Loaves & Dishes
By Jennie Geisler Erie Times-News staff blogger
Follow Jennie Geisler's kitchen adventures on her Loaves & Dishes blog.   Read more about this blog.
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Archive for September, 2012
Posted: September 27th, 2012

I'm all for paprikash. Especially if it's 25 minutes from now. From Everyday Food.

My first paprikash experience came at the worst time in my life. The Hungarian woman across the street brought a vat of it over to my house after the funeral for my daughter in 2004.
Never one to miss a meal, even at my emotional nadir, I ate it up, and asked her for the recipe.
The dish will always be special to me, as I learned just how much work went into her contribution. I’ve never attempted it myself.
This recipe for Turkey-and-Onion Paprikash will almost certainly be very different, but the promise of that delicious tomato and sour cream sauce drew me in.
The 25-minute total time incurred — and the meager 295 calorie expenditure — didn’t hurt either.
If you can’t find turkey cutlets, chicken or even thinly sliced boneless pork chops will work just as well.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 26th, 2012

Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for “Folklore and Food,” by Theresa Bane & Cynthia Moore Brown. The winner is Suzy Newman. I’ll pop it in the mail today.

If you are not Suzy Newman, you can enter the drawing for an intriguing new book called "Pure Vanilla: Irresistible Recipes and Essential Techniques," by Shauna Server.
Who knew plain vanilla could be so tempting? And it certainly can. I’d do anything to try everything in there, especially Vanilla Bean Bread Pudding, Vanilla Snaps as well as Slow-Cooked Vanilla Spice Oatmeal, recipe follows.
Besides vanilla extract, many of the recipes call for vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste, vanilla powder and ground vanilla. As you might imagine, these are not cheap, and the paste, powder and ground vanilla probably aren’t at the supermarket.
Vanilla beans are commonly available, though.
Looks like you can get the paste and powder at KingArthurFlour.com. I found ground vanilla at www.williams-sonoma.com.
At any rate, it’s hard to give this one up, but my cookbook storage space is dwindling, so let me know if you want it.
To enter the drawing, send an e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com including your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and TITLE OF THE BOOK you want.

This recipe looks simple enough:
1 cup steel-cut oats
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 tablespoons light brown sugar (optional), plus more for serving
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
Half-and-half or heavy cream for serving

1. Coat the sleeve (I assume this means the crock) of a 5-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place sleeve in cooker combine all ingredients in it.
2. Add 3 1/2 cups water and stir to blend. Set slow cooker to low and cook 8 hours. Remove vanilla bean and scrap any remaining caviar (beans) into oatmeal.
3. Stir well and serve with brown sugar to taste and a drizzle of half-and-half or heavy cream.
– “Pure Vanilla”

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 21st, 2012

When we’re home on the weekends, which is about half the time, I usually like to make dinner a project.

Kitchen Daily has solved my Saturday-night dinner dilemma with Barbecue Pulled Chicken.

That is, unless I’ve been driving around all day or working in the yard. Then, by the time we’re hungry, it’s too late for that, and my family hangs out in the living room, hungry thus snacking.
Frozen pizza, leftovers, sandwiches usually fill the void in a not-so-satisfying way.
Barbecue Pulled Chicken gives me an idea: Start it at noon, and when I’m done with my chores, so is dinner.
I absolutely love pulled pork, but let’s face it: It sure ain’t health food.
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs promise a cheaper caloric outlay for comparable flavor. And the boys can quit standing in the kitchen waiting for the oven timer to go off.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 20th, 2012

Betty Crocker is going to help me bake myself happy.

I know I’ve been harping on this Yay-It’s-Fall! theme, but my impatience gets worse everyday. I’m like a kid waiting for Santa.
It could be the weather, the apples, the turning leaves, I’ve no idea. Something is making me feel like I’ve chewed through a set of imaginary restraints. I can’t WAIT for pumpkins and leaves and cuddling up in my fleece tie blanket sipping coffee on a rainy cold night.
Maybe it’s because summer 2012 started in March, and doled out months of punishing heat and drought usually reserved for latitudes south of the Mason Dixon. Either way, I’m more than ready to be rid of it.
In my excitement, I bought half a peck of Macintosh apples Tuesday. They’re gone. I ate three (crisp, tart, sweet, juicy), my husband ate one and I used the rest to make an apple-oatmeal crisp.
Then today I came across this recipe for Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars. Now I need to go back and buy another half peck. Or maybe, this time, a peck.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 19th, 2012

"Folklore and Food," looks as good for nighttime reading as it does for meal-time cooking. Picture from amazon.com

Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for “Driveway Chef’s Cookbook for the Football Season,” by John T. Guseman. The winner is Jim Rowe. I’ll pop it in the mail today.
Interestingly, this cookbook of deep-fried everything generated 14 times as many entries as last week’s gluten-free cookbook. I find this amusing, if not surprising

If you are not Jim Rowe, you are invited to enter the drawing for "Folklore and Food," by Theresa Bane and Cynthia Moore Brown. It’s a small tome with old-fashioned recipes for classic foods preceded by charming folktales that inspire them. For example, the first chapter is “A Mountain Tale with a Recipe for Southern Biscuits.” Another is “A German Tale With A Recipe for Hot German Saluda Cole Slaw.”
The cole slaw sounds wonderful, and I was torn between it and Fried Green Tomatoes. I figured it’s probably time for the tomatoes. The hot cole slaw would be perfect for Octoberfests and tailgating, so if you want that one, enter the drawing. ;)

To enter, send an e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com and include your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and NAME OF THE BOOK YOU WANT.

Now for the simple autumnal classic:

6 large green tomatoes, about 3 pounds
2 tablespoons of lemon juice, or a few dashes of hot sauce
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper

Nonstick cooking spray
1. Slice each tomato into 1/2-inch thick slices.
2. Sprinkle the lemon juice or hot sauce on the tomatoes.
3. Mix the cornmeal and black pepper in a plastic bag.
4. Put ttomato slices into the bag and shake well.
5. Coat a cast-iron or nonstick saute pan with nonstick cooking spray.
6. Fry the tomatoes, over medium-high heat, until they are light brown on each side.
– “Folklore and Food,” by Theresa Bane and Cynthia Moore Brown

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 17th, 2012

It's time for pot roast. Even if it's not time. From Kitchen Daily.

For some reason, I’m really ready for fall. Summer was great, but with October bearing down on us and this comfortably cool weather, not to mention a strange obsession with pumpkins and mums, I’m pushing the season.
The meals for my print columns on Tomato Watermelon Salad and this Wednesday’s Roasted Tomato Soup, were cooked weeks ago. Most of my backyard tomatoes now are canned, and I’m already thinking about applesauce and apple butter.
And Pot Roast. When I get a craving for that autumn standby, it’s time to switch out the wardrobe and dig out the Crock Pot.
I packed up the shorts and short-sleeved blouses this past weekend. I hope to liberate the slow-cooker from the back of the cupboard sometime this week.
Kitchen Daily offered up a recipe for a scrumptious-sounding Post Roast today, which got my mouth watering.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 14th, 2012

Half-hour Gumbo, plus a teaspoon of file powder, made for a luscious, linger-over-it meal. Photo from marthastewart.com.

I’ve been keeping something from you. I’m not sure why, but it’s time to share: We made video of my making three Loaves & Dishes recipes that you can see on www.GoErie.com. They’re a work in progress, including my failure to share these links with you until now.

If you get a chance to watch any of them, please feel free to let me know what you think, anything we should change or add, or what you really like. If it’s easier to reply here, feel free. If you want to reserve your comments just for me, drop me a note at jennie.geisler@timesnews.com.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I made Half-Hour Gumbo for dinner last night, and wished I had another stomach to eat seconds.
I added a teaspoon of file powder, a dry olive-colored spice made from ground sassafras root. It thickens the broth and makes the gumbo taste like it simmered all day. I got a big bottle of it at Larry’s Central Market on, coincidentally, Sassafras Street. It’s way up on a top shelf, and the clerk had trouble finding it for me, but it’s there.
If you like gumbo, you’ll have no trouble using it up.
By the way, the recipe makes 10 cups.
Per cup it contains
225 calories
11 grams fat
72 milligrams cholesterol
1,038 milligrams sodium
8.8 grams carbohydrate
0.8 grams fiber (I didn’t use the okra, which might up this a little.)
24 grams protein

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 13th, 2012

Apple-Stuffed Chicken Breast from allrecipes.com promises to kick off autumn in my kitchen.

Recipes that require rolling anything around anything else, such as thin cuts of meat rolled around savory fillings, fill me with trepidation. I’m the world’s worst food stylist, and dishes like this, in my hands at least, always come out looking like something squashed by a demented toddler.
It’s been a while since I felt up to trying again, but I think it’s easier to go into something like this expecting to screw up. If the flavor is any good, John’ll eat it, and no one has to know whether I failed another test of my fine motor skills.
This is a long way of saying this recipe for Apple-Stuffed Chicken Breast looks really good. I’m ready for fall, especially its flavors, and “apple-stuffed” anything qualifies.
I might even add a touch of nutmeg to the filling to solidify its place in an autumnal menu.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 12th, 2012

Thanks to everyone who wrote in to enter the drawing for “Helen Nash’s New Kosher Cuisine: Healthy, Simple and Stylish.” The winner is Tami Battko. I’ll pop it in the mail today.

Here’s one that’ll garner good response:“Driveway Chef’s Cookbook for the Football Season: A Deep-Frying Cookbook,” by John T. Guseman
You wouldn’t believe some of the stuff you can deep fry. One side of me is rabid to try some of them. The other side doesn’t want to admit that.
If I were a brave woman, I’d disclose my intrigue with deep-fried pickles, Raven Eggs, Deep-Fried Artichoke Hearts with Parmesan Breading.
I stopped looking through the book when I saw Musket Balls, because there was no way that was going to end well. Tell me you don’t want to try these:
1 box sour dough bread mix
1 10.75 ounce can clam chowder soup
Garnish: hot sauce, ranch dressing or cocktail sauce

1. Follow the directions for making the bread, but use the clam chowder instead of water.
2. Roll the dough into balls about 3/4 inch in diameter. Maybe use a little flour on your hands.
3. Deep fry the balls for 2 minutes or until fully cooked, drain.
Could use them as a topping for clam chowder.

Please help me get this book off my desk.

To enter, send e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com including your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and THE TITLE OF THE BOOK YOU WANT.
I’ll pick a winner next Wednesday.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 11th, 2012

Pork Paprikash looks a quicker, sure-er way from hungry to happy than my last pork dish.

If you happened to read the post last week about Pork Loin with Roasted Carrots and Mustard Gravy, allow me to extend my apologies. It was awful.
Well, at least in my hands it was awful. I made a few mistakes.
First I cleaned out the pan before I figured out I needed he drippings for the gravy. Then the carrots burned and the pork loin was undercooked. Then, after a turn in the microwave, my serving was totally dried out.
I faked the gravy with the drippings from the baking pan, and that helped a lot, but the cornstarch I added did not.
I just don’t think that dish and I were made for each other.
This one though, for Pork Paprikash, also from Martha Stewart, looks like a good way to get back on the horse.
It’s a super fast way to fake the traditional Hungarian dish that can take hours.
Here’s hoping I don’t mess this one up as well.

Posted in: Uncategorized

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