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Pytt I Panna ( A Swedish Hash) with Marx Foods Elk Sausage

I love Marx Foods offerings and contests. Recently they asked for all bloggers to leave a comment on what they would do with their game sausage sampler. They would pick 11 lucky people and ship them a sausage variety from the sampler to create a recipe by June 5. Then the polls would open and the votes begin. I was hoping for the boar variety to make a timbale or sartu ,but I got the Elk with Pears and Port Wine. When I think of Elk, I think of Sweden where the consumption is huge. Elk is low in fat and cholesterol and perfect alternative for red meat eaters who need to watch those things.
My Certain Someone ,as most of regular readers know has a house in Sweden. One of his favorite dishes to make for his boys on Poker night is Pytt I Panna( Swedish Hash), which literally translates to" small things in a pan".Of course he uses the frozen variety. Both the Swedes and Danes have their versions and there are really no rules for Pytt I Panna, except that it contains leftover meats, cubed potatoes, onion, and bacon. Pytt I Panna is then topped with a fried egg and garnished with pickled beets and gherkins. It may not look like much, but its good and hits the spot. A lot of people use the ready made frozen variety but I wanted to make mine from scratch and more home style. The Elk sausage, while not a traditional meat for this dish, was really good. Certain Someone would have liked my potatoes smaller, but really loved the sausage and his plate was cleaned. So whether you want a quick brunch, hangover cure, or simple meal at home with your friend and loved ones with lack of pretension, try this humble dish and enjoy.The Elk sausage really raises it up a level.

Home style Pytt I Panna with Elk Sausage
serves 4
3/4 lbs chopped smoked bacon( slab cut)
2 3/4 cups chopped onion or approx 1 &1/2 onion
4 Elk Sausage with Pear and Port wine, sliced in to 1 inch pieces
6 medium potatoes boiled with skin , and chopped small
salt and pepper to taste

Parsley chopped
4 eggs fried to garnish
Picked beets for garnish
Gherkins for garnish

In a large skillet, brown bacon . When bacon is halfway done, but not golden, add elk sausage and brown. Bacon and sausage will continue to cook until golden and done. Remove meats from the pan and set aside. At this point you want to save the oils from the sausage and bacon and leave in pan. Add the onions to the hot oil and start to saute. Add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Toss and stir occasionally to cook evenly and brown a bit. When potatoes and onions are soft and well mixed , add the meats( bacon and elk sausage) and continue to cook to brown.
I an separate fry pan fry up your eggs for each serving. Plate the Pytt I Panna and top each serving with a friend egg. Garnish with beets and gherkins.

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Daring Bakers Make Strudel... Apple Strudel and Caramelized Onion /Apricot Strudel

The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.

I was ecstatic when my virtual baking buddy Linda asked me to step in and co host. Seems the others lined up became busy. But Linda, superwoman if ever there was one was in the last month of her pregnancy and wanted to continue. She chose strudel. Linda and I are like twins when it comes to baking choices and flavors, so I was all for it.I mean I have a German partner so I needed to brush up my Strudel making for him, if anything.
I made my first trial one a savory one with Caramelized onions and chopped dried apricots which has been soaked in wine.

While my dough was not perfect, I was amazed at how flaky and nice the crust turned out. I admit I omitted the bread crumbs by mistake. But was satisfied with the taste and texture of the onion version. The holes became unnoticeable when rolled up.

I also decided to make the traditional apple version as you see in the first photo to take to work. As I served it the next day it was a little soggy and I think a reheating would have been good. The instructions advise to eat on the same day.I am so happy Linda gave us this opportunity to learn a new skill and me a chance to co host. I plan to revisit this recipe over and over because the variations are endless!
Please visit the other Daring Bakers.
Preparation time Total: 2 hours 15 minutes – 3 hours 30 minutes
15-20 min to make dough
30-90 min to let dough rest/to prepare the filling
20-30 min to roll out and stretch dough
10 min to fill and roll dough30 min to bake
30 min to cool

Apple strudelfrom “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers

2 tablespoons (30 ml) golden rum
3 tablespoons (45 ml) raisins
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (80 g) sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick / 115 g) unsalted butter, melted, divided
1 1/2 cups (350 ml) fresh bread crumbs
strudel dough (recipe below)
1/2 cup (120 ml, about 60 g) coarsely chopped walnuts
2 pounds (900 g) tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼ inch-thick slices (use apples that hold their shape during baking)
1. Mix the rum and raisins in a bowl. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in another bowl.
2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the breadcrumbs and cook whilst stirring until golden and toasted. This will take about 3 minutes. Let it cool completely.
3. Put the rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a large baking sheet with baking paper (parchment paper). Make the strudel dough as described below. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the remaining melted butter over the dough using your hands (a bristle brush could tear the dough, you could use a special feather pastry brush instead of your hands). Sprinkle the buttered dough with the bread crumbs. Spread the walnuts about 3 inches (8 cm) from the short edge of the dough in a 6-inch-(15cm)-wide strip. Mix the apples with the raisins (including the rum), and the cinnamon sugar. Spread the mixture over the walnuts.
4. Fold the short end of the dough onto the filling. Lift the tablecloth at the short end of the dough so that the strudel rolls onto itself. Transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet by lifting it. Curve it into a horseshoe to fit. Tuck the ends under the strudel. Brush the top with the remaining melted butter.
5. Bake the strudel for about 30 minutes or until it is deep golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Use a serrated knife and serve either warm or at room temperature. It is best on the day it is baked.
Strudel dough from “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers
1 1/3 cups (200 g) unbleached flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons (105 ml) water, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1. Combine the flour and salt in a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the water, oil and vinegar in a measuring cup. Add the water/oil mixture to the flour with the mixer on low speed. You will get a soft dough. Make sure it is not too dry, add a little more water if necessary.Take the dough out of the mixer. Change to the dough hook. Put the dough ball back in the mixer. Let the dough knead on medium until you get a soft dough ball with a somewhat rough surface.
2. Take the dough out of the mixer and continue kneading by hand on an unfloured work surface. Knead for about 2 minutes. Pick up the dough and throw it down hard onto your working surface occasionally.Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a plate. Oil the top of the dough ball lightly. Cover the ball tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to stand for 30-90 minutes (longer is better).
3. It would be best if you have a work area that you can walk around on all sides like a 36 inch (90 cm) round table or a work surface of 23 x 38 inches (60 x 100 cm). Cover your working area with table cloth, dust it with flour and rub it into the fabric. Put your dough ball in the middle and roll it out as much as you can.Pick the dough up by holding it by an edge. This way the weight of the dough and gravity can help stretching it as it hangs. Using the back of your hands to gently stretch and pull the dough. You can use your forearms to support it.
4. The dough will become too large to hold. Put it on your work surface. Leave the thicker edge of the dough to hang over the edge of the table. Place your hands underneath the dough and stretch and pull the dough thinner using the backs of your hands. Stretch and pull the dough until it's about 2 feet (60 cm) wide and 3 feet (90 cm) long, it will be tissue-thin by this time. Cut away the thick dough around the edges with scissors. The dough is now ready to be filled.

Tips- Ingredients are cheap so we would recommend making a double batch of the dough, that way you can practice the pulling and stretching of the dough with the first batch and if it doesn't come out like it should you can use the second batch to give it another try;- The tablecloth can be cotton or polyster;- Before pulling and stretching the dough, remove your jewelry from hands and wrists, and wear short-sleeves;- To make it easier to pull the dough, you can use your hip to secure the dough against the edge of the table;- Few small holes in the dough is not a problem as the dough will be rolled, making (most of) the holes invisible.

Both Courtney and I did a trial run on making the strudel. Below are our notes:
Courtney's notes- She could't get it to stretch to 2 feet by 3 feet, it turned out more like 2 feet by 2 feet. But the dough was tissue thin nevertheless;- She got some serious holes, but after rolling it wasn't noticeable;- She used a large cheese cloth which helped manipulate and stretch the dough more than a heavier cloth would have.
My notes- I made the dough by hand, just mixed the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon. Kneaded it for about 5 min like you would bread dough. This worked as well. Haven't tried using a standmixer so I don't know how it compares.- Instead of cider vinegar I used red wine vinegar;- I used bread flour;- Picking up the dough to let it stretch didn't work well for me, holes appeared pretty much instantly. Instead I stretched the dough while it was lying on the tablecloth by putting my hands underneath and stretching it out further and further;

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Green Hummus From Fresh Garbanzo Beans...MLLA11

While looking on at clearance fruit and vegetable racks at Pete's the other day, I came across a huge bag of fresh Garbanzo beans.
I had to ask the clerk what they were exactly. See, I'm used to the dried yellow variety or the ones in cans. The lovely Caron Golden, an expert on the many uses of fava and Garbanzos sent me her link to some great recipes. She advised to savor the garbanzos alone as snack to 'taste the green', and boy was she right!Be warned the shelling and popping takes a while, but the result is worth the effort. I decided to do a simple 'hummus' variation, served with quartered baked tortillas. I'm submitting this to Lori Lynn for My Legume Love Affair Eleventh Helping, created by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook.
Fresh Green Hummus
2 cups shelled Garbanzo Beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Spike salt free( I am restricting my salt intake)
or sea salt to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
chili oil to drizzle
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Tortillas baked and cut into quarters.
Shell Garbanzo beans. Lightly steam until just tender. Remove from heat. In a glass bowl with an immersion blender, puree beans, spices, cilantro, olive oil, and lemon juice. Place in serving dish. Drizzle hot chili oil on top. Serve with baked tortillas that have been quartered.
Please vote for me in Ile De France Recipe Contest.

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Real Housewives Cocktail Contest

I have a dirty secret. I am addicted to Bravo's Real Housewives series. I admit it and not ashamed! And I have found other foodies like me via Twitter who are obsessed too."And let me tell you something...we are as thick as thieves" .Watching the girls from the OC, Atlanta, NYC,and now New Jersey makes us all laugh and cringe at the same time.
So we decided in Tweetville to come up with a cocktail contest. Let any of the housewives from the series be your inspiration. You know Kim and Ne Ne loved their white wine. Ramona cant get enough of her Pinot Grigio. Tamara's husband started a tequila business. And who has not heard of Bethenny's Skinny Girl Margaritas at this point!If you need more research go here and check out all the shows, blogs, and recaps.
So come up with your best drink reflecting your favorite character.
Deadline June 20! We will all vote after the round up and the prize will be a book of cocktails or something TBD.
Get Mixing!
Send me your entries, links, and photos to cococooks(AT)hotmail(DOT)com by June 20.
* Not affiliated with Bravo TV.

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Garafalo Pasta... Roasted Balsamic Vegetables and Penne

Garafalo contacted me last month and offered me some samples to try. Who am I to say no? What I didn't realize upon delivery was that I have been using this product for the past few years. Their packaging is distinct, but the small script label never registered with me. Certain Someone and I always stock up on Garafalo while shopping at Costco. In these lean times it can stretch a meal and provide me lunch at work. So I guess this cant be called a review because the product has been in repertoire for some some time. Not only did they send me Penne, but Spaghettini as well. Garafalo has 21 Signature Neapolitan pasta offerings . Costco normally mixes up a few in their multi packs.
I have made some changes to my diet on doctors orders. I'm pre hypertensive and need to control my salt intake. As a result I am using balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, Non salt blends in my cooking. In less than 2 weeks my taste buds have become accustomed to the natural flavors of food. Tricks like roasting really coax out the goodness of vegetable and more than make up for the lack of salt. When tasting processed or prepared food now, I can taste the excessive salt. So its good that I'm adjusting.
One of my favorite ways with pasta is a simple toss of pasta and my roasted balsamic vegetables. Certain Someone is more of a meat and heavy cream man. But I like it on the light side.

Penne with Roasted Balsamic Vegetables
1 head Cauliflower
1 zucchini
1 pint mushrooms
Green or Red Peppers
1 large Onion
1 carrot
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
Dried herbs of your choice ( oregano, thyme,basil)
Garlic minced
Cracked Black Pepper
1 package Garafalo Penne

Clean , seed,and chop, or slice vegetables into pieces. In a large glass bowl toss vegetables, herbs, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.Let rest for at least 1/2 hour.
Preheat oven to 375F. Boil water for pasta. Add pasta and cook until al dente.
In a roasting pan or cast iron skillet place the vegetables. Roast for 40 minutes or until caramelized and soft .
Toss the pasta in the pan with the vegetables until well Incorporated and coated . At this pint you can add your salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a shaving of Parmesan cheese.

Thanks for all the entries for the Military Wives Cookbook. I drew a name out of a hat...and the winner is Junie Moon! Congrats!

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Military Wives Cookbook ...Old Fashioned Banana Pudding

I was fortunate to receive an email from Sourcebooks asking if I could take a look at their Military Wives Cookbook,200 Years of Traditions , Recipes, and Remembrances. This treasure of American historical lore and modern vignettes is the brainchild of an accomplished Military wife herself , Carolyn Quick Tillery.She's a go getter who having a law degree and retired form the Air Force, decided she needed a 'portable career' as her husband , still in the Air Force was constantly assigned all over the world in various posts.So she combined her love of history and food , thereby forging a career. A pretty successful one at that.
I admit, I know nothing about the whole military culture and lifestyle. As an account executive I had an account on a naval base and saw a glimpse. I envied those PX Stores for the great deals.What I did see was my hard working sales staff who may have had a spouse in service and was used to the ordeal of moving around , or them being way , and surviving on limited means. I saw the cadets come in every few weeks after graduation to pretty up a bit and get their cosmetics before heading off to some new assignment. For many it was there first time away from home perhaps. I admit I am pretty privileged and spoiled at times, but I can recognize the great sacrifice those that serve and their families make for our country. It takes a strong woman, or man to support that spouse in service. Lets honor them on Friday May 8th , which happens to be Military Spouse Day.Our current First Lady of the United States, Michele Obama has vowed to focus on aiding Military families.
Military Wives Cookbook is chock full of recipes from today to 200 years ago. I was expecting Americana type of recipes, which there were plenty, but also got some international ones , reflective of the wives travels all over the world. The author assembles the recipes into menus with themes. For example a Colonial Thanksgiving or Christmas in the Confederate White House. The cookbook is divided into 6 sections:
Teas and Coffees
Buffets, Brunches, and Lunches
A Taste of Home: Dinner Family Style, Alfresco Dining
Over There: An International Affair
Home for the Holidays and Other Celebrations
It was hard to pick a recipe to try out. But I was drawn to the Old Fashioned Banana Pudding, because it reminded me of my mother and is a tradition in the Black community and others as well . You will find this at every event or picnic this summer. A lot of people fake it with pudding mix and vanilla wafers. I like it old school.
Note I was out of Vanilla wafers but had Vanilla Biscuits , that worked fine. A coworker of mine uses shortbread , which is also a great substitute. I shamefully admit I polished this off and gave a bit to a neighbor. Nothing was wasted. It was that good. I might play on this recipe with chocolate chips or banana rum one day.
I will be giving away a copy of this cookbook. The drawing runs until May 12.Just leave a comment! And be sure to check out Month Of Edible Celebrations posts on this great book and her giveaway as well.

Old Fashioned Banana Pudding
adapted from Military Wives Cookbook 200 Year of Traditions, Recipes, and Remembrances
6 servings
2/3 cup Sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cups half and half( I used heavy cream and milk combined)
1/2 tsp salt
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 12 oz box vanilla wafers
2 cups bananas (ripe)
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a double boiler over boiling water, combine sugar, salt, and flour.Add half and half and stir constantly until mixture thickens.Remove from heat.Place egg yolks in separate bowl. Gradually while stirring constantly( I use a stand mixer for this to free up hands) add some of the hot cream mixture to the egg yolks to temper. Then add the egg mixture back to the cream in the pot.Cook to a simmer and thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla. Cool for a bit while you assemble the pudding.
In a baking glass dish, layer vanilla wafers first, the sliced banana, then pudding, Continue layering of wafers, bananas, pudding, ending with pudding on top. Set aside.
Make Meringue topping.
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tarter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
In a bowl whip egg whites, with cream of tarter with a electric mixer or use your stand mixer. Whip until they hold stiff peaks.Fold in vanilla extract and confectioners sugar.
Spread atop the pudding and bake for 10 -15 minutes until golden.

I know I missed the deadline by a few days, but I want to offer this up for the Retro Themed Waiter There Is Something In My Soup.

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My Legume Love Affair 10 Roundup

This was my first time hosting a large event and I was so impressed and happy with the entries I received for My Legume Love Affair created by the brilliant Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook. Keeping this month to Starters and Desserts was somewhat limiting ,but we received a jewel box collection of recipes from around the world. Check out these healthy treasures and consider them next time you are looking for something a little different and makes everyone say Wow.
So lets break it down into 2 sections:

Christine of Kits Chow created these exquisite Korean mung bean pancakes,Bindae Duk.

Jeanne,my African sista from CookSister, made these elegant chickpea & paprika crostini.

Susan, My Legume Love Affairs creator made just in the nick of time Steamed Red Bean Buns.

Bea and Jai from Jugalbandi make for us Horse Gram Cocktail Fritters.

indosungod from Daily Musings gave us Swiss chard and Black Bean Empanadas
Sweatha of TastyCurryLeaf is a person after my own heart with these black eye pea patties with a hot chili sauce.
Uma of Vegan Orbit gave us this tasty carrot and lentil soup.

Kalaivani of Little Taste Buds created Chickpea and green pea soup. Double whammy of legumes!

Lori, next months host from Taste With The Eyes, always served up inspiration with Cilantro scented navy bean hash with smoked salmon rosettes.

365 Days of Pure Vegetarian makes for us the perfect snack food Homemade Falafel

Sumy of Make the Impossible ...Possible,made Payaru thoran . A small serving of this would kick off any meal.

Indrani of Appyayan made Masoor Dal Vada ( red lentil fritters). Legumes make the best fritters.

My fellow Chicagoan Jude of Apple Pie, Patis, and Pâté rose to the occasion with this wonderful starter that captures the season of spring. Sauteed Morel Mushrooms and Fava Beans .

Ashwini from Nanna Adige gives us two starters for a Ugadi feast,Thondekayi Palya and Black Eyed Peas Vada.
I also received another entry from Ashwini for Sprouted Pulses Roti.

Divya of Dil Se made a comforting dish of Khichdi

LK at Food For Tots made a delicious Black Beans Soup

Funny how different cultures have variations on the same theme. I went back to my roots and made Akara( West African Black Eye Pea Fritters), a childhood favorite.


Priyasuresh, of Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes created Channadal N Coconut Kheer. A lovely treat.

Elizabeth from Our Kitchen made a healthy new take on a familiar treat, Black Bean Brownies.

Aparna from My Diverse Kitchen makes Besan-Coconut Burfi (Chickpea Flour-Coconut Indian Style Fudge)

Uma from Vegan Orbit makes another version of Kheer for us with Moon Dhal Kheer

Kevin from Closet Cooking made these yummy Japanese Dorayaki. I could eat these as both a starter or dessert.

Michelle from Big Black Dogs created these Chocolate Peanut Roll cookies which look to die for.

I don't know why she calls herself Msmeanie when she creates treats that are so sweet and nice.Chana Dal Burfi from Chocolate Chip Trips.Try saying that a few times.

A&N from Delectably Yours made a Hayagreeva,a Bengal Gram dessert and recollects family memories.

Soma from eCurry makes a Sweet Peanut Brittle Bar .

Being the hostess I felt obliged to make both savory and sweet entries. Here is my Adzuki and Sesame Seed Cookies.
And the winner of the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is (names drawn from mixing bowl)
Jeanne from Cook Sister! Email me for details on how to get your prize.

So there we have it. Quite a collection. Be sure to visit Mays host Lori for deatils on MLL11.

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