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Posts Tagged ‘vegetable’

postheadericon Sauerkraut Salad

As we start in to cook-out season here in the Coal Region, the requisite potato and macaroni salads show up. As much as I am  fan of both of those, I like to “shake things up a bit” and add something to the mix that is a bit unexpected. My favorite for warm weather gatherings is Sauerkraut Salad. Embracing the Anthracite Coal Region blending of cultures — the Pa. Dutch, German, and Eastern European cuisines love to make dishes from sauerkraut and cabbage — this fits in perfectly!

Even people who normally do not like sauerkraut (GASP!!!) often like this salad. It’s delicious as a side dish, but also good on burgers, sausages, brats, and sandwiches. Make sure to make it a day ahead so the flavors can blend. I make it the night before serving. As with so many recipes, this lends itself well to adapting to your tastes;  adjust the sugar and vinegar as you prefer. If in doubt about amounts, always start with less — you can always add, but you cannot take it out once mixed in!

Sauerkraut Salad

Sauerkraut Salad

Pa. Dutch Sauerkraut Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 quart of sauerkraut
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, diced
  • 1 small jar pimentos, drained
  • OPTIONAL 1 apple, chopped (Use something sweet/tart and crisp; Braeburn, Jonagold, Pink Lady, Fuji, Gala))
  • 1 cup white sugar (or to your taste)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup vinegar (cider or white)
  • black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain sauerkraut.
  2. In large bowl, mix sugar, oil, vinegar and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add chopped vegetables, sauerkraut and pimentos. Add black pepper to taste. Stir to mix well.
  4. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/05/19/sauerkraut-salad/

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postheadericon Retro Carrot-Pineapple Salad

Dad was a “meat and potatoes” kinda guy.  Mom and I, however, had no problem with veggies. Of course, the older I got, the more open I was to them…maybe not so adventurous in my childhood (I remember Mom being “creative” in order to get me to eat more than green peas in my early years.)

Like many folks in the Coal Region, “eating out” was reserved for special occasions, like birthdays and anniversaries. We did not have the budget to indulge in restaurant meals often, but when we did, it was all the more special.  We had our favorite spots for these occasions, but there was a family buffet style restaurant where Mom and I would look anytime we went there for one particular item — on the salad bar. Mom and I would peruse the offerings before taking a plate and would get all excited if we truly got lucky and the CARROT SALAD was there — crispy shredded carrots, plump juicy raisins, sweet and tangy pineapple, chopped walnuts — and mini marshmallows – oh, how we loved that salad! Surrounded by baked ham, golden turkey, fried shrimp, a plethora of Pa Dutch “sweets ‘n sours”, and so much more Mom and I felt like we’d struck gold if the carrot salad was on the menu that night. As Pop sat there (with a plate full of fried shrimp that needed side-boards to keep it in check) looking at us like we had lost our senses, Mom and I “umm-d” and “ahh-d” our way through that carrot salad.

Funny thing is, as easy as it is to make at home, we rarely did while she was alive. I suppose the “magic” of that restaurant’s carrot salad was not in the salad itself (although there were those mini marshmallows…) but rather was in the pure enjoyment of spending an evening together, doing something that was very special to us and was a somewhat rare event, not a hum-drum, every day occurrence like eating out these days has become for so many people.

I started making the carrot salad again awhile ago and really enjoy it for Easter dinner as well as throughout the year. Unfortunately, the last time I made it, I did not have the marshmallows in the pantry, thus the salad was “mini-less”. But as I took a bite and thought of Mom, Dad, and the many special occasions we shared throughout the years I was blessed to have them in my life, I was transported in my memories right back to that restaurant with two very special people right beside me.

This recipe is easily adjusted to your taste; both the nuts and mini marshmallows are optional – but highly recommended!

Retro Carrot Pineapple Salad

Retro Carrot Pineapple Salad

Retro Carrot Pineapple Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 (8-ounce) can of crushed pineapple, drained well - juice reserved
  • Left-over pineapple juice (from draining) and enough water to make 1 cup to plump raisins
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and grated
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped pecans or walnuts (or to your taste)

Instructions

  1. Drain pineapple of excess juices, reserving juice into measuring cup. Add enough water to make 1 cup.
  2. Heat pineapple juice/water to very hot. Remove from heat. Add raisins and allow to plump and cool. (about 30 minutes) Then drain well and discard liquid.
  3. Place peeled, grated carrots in mixing bowl.
  4. In another smaller bowl, mix mayonnaise, sugar, and lemon juice.
  5. Pour dressing over carrots and mix well.
  6. Fold in raisins, pineapple, marshmallows, and nuts until combined.
  7. Cover and refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Stir before serving
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/04/10/retro-carrot-pineapple-salad/

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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 Lithuanian Kugelis (Bulviu Plokstainis)

Lithuanian Kugelis

If you asked 1,000 Lithuanian families for their Kugelis recipe, you more than likely would receive 1,000 different versions – varying sometimes by only one ingredient or amount of ingredient.  Kugelis is widely served in Lithuania in both restaurants and home kitchens. It translates to: “flat potato dish” or “potato pancake”. It is a comfort food and akin to how we, in the US, view Mac and cheese as a comfort food – we all have a family recipe and all like our own the best. Consisting of very finely grated potatoes, milk, onion, eggs, bacon and fat, Lithuanian Kugelis should not be confused with the Jewish Kugel which is a noodle dish. Because the technique for making this dish, although not rocket science, does need careful attention and the steps are important to follow — including the speed needed to grate and prep the potatoes and keeping them from graying — I have linked to a prize winning recipe that includes detailed directions for creating this delicious dish. It is more expedient than trying to explain the steps here and, since it is a prize winning recipe, I believe it is a good place to start if you are new to this dish.

Go to the Recipe: >> Prize-Winning Lithuanian Kugelis Recipe

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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 Creamed Cucumbers

This cucumber salad is very simple, but delicious. It can be found as a side dish offering at some diners and restaurants in the Coal Region and in Pa. Dutch country. You can use common cucumbers in this salad, but the English/European cucumbers – sometimes referred to as “seedless” – have much fewer seeds and are less “watery” making them the preferred choice for keeping the dressing on this salad from becoming too runny. English/European cucumbers are found in the US in grocery stores usually encased in a plastic wrapping. If using regular cucumbers, I peel them, then use a spoon to scoop the interior seed pocket out to get rid of the excess seeds and moisture. Because cucumbers are available in grocery stores year-round, this salad can also be made year-round.

Creamed Cucumbers

 

Creamed Cucumbers

Ingredients

  • 1 - 12 to 14 inch English/European cucumber (also referred to as "seedless"
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • salt
  • 2 Tablespoons white or cider vinegar
  • 1- 2 teaspoons sugar, to taste
  • sour cream as needed (approx. 1/2 to 1 cup)
  • pepper
  • fresh or dried dill weed (optional)

Instructions

  1. Peel and very thinly slice cucumber and onion. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and let stand in a colander for a few minutes.
  2. Pat with towel or absorbent paper to take off all moisture possible.
  3. Place cucumbers and onions in serving dish, add the vinegar and sugar and mix.
  4. Toss with enough sour cream to lightly cover the cukes and onion and sprinkle with pepper.
  5. Sprinkle with fresh or dried dill weed to your taste if desired.
  6. Stir and chill before serving to allow flavors to blend.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/08/creamed-cucumbers/

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postheadericon Halupki Casserole

I adore halupki, (AKA golumpki, blind pigeons, stuffed cabbage, etc.) but I do not always have time to core, cook, and prep whole cabbage leaves or dedicate the cooking time to the traditional roll version. I also often find myself with a partial head of cabbage in the veggie bin left over from making another dish…no whole leaves to harvest from the head, but still lots of usefulness left. In those instances, I put together this faster to prep and cook casserole version of Halupki that provides all the flavor with far less fuss. As with the rolls, I like this served with mashed potatoes as a side. This recipe gets its sweet and sour element in the sauce from tomato soup and a little sugar and vinegar. You can add a few strips of bacon to the top when baking, or even a layer of sauerkraut; dress it up with what you like and what you have on hand if desired. This freezes beautifully; just thaw and reheat when you get a craving! I like to mimic the inside of traditional halupki by making little meatballs to layer in the casserole, but you can cut the prep time even more by just sprinkling little “globs” of the meat mixture into the dish. I have also made this in the slow-cooker. Prep the recipe as written, but layer into the crock, cook on low 4 – 6 hours or until cabbage is tender. I normally oven bake this in a disposable aluminum lasagna pan; it gives me some extra depth to avoid spill overs and makes for super easy cleanup.

Halupki Casserole

Halupki Casserole

Ingredients

  • Approx 1-1/2 - 2 lb cabbage, core removed and chopped in 1/2 inch pieces or medium shreds (approx. 1/4" )
  • Meat Mixture
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork (OR use all ground beef)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 1 small onion, diced fine
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Sauce
  • 2 - 10 ounce cans condensed tomato soup
  • 1 - 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 - 8 ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 T white vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • OPTIONAL: 1 - 2 cups sauerkraut and/or bacon strips (to layer on top of cabbage.)

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix the sauce ingredients together, set aside.
  2. In another bowl, mix the meat mixture ingredients together well. Form into bite-sized meatballs.
  3. In a deep casserole dish or lasagna pan, place a few spoonfuls of sauce, then layer half the meatballs, then half the cabbage on top and pour half the remaining sauce over the top. Repeat with remaining meatballs, then cabbage, then last of the sauce. NOTE: If you are using sauerkraut and/or bacon, place these on the layers of cabbage before adding the sauce each time.
  4. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 F degrees until cabbage is tender. Baking time varies with how large or small you chopped the cabbage. Start testing the cabbage with a fork after 1 hour. Recover tightly and continue to cook until tender.
  5. NOTE #1: Natural water content of cabbage will vary with each head. You may find your cabbage has released a lot of water or not much. If your casserole seems to need more sauce or is drying, add a little water as it bakes. I always "sloosh" the tomato soup cans with some water to rinse them well and use this if I need to adjust the liquid during baking.
  6. NOTE #2: If adding bacon to your layers, keep in mind bacon will release grease as it cooks, Adding a lot of bacon can cause an excess of grease in the finished dish especially if you start with a high fat ground beef.
  7. NOTE #3: This is not a precise recipe. You might have more or less cabbage, use more or less meat, need more or less sauce...It is one of those recipes where your eyes and instincts will guide you as you put it together.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/06/halupki-casserole/

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postheadericon Old-Fashioned Potato Soup

This is my well-used recipe for Potato Soup that was a favorite of my Dad’s.  As a little girl, I remember him coming home after hauling coal from Tremont, Pa. in the Coal Region to Philadelphia and New York City in his tractor-trailer and me running out to greet him and climbing up into the cab to ride to the top of the driveway where he parked.  At least once a week, Mom had a pot of this soup simmering and ready for him when he arrived home. As I grew older and took over the kitchen, I made this for him many, many times. This is not meant to be a thickened potato soup, but rather a very simple one found in PA Dutch cuisine that consists of a thin, milky broth filled with potatoes – easy and budget friendly. If you do not like, or do not eat, hard-cooked eggs, you can omit them, but I recommend adding them otherwise. You can garnish with crumbled fried bacon, chives, paprika…your choice, but keep in mind, this is meant to be a very simple dish to keep it traditional.

Old Fashioned Potato Soup

 

Old-Fashioned Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided plus additional for garnish
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 - 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 6 large potatoes, peeled and diced in to 1/2 inch dice (about 2 pounds)
  • Water
  • 3 cups whole milk OR 1-1/2 cups whole milk and 1- 12 ounce can full fat evaporated milk (NOT condensed milk)
  • 3 hard cooked eggs, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • OPTIONAL: Fresh or dried parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Cook the onions and celery in 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until softened but not browned. Add potatoes and JUST enough water to cook (just barely to the top of the potatoes). Season lightly with salt. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low.
  2. SIMMER until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Watch that you do not boil too hard and cook the pan dry. Do not drain.
  3. Add the milk, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat just until hot, do not boil. Stir in the chopped eggs, serve with another pat of butter on top if desired and sprinkle of parsley and/or black pepper.
  4. If you choose, you can use a potato masher to mash some of the potato cubes to thicken slightly, but this soup is meant to be thin.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/05/old-fashioned-potato-soup/

 

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postheadericon Stuffed Pepper Soup

Everything you love about stuffed peppers, but in the form of an easy and satisfying soup. Quick to whip up, this soup also freezes nicely. As the cooler weather settles in on the Coal Region, I like to have soups available for speedy meals as often as possible. This one is a favorite of mine and on frequent rotation on my schedule because it comes together quickly, is budget friendly, and does not require hours of simmering.

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 can (28 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups chopped green peppers
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups cooked long grain rice
  • Chopped fresh parsley, optional

Instructions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook and stir beef until no longer pink; drain off excess fat.
  2. Stir in next eight ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until peppers are tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Add cooked rice; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes longer. If desired, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/20/stuffed-pepper-soup/

 

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