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Posts Tagged ‘spreads’

postheadericon Red Beet Horseradish – Cwikla

Grated horseradish with beets is known as cwikla (CHEEK-wah) in Polish. Horseradish root is native to the warmer areas of Eastern Europe and it appears in recipes worldwide.  Here in the Coal Region, a commercially prepared and bottled version is easily found in the grocery store, but for those who cannot get it in stores or PREFER TO MAKE THEIR OWN, this recipe is for you! Cwikła is the perfect accompaniment for Polish sausage and ham and is an indispensable condiment at Easter time often used spread on a kielbasi or ham sandwich with a slice of hrudka (egg cheese) nestled between two pieces of paska bread. Cwikła (or plain horseradish – chrzan) is one of the foods included in baskets taken to church on Holy Saturday to be blessed in parishes with Eastern European ties. The horseradish is a reminder of the bitterness and harshness of the Passion of Jesus, and the vinegar it is mixed with symbolizes the sour wine given to Jesus on the cross. Although associated with Easter, this tasty condiment will find its way onto your plate all year round.

You can use fresh or commercially prepared horseradish and/or fresh cooked or canned beets. Making your own means you can adjust the degree of heat from the horseradish to your own taste; some folks believe, the more horseradish the better! You can also adjust the salt, vinegar, and sugar to find what’s just right for you. If you are unsure about the amount of horseradish, start with less — you can always add more but you can’t take it out.

A NOTE when using fresh horseradish root: Use caution! The root is pungent. The biting flavor and smell of horseradish strengthens when the root is grated due to mustard oils released by enzymes when the cells are crushed. The mustard oil dissipates within 30 minutes of exposure to air, and it is destroyed by heat, so vinegar is usually used to stop the reaction and stabilize the flavor. The release of the oils will burn your eyes and throat. Work at an arm’s length away and whatever you do, don’t deliberately smell the grated horseradish! (I made this mistake once. ONCE. I put some horseradish root my Dad bought at a local farmers’ market in the food processor, grated it, popped the lid off the processor and leaned over the bowl and inhaled.  My knees buckled, my throat seized up, my eyes felt like someone sprayed me with tear gas. I gasped for breath and went into full blown panic mode. It took a while to pass and it was not pretty. It was not a mistake I will ever make again!!) You might want to wear gloves and eye protection. Work cleanly; don’t spread the mixture to your body or other foods.

Red Beet Horseradish

Red Beet Horseradish

Cwikla - Red Beet Horseradish

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup homemade (or purchased horseradish)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound beets (cooked, peeled, cooled, and grated) or 1 14-ounce can prepared beets (drained and grated)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix vinegar, brown sugar, horseradish, and salt until well combined.
  2. Add beets and mix thoroughly.
  3. Pack into clean glass jars and store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/03/08/red-beet-horseradish-cwikla/

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postheadericon Crab Spread Appetizer

When it comes to “quick and easy”, I am all for it! This appetizer is a family and crowd pleaser, simple to put together, and great to use as a last minute snack or to take to a pot-luck. For decades, during the hectic holiday season, I always kept the ingredients for this luscious spread in my fridge and pantry.  More than once it as been a sanity saver when unexpected visitors arrive. The original recipe in my files calls for using some commercially prepared chili sauce, but I much prefer using my own made cocktail sauce or a good quality commercially prepared cocktail sauce of your choice. I have also used commercially prepared chili sauce and added a dab of grated horseradish to it before spreading.  I just happen to like the added kick of horseradish in this spread. The choice is yours! I serve this with a buttery cracker like Keebler Club crackers or Ritz.

Layered Crab Spread

Layered Crab Spread

Layered Crab Spread

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • dash of garlic salt
  • 1- 12 ounce bottle commercially prepared Cocktail or Chili sauce
  • 6 ounce can crab meat
  • parsley

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, blend by hand softened cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise, lemon juice, grated onion, and garlic salt until well mixed and smooth.
  2. Spread this mixture on a shallow decorative/serving plate (about 9 or 10 inches in diameter).
  3. Pour the bottle of cocktail or chili sauce evenly over the top of the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Drain the crab meat, then sprinkle it evenly over the top of the cocktail/chili sauce layer.
  5. Sprinkle the crab layer lightly with dried or chopped fresh parsley.
  6. Chill well before serving.
  7. Serve with crackers.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/12/19/crab-spread-appetizer/

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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 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.

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