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Archive for the ‘Side Dishes & Vegetables’ Category

postheadericon Pa Dutch Braised Red Cabbage

I have a very special fondness for the traditional German and Pa Dutch “sweet/sour” flavor. And since cabbage is one of my favorite vegetables, I am always looking for ways to serve it to keeps things exciting!. This dish features the very traditional “Dutchie” sweet/sour flavor and uses red cabbage (and BACON!!). I love this braised cabbage alongside roasted pork loin, roast beef, or even turkey, but my absolute favorite way to enjoy this is alongside a lovely piece (or two) of pan-fried fresh (or smoked) sausage made by one of the many local meat shops or butchers still plentiful in the Coal Region;  the sausages nestled next to a mound of fluffy mashed potatoes or browned butter egg noodles.  Budget friendly, left-over friendly, and very easy to prepare, I encourage you to give it a try. (And if you can, get some true, country style bacon from one of the great butchers, shops, or farmers’ markets in the Coal Region or Pa Dutch country, too!)

Pa Dutch Braised Red Cabbage

Pa Dutch Braised Red Cabbage

German Braised Red Cabbage

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 10 cups red cabbage, shredded
  • 2 bacon strips, diced
  • 1 medium tart apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, stir the cider vinegar and sugars until sugars are dissolved. Add cabbage; toss to coat. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan or dutch oven with lid, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon to paper towels to drain.
  3. In the drippings left in the pan, saute apple and onion until tender, 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in water and cabbage mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes.
  5. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, several more minutes or until cabbage is tender. Sprinkle with reserved bacon before serving.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/11/21/pa-dutch-braised-red-cabbage/

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postheadericon Pa Dutch Hot Slaw

Many people are familiar with Cole Slaw – shredded cabbage topped with a dressing served cold as a side dish.  It is one of those dishes where every cook has “their” recipe and it seems everyone makes it a little differently than everyone else. There is never a holiday dinner in my house that does not include my version of cole slaw, passed down from my Mom. My husband loves it and I also make it a lot throughout the year. It is not unusual to find cole slaw in my fridge as the result of having left over cabbage from something else I cooked that week. My frugal side will not allow me to waste perfectly good food, so I am pretty good at finding ways to use up odds and ends. I am a huge fan of cooked cabbage dishes; it is the Dutchie and Coal Cracker upbringing, I suppose. So, imagine the thrill I find in a dish that combines cooked cabbage with the sweet/sour flavors of my version of cole slaw!  Let me introduce you to Pa Dutch Hot Slaw.  Not “hot” from spicy peppers, but “hot” as in temperature. Well, it is actually more of a “warm” slaw, but that’s beside the point. This is a great side dish for colder, winter months and graces a holiday table nicely.  If you are looking for a side to add to your holiday dinners, why not give this a try!

Pa Dutch Hot Slaw

Pa Dutch Hot Slaw

Hot Slaw

Ingredients

    Slaw
  • 6 cups finely shredded green cabbage
    Dressing
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 c. vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. light cream

Instructions

  1. Finely shred cabbage.
  2. Cook cabbage in a small amount of lightly salted water until tender making sure not to allow the pan to cook dry.
  3. Drain well. Keep warm.
  4. Toss warm cooked cabbage with warm cooked dressing.
    Dressing
  1. Melt butter in top of double boiler.
  2. In bowl, beat eggs, vinegar, salt, sugar, paprika and water together.
  3. Whisk into the melted butter and cook over the simmering water until the dressing thickens, whisking frequently.
  4. Remove from heat and whisk in cream.
  5. Beat with electric mixer or hand beater water until fluffy.
  6. Pour over the warm cabbage and toss to mix thoroughly..
  7. Serve.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/11/19/pa-dutch-hot-slaw/

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postheadericon Leftover Mashed Potato Patties

Growing up in the western end of Schuylkill County in the Coal Region, we had access to great potatoes from local farms.  Whenever my local hosie (fire company) served a buffet dinner or did catering (for one of our iconic Coal Region “fire-hall weddings”), we went right to the farm and purchased those lovely Pa. grown potatoes by the 50 pound bags.  When my mom did the family grocery shopping Friday evenings (on Dad’s pay day), we had easy access to those same potatoes at all the local grocery stores. And so, growing up, my family had mashed potatoes…a LOT!  I remember having them at many meals throughout the week (and ALWAYS with a holiday dinner).  Inevitably, there were some mashed potatoes left over from some meals. My Mom used to gather those together in the fridge and make leftover mashed potato patties at the end of the week.  Browned in a cast iron pan in some butter and oil, they were crispy on the edges and creamy in the middle. These simple but delicious patties bring back very fond memories of my mom in the kitchen and me chatting away with her while I sat at the kitchen table waiting for her to fry up a batch. You can gild these as you please – add some fried, crumbled bacon bits, or even some shredded cheese to the basic potato mixture.  I like to form the patties and press some Panko breadcrumbs on to the outside to crisp them up even more.

Leftover Mashed Potato Patties

Yield: 4 to 6 depending on size

Leftover Mashed Potato Patties

Left-over Mashed Potato Patties

Ingredients

  • 2 cups left over cold mashed potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tablespoon dried chopped chives OR 2 tablespoons finely sliced scallions
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • OPTIONAL
  • 2 or 3 slices fried and crumbled bacon
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons grated cheddar
  • OPTIONAL
  • Panko breadcrumbs for coating

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix the cold left over potatoes, the AP flour, the egg, the chives or scallions, and the onion powder. Mix well. Add the optional bacon and/or cheese and fold in thoroughly.
  2. Form into patties.
  3. Press into Panko breadcrumbs if using.
  4. To a skillet, add 2 tablespoons butter and enough cooking oil to coat the bottom of the pan and hest over medium heat. Fry patties in pre-heated pan until browned on one side and set, carefully flip and brown on the other side.
  5. Serve hot.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/24/leftover-mashed-potato-patties/

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postheadericon Kapusta – Polish Cabbage, Potato, and Bacon Bake

Kapusta in Polish means “cabbage”.  Our eastern European roots and Pa Dutch influence in Schuylkill County (Pa.) mean we love our cabbage dishes!  There are kapusta soups, casseroles made with sauerkraut, and casseroles, like this favorite recipe, made with fresh cabbage and — (almost) everybody’s favorite — bacon! This recipe could be made meatless by using butter to fry the cabbage rather than bacon fat.  Potatoes, bacon, cabbage, topped with a layer of cheese and baked until bubbly – what’s not to love?

Kapusta Casserole

Polish Cabbage, Potato, and Bacon Bake

Ingredients

  • 1 pound diced bacon
  • 1 large diced onion
  • 1 (2 1/2-pound) cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 3 large russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and parboiled
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese, Edam, or Gouda

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a very large ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven, saute diced bacon until crisp but not burned. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon, and set aside.
  3. If desired, some of the bacon fat can be removed but, traditionally, it is left in. Add the onion and cabbage to the bacon fat, mixing well. Cook until the cabbage has completely collapsed and is al dente, about 20 minutes. Add the well-drained potatoes, salt, pepper, cream, and reserved bacon, and mix completely. Remove from heat.
  4. Place in casserole dish. Sprinkle the cheese over the casserole top and cover tightly with foil or an ovenproof lid.
  5. Bake 35 minutes or until potatoes are almost done. Remove cover and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden, and potatoes are tender.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/23/kapusta/

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postheadericon Basic PA Dutch Bread Filling

Here in the PA Dutch and Coal Region area, we (especially us Dutchies) refer to “stuffing” as “filling”. There is no real debate about whether it’s “stuffing” if it is made/baked one way versus “filling” another way in MY house.  Nope. It’s “FILLING”. Has been to me for as long as I remember and always will be.  Mom made her filling in a big huge bowl for holiday dinners during which several dozen family members descended on our house and laughter filled the air (along with cigarette smoke because…well…seems more people smoked than not “back then”.) Sometimes some filling went into the bird, but there was ALWAYS a dish full baked in a buttered casserole. I loved that version because I just love the “crust” the filling makes along the bottom of the dish. My Aunt adored an evening snack after a holiday dinner consisting of turkey on white bread, a slab of mom’s bread filling, mayo, and cranberry sauce. Mom did not use any potatoes at all in her bread filling nor much poultry seasoning but you should adjust it to your own taste (more or less celery/onion, butter…).  Mom used milk in hers, you can use stock if you like.  Me, I keep it “Mom’s” and make it like she did! This is a moist mixture before baking, not one that keeps the bread cubes in big pieces and barely moistens them. I like to cut a slice of this once it is cold and fry it in a little butter, browning the “patty”  on both sides.

Pa Dutch Bread Filling

Basic PA Dutch Bread Filling

Ingredients

  • 8 cups cubed white bread (stale or left out to dry overnight)
  • 4 eggs, beaten well
  • 3 large ribs of celery, chopped (with some chopped leaves if possible)
  • 1 - 2 large onion, chopped (about the same amount as the chopped celery)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (or 2 tsp dried)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sage and/or savory and/or poultry seasoning and/or Bell's Stuffing seasoning to your taste
  • Milk or chicken stock as needed (mixture should be wet, but not "soupy"

Instructions

  1. Break up or cut bread into cubes. I use stale bread, leave the cubes out uncovered over night spread out on a tray or baking sheet, or you can even dry them on low in the oven. Place dried or stale cubes into large bowl.
  2. In frying pan, melt butter, add chopped celery and onions and saute on low until soft. I like to actually brown the veggies some, I think it adds to the flavor and color of the filling. Set aside to cool.
  3. Beat eggs, add to bowl with bread cubes. Pour cooled butter and cooked celery and onions over the cubes. Toss lightly to start to mix.
  4. Add the milk or stock and gently toss and mix. It should be moist but not soupy. I find I use around a cup depending on the bread, butter amount, etc. Start with less - you can always add, but you cannot take it out.
  5. Season as desired. I usually add about 1 - 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning or Bell's seasoning. Sometimes, I do not use anything other than salt and pepper - it depends on who will be eating it!
  6. Turn out into a well buttered casserole baking dish.
  7. Bake at 350F until set and browned - 45 minutes or so. You can stir the filling part way through if you desire, but I do not because I like the "crust" to form along the dish sides and bottom.
  8. Serve.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/19/basic-pa-dutch-bread-filling/

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postheadericon Polish Kopytka

Kopytka means little hooves in Polish; the little shapes are supposed to resemble cloven hooves. ( kapytki in Lithuanian cuisine). Kopytka are very similar to Italian gnocchi in that they are made from cooked potatoes, egg, and flour.  Kopytka is not the same as Polish potato dumplings (Kartoflane Kluski) which uses grated raw potatoes in the dough.  These little pillow of deliciousness have made many a Coal Cracker happy when they appear on the table for a meal.  So many of us remember our Nanas making them. The mashed potatoes for Kopytka need to be on the dry side, so don’t use leftover mashed potatoes that you’ve prepared with milk and butter. Kopytka is often served with buttered breadcrumbs (polonaise style), gravy, pan drippings, or fry the dumplings to brown them, or fry and serve them with goulash. There are a lot of ways to serve and enjoy this Coal Region favorite!

Polish Kopytka

 

Kopytka

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds russet potatoes, cooked in their jackets, peeled and mashed or run through a food mill
  • 1 large beaten egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or as needed
  • Polonaise Topping:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons fresh white breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Place mashed potatoes in a large bowl.
  2. Add egg, salt and flour as needed to form a smooth, cohesive dough without overworking it (the dough will be tough if overworked).
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  4. Lightly flour your work surface and hands and roll pieces of the dough into "ropes" about 1/2 inch in diameter. Cut at an angle into approximately 1 inch to 1-1/2 inch pieces. Repeat with remainder of dough.
  5. Drop the cut dumplings into the boiling water. Avoid crowding and work in batches if necessary. Return the water to boiling, reduce to slow boil and cook 2 - 5 minutes, testing for desired doneness.
  6. Remove cooked dumplings to a colander and drain.
  7. If serving Polonaise-style, prepare topping by melting the butter in a small fry pan. Add the breadcrumbs and fry for 3 - 4 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer drained dumplings to a serving dish and sprinkle the buttered breadcrumbs on top.
  8. Note: If serving these dumplings with pan juices, omit the Polonaise topping step.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/18/polish-kopytka/

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postheadericon Amish Baked Pineapple Casserole

There are several versions of baked pineapple casseroles. I chose to share this one because it was passed along in a bunch of Mennonite church supper recipes I have had in my collection for years. The Southern (US South) version of Baked Pineapple Casserole adds cheese and uses crackers. Yet another version does not include bread at all.  Because this version has sentimental connections for me, I usually choose to make this one. This dish is a great accompaniment to the Easter ham and it shows up consistently at Mennonite and Amish church and social gatherings. I have never seen any leftovers when it is on the menu! If you really want to gussy it up, add drained pineapple rings to the top and insert a maraschino cherry into the middle of the ring. This is yummy enough to use as a dessert, too. Scoop out or cut into squares to serve.

Baked Pineapple Casserole

 

Amish Baked Pineapple Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1⁄2 cup butter
  • 1⁄2 cup white sugar
  • 4 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed canned pineapple in its own juice, drained
  • 6 slices white bread, cubed into 1/2 inch cubes (challah bread works well, too)
  • OPTIONAL
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Butter a 1-1/2 or 2 quart casserole dish.
  3. Cream butter and sugar until well blended.
  4. Add eggs; beat until combined.
  5. Stir in drained crushed pineapple and bread cubes. (add cinnamon and nutmeg if using)
  6. Pour into prepared dish.
  7. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until evenly browned on top
  8. You can lightly sprinkle the top at this point with granulated sugar then place under the broiler, watching carefully, until top caramelizes and is brown.
  9. Delicious served warm or cold.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/17/amish-baked-pineapple-casserole/

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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 Polish Crepes (Nalesniki)

Eastern European and European roots run deep in the Anthracite region and these treats found their way into many Coal Region kitchens.  Polish naleśniki are crepe-like pancakes. Many know these as blintzes and eat them filled with jam, fruit, cheese or savory fillings. But no matter what you know them as, in Polish they are Nalesniki  (in Hungarian palacsinta, Lithuanians call them naliesnikai, Ukrainians call them nalysnyky, and Romanians, clatita).  They can be made “thick” or “thin”. I have chosen the thick recipe for this post in order for them to be more beginner friendly to those unfamiliar, or inexperienced, with making and cooking traditional thin crepes. This thicker version of Nalesniki is hearty and you can use them as a main dish if desired. Filled nalesniki are often pan fried in butter or baked in a buttered casserole dish until the filling is set. Another option is to dip the rolled nalesniki in beaten egg and then fine, dry bread crumbs, and then fry in butter or a small amount of hot oil until golden all around. You can roll them around their filling like an egg roll or burrito or spread with filling and fold in half, then half again. I have included some filling recipes and ideas for you in the instructions section.

Polish Nalesniki

 

Nalesniki folded

Polish Crepes (Nalesniki)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 large egg, beaten well
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. In blender or food processor with metal blade, combine all ingredients and process until smooth. Transfer to a a large measuring cup or container. cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes (do not skip this step!)
  2. Using 1/8th cup measuring cup or 2 ounce ladle, portion batter into a nonstick crepe pan or small non-stick skillet that has been lightly brushed with butter. Rotate pan and swirl batter until it covers the entire bottom of pan. Cook until lightly brown or spotted brown on one side, then carefully turn and cook the other side until light brown. You may need to do a few to get the hang of the pour, swirl, cook and turn routine.
  3. Remove cooked crepe from pan and place on waxed paper or parchment. Repeat with remaining batter buttering the pan lightly for each crepe.
  4. Serve immediately or wrap tightly and freeze up to 1 month.
  5. To Fill:
  6. Place 2 heaping tablespoons of the filling of your choice on each nalesniki and either roll like a jellyroll, OR fold the sides in first and then bottom, rolling away from you, as for an eggroll or burrito, OR fold in half, then half again.
  7. Finish either by frying in some butter or small amount of oil, serve as is, bake in a buttered casserole to set cheese filling for example, or dip in egg wash then fine bread crumbs and fry lightly to brown all sides.
  8. Fillings:
  9. Cheese Filling
  10. 2 cups dry curd (or farmers cheese or ricotta)
  11. 3 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  12. 1 large egg yolk
  13. 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  14. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  15. 3 tablespoons sugar
  16. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  17. To Make:
  18. Place cheese in the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and process until fluffy. Divide filling among 12 crepes and roll. Fry or bake to set filling.
  19. Jam or fresh fruit, Nutella, or pie filling of your choice -- use your imagination!
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/11/polish-crepes-nalesniki/

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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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