Wednesday, November 13, 2013

THAI-STYLE BEEF AND PASTA

Just when there's so much important information about Trans Fat...Sat. Fat...and of course we have been involved with the Low-Fat...Low Carb food education; I think the best way is to be informed, involved, but don't let it make you crazy to follow and go overboard on either one. Be sensible and know your food products which are good, or bad for you.

 Linking to: Asian Food Fest @ frozen wings

Trans fat can impact your heart more than any type of fat
No matter how many calories you eat per day, the amount of trans fat you should eat remains constant: as little as possible. Since avoiding trans fats altogether is difficult, the American Heart Association recommends that no more than 1 percent of your daily calories come from trans fats. On an 1,800-calorie diet, you should consume no more than 18 calories per day in the form of trans fats. Since fat contains 9 calories per gram, this equals 2 grams of trans fat per day.

THE BAD FATS
Trans fats can often be found in processed foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils such as vegetable shortenings, some margarines (especially margarines that are harder), crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, and baked goods.


Trans fats are invented as scientists began to "hydrogenate" liquid oils so that they can withstand better in food production process and provide a better shelf life. As a result of hydrogenation, trans fatty acids are formed.

Trans fatty acids are found in many commercially packaged foods, commercially fried food such as French Fries from some fast food chains, other packaged snacks such as microwaved popcorn as well as in vegetable shortening and hard stick margarine.

Saturated fats raise total blood cholesterol as well as LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol). Saturated fats are mainly found in animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs and seafood. Some plant foods are also high in saturated fats such as coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil.
Avoid using cooking oils that are high in saturated fats and/or trans fats such as coconut oil, palm oil or vegetable shortening. Instead, use oils that are low in saturated fats and high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as canola oil, olive oil and flax seed oil.   
        
Minimize using commercially packaged foods which are high in trans fats. Always read labels to look for trans-fat free alternatives.         
As saturated fats are found in animals products, use lower-fat version dairy such as 1% or skim milk instead of whole milk. Trim visible fats and skins from meat products.
 
Source:
 (and various health related sources from the Internet)
 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Candied Spiced Walnuts

Just think...when you find the perfect selection that inspires you and knowing that you don't have to google it, or search through your collection of cookbooks...then just relax and simply print out your blogger friend's recipe and go for it!
With the holidays just around the corner, you want to have something quick and easy...yet, exciting and tantalizing for your 'taste buds'...questioning, what kind of spices are used in this addictive, crunchy, sweet, and spicy walnuts. Most of the recipes for this type is usually made with pecans, but as a personal preference...I think walnut work better; for one thing, they are less expensive, and crunchier. Pecans are softer and I would save them for cakes and pies!
Check out this recipe and more...Asian inspired; from my talented friend...
 Ridwan, @Rice and Coconut

I did change the title of this yummy treat, since its sweet, and spicy! (this is how recipes are made, but its always nice to give credit to the actual source, which most bloggers DO NOT follow) In the old days of our mothers and grandmothers, it was 'word of mouth', 'hands on', and of course 'hand me down' recipes, even in the seventies when I was a very young mom with toddlers, we just copied down recipes from friends' handwritten, and/or books and old magazines...never thinking about the source. No excuse these days, unless you create your own recipe just from your own creative basic source.

I did use the same amount...12 oz. shelled walnuts; the only addition of spice, was the cayenne pepper, in addition to the other spices.
Also, I used Spam, to spray the aluminum lined  toaster oven tray.






I put all the walnuts, spices, and maple syrup which I added more than just drizzle on...mixed it up and got it ready to toast in the oven.











Now, you just spread evenly, and bake at 350 degrees F. for no more than 12-15 minutes...any longer than that, they will start to burn, so be careful!










I did not equally measure things...just 'eyeballed'
all the ingredients, and being careful not to 'over spice'...probably used about 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup. You can store in tin can the  leftovers
but I doubt you will have any leftover, its so
addictive, and oh, so heavenly with goat cheese
on pear slices!  Do try out this recipe, from
RIDWAN
...and tell him I sent you! xo

 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Spiced Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Glaze

Of all the recipes I would call my favorites...I still prefer, and love Cooking Light magazines, books, which now I only have only two books from 2007, and 2008 left. With all my collection from a decade of Cooking Light books that I collect from my 'thrift finds'...of course, they were practically all new, and purchased from Goodwill @ $2.49; like I mentioned, end of the book bargains. I re-donated so many books back to them, just don't want to pile them up to my collections. I have down-sized so much over the few years on just about everything.
When death occurs in the family, you have no other choice, but to give away things that you cannot keep...i.e. lack of storage, painful memories, and outdated items, so you donate, sell, or simply give it away. I can always tell someone passed away, when I walk into Goodwill...see beautiful furniture, dishes, glassware, matching coordinating sets, and think; wow! their children did not want any of these things and feel a bit of sadness...knowing we did the same things, and just keep certain items for 'rememberance' ...and ending up the same way!...now, I totally got off the subject of my most amazing, and ooey-goeey, light Cinnamon Rolls!


The best part of these yummy rolls are the addition of the (roasted, or cooked) squash. I used acorn squash. Simply bake it for 45 minutes...split in half, clean seeds out, cover with aluminum foil and bake on 400 degrees F. until soft when you prick, and test with a fork. Roasting the squash intensifies the sweet natural flavor.

In my opinion, its so much easier to get ideas from magazines...even if they are not your own...you simply copy the name of the recipe; the source, and date, and you can google it online. That's what I've been doing lately. While sitting in the waiting room at doctors' office, instead of tearing pages out...sneaking it in your purse, lol...or even worse; snagging it, knowing they have at least three more other issues...and even worse; taking it from your daughter, 'hint-hint'...who gets every cooking issue of SAVEUR (gift from me)...Bon Appetit (also a gift from me)...Cooking Light, and various other magazine, which she cannot part with...again, google online, and chances are you will find everything that you are searching for, and more!

 Spiced Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Glaze
from: Cooking Light, Nov. 2011

Ingredients



Ingredients


  • Rolls:
  • 1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 11.9 ounces bread flour (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 6.47 ounces all-purpose flour, divided (about 1 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash of ground cloves
  • 1 cup mashed cooked delicata squash-(acorn squash works great)
  •  (about 1 [1-pound] squash)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts, toasted
  • Glaze:
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar or light brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar to intensify the deep dark color)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted  
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon half-and-half
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

1. To prepare rolls, combine the first 3 ingredients in a small bowl, and let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Weigh or lightly spoon bread flour and 5.63 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine bread flour, 5.63 ounces all-purpose flour, salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add yeast mixture, squash, and oil, and stir just until moist. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 6 minutes), adding enough of the remaining all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).
3. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.










 (Gently press two fingers into dough. If the indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes.











 Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll dough into a 20 x 12-inch rectangle. Combine the remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 2 teaspoons water in a small bowl; spread mixture evenly over dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Sprinkle evenly with nuts.
(I actually measured with a ruler, and cut the edges to leave just the 1/4 in. border. You can re-roll the scraps and leave it for kids to practice rolling)

 Roll the dough, jelly-roll fashion, starting with long side.












 Cut roll crosswise into 16 equal slices. Arrange rolls, cut sides up, in a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Cover and let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.






















4. Preheat oven to 375°.
5. Bake at 375° for 33 minutes or until brown. Cool 5 minutes on a wire rack.


6. To prepare glaze, combine 1/3 cup water and maple sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in 1 tablespoon butter, half-and-half, and vanilla. Cool 5 minutes; drizzle over rolls.

Find out which ingredients are on sale at your local stores:



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    Thursday, October 24, 2013

    Aglio Olio-Garlic and Oil Pasta

    I have making Aglio Olio-Garlic and Oil Pasta for years...never, but ever, had I used anchovy fillets; it could be for the reason, that this is one of those 'hand-me-down' recipes that is by 'word of mouth' and only needs basic every day ingredients.
    I own several Rachel Ray cookbooks...six, to be exact, and they are all 30 minutes or less meals. All of these cookbooks, except for 1...I paid 79 cents @Goodwill. They are all paperback, and all new books. One book which I got recently, was $3.00...also, from Goodwill. Yesterday, when I was checking out the cookbooks; even the paperback cookbook of Rachel Ray, was $5.00...still, a lot less than the retail price of $14.95. Prices have gone up on books at Goodwill...and now, they are selling their cookbooks @Amazon.com for probably less, and you would have to pay another $3.99 for shipping charge, as well. Although, if you buy $25.00 or more at Amazon; shipping is 'free'!

    I'm so glad that I browsed through Rachel's 30-Minute Meals book, which every now-and-then, I consult for a quick meal. The addition of the anchovies really made a huge difference in the texture, and flavor of this simple pasta dish. You can use spaghetti or, linguine...I used a whole wheat spaghetti that stayed so firm to the bite=alt dente...and oh, so satisfying with a simple green salad, and nice crusty bread!

    AGLIO OLIO-GARLIC AND OIL PASTA
    Rachel Ray 30-Minute Meals

    Ingredients

    • Salt
    • 1 pound spaghetti
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
    • 1 container imported Italian anchovy fillets with red pepper flakes (2 ounces) – if you can't find these, use regular anchovies and add 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 6-8 large cloves garlic
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 loaf crusty bread
    Serves 4

    Preparation

    Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring up to a boil. Once boiling, add some salt and then the pasta. Cook to al dente according to package directions. Right before draining, remove and reserve one cup of the pasta cooking water.

    Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add EVOO, about one turn of the pan. Add anchovies, garlic and pepper flakes, if you’re using them. Break up anchovies with a wooden spoon until they melt into the oil and garlic mixture.

    Add reserved pasta water to the skillet, and then add the spaghetti, parsley, lots of pepper and a little salt to taste. Toss together and cook for one more minute so that the pasta has a chance to soak up some of the sauce. Serve with chunks of crusty bread for mopping up the excess goodness.


    This is our fall season in Palm Beach, Florida...as of today, temperatures have fallen to a comfortable and slightly cooler feeling of what seems to be fall. This evening, just before dark...checked out the skies. Gloomy and gray; still did not rain all day long. No falling leaves, just a more comfortable cooler temperature. that tourists love to get away from the cold and snowy climate.

    We are not nearly...or will be near anywhere the cold temperatures that some of you are experiencing...some sudden snow, in my hometown, in Ohio and temp. @ 39 degrees F. That is way too cold for me!
    Have a wonderful weekend to all you dear friends...and readers! Hugs,

    Sunday, October 20, 2013

    Hungarian Mushroom Soup...

    I couldn't decide what to post for a much overdue post for Sunday! Should I post a 'Silent Sunday' random photo...and call it a day?
    ...or should I just let Sunday slide, and wait till my previous post is 1 week old; as I have been dealing with this for the last few months?
    ...or, just do a random post on my latest photos of one of my self-created favorite Hungarian comfort soup that I've been eating since childhood?
    Well, the answer is YES...and more!

    As you can see, I changed my profile photo back to the one I took this summer...prior to my skin cancer surgery on my forehead. I did post a recent one, which you will find on my facebook profile page...which I will also be removing. When examining the photo up close, you can see the scars of my skin cancer surgery from last month.

    Also, I've had a more recent skin cancer surgery nearly one week ago on top of my head...BASAL-CELL CARCINOMA. Unfortunately, this particular one, I've been putting it off for several months now...but, that did not solve anything, only made it worse; having the cancerous mole spreading wider, and deeper. I went through a 3 hour gruesome painful procedure, they had to keep cutting it deeper and wider...three 30 minute waiting time...each time having the biopsy after each procedure and going back to getting the cancerous tissue cleared up. (Vanity is not an option)...you do, what you have to do!...its a matter of saving your own life!

    As for stitching up the wound...yet, I had to go to another facility by our local hospital, to have it stitched up, which was another 2 hour waiting, and treatment. Thanks to my sweet and patient 'one-and-only lovely and caring daughter, Lora)...I don't know what I would have done without her. She not only had to drop off two of her children (my grandchildren) ...on the way to school, early morning; but drove me straight to have the outpatient surgery, and wait with me for 5 hours.

    Anyway...enough said: Even though doctors claim that I have Easter European DNA...skin, which is highly sensitive to the bright Florida sun...its also the fact that not just me...but we all have been ignorant of over-tanning in the dangerous sun without sun protection...in the last three decades, or so... and now, most of us are paying the price. 

    Here's a very well collected information about BASAL-CELL CARCINOMA...on WIKIPEDIA

    Also, I have found some support group on-line regarding skin cancer patients dealing mainly around the facial and head area; as I have. This will be my third surgery...two, on my forehead...and this latest on my head which was a total shock and surprise discovery!

    Do not ignore any mole, or unusual growth on skin that might appear suspicious...especially if it bleeds...forms a crust, and does not disappear in a month or so. Also, look for discoloration on a mole, or anything that appears out of the ordinary. It could actually cause losing your life if you let it go untreated!
    I have learned how to make the world's most famous Hungarian soups....gorgeous clear chicken, meat, or vegetable broths; creamy thick comforting soups and the most famous of them all is the Gulyás Leves= Hungarian Goulash Soup...which is NOT the stew, but the actual soup (another discussion and post for a later time)
    I'm going to share a 'secret' product with you that is 'gonna knock your socks off'...seriously! Do you see the pretty red swirls on top of this delicious comforting and delicious soup?...well, it is imported from Hungary and its called PIROS ARANY= red gold!...seriously, you would think they discovered GOLD! Never, ever...have I tasted any condiment, so delectable, so creamy, not too-too spicy...just open up this beautiful red tube of the most amazing flavor enhancer (authentic paprika paste)... you will get hooked on this...I promise!...and oh, by the way, here's one place where you can order this. (as for me, I received this from Hungary through a niece of my sister here, in the U.S.)
    Here's one source where you can get this amazing product: HUNGARIAN MALL

    Also, you can purchase Piros Arany (paprika paste) from E-Bay...so check this out!

    I did not go grocery shopping all this past week...taking heavy duty antibiotics, and for pain; some strong pain medication (which causes drowsiness)...spent all my time at home, and decided to make this delicious soup, and grilled cheese sandwich, after literally having no appetite for the first 24 hrs.
    Scrounging through my fridge and cupboards...always finding something to make...if nothing else, a nice comforting soup, and sandwich is always the best solution; Grilled cheddar cheese and sliced tomatoes on whole grain bread...yumm! (for the recipe-by request)





    Monday, October 14, 2013

    Saigon-Style Scallops...from Weight Watchers

    I'm back again on making some great dishes with Weight Watchers recipes. As you know...when I started my blog a little over 3yrs ago, I successfully shed 35 lbs. on the Weight Watchers plan in about 4 months...but have gained it back in the next year, so I went back on the Weight Watcher plan on-line last year. I did not reach my goal this last time, and was only able to lose 20 lbs...and now again, I'm giving it another try before joining WW again; for the third time.
    I had at least 3 amazing hard cover WW cookbooks with notebook binders...removable pages, plus another recent one that I received from a friend as a gift last year. I got rid of the 3 books...they were 'thrift finds' any way, and I re-donated them; but I did keep the one called  Weight Watchers One Pot Cookbook which as awesome one-pot dishes that does not even seem like a typical WW recipes, they are mostly comfort meals which is perfect for this time of year...comfy/cozy meals. The scallops I made were made in a wok but can also be made in a large skillet!
    If you like scallops, which can be so versatile; also, shrimp could be a wonderful replacement for this dish. I made very little alteration to this this...not overly concerned about the 'point system' at this time, but if you serve it over a bed of salad greens, you will stay within the ---5--- points that it has.
     

    SAIGON-STYLE SCALLOPS

    slight adaptation from; Weight Watchers

    1TBS CANOLA OIL
    1SHALLOT MINCED
    1TBS MINCED PEELED FRESH GINGER
    2GARLIC CLOVES MINCED
    2TBS PACKED BROWN SUGAR
    1TBS ASIAN FISH SAUCE
    2TSP GRANULATED SUGAR
    ¼TSP RED PEPPER FLAKES
    3TBS WATER
    1POUND SEA SCALLOPS
    3SCALLIONS, THINLY SLICED
    6CUPS LIGHTLY PACKED BABY GREENS

    Directions

    HEAT OIL IN MEDIUM DUTCH OVEN OVER MEDIUM HIGH HEAT. ADD SHALLOT, GINGER, AND GARLIC, COOK, STIRRING CONSTANTLY UNTIL FRAGRANT, ABOUT 1 MINUTE.

    ADD BROWN SUGAR, FISH SAUCE, GRANULATED SUGAR, AND PEPPER FLAKES, SIMMER 1 MINUTE. CONTINUE TO COOK UNTIL MIXTURE BEGINS TO THICKEN; STIR IN WATER AND COOK, STIRRING FREQUENTLY, UNTIL SAUCE IS THICKENED, ABOUT 2 MINUTES.

    ADD SCALLOPS AND COOK, STIRRING FREQUENTLY UNTIL JUST OPAQUE IN CENTER, ABOUT 3 MINUTES. WITH SLOTTED SPOON, TRANSFER SCALLOPS TO MEDIUM BOWL. ADD SCALLIONS TO SAUCE AND BRING TO BOIL. BOIL UNTIL SLIGHTLY THICKENED, ABOUT 3 MINUTES, POUR OVER SCALLOPS. DIVIDE SALAD GREENS EVENLY AMONG 4 PLATES, TOP EVENLY WITH SCALLOPS AND SAUCE .
     
    These are the ingredients I used. In addition to the fish sauce, I added 2 Tbsp. Teriyaki sauce and a few drops of Tabasco sauce, and mixed the ingredients in a little bowl and added them in the process called for the sauces, and spices.











    Make sure you have your shallots, garlic, fresh ginger, and scallion minced up in advance, and have it ready. The cooking time is very little. You can also add a sliced chilli pepper or two for color, and flavor.









    For the scallops if they are wet...dry them with paper towel, do not let them be soaking in its liquid, or any liquid; otherwise you will have a difficult time searing them. I seared the scallops first, before adding the other ingredients. (Removed them from the pan)...added them back in when I poured the sauce ingredients over them and cooked them for an additional minute or two!





    I used a wok to make this easy and packed with Asian flavors dish, but you can use a large skillet if you don't have a wok.









    You can serve this amazing scallop dish over Jasmine rice, or a bed of delicate Mesculin greens...either way, you will love it...if you love scallops. Shrimp and cut into cubes of boneless breast of chicken is also a good replacement. The sauce alone is so divine! xo










    A little update about Mushi...she is resting comfortably; has her own little pillows, and blanket...and she has come out of her hiding from my 'printer desk', closet, and you name it; whatever little hiding spot she could find. Had a little talk with her, and she has been snoozing on my lap while I'm on the computer, or watching TV.



     

    Wednesday, October 9, 2013

    Roasted Paprika, Lemon, and Pepper Chicken

    The aroma of homemade roasted chicken and the flavors, so crispy on the outside, and moist and juicy on the inside. I decided to roast two chickens...since I found the most beautiful organic young chickens in my local supermarket. They are about 5 lbs each. I have a generous and large roasting pan with a removable rack, so the chickens could easily be removed when they are done. I also added a few whole, peeled carrots, split a whole, peeled onion and stuffed it in the cavity of each chicken, along with half of 1 lemon for each chicken, and another whole lemon zest, and juice on top of chickens.

    ROASTED PAPRIKA, LEMON, and PEPPER CHICKEN
    recipe by: Elisabeth
     

    2 roasting chickens (4 1/2-5 lbs.each)
    1 tsp. coarse salt
    1 tsp. black pepper
    1 Tbsp. Hungarian paprika
    1 tsp. dry thyme
    1 medium onion peeled, and cut in half
    zest of 1 whole lemon, and juice of the same lemon
    2 Tbsps. vegetable oil
    1/2 cup chicken broth
    1 extra lemon cut in half
    stalks of 3 or 4 carrots (optional)
    1 whole sweet, or hot pepper (optional)
     
    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Set rack in pan; pour the chicken broth on the bottom of the roasting pan. Remove giblets and neck from inside chicken. Rinse chicken under running cold water and drain well, and pat dry. Tuck wings under. Place chickens breast- side up on rack, in the roasting pan; rub with the vegetable oil on both. With dry hands sprinkle with the spice mixture, and the lemon zest. Stuff the cavities with half of onion, and half of the extra lemon. Cover pan with the cover, or heavy duty aluminum foil. Roast for 25 minutes covered, and reduce heat to 350 degrees. Uncover the roasting pan, and continue to roast for and additional 1 1/2 hours or until juices run clear, when pricked with a fork in the thigh area. Let rest for 5 minutes before carving. Pour pan juices into a bowl, and save to serve as sauce for the chicken.

    Serve with baked, roasted, or mashed potatoes, with side of your favorite vegetables. You can use the same method for 1 whole chicken...just cut down on the amount of spices. Leftover chicken is great for making chicken salad, great for slices of chicken breasts cold...for sandwiches; it can also be reheated for leftovers...or, as I did (give one to family, or friend; which I did)








      
    Thank you for all your kind comments; sorry for not keeping up with commenting back to some of you dear friends; I've had quite a rough week...it's 'breast cancer awareness month'...my dear departed mom's birthday a couple days ago... (lost her to the same disease decades ago)...also been losing sleep since last week, my remaining kitty Mush is still mourning the loss of her companion Prince, and it's been over 1 year now; she is just not so happy these days, always meowing in the middle of the night, pacing up-and-down few times... looking for Prince! I need to get answers for the way she is acting...I know one of us will need 'therapy'...and some much needed sleep! Hugs,

    Tuesday, October 1, 2013

    Gundel Palacsinta {crepes}

    Since we all love palacsinta=crepes=pancakes, as the Hungarians wish to describe it in English, which really does not have anything to do with our American version of the 'pancakes'...rather, I would have to insist that it is more on the French version, of 'crepes'...or the Italian version of 'crespelle'. The Hungarian version...as far as I'm concerned is the BEST by far, which even my executive chef; son-in-law agrees on. Instead of using all milk in the batter, you replace 1 cup of milk with 'seltzer' water just after letting the batter rest for at least 30 minutes to one hour, you whisk it the seltzer water and it really lightens up the batter.
     
    Last week, I decided to make the Gundel Palacsinta at my daughter Lora's house, and I got into so much trouble with her because I started it in the late afternoon just as she was preparing dinner for the kids...and all she needed was, to have them spoil their appetite before dinner...because, you just can't ignore to have at least one piece to nibble on when it comes straight off the pan and is nice and hot. Dipping it into the warm homemade chocolate sauce is 'sinfullly' good! There are quite a few different ways of presenting the Gundel Palacsinta, but these two are my preferred ways; as long as the filling is made the proper way, and the 'to die for' chocolate sauce is done the authentic way.
     
    Here's a little bit of history and why it is called Gundel, and where did it get its name: Wikipedia
    Recipe. I found which is quite authentic...in Hungarian:
     Tuti Receptek...Gundel Palacsinta
    In English, which is also identical...recipe that I preferred:
    Gundel's Walnut and Chocolate Pancakes...{Crepes}

    Now, I must tell you the original recipe suggests rum in the chocolate sauce, and in the filling as well, but you can omit it...or use the rum essence, which also gives the rum flavor. When you order it in the Gundel Restaurant in Budapest, special specific way; the waiter will just 'frown' at you and instead...you may want to skip the Gundel Palacsinta if you prefer not to have the alcohol...you cannot have it your way!

    The original way of presentation is, to spoon the chocolate sauce over half the portion, and sprinkle with powder-(icing) sugar the other half. Well, to me it just not seemed right....makes it too thick and globby. I also thinned out the sauce a little, so I can drizzle it easier...sauce does get thicker as it cools, anyway!

    This is how I presented my Gundel Palacsinta last Friday, when I made it for my family...just the way it was required, according to the recipe...the chocolate sauce was so 'shockingly' amazing, rich with chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, rum essence, egg yolks, and heavy cream...cooked to perfection...although I'm not so thrilled about the 'blotchy' sauce overshadowing the palacsinta, I prefer the drizzle or having the sauce under the palacsinta, as I made it yesterday for my BFF's belated birthday!


    Just look at the filling...sooo creamy, smooth, with the heavenly walnut filling...can't get better than that! Three of us shared these two crepes...so very rich, and sinfully incredible! I made the lighter version of the crepes, on the above two photos for my friend, who is holding the plate! She loved it with the lightened version of the chocolate drizzle, as well. You can thin out the sauce when you warm it up with a little heavy cream.

    Here are two of my talented blogger friends who also made the Gundel Palacsinta:
    Gizi  and  Zsuzsa

    also...yet; another version from researching this amazing classic recipe which happens to be a little over 100 years old. I merely wanted to research how other people are making it, different way of folding and presenting the palacsinta, but we all agree on one thing...a Superb classic Hungarian dessert originated by, Károly Gundel!

    check this version out...(sad to say today is their last post)
    Hungarian Chocolate Crepes, from the Diplomatic Kitchen

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013

    Zucchini and Caramelized Onion Focaccia

    When it comes to baking breads, rolls, and other baked goods with yeast...I don't do much of that. I've been spoiled, growing up as a child with all the amazing homemade breads and and sweet pastries made by my mother, grandmother, and aunts. When my children were little, we still had my sweet Hungarian (aunt) Mariska néni who made all the wonderful treats for us, not just for the holidays, but every week something different. She is no longer with us but we still have the fond memories of all the yeasted treats she baked with so much 'pride and joy'...but seriously, we are the ones that was given so much joy and happiness. That's what home baking does; honest!
     
    This is my favorite topping; paper thin sliced zucchini, and sweet-crunchy caramelized sliced onions. Focaccia and pizza dough is so easy to make, just pop the ingredients in the standing mixer with the dough hook and the machine does all the work for you. The only dry yeast I trust is RED STAR. It is fail-proof rapid-rising dry yeast...never have to worry about the dough not rising.
     
     
    To make a single focaccia, you need at least 3 1/2 to 4 cups of flour. I highly recommend bread flour. Some recipes do not use olive oil in the dough, but I prefer to add olive oil in the dough, and brush some on the top...as well!
     
    Zucchini and Caramelized Onion Focaccia
    recipe by; Elisabeth
     
    3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1 cup of warm water
    2 teaspoon RED STAR or your favorite rapid
    rising yeast
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
    corn meal for dusting
     
    Topping:
     
    2 medium zucchini, sliced thin with mandolin slicer
    1 medium onion, sliced into thin circles
    2 cloves of garlic, minced
    1 tablespoon brown sugar
    1 teaspoon coarse salt
    freshly ground pepper
    3 tablespoons olive oil
     
    In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, proof the yeast by combining it with the warm water and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve. Let stand for 3 minutes until foam appears. Turn the mixer on low, and slowly add the flour to the bowl. Dissolve the salt in 2 tablespoons of water and add it to the mixture. Pour in the 1/4 cup olive oil. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Stop the machine from time-to-time to scrape dough off the hook. Mix the dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary. (I added another 1/2 cup more.)
     
    Turn the dough onto a work surface and form into a round. Place in a large oiled bowl. Turn to coat the entire ball with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Let rise on a draft-free place, until doubled in size, for about 45 minutes.
     
    You could coat a baking sheet pan with olive oil, or just use a large parchment paper, and directly coat the parchment paper with corn meal. When dough is doubled in size, punch down the dough and turn directly onto the cornmeal lined parchment paper. Pat the dough into an oblong shape but do not force dough to make it thin. Cover with a tea towel and let the dough rest for about 20 minutes so you can stretch it and shape it again. (In the meantime you could make the topping)
     
    With your thumb, make indentations in the dough and brush with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. and pre-bake for about 10 minutes without the topping. Spoon topping over the pre-baked focaccia; don't worry about having neat slices if zucchini is paper thin. Finish baking for an additional 10 more minutes, until focaccia is light brown, and vegetables are caramelized.
     
    For the topping: Use remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and in a large skillet sauté onion and garlic first... adding salt, pepper, and brown sugar. When onion mixture gets nice and caramelized add the thin zucchini slices and just mix all together...no need to cook zucchini; it will finish cooking in the last baking process.