Tag Archives: recipe

Chicken Soup with Kluski

12 Apr

Chicken soup mise en place.

The weather is crazy. One day it is spring, the next it is summer, then we are bounced back into the winter. So with the fluctuating temperatures Mr. Big got sick. He has the flu or something. He is all meepy and needs attention. The best way for me to address his needs is by cooking him dinner.  I decided to prepare chicken noodle soup.  That warms anyone’s soul. I make mine a little bit different; I use the culinary skills my babcia gave me.

Chicken soup is chicken soup, but what makes it Polish to me is the use of parsley root and my noodle of choice; kluski. We grew up with rosół and variations of it. Rosół is Polish chicken broth soup.  Delicious!  It is easy to make like any chicken soup.  The difficult part for my family was making the kluski.  I spent a lot of time with my babcia cooking.  I know her secret to making these little white pillows that are boiled in the chicken broth.  If there is no time to make them the default kluski are just plain noodles either precooked or cooked in the soup.

Kluski or kluska (singular) is a polish term for a non-filled dumpling or noodle.  They can take on many shapes, textures, and flavors and can be made in different ways.  Some kluski are made of wheat flour, mashed potatoes, potato flour, water, eggs, milk, or cream.  There are many variations based on the region of Poland you are in.  Kluski are all around awesome!  The ones my babcia used for the rosół is a simple recipe consisting of flour, cream, salt, and egg yolks.  All mixed by sight and consistency of the batter.

Making this soup is just plain easy, gather cut, dump in pot, cover with water, wait, make kluski, and then enjoy.  Easy.

Finished soup. Wish you could see the kluski.

Rosół AKA Chicken Soup

  • 1 whole chicken, broken down and back split
  • 2 medium onions, medium dice
  • 4 celery stalks, medium dice
  • 5 carrots, peeled, medium dice
  • 3 parsley roots, peeled, medium dice
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • Salt to taste
  1. Have everything cut and ready to go.  Be sure your chicken is butchered, you can remove the skin if you wish, but i like the fat it adds to the soup.  Also use the chicken carcass in the soup; because it adds flavor and texture to the broth.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a medium-sized stockpot and then cover with cold water.  Place on the range under medium high heat and then cover with a lid.
  3. Cook the soup for 30-40 minutes.  
  4. Remove the chicken bones when you are ready to make the kluski.

These kluski appear larger then they really are, but they are delicious.

Quick Kluski

  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 heavy cream
  • Pinch salt
  1. In a small bowl combine the flour, salt, eggs, and cream.
  2. Mix with a fork until not lumpy.
  3. If the batter appears to thin then add more flour, if it is too thick add more cream.
  4. The batter should be able to hold its shape on a spoon.
  5. With a dining room tablespoon, scoop out teaspoon size quenelles and dip immediacy into the simmering soup.  The kluska should fall right off the spoon and cook in the broth.  Repeat until all the batter is used.

Shishito Peppers Poppers

26 Aug

Somehow I have been on another planet, probably Mercury, and I had no idea that these little tasty green peppers were around.  Nor did I known that many restaurants have been serving them up too.  Luckily I got to have these little green guys when I was in Cleveland at the Greenhouse Tavern several months back.

The Kitazawa seed company,  shishito peppers are “mini, sweet-hot, thin-walled green pepper is popular in Japan.”  These peppers grow in the summer season and are perfect appetizers to pop. They are dangerously addictive, very tasty, and easy to prepare at home.  These peppers are high in vitamin C and A.  I am telling you if you have not had these peppers you need to go out and find them.  They are amazing.  I plan on growing them next year, I dried out a few pods and i will save their seeds for planting next season.

These little green treats are great sautéed, roasted, grilled, or put in tempura.  I want to roast my next batch.

Food Librarian has a cool post on these peppers.

Shishito Pepper Poppers

  • 10-12 fresh shishito peppers
  • 1-2 tablespoons good-quality olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan)
  • Couple of pinches sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  1. Get out a medium to large sauté pan.  Place over medium high heat with some the olive oil.
  2. Keep in mind that you will be cooking the peppers whole, so do not remove the stem.
  3. You can tell the pan is hot enough to use when the oil begins to shimmer.  When you see this turn the flame to high and add the peppers to the pan. Be sure not to crowd them; cook in more than one batch if needed.  If there are too many peppers in the pan they steam not brown.  Be careful for small pops of hot oil.
  4. Let the peppers sit in the oil in the pan for 2-2.5 minutes, do not flip them; this allows them to brown and blister. Once they get some brown on one side toss the peppers and then let them sit again for another 2 minutes.
  5. Once there is substantial browning the peppers should be lightly charred (they should be brown rather than black) on the outside and very tender. Spread them out on a plate or a bowl and sprinkle with sea salt flakes and black pepper. Serve immediately.
  6. Use the stems to hold onto the peppers, suck the meat off the ends, then discard stems.
  7. These are so good.  I bet you can’t just have 5!

I Scream for Ice Cream

3 Aug

Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman. 🙂

There are two things I love making in the kitchen.  One, is cookies.  Just love them, the whole process.  I love looking at the recipes, meezing out the ingredients, creaming, shaping, and baking.  Not to forget sharing them with friends and eating them myself.  The other kitchen project that I utterly adore is making ice cream.  I don’t get to make it all the time.  Sometimes I think I should, but chances are I would consume all of it.

Ice cream.  What is it about ice cream?  Looking back on my childhood I can recall going to dairy queens or baskin robbins.  High end or premium ice cream really did not exist when I was growing up.  Local ice cream did exist such as Strohs or Ray’s.  every kid loves ice cream growing up.  Nobody really dislikes it or hates it, unless you are lactose intolerant.  Even those who are have a difficult time giving up such a creamy luxury.  As a kid you think ice cream is kinda like magic.  It is creamy like milk, but cold, frozen cold.  It is like a yogurt, but not, it has a special texture.  And chances are your parents did not make it at home, so one can not really see how this dessert is made, unless you have the coolest day care in town.

Yes, I learned how ice cream was made in my Montessori day care.  The experiences I had in the day care between the ages of 6-10 were the best.  So much time for one to use their imagination, lots of time outdoors, and always fun.  Totally centered around fun.  Unlike the catholic day care I was sent to when I left Montessori that kept my sister and I locked up inside in a cafeteria. Boooooooering.  Anyways back to the ice cream.

One day one of the day care supervisors decided it would  be a good idea for us to make ice cream.  Not the kinda that you plug and wait.  A good old-fashioned hand crank machine so all the kids could crank on it to make the magic of ice cream happen.  The teacher showed us the cream base, the ice that surrounded the vessel, the salt that was added to the ice to help make it cold, and then what the cranking did.  Amazing!  This was how ice cream was made.  Nothing is cooler then this when you are 8.  All I wanted to do was make ice cream.  At that time those types of machines were expensive.  All I had was my Snoopy Snow Cone Machine, and yes I loved it too.

From that one experience in day care I kept up my love for making ice cream.  I got my own hand crank ice cream maker from Kmart when I was 11.  The base froze so there was no hassle with ice or salt.  In 8th grade I think my parents got an actual ice cream maker.  It still works today and it is a beast that makes 1 quart of ice cream.  When I was in college I bought my own ice cream maker that I plug in and the base freezes.  This is the same one I use today.  I have a few ice cream cookbooks Ben & Jerry’s (which was my bible), CIA Frozen Desserts Cookbook (awesome), and a few odd ones here and there.  The newest addition is Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Cookbook from Columbus, Ohio.  Wow!

So, not only do I like making ice cream.  I love eating it.  Some of my favorite ice cream places have been JP Licks in Boston, Penn State University College Creamery, Ray’s, Black Dog Gelato (new as well) and now Jeni’s.  Ruhlman wrote about Jeni briefly in a Columbus food tour and I had to learn more.  I ended up buying ice cream from her shop for my sister’s birthday.  What I managed to consume was the pear Riesling, lavender ????????, and buckeye state (vanilla ice cream with peanut butter and chocolate).  I could not stop eating it and I kept craving it.  When I knew Jeni was writing a book I had to pre-order it.  I needed to make her ice cream.

It has been so hot here in the Midwest.  Everyday is an ice cream day.  The Jeni’s Ice Cream Book was sitting on my nightstand waiting for me to make a recipe.  Yes, I read my cookbooks in the bedroom, they are great reading material.  I wanted to attempt something more daring, but Mr Big wanted plain jane vanilla.  That is what I made and what I will share with all of you.  Two interesting addition here in the recipe.  A) the use of cornstarch, which is a thickening agent for the base. B) cream cheese.  Yes, cream cheese.  This is what gives her ice creams a distinctive taste a naughty hook to lure you back in.

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Jeni’s Vanilla Ice Cream

Makes 1 quart (aka: 2-pints or 4 cups, it’s all the same yield)

2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1.5 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out, seeds & bean reserved


  1. Make a slurry with the cornstarch and about 2 tablespoons of whole milk.  Be sure this slurry is smooth.  In a medium sized bowl whisk the cream cheese and salt until smooth.
  2. In a sauce pot  combine the milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup and vanilla seeds and bean.  Bring this to boil over medium high heat.  Once this cream mixture reaches a boil maintain it for 4 minutes then remove from the heat.  Gradually whisk in the slurry, return the pot to the burner and bring back to a boil.  Stir this mixture constantly with a heat proof spatula until slightly thickened.  About 1-2 minutes.  Remove this mixture from the heat again.
  3. Whisk this hot cream mixture into the bowl that has the cream cheese.  Mix until the base is smooth, you should see no chunks of the cream cheese.
  4. Either pour this mixture into a ziplock bag or cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  PLace on ice or in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until the base is cool to the touch.
  5. Get your ice cream maker ready.  Be sure to follow the directions of your specific ice cream maker!  Some bases like mine need to be frozen before the ice cream base is made.
  6. Remove the vanilla bean from the base.  Slowly pour in the vanilla bean ice cream base into the ice cream machine.  Spin the ice cream until thick and creamy.  Once the desired consistency is reached, place the ice cream into containers and freeze or fold in any yummy ingredients like fruit, candy, nuts, etc….  Be sure the ice cream freezes for 4 hours.
  7. Scoop and enjoy.  BTW this ice cream is super creamy and goes well with cajeta.

Got To Do It!

11 Nov

Day by day I tell myself, go work out, go to work, go practice curling, and do some chores.  I really need to begin writing more.  I just had my first piece put up by Ruhlman, which is very cool.  I need to write more for me.  I have it in me.  I need to do it.

There is fire in my belly, some speed in my fingers, and a lot of thought in my mind.  I love to eat.  I love food.  I need to do something about it.

I have knowledge and I need to share it.  I need to make it work.  I think I have a plan, now I have to do it.  Yes, I will do it.

Recipe Side Note:

Smoothie 1

  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/4 cup frozen berries
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup OJ

Whiz in the vita-mix… enjoy

Smoothie 2

  • 1 orange
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1/4 cup OJ

Whiz in vita-mix… Enjoy