, and place in preheated 200F oven to keep warm.
  2. Butter sides of saucepan. In it combine sugar, water, corn syrup, salt and vinegar.
  3. Bring to boil and cook to 250F (hard ball stage).
  4. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla carefully. (This mixture is extremely hot and will burn you easily - use care when handling).
  5. Place the warm popcorn in a large bowl and pour the syrup slowly over the popcorn, stirring and tossing just to coat well. Allow to cool slightly for safe handling.
  6. Butter hands lightly an shape into desired sized popcorn balls. Work quickly at this point!
  7. Wrap in plastic wrap or in decorative bags with ribbon when completely cooled.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/25/old-fashioned-popcorn-balls/

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page

postheadericon Amish Funeral Sandwich

What is it with these Amish “Funeral” recipes?? (see Amish Funeral Pie post). Actually, these little snacking sandwiches are found in many areas of the US and are usually known as “funeral sandwiches”.  However, they are VERY popular among the Amish and Mennonite in the Pa Dutch region and show up at funeral meals, church suppers and pot-lucks all the time. This recipe came to me courtesy of my friend who grew up in a Penn Dutch family in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania (Bethlehem, Pa. to be precise), labeled as “Amish Funeral Sandwiches” and I have kept the name the same in honor of Mabel, the lady who shared the recipe with me. These are traditionally made with King’s Hawaiian Rolls, but if you are not a fan of King’s, you can use the white rolls found in grocery store bakeries, usually labeled “dinner rolls” — they are square rolls packed in a block of 12 and look like the King’s Hawaiian. These travel well, can be assembled well ahead of baking time, and they usually disappear quickly. If desired, you can sprinkle some poppy seeds on top of the rolls before baking.  COOK’S NOTE: If taking these to a gathering or pot-luck, bake them in a disposable baking pan — easy clean up and no dish to collect after.

Amish Funeral Sandwiches

 

Amish Funeral Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1 - 12 roll package Hawaiian sweet rolls or the same style dinner rolls
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced good quality deli ham (black forest is a good choice)
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon style mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • Optional: poppy seeds for sprinkling on top

Instructions

  1. Spray a 7 x 10 x 3-inch deep bake dish with cooking spray.
  2. Remove rolls from the packaging and slice them horizontally in half.
  3. Place the bottom half into the prepared bake dish. Layer ham and cheese evenly over the bases, then re-position the remaining roll halves on top.
  4. Combine butter, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, brown sugar and onion powder. Mix well and pour evenly over the rolls.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight (or a minimum of 4 hours).
  6. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. (Sprinkle with poppy seeds if using) Bake the rolls for about 10 minutes, covered with foil. Remove foil and bake another 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/21/amish-funeral-sandwich/

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page

postheadericon Schmearcase (Cottage Cheese) and Apple Butter

This is not a “recipe” in the typical  sense, but is definitely a comfort food enjoyed in the Coal Region and PA Dutch country and I felt it deserved a shout-out. It is not at all unusual to find it on salad bars or as a side dish offering in restaurants and diners in the region. Its popularity does extend to other areas, including the Baltimore, MD area. In Pa Dutch, cottage cheese is known as schmearcase  (smearcase). You can make your own schmearcase, but the extensive availability of commercially made cottage cheese means I just buy my favorite brand and go from there. Being in the Coal Region and Pa Dutch country, I have easy access to a  multitude of brands of apple butter so, once again even though I CAN make my own, I often just purchase a jar from a local market. If you do not have access to small batch producers of apple butter and want to find it in stores, Musselman’s Apple Butter is distributed nationwide, so check with your local grocer. I like both large curd and small curd cottage cheese with apple butter.

Schmearcase and Apple Butter “recipe”
Cottage cheese of your choice
Apple Butter of your choice
Take a dab of apple butter and plop it on to a mound of cottage cheese.  That’s it!

I like my schmearcase and apple butter in lots of ways. Just to name a FEW:

  • In a bowl (then I swirl them together)
  • On toast
  • On graham crackers
  • On rice cakes
  • On freshly baked, still warm homemade bread (yummmm!)
  • On a toasted English Muffin
  • Between two slices of bread as a sandwich

Schmearcase (Cottage Cheese) and Apple Butter

Schmearcase and Apple Butter Sandwich

 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page

postheadericon Lebanon Bologna Spread

This spread is delicious on crackers, or as a dip with pretzel sticks. Sweet or regular Lebanon Bologna, it’s your choice which to use. I use Herlocher’s Dipping Mustard in this, but if you cannot get Herlocher’s, use a good honey mustard of your choice. This is a great appetizer for holiday parties or get-togethers. When I purchase the bologna to make this, I ask the deli person to cut a “slab” off the roll rather than slices, but you can grind either in the food processor for this recipe.

Lebanon Bologna Spread

Lebanon Bologna Spread

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound regular or sweet lebanon bologna
  • 1 - 8 ounce block cream cheese, softened
  • 2 T sweet pickle relish
  • 1 T mustard (Herlocher's Dipping Mustard preferred, or a good honey mustard)

Instructions

  1. Pulse Lebanon bologna in food processor until fairly fine but not pulverized. In medium mixing bowl, mix cream cheese, relish, and mustard until smooth. Fold in the ground Lebanon Bologna. Chill and serve.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/11/lebanon-bologna-spread/

Cook’s Note: Adjust this recipe easily to your own tastes.  Use more or less relish and/or mustard as desired. You can also add a tablespoon or two of heavy cream to the mix to “loosen” it to a softer spreading consistency.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page

postheadericon PA Dutch Red Beet Eggs

Also known in some places as “pickled eggs”, these are well known in the Coal Region, thanks to the Pa Dutch influence in the county.  Every recipe is a little different but these are easily adaptable to fit your taste.  Want them a little more sweet? Increase the sugar.  More “zippy”? Decrease the sugar. Skip the spices altogether or add just a cinnamon stick, some ground clove or allspice or use pickling spice mix. Add finely sliced onions or not…the choice is yours! Many grocery stores now sell already cooked and peeled eggs for those who do not feel like cooking and peeling hard-boiled eggs. For a primer on how to cook hard-boiled eggs, visit http://dish.allrecipes.com/how-to-boil-an-egg/

Don’t rush into eating these for several days. You want the lovely purple color of the juices to make their way into the egg white. Three days minimum is the norm. I personally like to let them sit longer – until the purple makes its way entirely to the yolk.

Red Beet Eggs

PA Dutch Red Beet Eggs

Ingredients

  • 2 1-pound cans tiny whole beets, drained with juices reserved
  • 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced into half-moons (optional)
  • 12 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • dash of pepper
  • OPTIONAL:
  • 6 whole cloves or some pickling spice, cinnamon stick, etc. Your choice!

Instructions

  1. In large glass jar or non-reactive container, place peeled eggs at bottom, top with onion slices if using, and add beets on top. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-size nonreactive saucepan, combine sugar, beet juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, and cloves (or your choice of spices if using). Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Immediately pour simmering liquid and spices over beets and eggs. Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate a minimum of 72 hours before serving.
  4. Cook's Hint: Use these for making deviled eggs using your favorite deviled egg recipe. I have been doing this for years and people LOVE them!
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/10/pa-dutch-red-beet-eggs/

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page

postheadericon Coal Region Hot Bologna

In the Coal Region, a local company made hot bologna and it seemed like there was a jar of it at every corner bar and at every fire company (hosey) bar. Fire companies in the coal region are mainly volunteer and have bars and social activities for company members. It is not an unusual sight to see someone seated at the bar with a cold glass of Yuengling Lager and a piece of hot bologna in front of them!

hot bologna

Homemade Hot Bologna

Coal Region Hot Bologna

Ingredients

  • 1 ring bologna
  • 1 tbsp. crushed red pepper (the more the hotter/spicier!)
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Remove skin from ring bologna (Berks brand is very often used).
  2. Cut ring of bologna in pieces about 2 inches long, then slice lengthwise in half.
  3. Place in a large glass jar. Add crushed red pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt. Mix white vinegar and water. Pour over bologna.
  4. Shake well, place lid on jar and refrigerate. Should be ready in a day or two. Keeps a loooong time in the fridge.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/coal-region-hot-bologna/

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page

postheadericon Copper Pennies

Great summer salad and a traditional sweet/sour taste with Pa. Dutch roots, Copper Pennies will have family members who “don’t like carrots” quickly changing their minds! Great portable dish for a potluck or picnic! Keeps well in the fridge for several weeks.

Copper Pennies

Copper Pennies

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds carrots, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup white sugar

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil, add carrots and boil until the carrots are just tender, approximately 10 minutes. Drain well.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the celery, green pepper, carrots and onion.
  3. Bring tomato soup, oil, vinegar and sugar to a boil. Stir well. Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Pour the mixture over the vegetables, mix until all of the vegetables are coated. Marinate this salad overnight before serving.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/copper-pennies/

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page

postheadericon Amish Mustard Eggs

If you have not tried these but you like red beet eggs, I suggest you give them a try. I had them for the first time decades ago and was skeptical as to whether I would like them but I truly did! I let them sit so the yellow goes completely through the white of the egg and meets up with the yolk.

Amish Mustard Eggs

Pickled Mustard Eggs

Ingredients

  • 12 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 thinly sliced medium sweet onion
  • Mustard Pickling: 4 cups water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp. prepared mustard
  • 1 tbsp. mustard seed
  • 2 tsp. turmeric - OPTIONAL

Instructions

  1. Combine above ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes and remove from heat to slightly cool.
  2. Place hard boiled eggs and sliced onions in lidded jar/container. Pour mustard pickling mixture over eggs and onions. Place in refrigerator for 10-14 days.
  3. Give a swish every day to make sure everything is coated.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/amish-mustard-eggs/

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page

postheadericon Sauerkraut Relish

4th of July is cook-out time in the coal region. Here is a relish that fits right in to the Coal Region/Pa Dutch influence of our area. Cayenne optional! You will find yourself using it for topping lots of foods.

Sauerkraut Relish

Sauerkraut Relish

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sauerkraut - rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup dill relish or chopped dill pickle
  • 1 tbsp. chopped pimento
  • 2 tbsp. prepared mustard
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar (can sweeten to your taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. caraway seed
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Add all to saucepan. Stir well, bring up to simmer and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat, cool and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/sauerkraut-relish/

 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page