These are very thin pancakes. VERY thin. This month brings us Dutch cookery, among others, and so I took the opportunity to get in touch with my little bit of Dutch heritage. These are quite amazing – basically a thin skin of batter that bubbles all over (you can see the resulting lacy pattern) and you only have time to brown one side. They recommend sprinkling with sugar and rolling them up and eating with jam. Instead, I rolled then sprinkled some with powdered sugar. I also tried some with hazelnut chocolate spread (you know the brand!) and fresh bananas. Whipped cream would not have been amiss. Jam is also good. You could also serve these with some savory filling or topping. They are very much like crepes – and yet not exactly. Enjoy!
I have been looking at these for years, but never made them until this month. I think watching the Great British Bake Off has emboldened me to try these fussier cookies. And they are indeed fussy. The dough is a bit on the dry side and somewhat hard to work, and getting the two colors even is tricky at best. I think they look okay, but I wonder how many times they had to try them in order to get the perfect pictures in the book.
Then, I have to say the flavor was a little disappointing. I thought the chocolate would pop a lot more than it did. That could be the chocolate I used in the recipe, though, so your experience might be different.
All in all, fun, but not as amazing as I hoped.
Volume 3 includes the chicken section, and what a versatile ingredient for those who are eat meat. It also includes cheese, which as we have learned is a Midwestern staple. Put the two together and you have what Minnesotans call a hot dish.
These two chicken recipes both have a creamy type of sauce. On the left, Chicken Fricassee. This dish was one my partner fondly recalls from childhood, so we tried it. I wanted to add carrots though, so just chopped some up and added them. YUM! We served this over mashed potatoes with a side of cornbread stuffing. You could happily add a green vegetable on the side.
On the right, Chicken, Cheese and Cauliflower Casserole (that’s New Englandish for Hot Dish). We made it with two types of cheese – a medium cheddar and a mild cheese sort of like a Havarti – and it was just wonderful! I think you can vary the personality of this dish widely, depending on the cheese(s) you use. This one was going to a pot luck, by the way, hence the not very elegant presentation in the photo. I’m really not sure how people would feel if I insisted that they fix their plates and then let me photograph their food, haha.
Happy birthday to J (a few days ago) and also happy birthday to this blog! On this day, 5 years ago, I started this blog – my first one. I thought I should celebrate with cake! Now I have to admit the actual cake recipe is from another of my favorite vintage cookbooks, my mother’s copy of To the Bride. The filling and frosting are both from volume 3 of the Encyclopedia though. The filling is crème pâtissière from the Cremes and Custards section. Honestly, I thought I got it thick enough but you can see that once on the cake it definitely oozed down the sides. It is the most amazing tasting stuff, but not as stiff as needed. The icing is Semisweet Frosting from the Chocolate section. It was a good consistency and generally good but I think I should have gone with the bittersweet chocolate approach. For my first effort at Boston Cream pie completely from scratch, not bad, but not perfect either. This means I’ll just have to try again, right?
Welcome, month of March! Today we made sweet and sour meatballs from (wait for it) – Christmas Cookery! This recipe is part of the “Trim the Tree” dinner. We made it with a combo of ground pork and beef, instead of the beef only in the recipe. The sauce is basically brown gravy with vinegar, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Pickled pearl onions, added at the end of cooking, definitely take the whole thing in a new direction when you get a chunk into the mix. I think this is the original idea behind the recipe now often made with ketchup. This is both less sweet and less tangy, although you could add more brown sugar and vinegar to taste.
You can tell we really like volume 2, right? And Canadian recipes in particular. This rum cake has dates and walnuts, and has a little rum baked in plus a little more in the glaze. Enjoy!
Full disclosure – we actually made this with flat iron steak instead. Totally yummy! On the left, “before” – steak is pounded, stuffed, rolled and tied. This is one of two pieces. Below – the two pieces side by side, nicely cooked and so aromatic! I think if you were doing this for company, you could make individual portions by using smaller steaks or cutting them into portions before stuffing and rolling. That could look very nice on the plate.