As you may or may not know...
I am a cabbage roll junkie... But sometimes I just don't want to spend an hour trying to get the cabbage leaves peeled without tearing them and it is this huge, long winded process that I thought I wanted to cut down. It was also in the middle of the summer that I decided to go balls to the wall and make soup. Foolhardy? Absolutely. Worth it? Absolutely. I was really craving golabki, I eat the stuff nearly all year round if I can get away with it... but didn't want to wrap stuff or peel the leaves as I said, and this really is the faster way to get these flavors.
I don't have some fantastic story about how this came to be. I know it isn't an original idea, I did see something similar on YouTube by a woman named Noreen, but that was some years ago. I wanted to come up with my own idea and even maybe a little bit of goulash flavorage or stuffed pepper to add to the dish.
So there are a few things, one of which doesn't need to be pointed out at all but I am going to own up to it anyways... It doesn't look perfect. There, I said it. But looks can certainly be deceiving, right? The fact of the matter is, I did not want to change the integrity of the meat. In the original dish, the meat is placed in the cabbage raw and cooked inside... searing off the meatballs would have completely changed the flavor profile, and I have seen it done the same way for Italian Wedding Soup where the meatballs were not seared. Now, this doesn't mean to say it would make it disgusting, it just wouldn't be the correct flavor profile. If you want to sear your meatballs for presentation, by all means, I am just saying that this way is closer to the original flavor.
Second thing is that regardless of whether you make them as rolls or soup, this dish tends to get greasy from the fat that comes off of the meat. This is one soup where i don't mind it so much, but if you want to get rid of the fat, let it cool completely and then skim it off when it is solid, but leave some for flavor. Or you can boil your meatballs in water and reduce the amount of fat, but again, it would change the flavor profile.
I promise you that this will make you very happy if you are a cabbage roll fanatic like myself. The flavors are rich and hearty, and your belly will be nice and padded by the time you eat what you've served to yourself.
Prep time shouldn't take more than 30 minutes tops between the chopping and the making of the meatballs, cook time is about an hour but is more of a set and forget type of thing (You really only have to get up three times to stir). It serves at least 10 people
This was just a quick one!
I know this was just a quick blog post, but I wanted to get something up so you all didn't think I forgot any of you. My husband just had his surgery not too long ago and I am finding it a struggle to cook for one person since I am a nurturer and like to make people happy with food. Things will even out eventually.
Until then, my friends, I just hope you enjoy the recipes I am able to bring. I have a few that I need to redo from my old blog and such, plus three or four more things already made that I completely forgot about. You'll see :)
Until then... Happy eating, happy belly, my foodies.
It is coincidental that I made Schnitzel and Spaetzel in October, but it stands to reason to label this as an Oktoberfest meal that you can pair with a good, German beer. I'd been craving it for quite some time but never really thought about actually making it. The idea actually only popped up as I worked on my collaboration project, seeing as I had a bunch of lemons leftover and Bruce had picked up a bunch of pork loin in a nice sale.
The last time I even ate Schnitzel was LCB100 in Culinary School (Very first cooking class in culinary school, or rather, the introductory course.) I don't quite remember which of the three meats we were told to use, though I am sure it was not veal, but I remembered that it really wasn't that hard to make that part of the dish. Instead of the dumplings, we made sauerkraut, which I do remember was better than the jarred junk by far.
I had never made the spaetzel before... not from scratch anyhow, so I was more into making that than the Schnitzel for this post, but it would be remiss of me not to give you the recipe for both, right? If I had remembered how to do the kraut and had the cabbage to do so, that would definitely have been added and this post would have been a threefer!
What I absolutely love about schnitzel is that it is part of my heritage; I do have a good chunk of German running through my bloodline. I do like to touch into the things that are associated with different parts of my blood so that I can share the diversity with you all. The other things that I love about it is that it is comforting to eat, and that it is interactive. Make the meal, serve it, let folks squeeze their own lemon onto the finished product and enjoy it with them.
It's a delightful treat to make every now and then and so easy to make. The spaetzel is fun to make, though it is sticky and messy, yet totally worth it in the end when you taste it. The hardest part is getting the dough made, and that isn't even hard either.
Both of the foods in question are fast to cook and truly simple to make that it will be done before you know it (depending on how many batches of each that you make.) Fair warning, also, this is not a diet food, it is meant to be treated as an occasional thing just like any other fried delight.
The Schnitzel Recipe
Eat, Drink, and be Merry!
I served mine with green beans too, but that was the vegetable on hand. It's like I stated, it can be served with kraut, and it is paired well with a German stout. This month is a great month for such a meal, but don't wait for Oktoberfest to come for you to make this dish because you can make it whenever you want. That is the greatest beauty of running your own kitchen! And please, please, please don't forget the squeeze of lemon. It is what makes it pop, it brightens the flavor!
I absolutely adore the simplicity of each part of the meal. The buttery flavor of the dumplings after they are sautéed? Yes, yes, all the yes. I promise you that it might look daunting, but it really is super easy once you have everything ready to cook! It is also quite worth the effort.
I hope that this brings you as much joy as it did me, and I hope that you enjoy the recipes.
This post has a very special place in my heart. When I was a little girl, our family situation wasn’t the best; food was always provided even if it wasn’t ideal, and my dad wasn’t an easy man to live with. The good thing about memories is that, though there are plenty of bad ones to be had, there are always good ones… special ones.
It’s been established that dad didn’t do very well with some of his cooking, and I say that in the most endearing sense. Not all of his food was bad. He was really great at making an American breakfast (Pancakes, bacon and/or sausage, and eggs), he could also make a mean campfire chili or beef stew, and he made what our family calls Slumgolean Hash (which I can do a recipe for at another time.) But this blog post is not about any of those things.
This is about a beautiful memory that takes me back to one of the happier times we shared with dad. He made monkey bread from scratch and put a lot of love into it. It was like eating a cloud that was laced with just the right amount of sugar and cinnamon, the right amount of sticky glaze that was too yummy to use a napkin on. My dad made the best monkey bread I have ever had the pleasure of tasting.
I remember how proud he was of the bread and how he laughed with his joy at how his children were delighted in this pastry. It was something we gathered around just one time that I can remember, but it did define part of my childhood with a good and beautiful memory.
I have had other monkey bread throughout the years; GOOD monkey bread, at that, but nothing that has ever taken me back to that memory. It took hearing the sound of my niece, Al’s daughter, to call out, “Monkey bread” to spark that memory full on, though Al is the one who made it.
As soon as the idea popped into my head, I opened up my cook books and began to look for the perfect base recipe to work off of. I needed an idea on what ingredients were involved and how much to put in. It happened to be in my Better Homes and Gardens cook book (if you do not have that one, you should get one as it is a legacy). It wasn’t even a monkey bread recipe, but rather, a cinnamon roll recipe.
My brain went into excitement mode for the things I could take out and replace, or add to it to make it better. I want to be taken back to that first bite, to hearing my father laugh the way he used to, because it was to him who I owe my cooking passion.
Fair warning, this is a time consuming recipe but totally worth the effort. This is also not diet food, though you can use sweeteners to lower the amount of sugar you use. Just follow the conversions as needed, usually the sweetener bags will have them. They are also widely available on the web.
Variation #1 with an adult twist
Variation #2, Blood Orange Cranberry
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon or so Blood Orange zest
1 teaspoon fresh (grated with micro plane) or ground ginger
¼ cup softened, unsalted butter
½ cup blood orange juice soaked dried cranberries
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
A dash of ground ginger
1-2 Tablespoons Blood Orange Juice
(You can use any orange if you are not fond of blood oranges)
Serving this bread warm is the best way to eat it, and you don’t need a knife and fork to do so. You can pick at the nuggets like a monkey would pick.
I chose to make the adultified version, and just so you know? The rum icing is A-Okay! I don’t think I added enough salt to the dough itself, but that is my error, not the recipe. It was still fluffy but dense like raisin bread, as opposed to your traditional cinnamon bun.
I adore monkey bread and the memories it brings. Share this bread with your children (or at least the rumless variety) and watch their faces light up with joy. Maybe you could even have your little ones help you out with making the bread so you can create memories of your own. If you don’t have kids, you can still make it and have fun in the process. The point is, you should do it because you want to and to experience the joy that it can bring.
For me, I will forever cherish the stolen moments that are branded into my memory that can come flying back into my head at the sound of its name, or the flavor of the dish. I hope that I do justice to one of my dad’s very favorite things to make! And with that I say...
The Eccentric Foodie
Cooking bacon in the oven is the easiest way.
These are various recipes that either I created, or I found and adjusted to what I thought would be awesome or even healthier.