What's your favorite recipe?
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My favorite comfort foods are pizza, bagels and cream cheese, mac and cheese. Soup of all kinds is also comforting, especially on these cold late-winter days!!
I'm Polish and we have pierogi--stuffed dumplings. My favorites are sauerkraut pierogi.
When I went to Pittsburgh to see some ballgames, I was excited to see that, during the 7th inning, they have Racing Pierogis. You can even buy souvenir pierogis.
I have two other recipes: one for yam, another one of my all time favorite foods since childhood. When I was little, before knowing how to operate a stove, before I was allowed to go into the kitchen, I used to experiment cooking yam by building a fire from tree branches outdoors. First, I would dig a hole twice as big as the yams I was about to cook in the ground, not in the backyard, but somewhere in the woods out of my mother’s sight. For cooking outdoors using my method, it is best to select smaller sized, long slender yams that are longer than their widths.
So, I would zigzag big branches on top of the hole, light the branches on fire, and keep adding the branches as they turn into charcoal, then ashes, and let the ashes cover the yams completely. After about half an hour, depending on how well the fire is kept on top, the skins of the yams would turn black, and emit a very intense fragrance, very particular to yams, and I think that’s why I like yams so much. I had many cooking adventures with friends such as this. We used to just take turns keeping the fire alive, and sitting in a circle chatting, having fun.
I always discard the burned skin, and eat the inside of the yam without butter or cream. For convenience, I can also bake yams in the oven, but I won’t get the crisp burned black skin, and the scent smells very different, not as alluring.
I hope you get to try yams cooked on an outdoor fire. ;-)
P.S The other recipe is secret for now.
From my mother: pot roast with tons of vegetables straight from the garden ~ rhubarb pie ~ what we called "strudel" but is really a cobbler with whatever fruit or berries are in season, drenched with (unwhipped) whipping cream
From my English grandmother: pork or beef roast with roasted potatoes and gravy (and always served with a bowl of both ripe & stuffed green olives) ~ and the next-day casserole with the leftovers, sliced hard-boiled eggs, & topped with home-made drop biscuits
From my German grandmother: raspberries, apricots, peas and corn straight from the garden ~ harvard beets ~ "hot slaw" ~ spare ribs & sauerkraut ~ green beans cooked (for hours) with bacon ~ and, very often delivered to our house in time for our after-school snack: custard pie, squash pie, burnt sugar cake, applesauce cake, banana bread
But I thought I would share a recipe that I tried today. It's for raspberry Danish coffee cake. (It was actually supposed to be blueberry, but I didn't have blueberry jam, so I used raspberry.)
3 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 pkgs. yeast (or 4 1/2 tsp.)
2/3 c. warm water
6 Tb. butter, softened
1 large egg
2 c. raspberry (or blueberry) jam
Combine 1 c. flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Beat in water and butter. Beat for 2 minutes more. Add egg and 3/4 c. flour; beat 2 minutes. Add remaining flour.
On lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic. Shape dough into ball. Place dough in large greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in size.
Punch down dough. Turn onto lightly floured surface; cover, and let rest 15 minutes. Grease a large baking sheet.
On lightly floured surface, roll dough out into large rectangle. Spread jam down the center of the dough, leaving 3 inch border on all sides.
Use a pastry wheel to cut dough on both sides of filling, started on outside edge, into 1 inch strips, just touching the jam. Fold dough down, alternating sides, to make a braided design. Place on baking sheet, cover, and let rest 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350. Bake until golden for about 20 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes, then serve warm.
It sounds complicated, but here is the picture: