Friday, September 28, 2012

Peaches Peaches everywhere....

I love peaches, and right now is the end of peach season in Utah. My husband comes from a town in northern Utah where they are famous for their peaches, and celebrate it with a big town festival/fair type thing each September.  As such, we have sort of a tradition in our family to have peaches in several different ways in early September, and sometimes, if we are lucky, we can make it last a bit longer...  I realized I have not posted all of the recipes associated with this tradition, and so I am going to post the last two recipes here.

The first of those traditions is to have peach pie every year.  We love peach pie.  Hubby grew up with fresh peach pie, which is basically fresh peaches and a bit of sugar put in a baked pie shell.  I like that version okay, but my favorite way to make peach pie is to bake a double crust pie like I usually do for apple pie each Fall.   Here is my favorite recipe for that.

Peach Pie

1 recipe basic pie crust, recipe below, tutorial here
about 5-6 cups peeled, pitted, and sliced peaches (6 whole peaches usually)
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 tsp almond flavoring
4-6 tbsp quick tapioca
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp butter

Crust recipe (see tutorial for detailed instructions for this part)

2 1/4 c all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 c cold shortening
3 tbsp cold butter
6-8 tbsp cold water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix together peaches, sugar, almond flavoring, tapioca and lemon juice.  Set aside.  Roll out pie crust to 1/4 inch thick, then lay into a 9" pie plate.   Fill bottom crust with peaches, dot with butter, and then roll out top crust and lay it over the top.  Slit the top crust with a paring knife and then fold the top crust edges under the bottom crust edges and pinch closed. Crimp together with your thumb and forefinger.  Bake at 425 for 30 minutes, then drop the heat and bake another half hour at 350 degrees.  Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes, and serve.  I like it best with some vanilla ice cream on top.  YUM!

The second tradition Hubby likes to keep to is peach cobbler. I actually prefer peach crisp or crumble rather than cobbler, just because I like the texture of the topping better. I made a peach crumble/crisp tonight, and the recipe is rather simple.  Here we go...

Peach Crisp or Crumble (or in general, fruit crisp)

1/3 to 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/3 c rolled oats
1/4 c packed brown sugar
1 stick of butter, cut in pieces
5-6 peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp almond flavoring
1/2 tsp vanilla
Mix together peaches, vanilla, almond flavoring, and lemon juice.  Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour, sugar, and oats.  It will kind of start to look like loose cookie dough.  You want it to kind of be in clumps.

Pour peaches into a medium baking dish, and then top with the crisp topping.  Bake at 350 for approximately 25-30 minutes.  Serve warm with ice cream.

Thirdly, and lastly, Hubby likes to make peach ice cream.  You can find the recipe for that, here.

Enjoy your peaches!!!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Schnitzel and Spaetzle, and Braised Red Cabbage

(The stuff that looks like scrambled eggs is really the spaetzle, it just looks yellow in the camera for some reason. They are just German dumpling noodles. We found them at the grocery store.)

It's my husband's birthday today, and I decided to try to make it a German night since he loves German food.  Hubby took German as his foreign language in high school and spent 2 weeks in Germany during his Junior year of high school.  He is always reminiscing about the tasty food in Germany and how he loves schnitzel and noodles (spaetzle) most of all.

We generally enjoy bratwurst and have that around here pretty often, but for tonight I wanted to try and make schnitzel because he has talked so much about it.  I found a package of the noodles at our local grocery store, so those were nothing fancy.  I had tried to find a homemade recipe for them, but the only one I found made enough for 15 servings, which is a bit much for the 2 of us to eat.  I figured this way I could also focus more on the schnitzel and do a better job with it, and the cabbage.  So here are the recipes for the schnitzel and cabbage, both of which were much more simple than I expected.

You'll want to do the cabbage first, and then about half an hour before you want to eat boil the water for the noodles, and start cooking the schnitzel. I prepped the schnitzel about an hour before needed and just put them in the fridge for when I was ready to cook them.


5-6 boneless pork cutlets, pounded to about 1/4 inch thin
3/4 c all purpose flour
2 eggs
4 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
pinch of nutmeg
4 tbsp milk
1 1/2 c plain breadcrumbs
1 stick of butter
sliced lemon, optional

I was able to get my pork pounded thin by our local grocery store meat guy.  But if you can't get it already done that way, just take a meat mallet and pound it out thin so its about 1/4 inch thick. Once they are pounded thin, dredge them in the flour, and make sure to dust off any excess flour.

Beat together eggs, cheese, milk, parsley, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Dip the flour dredged pork into the egg mixture first, then coat with the breadcrumbs.  Repeat for each piece of pork, and place on a plate or cookie sheet, and then place in the fridge.

About 20-30 minutes before you are ready to eat, boil water for noodles, and melt the butter in a skillet.  Fry each schnitzel cutlet in the butter, about 3 minutes per side, or til golden on both sides.   Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook about 20-25 minutes (if using spaetzle--you can also use plain egg noodles, but they only take about 5 minutes to cook)

Make a pan gravy by whisking flour into the pan drippings and then adding about 1/2 c milk and some water.  I added a bit of nutmeg as well as a splash of apple cider vinegar too, but that's just a personal taste.

German Braised Red Cabbage

1 head red cabbage, finely sliced/shredded
2 tbsp butter
2 green apples, thinly sliced
1/4 c sugar
1/3 c apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Mix together shredded cabbage and apples.  Add butter, sugar, apple cider vinegar, water, salt, pepper, and cloves.  Bring to a boil on the stove, then reduce heat and simmer about an hour and a half.  (this is why you need to start this one first, even though it is simple, it takes the longest.)

This one was pretty good, and I am not much of a cabbage fan.  Try it out, but be prepared, it makes a whole lot, so you might want to half the recipe if you aren't feeding a big family.


Put spaetzle on the plate, and the schnitzel on top of the noodles, then put a big helping of cabbage next to the schnitzel and spaetzle.   Pour gravy all over the schnitzel and noodles and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Okay, I have a confession to make. Last night I was trying to make dinner for my husband and his parents and sister because they were all here to help us lay sprinklers for our front yard.  So I had a bunch of tomatoes we got from some neighbors and my parents, right from the garden!  I had to use them because they were getting soft and they were too delicious to let go rotten, so I decided to turn them into soup!  

At first my plan was to make tomato soup like the previous recipe listed.  But then I realized I had these nice Hatch chiles I got in my Bountiful Basket on Saturday and wouldn't that be tasty with some black beans and some of the corn I also got in said basket.  So I diced up the chiles, drained and rinsed some beans and cut the corn off the cob and defrosted some chicken to throw in and here we are, a variation on the famous Chicken Tortilla Soup.  It ended up being a hit with my husband, even though his family happened to have already eaten before they showed up.  And now I have leftovers for the rest of the week. Win Win, right?  An experiment turned success is always a good thing!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced 
8-10 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 can chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
2 Hatch chiles, seeded, ribs removed, and diced finely
1 can drained and rinsed black beans
1 c corn (canned, frozen or fresh)
1 chicken breast, chopped up small
dash of habanero hot sauce, optional

Suggested toppings: sour cream, mashed avocados/guacamole, grated cheese, tortilla chips, chopped cilantro

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil til onions are translucent and tender.  Add tomatoes and cook til they soften and release their juices.  Add a dash of salt and the can of chicken broth and chiles and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  

Saute chicken in a bit of olive oil til fully cooked through. Set aside.

Pull out immersion blender and blend the soup as it cooks til it is smooth.  Add beans, corn, hot sauce, and chicken, and simmer for another 10 or so minutes.  Serve hot with your desired toppings. Makes enough for about 6 people, or enough for 1-2 people for a week.   

Probably freezes nicely, I don't know I haven't tried.  haha