Buñuelos – Colombian Cheese Fritters
1 cup of cassava flour (manioc/yuca)
½ cup cornstarch
1 cup shredded cheese (mozzarella, feta, queso fresco)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
1 large egg
2 tablespoons whole milk
oil for frying
Mix the first eight ingredients, and add the milk at the end. The dough should have a moist consistency.
Make into small balls, fry, and set on paper towels.
Chrusciki — Polish “Bowties” or “Angel Wings”
5 egg yolks
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ cup sour cream
2 ½ cups flour
1 tablespoon rum (or brandy or cognac)
Add salt to eggs and beat until thick. Add sugar and rum and continue to beat. Add sour cream and flour, mixing well. Knead on floured board until the dough blisters, about five minutes.
Divide dough into fourths and roll one portion about 1/16 inch thick. Cut into strips about 1 by 4 inches. In the center of each, cut a 1 1/2 inch slit.
Lift one strip with fingertips and pull one end through the center slit. Gently pull on both ends, forming a bow knot. Repeat with remaining strips, placing them on cutting board until ready to cook.
Fry bow knots in hot fat, 375°F, until lightly browned. Drain on absorbent paper and sprinkle with powdered sugar when cooled.
Roll out remaining portions of dough and repeat.
Coquito – Puerto Rican Eggnog
1 can condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 can coconut milk
1 can coconut cream
2 egg yolks
1 ½ cups white rum
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 stick cinnamon to garnish
shredded coconut to garnish
Mix all ingredients in a blender, except for cinnamon and shredded coconut, which are for serving.
Refrigerate several hours before serving. Garnish with cinnamon and coconut.
Czech Christmas Braid (Bohemian Houska)
2 cups milk
½ cup oil/margarine or butter
½ cup sugar
2 ½ packages yeast
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoon salt
7 to 7 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, added gradually
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup chopped almonds
½ cup cut up candied cherries
½ to ¾ teaspoon mace
For glaze and garnish:
additional red or green candied cherries
whole or slivered almonds
Heat milk, shortening and sugar in a bowl in the microwave until lukewarm. Take out, add yeast and let set for 5 minutes (yeast will start working). Meanwhile mix the raisins, almonds, candied cherries, and mace in a small bowl.
Add the eggs and salt to the milk mixture and beat to combine. Add a little of the flour, beating after each addition. When the dough is like a pudding mixture, add the fruits and nuts. Continue to add flour a little at a time until you need to mix it with a spoon. Mix with spoon, then when it starts to form a ball, put it on a floured cutting board and start kneading. (You can also cover the cutting board with freezer paper, shiny side up, taped down with masking tape).
This dough will need to be a little stiff, as you want it to rise and hold its shape. Put a in greased bowl and let rise, punch down, and let rise again. Make into two small or one large houska (two is better). To shape one loaf, braid three thick ropes for the bottom layer, put on baking sheet, and then braid three smaller ropes to sit on top. Let rise and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown.
Frost with powdered sugar icing – milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Pour to glaze top. Decorate: Add cut red candied cherries and cut green cherries, slivered to make leaves. Add almonds to decorate like a flower.
Deep Dish Apple Pie from the DeGroot Orchards in Madison, Nebraska
Five generations of DeGroots have sold produce from their roadside stand and the story and this recipe is featured in the September/October 2021 issue of Nebraska Life. What’s more American than apple pie? Cindy DeGroot likes to use Jonathan apples.
7-8 medium Jonathan apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons minute tapioca
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
pie crust (homemade or purchased)
3-4 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place prepared apples in large bowl. In medium bowl, mix sugars, tapioca, and spices. Cover apples with mixture. Set aside.
Place prepared pie crust in a 9-inch, deep dish pie plate. If using premade pie crust, rolling it thinner to fit may be required. Fill crust-covered pie plate with apple mixture. Distribute slices of butter on top of pie mixture and cover with top crust. Roll thinner if needed.
Wet crust edge and pinch to seal. Brush crust with water and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Use fork to cut vents in top crust. Bake at 400° for ten minutes. Reduce to 350° and bake 40-50 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is brown. Remove from oven and cool.
German Christmas Bread (Dresdner Christ Stollen)
The tradition of making Christ Stollen dates back to the year 1329 in the city of Nauruburg, Saxony not far from Dresden. But Stollen are made all over Germany and made just a little differently from region to region.
2 ½ cups raisins
4 tablespoons rum
8 cups flour
1-2 cups milk
2 packages dry yeast (or 2 cubes of fresh yeast if available)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
grated rind of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
1 lb unsalted butter
3.5 oz almonds ground or finely chopped
4 oz candied lemon peel finely chopped
4 oz candied orange peel finely chopped
unsalted butter for coating
confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Soak raisins in rum overnight.
Combine flour, milk, yeast, sugar, salt, and butter to form a smooth yeasted dough. Incorporate almonds, candied lemon and orange peel, mace, and raisins, one after another always kneading the dough thoroughly. Let rest for 1 hour. Knead the dough once more, divide into two and shape two Stollen loaves.
Bake for about 1 hour in preheated oven at 350°F.
After baking the Stollen, brush them with melted butter and dust generously with confectioner’s sugar.
Stollen has a long shelf life and can be made weeks ahead of Christmas.
Irish Mince Pie (Vegetarian)
Makes 12 small pies.
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup sultanas
1/3 cup currants
3 1/2 tablespoons butter (plus extra for greasing)
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced small
2/3 cup dark muscovado sugar
zest and juice of 1 large orange
1 tablespoon mixed spice
optional: brandy, Cointreau, apple, or lemon juice
3 cups plain flour
1/3 cup icing sugar, sieved
2/3 cup cold butter, diced small
1 large egg (plus extra for glazing pastry)
Preheat the oven to 350°F (with fan, if possible). You will also need to grease a muffin tray (or other baking tray with hollows). You will need a round and star shaped cookie cutter.
To make the pastry, sift the flour into a bowl. Add the diced butter and rub into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in icing sugar and salt. With a dinner knife, work in the egg yolk, then use your hands to bring it together to a firm dough (add a few drops of cold water if it appears very dry to help the mixture come together into a ball). Wrap in plastic and chill for 20 minutes.
For the mincemeat, weigh out all the ingredients and transfer to a medium-sized heavy saucepan. Heat over a moderate heat, stirring occasionally as the butter melts. Simmer gently for 30 minutes. The mixture will be dense. (If you are making a large batch and it dries out, add in more orange juice.)
Divide the chilled pastry in half and roll the pastry out to 2mm thickness on a lightly floured work surface and use a 10cm cookie cutter to start stamping out pastry rounds pressing them gently into the greased muffin hollows, rolling out the second half of the pastry to fill all the hollows (and star lids).
Half-fill the pastry shells (1-2 teaspoons of filling is plenty). Reroll the pastry and stamp out star shapes. Brush the pastry stars lightly with egg glaze, then place them on top of the mincemeat in each pie.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden in color, and remove from the oven once the mixture only just starts to bubble up around the edges (if they bubble for too long, the filling gives a chewy texture).
Serve slightly warm dusted with icing sugar.
Italian Sicilian Cannoli
Yields 4 servings
¾ cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
3 ½ teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon Marsala wine or rum
olive oil for frying, as needed
8 ¾ ounces fresh ricotta, preferably from sheep’s milk
1 ounce candied fruit, roughly chopped
1 ounce chocolate chips (or semisweet chocolate), roughly chopped
1 ounce pistachios, roughly chopped
½ cup sugar
confectioner’s sugar for dusting
To make the pastry:
Combine the flour, cocoa, butter, egg, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Turn the mixture out onto a clean work surface, add the Marsala, and knead until dough is smooth. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
To make the filling:
Strain the ricotta through a sieve into a medium bowl. Stir in the fruit, chocolate, and pistachios. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thick and cut into 4-inch squares. Wrap the squares diagonally around special cannoli form (or stainless steel dowels cut into 4-inch lengths). Heat oil in a pan until shimmering. Place the cannoli form with the dough into the hot oil and fry until golden, 1-2 minutes. Remove from the oil, drain on paper towels, and let cool.
Once the shells have cooled, remove from the cannoli form. Use a pastry bag to fill the cannoli with the ricotta filling, and then dust with confectioner’s sugar. Serve immediately (the moist filling makes the dough lose its crispness).
For this basic bulgogi recipe, cutting the meat into very thin strips allows it to absorb the hot-sweet-salty marinade in minutes, not hours.
Yields 4 servings
¼ pear, grated
1 garlic clove, grated
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon gochugaru (coarse Korean hot pepper flakes), or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon peeled ginger
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 pound boneless pork loin, trimmed hanger steak, boneless short rib, or skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
sliced scallions (for serving)
Combine pear, garlic, soy sauce, gochugaru, ginger, sugar, and sesame oil in a large re-sealable plastic bag or medium bowl. Using a sharp knife, slice meat into very thin strips. Add to marinade, seal bag, and squish everything around until the meat is coated. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes, or chill up to 8 hours.
Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high until oil is shimmering. Remove half of meat from marinade, letting excess drip back into bag; season lightly with salt and cook in a single layer without moving until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Toss meat and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until cooked through and crisp at edges, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, remaining meat, and more salt.
Serve topped with scallions.
Kugelis (Lithuanian Grated Potato Pudding)
5 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
1 pound bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
6 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
12 oz. can evaporated milk
3 tablespoons farina (cream of wheat) or flour
Optional sour cream and applesauce for serving
Preheat the oven to 425° and grease a pan or Pyrex baking dish. Peel the potatoes and place in cold water. Fry the bacon lightly, add the onion, and sauté until golden brown and set aside. Grate the potatoes using a potato grating machine or manual grater. To avoid potatoes turning dark as you grate them, add lemon juice squirts or unflavored, non-chewable Vitamin C that has been crushed into a powder. Place grated potatoes in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Melt the butter and set aside. Add the bacon and onion mixture to the potatoes, then the rest of the ingredients. Mix well, then pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
Bake at 425° for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350° and bake an additional hour. Serve with sour cream or applesauce.
Kwanzaa Mealie Bread
Baking with corn is very popular in many countries in the Caribbean, Africa, and the Southern United States.
2-3 ears of fresh corn (about two cups), or you can substitute canned corn
1 cup flour
¾ cup cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2-3 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp smoked paprika
¾ tsp salt
½ cup sour cream
½ cup milk
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp chopped fresh basil
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 10-inch cake pan.
Blend fresh kernel corn in blender on pulse mode until coarse (be careful not to puree).
Mix with flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, paprika, and salt.
Whisk in sour cream, milk, and lightly beaten eggs until combined.
Add corn mixture, melted butter, and basil. Pour batter into prepared cake pan. If you have leftover corn kernels, you can use them to garnish the top.
Bake about 40-45 minutes until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Latkes (Potato Pancakes) – Traditional Hanukkah Dish
Yields 10 to 12 small pancakes.
2 cups raw potatoes, peeled, grated, and measured after draining
2 eggs, beaten
1 rounded tablespoon matzo meal or flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1 small onion, peeled and grated
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
sour cream or applesauce to garnish
In a large bowl, combine potatoes, eggs, matzo meal or flour, salt, baking powder, and onion. Heat oil in large heavy skillet over moderately high heat. Drop mixture by the tablespoonful into the heated skillet; fry on both sides until browned, adjusting heat and oil as necessary. Top with sour cream or applesauce.
From Renee Ratner Corcoran
Nepalese Momo (Meat Dumplings)
Dough for wrappers:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon oil
2 pounds lean ground meat (50% lamb or chicken, 50% pork works best)
1 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/2 green onion, finely chopped
1 cup ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon curry powder, or momo masala if available
3 fresh red chilies, minced (or fewer, to taste)
3 tablespoons cooking oil
salt and pepper
Prepare the dough:
In a large bowl, combine the flour, oil, salt, and water. Mix well, and knead until dough becomes homogenous in texture, about 8-10 minutes. Cover and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
When ready to prepare filling, knead again briefly.
Prepare the filling:
In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients. Mix well, and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow all ingredients to impart their unique flavors. This also improves the consistency of the filling.
Give the dough a final knead. Prepare 1-inch balls of dough.
Take a ball and roll between your palms to make a sphere. Dust workspace with flour, and gently flatten the ball into a circle with your palm (about 2 inches in diameter). Once you’ve made a few semi-flattened circles, cover them with a bowl to rest for a few minutes.
Use a rolling pin to flatten each circle out into a wrapper. TIP: It’s important that the center of each wrapper be a little bit thicker than the edges to ensure the structural integrity of the dumpling when it’s being packed and cooked.
Hold the edges of the semi-flattened dough with one hand, and with the other begin rolling the edges of the dough out. Continue until the wrapper reached 3 inches in diameter.
Repeat with the remaining dough circles. Keep dough covered with a bowl or towel to prevent from drying.
For packing, hold wrapper on one palm, put one tablespoon of filling mixture in the middle, and with the other hand bring all edges together to the center, making the pleats. Pinch and twist the pleats to ensure the absolute closure of the stuffed dumpling. This is the key to good tasting, juicy dumplings.
Heat up a steamer and oil the rack well to prevent the dumplings from sticking. Close the lid and let the dumplings steam until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Take dumplings off the steamer and serve immediately.
Alternatively, you can place uncooked dumplings directly in lightly salted boiling water and cook until done, about 10 minutes. Be careful not to overcook. You can also saute cooked dumplings in butter right before serving.
To serve, arrange dumplings on a serving platter with hot tomato achar or any other chutneys as a condiment.
Nepalese Vegetable Curry
Yields 6 servings
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 medium onions
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 cauliflower, cut into florets
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup frozen peas
15 ounce can chickpeas
½ cup light coconut milk
1 tsp salt
Heat oil in a large saucepan and saute onion, garlic, and ginger until soft. Add spices and saute one more minute. Add the cauliflower and fold to combine.
Add tomatoes and bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until cauliflower is just tender.
Add peas, chickpeas, coconut milk, and season with salt. Heat through and serve with rice.
To add some extra flavor, squeeze fresh lime juice over the top before eating.
Can also be served with roti or naan bread.
Norwegian Creamed Rice with Red Sauce
Make Norway’s best creamed rice! A rich and delicious Christmas dessert with classic red berry sauce. This dessert is on the dessert table for almost half of Norway’s population on Christmas Eve.
1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
1 2/3 cup prepared rice porridge
1/4 cup almonds, scalded
7 ounces red fruit juice (ideally blackcurrant or raspberry)
10 ounces water
1 tablespoon potato flour
2 tablespoons water
3 1/3 ounces water
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups raspberries
Prepare the Rice Cream:
Whip cream, sugar, and vanilla sugar until fluffy. Mix in cold rice porridge and garnish with chopped almonds.
Prepare the Red Sauce:
Bring red juice and water to a rapid boil in a saucepan.
On the side, stir potato flour into cold water. Add the potato flour mixture to the boiling juice in a thin stream while stirring.
When the sauce boils, remove from heat and set aside. If the sauce is left to boil, it becomes gray and chewy. Set aside to cool.
Prepare the Berry Sauce:
Bring water to a boil and add sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Blend red berries in a fast mixer or food processor and whisk it into the cooled red sauce. Dilute with the sugar water until you have the desired sweetness and taste. The sauce can be strained or used as is.
Rompope – Mexican Eggnog
A traditional Christmas beverage that originated in the nunneries of Puebla, Mexico. It is a creamy eggnog drink for the holidays. Versions of rompope exist all over Latin America.
4 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
1 pinch baking soda
1 stick Mexican cinnamon
2 whole cloves
12 large egg yolks
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup rum or brandy
Mix milk, cinnamon, cloves, sugar, nutmeg, and baking soda in a saucepan and stir. Place saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat to low and simmer for about 8-10 minutes, allowing the milk to absorb the cinnamon and cloves’ flavors.
Turn off the heat and remove the saucepan from the stove to cool. Make sure you cool down the milk mixture.
While the milk is cooling, beat the egg yolks until they are pale yellow. You can use your mixer if you want for this step.
Slowly pour the egg yolk mix into the already cooled milk and stir. Once it is completely incorporated, place the saucepan back on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high, stirring frequently. Cook the mixture, frequently stirring to avoid curdling, for about 5-7 minutes, or until the mixture starts to become thick.
Remove from heat and pass through a sieve to remove cinnamon sticks and cloves. Add rum or brandy, and mix well. Pour into another container with a lid and let it cool for a couple of hours, and refrigerate. The rompope will taste best if you allow the flavors to combine by storing it in the fridge for up to two weeks. But you can use it right away. You can also adjust the amount of rum to taste. 😉
Russian New Year’s Olivier Salad
One of the symbols of the New Year’s feast in Russia as well as other Slavic nations is the Olivier salad. An incredibly simple and at the same time very tasty salad can be quickly prepared for a festive table, which actually explains the popularity of this dish.
1 polish sausage or 1 steak (fully cooked)
6 eggs, boiled
1 small bunch dill, parsley and green onions
mayonnaise or sour cream
½ bag frozen green peas
salt to taste
Boil potatoes and carrots in salted water until tender. Once cool, cut them into bite-sized cubes.
Chop the meat, eggs, pickles, dill, and green onions into rough, bite-sized pieces.
Place all the chopped ingredients in a deep bowl. Season with mayonnaise/sour cream, salt to taste, and mix the ingredients.
Scandinavian Apelsinpepparkakor (Nordic Orange and Ginger Cookies)
This traditional ginger cookie has a little added zest with orange.
4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
pinch ground allspice
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened
zest of 1 orange
10 tablespoons light corn syrup
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup heavy cream
powdered sugar to dust on top
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Mix flour and baking soda with the dry spices and salt.
Add butter. Mix until dough is blended. It may still be sticky, but shape into a log and wrap with plastic. Let rest overnight in the refrigerator.
Roll out dough on floured work surface. Roll thin and cut with cookie cutters. Place on parchment-covered baking sheet.
Bake 5 to 6 minutes. Edges will be a darker shade of brown. Cool on wire rack, then store in an airtight container.
Serve dusted with powdered sugar or confectioner’s icing.
Sudanese Kahk – Sugar Coated Cookies
8 cups flour, sifted
3 cups ghee (clarified butter), melted
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoon sesame seeds, roast in oven for 10 min
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
Optional: 1 tablespoon anise or 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
Additional optional flavorings for Kahk: fennel, ground cloves, mahlab.
Warm ghee and place in mixing bowl. Add yogurt. Mix using hand mixer or electric food mixer. Add vanilla and anise and mix again.
Combine dry ingredients: sugar, flour, sesame seeds, baking powder, salt, cardamom.
Add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients. Mix well.
Cover dough and let sit for 30 min.
Roll dough using wooden roller on flat surface. Use cookie cutters to make cookie shapes, or use a small glass cup to cut the traditional circular and half moon shapes that Sudanese love.
Bake in oven set at 350°F for 15 minutes, the bottom edge of the cookies start to turn a tan color. Cool on racks.
After they have sufficiently cooled, dust icing sugar all over.
Sudanese Tea Biscuits
½ cup milk
½ cup sunflower oil (or canola oil)
½ cup sugar
½ tablespoon baker’s ammonia (leavening agent)
1 tablespoon custard powder
½ tablespoon corn starch
½ tablespoon vanilla
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ tablespoon salt
8 ¾ cups flour
Add the ammonium carbonate to the milk and stir until dissolved. Set aside.
Using a mixer, combine eggs and sugar. Beat until smooth, and add sunflower oil, salt, and corn flour. Beat until smooth, then add baking powder, vanilla, and milk mixture. Mix until combined.
Add the custard powder to the flour and stir to combine. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, using a dough hook or spoon until it sticks together. If using a spoon, turn out onto a work surface and knead until smooth.
Once a stretchy dough is formed, separate it out into about 8 equally sized balls. Cover with plastic and let rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Prepare a baking dish lined with parchment paper. Roll the dough into logs about 1” in diameter, then cut them into pieces about 3” long. Flatten each piece slightly, and give it a couple of gentle twists. Lay these on the parchment. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until cookies are golden and beginning to brown along the bottom.
Tang Yuan – Glutinous Rice Balls with Rice Flour (Gluten Free)
1 cup glutinous rice flour
1/2 cup room temperature water
Optional food coloring
Mix the glutinous rice flour and water together and knead until it becomes a soft ball of dough; a texture similar to playdough. It should be soft—not too sticky but not so dry that it crumbles. Add a little water if it’s too dry, or a bit more rice flour if it’s too wet/sticky. It can be helpful to add the water gradually until you reach the right consistency.
Divide the dough into as many colors as you’d like and add your coloring to the dough! Knead to make sure the color is well incorporated. Because there is no gluten, it’s impossible to over-knead this dough!
Shape them into 1/2 inch or smaller rounds, or get creative and make some shapes! Cover the dough and finished tang yuan with a towel or keep them in a sealed container to keep them from drying out as you work.
Cooking the Tang Yuan:
Bring a pot of water to boil, add tang yuan balls to the pot, and boil until they float to the top—that means they’re ready!
Variation: Tang Yuan with Brown Sugar Ginger Broth
Make a brown sugar ginger broth (6 cups water, 6 tablespoons brown sugar, 1″ thinly sliced ginger). Place ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Drop the tang yuan in and cook until they float.
Other variations can be filled with dried fruit, nuts, or black sesame paste.
Traditional Irish Mince Pie
Makes 1 1/2 quarts filling.
Mincemeat Filling ingredients:
½ pound finely chopped fresh beef suet
1 ¼ cups of sugar
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
4 cups raisins, seedless
2 cup currants, dried
½ cup almonds, coarsely chopped
½ cup candied citron, coarsely chopped
½ cup figs, dried and coarsely chopped
½ cup candied orange peel, coarsely chopped
¼ cup candied lemon peel, coarsely chopped
2 cups peeled and cored cooking apples, coarsely chopped
1 cup of pale dry sherry
2 ½ cups of brandy
Preparing the mincemeat:
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for the brandy and sherry and stir well. Pour in brandy and sherry. Using a wooden spoon, mix together all ingredients until well moistened.
Next, cover the container of mincemeat, and store it in a cool place for 3 weeks (do not store in the refrigerator).
Once a week, check on the mincemeat. The fruit will absorb the liquid. Using about 1/2 cup at a time of brandy and sherry, replenish the liquid. When kept covered in a cool location without refrigeration, mincemeat can be kept indefinitely.
If preferred, after about a month you can refrigerate the mincemeat.
Pie Crust Ingredients:
Makes eight 2 ½-inch pies and requires the following pastry plus 8 teaspoons softened butter and 1 ½ cups mincemeat.
8 tablespoon unsalted butter, chilled and cut into bits
1 ½ cups unbleached flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoon ice water
Preparing and baking the crust:
Preheat oven to 375°F.
With a pastry brush, coat bottom and sides of 8 (2 ½-inch) tart tins with the softened butter, allowing 1 teaspoon for each tin.
Combine butter, flour, salt, sugar, either in bowl or food processor. Add enough water to make the mixture just adhere together, so it is not crumbly. Form into a ball, wrap in waxed paper and chill for at least one hour.
Roll out onto floured pastry cloth and with a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass, cut 16 (3-inch) rounds of pastry. Gently press 8 rounds into tins, one at a time, then spoon about 3 tablespoons of the mincemeat into each pastry shell.
With a pastry brush dipped in cold water, lightly moisten the outside edges of the pastry shells and carefully fit the remaining 8 rounds over them. Crimp the edges with a fork. Trim excess pastry from around rims with a sharp knife, and cut two parallel slits, about ½-inch long and ¼-inch apart in the top of each pie.
Arrange pies on a baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and continue baking for 20 minutes more, or until crust is golden brown.
Run the blade of a knife around the inside edges of the pies to loosen them slightly, and set them aside to cool in the pans.
Then turn out the pies with a narrow spatula and serve.
Enjoy with a cup of tea!
Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls
Many cultures eat cabbage rolls with a variety of fillings and sauces, but they are especially prevalent in Ukrainian, Russian, and Polish culture and are often served for holidays and special occasions. In Eastern Europe, tomato sauce or plain sour cream are the traditional toppings.
1 medium head cabbage (3 pounds)
1/2 pound uncooked ground beef
1/2 pound uncooked ground pork
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce, divided
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon snipped fresh dill or dill weed
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Cook cabbage in boiling water just until outer leaves pull away easily from head. Set aside 12 large leaves for rolls. In a small bowl, combine the beef, pork, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, onion, rice, parsley, salt, dill, and cayenne; mix well.
Cut out the thick vein from the bottom of each leaf, making a V-shaped cut. Place about 1/4 cup meat mixture on a cabbage leaf; overlap cut ends of leaf. Fold in sides. Beginning from the cut end, roll up. Repeat.
Slice the remaining cabbage; place in a Dutch oven. Arrange the cabbage rolls seam side down over sliced cabbage. Combine the tomatoes, sugar and remaining tomato sauce; pour over the rolls. Cover and bake at 350° until cabbage rolls are tender, 1 1/2 hours.
“It was an abundance of dill in my garden that led me to try this. My childhood memories liked the taste so much that, from then on, I made my old-fashioned cabbage rolls recipe with dill. This is how to make easy cabbage rolls.” – Iulia Grytsyk, Council Bluffs, IA