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Archive for the ‘Meatless’ Category

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

 

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postheadericon AuGratin Cabbage

I love cabbage. It is the Pa Dutch and Eastern European influence of the Coal Region that introduced me to this lovely veggie as a child.  I love it in cold dishes and I love it cooked. Add cheese and buttery crumbs to the mix and I cannot wait for this casserole to come out of the oven. It consists of a smooth, creamy, cheesy sauce tossed with par-boiled cabbage then topped with buttery crumbs and baked until browned and bubbling. It is a wonderful way to use up that partial head of cabbage in the veggie bin. For an extra cheese kick, use finely crushed cheese crackers like Goldfish or Cheez-its for the topping crumbs. Either give the cracker a whirl in the food processor until fine, or place the crackers in a zip lock bag and pound with a rolling pin.  Shake the bag periodically to move the larger un-crushed pieces around and repeat until all the pieces are finely crushed.

AuGratin Cabbage

AuGratin Cabbage

Ingredients

  • Approximately 4 cups shredded Cabbage, medium shred (about 1/2")
  • 3 T flour
  • 3 T butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 cup finely crushed crackers OR bread crumbs (Goldfish, Cheez-it, Ritz, Keebler Club crackers, etc)
  • 2 T melted butter

Instructions

  1. Cook cabbage in a small amount of lightly salted water with a pinch of sugar added. Do not overcook, should be tender-crisp.
  2. Prepare sauce:
  3. Melt 3 T butter in sauce pan, add flour, salt and pepper. Stir and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes to cook the flour. Add in milk gradually. Cook until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese until melted and smooth.
  4. Drain water from cabbage. Alternate layers of cabbage and sauce into a greased casserole.
  5. Melt 2 T butter and toss with the 1/2 cup crumbs of your choice until well coated., Sprinkle top of casserole evenly with crumbs.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or till bubbling and crumbs are browned.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/09/augratin-cabbage/

 

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postheadericon Browned Butter Egg Noodles

It does not get any simpler than this…Tender cooked egg noodles tossed with nutty, roasted browned butter and bread crumbs. I am Dutchie and Coal Cracker through and through and never met a noodle I didn’t like.  Top them with browned butter and I am in love. This is a dish that can accompany many meats and vegetables as a side, especially yummy with gravy or sauces, but I have a confession — I love them all by themselves, nestled in the middle of a warm plate, just begging to be adored and devoured! My childhood is filled with memories of Mom making these and they are still an absolute favorite of mine. A tip: do not walk away while browning the butter.  It can go from “not-quite-there-yet” to “well, that didn’t go as planned burned” almost in the blink of an eye.

Browned Butter Noodles

Browned Butter Egg Noodles

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces dried egg noodles, size noodle of your choice from thin to very wide
  • 4 tablespoons butter (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Cook the noodles in lightly salted water according to package directions. Drain and return to pot.
  2. Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until brown, watching carefully to make sure it does not burn. Heat slowly, stir often, and DO NOT WALK AWAY!
  3. Once lightly brown and emitting a slight "nutty" fragrance, immediately remove from the heat.
  4. Add breadcrumbs and stir until the crumbs are well coated. Add the drained noodles, toss to coat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Sprinkle with the parsley when serving. Serve immediately.
  6. Notes: You can use more or less butter as desired. When browning butter, stir at the bottom of the pan. That is where the butter browns and burns the fastest. If your pan has a dark interior, you will have to scoop some of the butter into a spoon to check the color.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/19/browned-butter-egg-noodles/

 

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postheadericon Amish Baked Corn

Corn dishes are a staple in Pa Dutch country.  Frozen can also be used, but I prefer well-drained Niblets for this recipe. This is often served on holiday tables. This is a super-easy side dish to dress up any meal.

Amish Baked Corn

Amish Baked Corn

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (8 oz.) sour cream
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels OR 2 cups canned whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2/3 c. butter, melted
  • 1 can cream-style corn
  • 1 box Jiffy corn bread mix

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Beat eggs; add sour cream. Stir in melted butter, corn and corn bread mix. Pour into buttered 9 x 13-inch dish. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until slightly browned. Do not over bake.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/12/amish-baked-corn/

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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/

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postheadericon Easy Pierogi Casserole

Marry the tastes of traditional pierogies — potatoes, sauteed onions, and butter — into an easy to make, serve, and enjoy casserole.  A great way to use left over mashed potatoes or grab a couple ready-to-eat containers of mashed from the grocery store!

pierogie-lasagna

Pierogi Casserole

Easy Pierogi Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 box lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
  • 1 onion, diced fine
  • 2 (24 oz) packages grocery store potatoes OR 5-6 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 stick of butter, sliced in 16 slices
  • 18 slices American Cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a skillet, saute diced onions until translucent, set aside.
  3. Empty mashed potatoes into a large mixing bowl and stir/fluff with a fork.
  4. In a greased 9 x 13 baking dish, layer lasagna noodles, scoops of 1/3 of the mashed potatoes, 1/3 of the sauteed onions, 5 slices of butter, and 6 slices of American Cheese. Repeat layers twice more (3 layers total).
  5. Cover loosely with foil, and bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/easy-pierogi-casserole/

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postheadericon Bleenies

Bleenies in the Coal Region are potato pancakes.  They are delicious and are known to be the source of lines around the block at church picnics, block parties and ethnic events in Anthracite Country. Many people alter their recipe to their taste, this is one basic version.

bleenies

Bleenies (aka Potato Pancakes)

Bleenies

Ingredients

  • 4 potatoes (grate on fine grater)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 onion (grated like the potatoes, you want the onion juices, too)
  • 2 or 3 tbsp. flour
  • Cooking oil

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients. Spoon mixture - about 1/4 cup into the hot oil (don't put too much oil in the pan; just enough to cover the bleenies as they fry). When they are lightly browned on one side, gently turn bleenies to fry the other side. Serve with salt or vinegar. Good with sour cream, applesauce, or pork & beans.
  2. Note: squeeze excess moisture from potatoes after grating to help in reducing amount of flour needed to form batter. Salt to taste after frying to avoid drawing more moisture from the potatoes.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/bleenies/

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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/

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postheadericon Lazy Man’s Pierogi or Polish Noodles

Noodles and Cottage Chhese, also  known as Lazy Man’s Pierogi is simple, filling, and a family favorite of all ages.

Lazy Man’s Pierogi

Lazy Man’s Pierogi or Polish Noodles

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 (16 ounce) package egg noodles
  • 1 (16 ounce) package cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir onion in melted butter until softened, 7 to 10 minutes.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook egg noodles in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 5 minutes. Drain and return to the pot.
  3. Stir butter and onion mixture, cottage cheese, sour cream, sea salt, and black pepper into the noodles. Place the pot over medium heat; cook and stir until heated through and warm, 5 to 8 minutes.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/lazy-mans-pierogi-or-polish-noodles/

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postheadericon Halushki With Homemade Dumplings

Homemade Dumplings in this dish are SO worth it, trust me. This recipe is from the American Carpatho-Russian Cookbook, first published in 1968.

Homemade Noodle Halushki

Halushki With Homemade Dumplings

Ingredients

  • 1 head cabbage
  • 2 onions
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • Dumplings
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. flour
  • 2 T. water
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Slice the onions and cut up the cabbage in the same fashion.
  2. Melt butter in skillet. Add cut up onions and cabbage. Cook over medium heat for approximately 30 minutes, or until browned. Add to dumplings.
  3. Dumplings
  4. Mix flour, eggs, salt and water. Beat well until you have a medium type dough.
  5. Place dough on a plate and drop by spoonfuls into a pot of boiling salted water. Cook for 5-7 minutes.
  6. Strain and rinse with cold water.
  7. Place in pot and pour cabbage mixture over top. Mix well. Serve.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/halushki-with-homemade-dumplings/

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