Palaschinken/Pfannkuchen mit Spinat und Speck


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A very kind and generous woman from Austria once taught me how to make Palaschinken (pretty much a crepe, but it would seem that every country in Europe has some version of it.  Crepes from France, Palaschinken from Austria, Pfannkuchen from Germany — either way, it is delicious).  I practiced and practiced until I got the flavor and consistency of the dough just right.  Some time later, a good friend from Germany showed me how to improve my technique.  Well, now, I’ve found that I have gotten good enough that I tend to make this dish almost once or twice a week and you can stuff it with all sorts of good eats!

The recipe itself is quite simple.  All you need are eggs, flour, milk and a touch of salt — see below.

Ingredients

    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup milk
    • flour (you’re just going to have do this by feel)
    • salt
    • 3 Tbsp. butter (melted)

To Do

    1. In a food processor (or whisk by hand), combine egg, milk and butter.  Add salt for taste.  I start off with about half of a tablespoon.
    2. Add in flour about a third of a cup at a time.  This took me the most practice, as you just have to ‘feel’ the consistency of the dough.  It should be pretty liquid, but dense enough that it sort of oozes down the sides of your mixing bowl.  If it looks like pancake batter, it’s too thick and you need to add more milk (possibly another egg if it just looks like you have doubled your batch).
    3. Use a 10″ non-stick frying pan and make sure it is quite hot before pouring in batter.  One ladle full is usually enough for this size of pan.  When ladling in the batter, I would advise actually holding the pan in your other hand and tilting it in a circular motion to line the bottom of the pan.  That way you will end up with a pretty perfect circle that is still thin.
    4. The pan should be hot enough that almost as soon as you pour the batter in, it is already starting to cook.  Use your spatula to carefully lift up the edges, work your way under the crepe/Pfannkuchen and flip!  This will take practice — if your first attempts at this crepe/Pfannkuchen/Palaschinken ends up as just one big, torn up mess, then no worries.  It happens to us all!

Ideas for Stuffing!

Now the fun!  There’s so many different things you can stuff into these little pancake wonders.  These are my personal favorites:

  • Baby spinach and baby arugula sautéed with minced onion (caramelized) and bacon.  I like to add a little Chinese five-spice to it as well.  (SAVORY)
  • Apple Pie in a Jar (recipe) smothered on the inside, melted Nutella poured on the outside.  Total win.
  • Ham and sprinkled cheese.  I like using either gruyere or emmentaler.
  • There is a popular soup in both Germany and Austria called Frittatensuppe that is basically this crepe, shredded, and dropped into a vegetable or chicken stock broth with small veggies and sometimes a meatball.  It’s my favorite soup and I must have it every chance I get to go over there.

Hope you enjoy!

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All Puckered Up

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Strawberries and Gewürztraminer

Strawberries and Gewürztraminer

Newest batch of jams!  Originally, this was supposed to be a strawberry and champagne mixture.  Safeway at Diamond Heights, SF is a little incompetent about organizing their wine selections and I ended up not being able to find the champagne.  However, in the Merlot section I did find a bottle of Gewürztraminer.  I love Gewürztraminer.  So, I thought, “How bad could it be?”  Well — not bad at all!  Granted the mixture came out a bit more tart than expected, but if that floats your boat, I think this jam could be quite tasty for you.

Gluten-free waffles and maple syrup with jam on top does a stomach good!

Gluten-free waffles and maple syrup with jam on top does a stomach good!

The original concept for this recipe is found at this site.  I made some generous changes to it, aside from the wine change and I think it works out for the better.  My version of the recipe is here.

All Puckered Up Jam

Ingredients

  • 6 cups strawberries (remove leaves and cut in half or quarters if exceptionally large strawberry)
  • 1 cup white, granulated sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 750 ml bottle of Gewürztraminer wine
  • 1 pack powder pectin (Sure-Jell Pectin powder pack; 1.75 oz.)

To Do

  1. In a large bowl, stir together strawberries, sugar, zest and lemon juice.  Let mixture sit for 1 hour, at room temperature, covered with a kitchen towel.
  2. Keep a large spoon in the freezer.  You will use this later when you test the jell-like consistency of the jam.
  3. Transfer contents to a large, heavy-bottomed stainless steel pot and pour over the wine and stir well.
  4. Turn on the heat to just above medium and allow to come to a low boil.  Stir jam often with a spatula so it doesn’t burn.  Reduce heat and stir more frequently if you start to feel anything sticking at the bottom or it could burn.  Allow mixture to boil (with stirring) for about 45 minutes.
  5. Start by adding in about a third of the pack of pectin.   Pectin reduces the boiling time considerably, so be sure to stir in the powder immediately and you will have to just feel the consistency of the jam.  Stir in the pectin immediately and allow the jam to boil for 1 minute.
  6. Use the chilled spoon from earlier to test out a dollop of the jam.  With a sample of the jam on the spoon, allow it to come to room temperature.  If it is too runny, add more pectin to your mixture and allow the jam to come to a low boil again.  Let it boil for 1 minute and retest.  Repeat until the consistency is to your liking.
  7. Ladle the hot jam into sterilized half pint jars.  Canning process time for this jam is about 6 minutes.

  

YIELD: 3 half pint jars
Original recipe found here

Happy New Year, 2014!

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Moments from 2013

We say goodbye to 2013 and ‘Howdy Hey’ to 2014!  2013 was an interesting year for me.  It had it’s good moments and some of the worst moments I’ve ever experienced in my life, but I made it through and I’m excited to see what 2014 brings.  Things can only get better from here.

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2013 held new discoveries and some very hard lessons learned.  I visited new places, learned some new hobbies, and I ran the best half marathon of my life this past November.  New friends were made, bonded with those who stuck around and some relationships ended far sooner than I would have liked, but in the end, you were all a part of my life and I would be a very different person today without you, so I thank you.

I wish everyone a wonderful holiday and I hope to see everyone a whole lot more in the coming year!

Hiking to Alamere Falls

Alamere Falls, Point Reyes, CA

Alamere Falls, Point Reyes, CA

We have had unnaturally gorgeous weather lately, up here in the Bay Area.  This past weekend was a perfect day to take a mild hike starting at Palomarin Trailhead to Alamere Falls, Point Reyes.  The trail we followed went along Coast Trail where we saw some views of the Pacific, the Farallon islands, and lots of different types of forest and shrubbery.  The trail, round-trip, is a mere 7.5 miles and only took us about 3.5/4 hours including stoping time to take silly pictures of ourselves.

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1) The Climb

The beach at the end of the hike is perfect for a picnic (wish we had brought a basket with us!), but there is a bit of a climb.  Actually, the climb down wasn’t so bad, but trying to climb back took a bit of critical thinking.  It’s nothing too strenuous and you should be prepared to have to do a little scrambling.  We used a very detailed guide from the Bay Area Hiker.  I love using his site — he is extremely helpful!

2) A pretty beach is your reward!

2) A pretty beach is your reward!

Apple Pie in a Jar

Jams2 Jams

For the 2013 holiday season, I decided to try my hand at jam making and dress up the jars real pretty for those closest to me.    They turned out quite lovely, I think!

From the recipe I used (found here), I thought the spices were a bit overpowering considering how much of the apple mixture you actually have — I would try playing around with the suggested amounts given.  I had a lot of fun making my first batch of jams, though, and I hope to make more!   I made some buttermilk biscuits to go with it and it tasted really good!  Another thing you could try is smearing the jam into home-made Palaschinken (Austrian crepe) and then pour semi-melted Nutella on top.  I had this for breakfast and it tasted like some kind of Apple Strudel/Nutella heaven!

I’m excited to try new jam recipes!  What should come next?  Strawberries and champagne?!  Coming soon!

Apple Pie in a Jar

Ingredients

  • 4 – 5 Golden Delicious apples, peeled and sliced (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter (to limit foam)
  • 3 oz. liquid fruit pectin (this is usually one pouch)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace

To Do:

  1. In a Dutch oven, combine apples and water.  Cover and cook slowly until tender.  Measure out about 4 (to 4.5) cups of the apple mixture and return to the pan.  You can save the remaining apple mixture (if any) for another use or discard).
  2. Add sugar and butter to the pan; bring to a full, rolling boil, stirring constantly.
  3. Quickly stir in pectin.  Return to a full, rolling boil and allow to boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from heat; skim off foam (the butter should have limited the amount of foam created, but if you prefer to skip the butter — that’s fine!  You’ll just have more foam to skim off at this point).  Stir in spices.  Carefully ladle the hot mixture into hot/sterilized half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space.  Remove air bubbles, wipe rims and adjust lids.  Process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

YIELD: about 7 half-pints.
Original recipe found here.