Posts Tagged ‘Regional Recipes’

Sausages & Sauerkraut

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Have you ever planned an entire meal around a condiment?  Sometimes I’ll crave ketchup, for example, and then I’m left looking for a food vessel to eat it on (I wouldn’t just sit down with a bottle of ketchup and a spoon…now that would be weird ;) ).  (In case you’re wondering, my ketchup cravings are usually satiated with scrambled eggs…yes, I eat ketchup on scrambled eggs, lol.  But never on eggs with runny yolk.)  The other day I was at a grocery store – not my normal grocery store, mind you…and you know how much fun it is to look around at new grocery stores – perusing the aisles, when I happened upon the cutest little jar of German mustard.  And nothing goes better with medium-hot mustard than sausages.  And nothing goes better with sausages than sauerkraut when you have German cuisine (for Regional Recipes) on your mind.

 The Cutest Little Jar of Mustard I’ve Ever Seen

I’m sending this recipe to Joanne (of Eats Well With Others) for her Regional Recipes Roundup of German cuisine!

 Al Fresco’s Apple-Maple Chicken Sausages…Pork-Free, Gluten-Free, All-Natural, and Pretty Delicious…And I Promise I Don’t Work For Al Fresco ;)

A Note on the Sausages I Used:  If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you probably know that Mike and I don’t eat pork.  For this dish, I wanted to use chicken sausage with apple (since I was planning to make apple-kraut) and I had no idea if there even was such a product (we generally don’t eat a lot of sausage), but at the store I was thrilled to find Al Fresco’s Apple-Maple Chicken Sausage.  Not only is it a great blend of sweet and savory flavors, but being a breakfast sausage, its small shape and size is reminiscent of  the more traditional Nuremberg sausages.  Of course, you can use any sausage you like or have on hand.

Sausages & Sauerkraut

(Yield:  2-4 servings, depending on how hungry you are)

2 TB canola oil, divided

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 lb sauerkraut, rinsed and drained (to remove excess salt)

2 TB organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar

2-4 TB brown sugar, lightly packed (more or less to taste)

1 bay leaf

1/4 tsp caraway seeds

1/4 tsp ground marjoram

1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and diced

8 oz sausage (I used Al Fresco’s Apple-Maple Chicken Sausage)

Fresh minced parsley (for garnish)

Pumpernickel or sourdough bread (for serving)

Medium-hot mustard (for serving)

In a 3-quart pot with a lid, heat 1 TB oil over medium heat; add the onion and sauté until it’s starting to soften (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally.  Add the rinsed and drained sauerkraut, vinegar, sugar, bay leaf, caraway seeds, marjoram, and 3/4 c water.  Cook over medium heat uncovered for 10 minutes; add the apple, cover the pot, and cook another 5 minutes or until most of the liquid is gone and the apple is tender. 

In a medium skillet with a lid, heat the remaining 1 TB oil over medium-high heat; add the sausages, then pour in enough water to come about halfway up the sausages.  Put the lid on but leave it ajar so the water can evaporate; cook the sausages about 7-10 minutes, until the water is gone and they’re golden brown; give the pan a gentle shake every couple minutes to turn the sausages.

Serve the sausages and sauerkraut garnished with fresh minced parsley, alongside pumpernickel or sourdough bread and plenty of medium-hot mustard.

Giveaway Winner & Recipe for Baklava

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

I want to thank all of you who participated in my Good Earth giveaway!  And the winner is…

Coco of Balance, Joy and Delicias!  Coco, please email me your address so I can have your prize pack sent out.

Now onto the baklava!  The secret to a great baklava is the syrup, which serves two purposes:  it makes the baklava sweet (the sweetness of the dish comes entirely from the syrup since there’s no sugar between the layers) and it moistens the baklava.  Too much syrup and the baklava is soggy, too little and it’s dry.  This might not sound like a big deal, but the texture of the baklava can make or break it.  I like my baklava to have just enough syrup so that it’s moist and syrupy at the bottom but crisp on top.  This recipe has the perfect syrup-to-baklava ratio to achieve this.
In addition to the syrup, the only other tricky part about baklava is handling the phyllo dough because it’s so thin and delicate.  Here are a few tips for working with phyllo:

  • If you’re using frozen dough, let it thaw in the fridge overnight to ensure that it thaws at a more even rate.  If you let it thaw at room temperature in warm or humid weather, I’ve noticed that the dough has a tendency to stick together.
  • When you’re working with phyllo, make sure it doesn’t dry out.  I like to put the dough on a cutting board and cover it loosely with plastic wrap, then lightly drape a damp towel on top of the plastic wrap.  (The plastic keeps the air off it and the damp towel keeps it slightly chilled; don’t put the damp towel directly on the dough because it can make the dough gummy and cause it to stick together.)  Work quickly but there’s no need to rush, since the dough will be pretty well protected if you set it up like this; it should only take about 10 to 15 minutes to layer the entire baklava.
  • Don’t overdo it with the butter.  Phyllo only needs a light brushing of butter to crisp up nicely.

I made this baklava for my dad’s birthday since it’s one of his favorites.  And the timing couldn’t have been more perfect since Greece is this month’s Regional Recipes theme.  (Don’t you just love it when things line up like this?  ;) )  I’m sending this recipe to Joanne of Eats Well With Others for this month’s round-up.

Baklava

(Yield:  9 by 13-inch dish of baklava)

1 (16 oz) package phyllo dough

1 lb chopped nuts (I like to use walnuts or pistachios)

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 c (2 sticks) butter, melted (plus a little more butter to grease the pan)

1 1/2 c sugar

3/4 c honey

1 TB lemon juice

1 TB rose water

9 by 13-inch baking dish

Pastry brush

Make the syrup first, as it should have time to cool before being poured on the hot baklava so it can be absorbed.  In a medium pot over medium-high heat, cook the sugar and 1 1/2 c water until it boils, then turn it down to a simmer, add the honey, and let it simmer for 15 minutes.  Turn the heat off and stir in the lemon juice and rose water; set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350F; grease the bottom and sides of the baking dish with butter.  In a bowl, combine the chopped nuts and cinnamon.  Unroll the phyllo and cut it in half down the center.  Place the phyllo on a cutting board, cover it loosely with plastic wrap, and lightly drape a damp towel on top of the plastic wrap. 

Place 2 sheets of phyllo in the bottom of the pan (they will overlap), then lightly brush butter on them with a pastry brush.  Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered.  Sprinkle on 3 TB of the nut/cinnamon mixture, then top with 2 more sheets of dough.  Brush more butter on the dough, then sprinkle the nut mixture on top and continue this way.  Leave about 8 sheets for the top layer.

Use a sharp knife to cut the baklava into any decorative pattern you like (make sure you cut all the way down to the bottom).  Bake for 45 minutes, until the baklava is golden and crisp.

Once you take the baklava out of the oven, immediately pour the syrup on top (be very careful; the syrup will bubble up).  Cool completely before serving.  I have successfully made this up to a week in advance (I stored covered it at room temperature), and I actually think it tastes better the longer it sits (as it sits it takes on a denser, gooier quality).
 

Tropical Chicken Salad

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

I know a lot of people who don’t think salad can be a satisfying meal.  They think of it as fine for a first course or a side dish, but never a main course.  If you’re one of those people, make this salad.  It will change your mind.  There are so many different flavors and textures going on…the tender, nutty chicken…the crispy, sweet banana chips…the tang from the yogurt-based poppy seed dressing.  It all works together amazingly well. 

img_9727-smallUnsweetened, desiccated coconut was the one thing I wanted to add to this salad but in my haste forgot (it’s so hard to be patient when something smells as good as this chicken does when it’s cooking).  I’ll take this as an excuse to make this salad again.  And it will give me a chance to pick up some King’s Hawaiian Sweet Bread, since I think it would be a fantastic pair.

 

Not only is this salad a fabulously delicious and satisfying meal on its own, but there is something interesting about its main ingredients.  Coconuts, mango, and bananas grow abundantly in Haiti, which happens to be this month’s focus for Regional Recipes.  (For more on Haitian food, see here.)  I’m sending this salad to Joanne of Eats Well with Others for her Regional Recipes round-up of Haitian dishes! 

img_9728-smallTropical Chicken Salad

 

(Yield:  4 servings)

 

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing (see below)

4 (4-6 oz) chicken breast cutlets

1/2 c macadamia nuts, divided

1/2 c Honey Nut Cheerios

1 large egg, beaten

Olive oil (to lightly coat the pan)

8-10 c lettuce, washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces

1 ripe mango, diced

1/4 c banana chips

1/4 c unsweetened, desiccated coconut

Salt and pepper

King’s Hawaiian Sweet Bread (optional, for serving)

 

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing:

1/4 c low-fat plain yogurt

1 TB canola oil

1 tsp each lemon juice and poppy seeds

1/2 to 1 tsp honey (depending on your taste)

Pinch salt and pepper

 

Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing.

 

Crush 1/4 c of the macadamia nuts and Cheerios to a coarse meal (a few larger pieces are ok).  Season the chicken with salt and pepper; dip the chicken in the beaten egg and let the excess drip off.  Coat the chicken in the crushed macadamia nut/Cheerio mixture.

 

Heat a large pan over medium to medium high heat and add enough oil to just cover the bottom of the pan (about 2 TB).  When the oil starts to ripple, add the chicken and cook about 3-4 minutes on the first side or until golden brown.  Flip the chicken over and cook another 3-4 minutes, or until golden.  Transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

 

Arrange the salad in each of 4 large bowls:  put the lettuce on the bottom, then top with the mango, banana chips, remaining macadamia nuts, coconut, and a drizzle of the Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing.  Place the chicken on top and serve.

img_9730-small

Hello! I’m Faith and I write An Edible Mosaic. This is my recipe collection of international favorites and updated American classics, with an emphasis on seasonal dishes. I focus on real foods that sustain body and mind, bring people together, and make a house a home. Welcome to my mosaic of recipes.

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