Dutch Baby, German Pancake

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This dish offers a"wow factor."  It's like a large thick puffy crepe. The first time I encountered one was in the late '70s in Portland, Oregon at a German restaurant.

They served it rolled up on an oval platter with a tray of assorted toppings to make it your own way, and so huge several people could share a slice.

I've made small, thin crepes before, a special breakfast my grandmother made, and though the taste is similar, this style has a different ratio of eggs, flour and milk, and bakes up to serve 4-6 people. Now I impress my grand kids when they visit!

  • Dutch Baby, German Pancake 
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • eggs
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 Tabs. butter

Preheat oven to 425.  Put butter in a 10-12 inch oven proof round skillet or pan and place in oven for about 8 minutes.
Note: A 10 vs.12-inch pan varies the thickness of the pancake and cooking time. 

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppMeanwhile in 2-quart bowl combine flour and salt.  In a smaller bowl beat or whisk eggs, milk and powered sugar until smooth, then mix in and blend with flour.  

Carefully take hot skillet out of oven. Tilt and rotate to make sure bottom is coated with butter.  Pour batter into hot pan, tilting to distribute evenly, then return to oven.  

Bake until puffy and golden brown about 12-15 minutes. A larger pan bakes closer to 12 minutes, as batter is slightly thinner. 

Cut in wedges and serve with jams, syrup, berries, or powdered sugar. Serve 4-6. 

(I've seen these made with an added 1/4 cup of cocoa blended into the batter, but haven't tried, yet.)
Estimated cost $1.50 or less; .35 cents a serving or less.

Turkey Ruben Sandwich

PhotobucketThere's nothing like a good corned beef Ruben sandwich, which is the one I most often order when eating out or have after St. Patrick's Day.  But I stopped at deli several years ago which offered a Turkey Ruben, and it was delightfully tasty!  

Like I often do when eating out and discovering something new, I began making them at home.

 I seldom have corn beef on hand, so when craving a Ruben, this satisfies for the taste. Chicken works well, too.  Try it, you'll like it.  And less calories than beef!

I make Black Russian Rye in my bread machine. We often have a half sandwich with soup for dinner or lunch.  Sometimes I serve with a side salad, cole slaw or homemade potato chips.

I'm always stocked up on jars or cans of sauerkraut for making pork chops once or twice a month, or we like it on hot dog nights.

Turkey Ruben Sandwich
Rye Bread: Dark Russian, or Deli Rye 
Thousand Island dressing (ketchup mixed with mayo)
Drained sauerkraut
3 or 4 oz. of turkey or cooked chicken meat per sandwich
Swiss, Provolone or cheese of choice
Horseradish (optional) added to the dressing

Butter both sides of bread.  Spread dressing on each inside slice of bread.
Layer cheese, sauerkraut, turkey or chicken and more cheese.
Grill on medium heat in a pan, turning once to crisp bread on each side, press down while grilling; or use a Panini type grill until crisp, heated through and cheese melts.

Estimated cost of a whole sandwich: $1.00 or less.

Mexican Rice

The neighbor who showed me how to make Chili Rellenos also shared her Mexican Rice recipe over 30 years ago and it never fails to please. Frying the rice first, helps it absorb all the spices and liquids for great taste and texture.

 I usually double the recipe then freeze in meal size portions as a time saver for future use or in other recipes like stuffed green peppers or as a side with rellenos, tacos, tamales or enchiladas.

Mexican Rice
1 cup white rice
 2 or  3 tablespoons of bacon grease
1 small grated carrot,
small pinch of red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1/2 cup grated onion (or more to taste)
1 minced clove of garlic
1/4 cup dried parsley
8 oz. can of tomato sauce - or tomato paste diluted with water, or a can of diced tomatoes
3 cups chicken or beef broth
Salt and pepper to taste.
Can also put in grated green pepper and hot sauce to taste.

Fry dry rice in bacon grease in 12-inch skillet until rice starts to pop and turns light brown. (About 5 minutes) Turn heat to medium.

Stir in and pour in all other ingredients. Simmer until rice is tender and all liquid is absorbed.  While simmering, occasionally stir. Serves 6-8.

For those with rice cookers, brown the rice, then add all to the cooker and follow machine instructions.

Estimated cost: $2 or less; .30 cents a serving or less.

Savory Liver and Onions

Never ever liked liver growing up, but family lore demanded you had to eat it once a month, or so I was told,  for "iron."  

After marrying, I discovered my husband loved liver and onions, often ordering it in restaurants if on the menu when we ate out or were traveling.

Finally found this recipe which we both enjoy.  I serve it a few times a year which he considers a "treat." 
The sauce has a distinctive taste that compliments the meat and goes well with a side of dumplings, egg noodles or biscuits for "sopping up" the gravy.  

Beef liver is a very inexpensive beef dish. I know "beef liver" is not on everyone's "must buy" grocery lists, but I could actually get my kids to eat this dish while younger.

Savory Liver and Onions
1 pound beef liver
1 onion sliced
1 Tab. butter
3/4 tsp. each salt and pepper
3 Tabs. vinegar
2 1/2 cups beef broth
2 Tabs. flour
2 or more tablespoons of parsley flakes

In a skillet, cook onion in butter until tender, but not brown.  Remove onion and add 4 slices of lightly floured liver. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat about 3 minutes on each side.  Return onion.

Mix flour with broth by putting some broth into flour to make a smooth paste, then slowly blend in the rest of the broth; add vinegar and parsley.  Stir well to blend, then pour over liver and onions.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes until sauce thickens.  Serve with dumplings, spaetzles, egg noodles or biscuits.
Serves 4.

Estimated cost for liver: $3 a pound or less.

Oriental Stir Fry

I never make this the same way twice, as it's one of those meals I make when wanting a quick, tasty, colorful meal in one pan but without following an exact recipe. Other veggies or meats can be used, but I usually have inexpensive pork on hand in freezer.  Boneless country ribs frequently can be found on two for one, or regular sales and are good for stir fry or BBQ pork.

Stir Fry for Two
1 cup cubed pork, chicken or shrimp
1/2 cup sliced green peppers
1/2 of medium onion sliced thinly in half rings
1 cup of broccoli flowerettes ( I always have frozen on hand)
1 medium carrot sliced thinly on the slant
1 small can of slice mushrooms drained
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon dry ginger powder
pinch of red pepper flakes
 2 Tabs. corn starch
 2 cups cooked rice
salt and pepper to taste
Optional:  bamboo shoots, slice water chestnuts, cabbage slices, green beans can be added or substituted.  All veggie quanities don't have to be precise; sometimes I add more broccoli or green peppers.  Depends on one's taste and what's on hand.

Use 10-12 inch fry pan or wok. Season pork with salt and pepper and fry in hot oil until seared on outside, then add prepared veggies and seasonings. Save the corn starch for use later.

Stir to mix, continuing frying stirring every few minutes for about 3 minutes.  Pour in soy sauce and stir one more time to combine all flavors. Turn heat down to low-medium; cover and continue cooking for about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, add about 1/3 cup water to cornstarch and mix well. then pour over ingredients and stir again to coat all so that corn starch combines with the juices and soy sauce. The sauce will quickly start to thicken and give a glazed looked to the veggies.

 Serve over cooked rice.  This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled depending on how many you plan to serve, or if wanting to make a big batch to freeze for later meals.

Estimated cost per serving: $1.00 or less