Friday, July 25, 2014

Polish Crepes



This breakfast is brought to you by a cookbook I've been giving a lot of love lately, the Russian, German & Polish Food & Cookingcookbook.

I was very hesitant to make this as the main ingredient in the filling is something I've never liked: ricotta cheese. However, I thought I should give it a try. It looked delicious in the pictures, and who knows? Maybe, as a sweeter item, ricotta might not be so bad?

For the record, I always disliked that weird, chalky taste/texture of ricotta. Always.

My crepes were in between pancakes and crepes in terms of thickness, but that's because I've never made EITHER before (yes, you read that right... never have I made a pancake or a crepe before trying this recipe). The last few I made were perfectly thin, but most of them were a bit thicker. Still, it worked well.



Everyone loved them, though.... except only Squiggle enjoyed the filling. Hubby ate it but wasn't overly fond. Bobble insisted I scrape his out and I thinned my filling out but still ate it. We omitted lemon for garnishing, but I served it with lemonade. Totally the same thing, right? It did go well, however. I'd definitely make the crepes again, though I might not use this filling. If you like ricotta however, I'd definitely recommend trying it!





Polish Crepes
Makes 6

Ingredients:
- 1c all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- pinch of grated nutmeg, plus extra for dusting
- 1 egg, separated
- scant 1c milk
- 2T sunflower oil
- 2T butter
- lemon slices, to garnish

For the filling:
- 1c ricotta cheese
- 1T sugar
- 1t vanilla extract
- scant 1/2c golden raisins

Directions:
1) Sift flour, salt, and nutmeg in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the yolk and half of the milk. Beat until smooth, then gradually beat in the remaining milk.
2) Whisk the egg white in a bowl until stiff, and fold into the batter.
3) Heat 1t sunflower oil and a little butter in a 7" frying pan. Pour in enough of the batter to cover the bottom.
4) Cook for 2 min. on each side.
5) Repeat until batter is used adding more oil and butter as needed. Stack crepes and keep warm.
6) Mix ricotta, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl and beat together. Mix in the raisins. Divide amongst crepes, fold the crepes, and dust with grated nutmeg. Garnish with lemon slices.

Disclaimer: Thoughts of Fluff was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes & Ham (Original Recipe)



Last night I ventured out of my comfort zone. I never liked ham, and about eight years ago I cut any form of pork out of my diet. I was happy that way. Didn't miss the flavour, didn't miss the smell, didn't miss any of it. Then I got pregnant with Squiggle, and suddenly needed to have bacon. It wasn't a desire for a small piece here or there, it was a massive craving. I would eat 1/2 a package to a whole package at a time. I'm not joking.

Enter this recipe: Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes & Ham. I bought a little bit of ham from the local co-op. I was thrilled that I actually knew the farm it came from, and loved the fact it had no nitrates or sugar added.

We used the thin slice setting on our Mandoline Slicer , and sliced the potatoes. I placed those in a bowl with a damp paper towel over the top of them to help keep them from browning while I diced the onions, made the roux, and sliced up the ham. I buttered the inside of the glass dish I was using and set it aside.

After the roux was made, I grabbed a handful of potatoes and covered the bottom of the dish. Put sauce on and spread it out. Potatoes. Sauce. Etc. Probably in three layers. After the last bit of sauce on top, I sprinkled the remaining cheese, covered, and baked.

Ready to cover and go in the oven!


The bulk of the time goes to shredding the potatoes. Once it's in the oven, you're good to go!

If you plan on making stock, don't forget to set aside the onion and potato peels. The scraps of ham can be set aside, too, if you want to make a ham stock. I set these aside, put in a freezer bag (labeled), and threw them in the freezer to add to as I get more.

Done!


EVERYONE loved the dish. I made some green beans to accompany it. Not only did everyone devour it, but husband didn't say it was really good, he said, "This is delicious!". Yay!

 

Leftovers
 The leftovers picture is so you can get an idea of how it was layered (since you can see inside nicely), and also how much fed a family of 4 (2 of which being young children). Hubby and I both had seconds.


Scalloped Potatoes & Ham (Cheesy)
Ingredients:
·         6 red potatoes, thinly sliced
·         1 small onion, chopped
·         1 clove garlic, minced
·         1 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
·         2 cups cubed/chopped/shredded fully cooked ham
·         1 pint heavy cream
·         4 T. butter
·         1/4c. Flour
·         1/4t. freshly ground black pepper
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
  3. Sautee onion and garlic w/1T. butter until soft.
  4. Add rest of butter (3 divided in tablespoons) and melt, then add in flour to make roux.
  5. Add in heavy cream, continuously stirring to prevent cream from burning. Once thickened (about 2-3 minutes) reduce heat to low.
  6. Add 1c. cheese, stirring until cheese is fully melted/incorporated.
  7. Turn off burner and stir in ham and black pepper.
  8. Add about 1/3 of the potatoes to the greased baking dish. Cover with sauce. Repeat 2x.
  9. Sprinkle remaining 1/2c. cheese over the top of the potatoes and cover with aluminum foil.
  10. Bake for 1 hour, then remove aluminum foil and bake for another 15 minutes.

Disclaimer: Thoughts Of Fluff was not compensated in anyway for this post. All opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mashed No-tatoes (Original Recipe)

I'm a huge fan of mashed potatoes. I always have loved them, and likely will always pile them way too high on my plate when they are around me. However, I don't always have potatoes on hand. Other veggies can bring the same result, albeit with slightly different flavour.

Rutabaga is one such veggie. You can make it the same way you would mashed potatoes. Some people prefer to add a tiny bit of sugar at the end (instead of salt, if you add salt), but I like it just how it is.

To use up some more items in the fridge, and also to add more flavour to the dinner, I made some Mashed No-tatoes, instead. As you might guess from the title, there are no potatoes in it.


Mashed No-tatoes

I apologize for the lack of great pictures as of late, but my phone really doesn't take the best quality photos. That aside, I didn't think to take pictures of this until it was already done.



Mashed No-tatoes (a naturally sweet root-veggie mash)
·         1 lb. carrots  (about 6 good-sized carrots)
·         1 lb. parsnips (about 3 parsnips, peeled and cored)
·         1/3 - 1/2 of a rutabaga
·         1/2 c. Milk, half & half, or cream (whichever you prefer when you make mashed potatoes)
·         3 T. butter
·         cinnamon
·         nutmeg

1) Peel and chop/slice carrots, parsnips, and rutabaga. (Store peels from the carrot and parsnips in a bag & freeze to use in a veggie stock later if desired.)
2) Boil veggies until cooked.
3) Drain veggies and place back in pan, a mixing bowl, or food processor along with butter. Once butter has melted, add milk, cream, or half & half and mash (or blend) to desired consistency.
4) Add in cinnamon and nutmeg to taste, and mix well. (I used 1/4t. - 1/2t. Cinnamon and about 1/8t. - 1/4t. nutmeg… I honestly just eyeballed it.)
5) Serve hot.

 

Disclaimer: Thoughts of Fluff is responsible for the contents of this post. All opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Post contains affiliate links.