Tag Archives: Make Work

Recipes: Hungarian Crepes

I love pancakes. I especially love the variety known as crepes – and crepes are even better when cooked Hungarian style as palacsinta.

Palatschinke

Palatschinke (Photo credit: Mario Spann)

Ingredients
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup carbonated water
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of salt

Melted butter for cooking crepes

Optional:
1 tablespoon sugar for sweeter dessert palacsinta (crepes)

Directions
1) Beat eggs into milk until blended (also add sugar/salt at this point). Pour the egg/milk mixture into the flour until fully blended into a smooth batter. The batter should rest for at least an hour.

2) When it is time to cook the crepes place a crepe pan to heat (or an 8-inch frying pan). While the pan is heating add the carbonated water to the batter and gently stir until just blended.

3) Add a bit of butter to heat in the hot pan and swirl to cover the bottom.

4) Pour a ladle of the batter into the pan and gently tip and twist the pan so that the batter covers the entire bottom of the pan. When the top of the batter bubbles, turn the pancake over and cook for 4 or 5 seconds longer. Remove the cooked palacsinta to a serving plate in a warm oven until ready to serve.
Continue until the batter is all cooked. Remember to add butter before cooking each palacsinta.

For savory palacsinta fill with cooked asparagus, ham and Havarti cheese…or some other dinner filling
For dessert palacsinta try plum jam OR cinnamon&sugar OR Nutella with strawberries….

Palacsinta can be served hot or cold.

Garden: Herbs – Chives

Allium schoenoprasum in NH 01.jpg
Allium schoenoprasum in NH 01” by Captain-tucker – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

When to Use:
Chives are best used fresh in recipes. Dried Chives may also be used will have a weaker flavour and less pleasing texture.

Best Compliments: eggs, fish, potatoes, salads, shellfish, sole, soups

Chives are normally snipped and sprinkled on food just before serving for seasoning.

Fresh chives may be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week. Chives freeze well, cut chives with scissors rinse in cool water and dry before placing in freezer bags.

Substitutions: 1 teaspoon chopped green onion tops = 1 tablespoon chopped chives

When to Plant
In early spring as soon as ground is workable. Chives are perennials so once planted will normally come back on their own in the spring.

How to Grow
Chives grow best in full sun or semi-shade. A reasonably fertile soil is required. Chives do fairly well indoors in pots or planters in bright windows. Plant seeds 1/4 inch (6 mm) apart and 1/4 inch (6 mm) deep. Thin when seedlings are 3 inches (8 cm) high to be about 12 inches (30 cm) apart. Chives will spread into clumps if allowed to grow over the years. Chives transplant well.

Harvesting
Chives are perennials and can be harvested as soon as stems appear.

Home and Garden Tips
If you allow chives to go to flower (large purple flowers) the plant will seed itself quite happily! To prevent over-spreading pick off the flowers before they go to seed. The flowers can be eaten in same way as the green stems – and have a similar flavour. You can also rinse the chive flowers in a cool water bath (to remove bugs and dirt!) then shake dry and stuff into a jar. Heat white vinegar until bathwater warm (but not hot – we don’t want to scald the flowers) and pour the vinegar over the flowers. Place plastic wrap over the jar mouth before sealing with the lid. Now place the jar in cool dark spot for 2 weeks or so and forget about it! When you remember the jar strain the vinegar into a clean glass jar. The vinegar should have a lovely light chive flavour, and a delicate purplish tinge. Use in place of ordinary vinegar when making salads.

Garden: Herbs – Basil

“Basil-Basilico-Ocimum basilicum-albahaca” by Castielli – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Basil-Basilico-Ocimum_basilicum-albahaca.jpg#/media/File:Basil-Basilico-Ocimum_basilicum-albahaca.jpg

When to Use:
Basil is best used fresh in recipes. Dried Basil may be used but it does have a weaker flavour.

Best Compliments: cheese, chicken, duck, eggplant, eggs, fish, lamb, liver, olive oil, onions, pasta, pesto, pizza, pork, potatoes, rabbit, salads, shellfish, soups, sweet peppers, tomatoes, veal, vegetables, vinegars, zucchini, tomato sauce

In general, it should be added at the last moment, as cooking will destroy the flavour.

The fresh basil can be kept for a short time in plastic bags in the refrigerator, or for a longer period in the freezer. To store in the freezer blanch the herb quickly in boiling water, remove excess water by gently shaking and patting with a clean dish towel.

Substitutions: 1 teaspoon dried basil = 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil = 1 tablespoon chopped fresh summer savory;
1 teaspoon dried basil = replace with 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram, oregano, thyme or tarragon (adding more if necessary)

When to Plant
After all danger of frost. Generally mid-May to early June

How to Grow
Basil grows in full sun or semi-shade. A moderately fertile soil is all that is required. Basil does well in pots or planters and so can be started indoors before being moved outside. Plant seeds 1/2 inch (12 mm) apart and 1/4 inch (6 mm) deep. After seedlings emerge and get first leaves, thin to about 6-8 inches apart (15-20 cm).

Harvesting
Basil can be harvested as soon as leaves appear – start with the young plants from thinning, then pinch leaves as required. Basil does well at new growth on plants.

Home and Garden Tips
To dry basil (or other herbs). When blossoms begin to open, take cuttings during the early morning. Rinse leaves under cool water and discard any damaged leaves. Tie the cuttings with string and hang upside down in the kitchen (or another indoor spot) in an area that is cool and dry and out of sunlight. If you have the room you can also create a drying screen and place in a well-ventilated cool, dry and dark area of your home.
Once dry remove the thicker stems and store the leaves in airtight bottles for later use.

Photo: National Best Friend Day

A day to break lonely hearts in two

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Photo: Fullness of Spring

Early June arrives in splendor
fully dressed for whatever her pleasure
June reminds me of when I was in love
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and June reminds me
that love no longer
find me attractive

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I too am a flower
brilliant in my time
now long past my prime
I fade

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and hope I have left
a memory in my passing.