Crispy Fried Breadsticks

sausage-sized bread sticks
Fried Breadsticks

The inspiration for this came from a Germans from Russia recipe for schoofnudla that I came across. My husband and I ate them with our fingers like french fries, but traditionally, they would have been served with sauerkraut, potatoes, or sausages. In our house, this has morphed into breadsticks and that’s what we call them. Making these tasty, crispy little gems is fun, especially when you make them with kids because you shape them by rolling between the palms of your hands as you would a piece of clay. Here is the recipe (Makes 10-15 sticks, it all depends on whether you roll them thiner or thicker):

Noodle dough:
1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1-2 Tablespoons water

Cooking:
2/3 cup water
¼ cup oil
1 pat of butter

Using a fork, mix together 1/2 cup of the flour, baking powder, salt, and egg. you may not need any added water. Gradually add more flour until you can turn the dough onto a floured surface and it sticks together so you can knead it 3-4 times so it is rollable. Tearing off walnut-sized pieces, hand roll the noodles between palms to the thickness of pencils (for thin sticks) or the size of a woman’s finger for thicker sticks (pictured). Roll them into about 4-inch pieces. They will puff up and get thicker while cooking.

Put 2/3 cup water in a large skillet along with oil and simmer-saute’ the noodles on medium high heat for anywhere from 5-10 minutes until the water boils out and the noodles begin to fry in the remaining oil. Add a pat of butter and fry until golden and lightly crispy, stirring once after the bottoms have browned. I like to flip them over once to brown on both sides, but that isn’t necessary for the skinny ones. They should be a deep golden brown color. Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately, they don’t do well when cooked ahead.

Note: Great as dippers too with a hot marinara, alfredo or cheese sauce. I know, I have drifted far from the noble roots of this recipe, but that’s just what I do (grin).

 

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Apple Kuchen

apple kuchen is like a square apple pie/cake
Apple Kuchen is better than apple pie!

APPLE KUCHEN
Better than Apple Pie!

Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces

Filling:
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, at room temperature

Topping:
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 cups apples, (peeled if desired) cored, and thinly sliced

Directions
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 9×13-inch pan.

To make the crust: Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl or food processor fitted with a steel blade and mix to combine. Add the vanilla and butter, a little at a time, and mix until it resembles cornmeal. Press into the prepared baking pan and transfer to the oven. Bake until golden, about15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

To make the filling: Place the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle and beat until creamy. Add the egg, mix to combine, an pour over the cooled crust.

Place the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix to combine.

Spread the apples on top of the filling. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar and transfer to the oven. Bake until firm and a rich brown, about 20 minutes. Cut into 20 to 24 pieces.

Adapted from a recipe from Fireside.

German Peach Kuchen

German Peach Kuchen

looks like a cake with a peach layer
Using canned peaches means you can make this any time of year.

This recipe is similar to a pie with a crust and filling. Some kuchen recipes are more like cakes or tarts.

CRUST:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
FILLING:
2 cans (one 29 ounces, one 15-1/4 ounces) sliced peaches, drained
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

Directions
1. In a small bowl, combine flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt. Cut in butter to form a dough. Pat lightly into an ungreased 11-in. x 7-in. baking pan.

2. Arrange peaches over the crust; set aside. In another bowl, beat eggs. Whisk in the sugar, salt, flour and sour cream until mixture is smooth. Pour over the peaches.

3. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325°; bake 35 minutes more or until center is set. Best served chilled. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 8-10 servings.

German Potato Salad

potatoes in a cast iron skillet
German Potato Salad

GERMAN POTATO SALAD Inspired by the Aces Haus in Lincoln, NE

I did not get this recipe from the proprietor of Aces Haus. I went from memory and taste, remembering the flavors that struck me most about the potato salad I had at the restaurant a few days ago. Those things were: less sugar and vinegar than what is commonly served. This truly does taste like I remembered.

2 pounds white new potatoes (or Yukon Golds) thick sliced
Salt & pepper to taste
8 bacon slices, cut into lardons
1 onion, finely diced
2 teaspoons brown sugar (opt.)
3/4 cup chicken stock (more if needed)
¼ to 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped

Directions:
Boil the unpeeled potatoes in salted water until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and reserve. Cook bacon lardons over medium heat in a high-sided saute pan until brown and crispy. Pour off about half of the fat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 7-8 minutes. Add ½ cup chicken stock, cup ¼ vinegar and brown sugar then potatoes (they will still be warm). Cook until liquid is absorbed. Add more broth and vinegar only if needed. Taste and season with salt and pepper and add chives. Serve warm or room temperature.