Tuesday, April 20, 2021

A Few New Twists on Onion Skin Eggs for Easter and Passover






Onion skins at last! 

I couldn't believe my luck. Last year, I had to improvise, since we were having our groceries delivered, and there was no way to get a whole bag of onion skins. 

But these year, now that I was vaccinated, I was starting to venture into local grocery stores. And in one small market, just as I walked in I discovered a man unloading a crate of onions, pulling off the skins, and placing the onions in a bin.

He was happy to oblige me with a small bag of the discards.

What a treasure in pandemic times! 

I did my usual thing. I simmered the eggs for about three hours with a bunch of onion skins in water, salt and pepper, a chopped up clove of garlic (a new touch this time), and a little olive oil on top. 

The project was on a smaller scale this year--and it was simplified. Just a half dozen eggs, and without the added decorative touches provided by those little leaves attached to the eggs with nylon. Call in pandemic burnout, but I just didn't have the time or energy.

That clove of garlic wasn't the only change. At my husband's suggestion, after simmering the eggs for about three hours and letting them cool off, I let them sit in the water overnight in the the fridge.The result was the deepest color yet. 

The other change? I found a new use for hard-cooked eggs that are getting a little bit old. But that will have to wait for my next post!  

                                                                      
                                                       





 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

New Twists on Old Favorites: Jota with Sweet Potatoes and Balkan Cornbread with a Lift!



Where has the time gone? 

My last post was a Christmas greeting back in December: The familiar gnome with a plate of potica and medenjaki. I had made those tasty spice cookies a little differently this year and had planned to follow up with the recipe. And now it is almost April. Funny how the same thing happened last year, right after our first pandemic Christmas, when I seemed to run out of blogging steam for three months. 

No excuses, except to say that living and cooking through a pandemic is a new experience for all of us. 

Now I have some catching up to do!

So here is a tasty dinner I made in early January. Two dependable favorites with a few new twists that worked out well. 

Jota, Slovenia's traditional bean-and-sauerkraut stew, has become one of our favorite comfort foods, especially after I arrived at my new and improved version. We had almost everything on hand--including some garlic sausage (made with chicken, our preference) and homemade sauerkraut, courtesy of my husband. We were missing just one ingredient: Potatoes. Unless you count sweet potatoes. Which I did.

My husband had his doubts, but those sweet potatoes turned out to be more than just a good substitute. They added a touch of sweetness and color that provided a whole new dimension to the dish. 

             


I figured my Never- Fail Balkan Cornbread would make a nice accompaniment. It is normally made without leavening, but I wanted to try an intriguing Christmas gift one of our kids had sent: a can of Magic Baking Powder (yes, that is the name!), made in Canada and aluminum-free. I figured a teaspoon couldn't hurt. And why not add a half teaspoon of sweet paprika? We were a little low on yogurt, so I had to stretch it with some milk, which resulted in a looser batter than usual. 

I'll admit it:  I was a little worried about that cornbread. But it turned out to be the lightest and moistest version yet!