German Apple Cake

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For Easter brunch, our friend Therese brought over this recipe and it was a delight. Not only is it surprisingly easy, but the texture is so perfect. The batter that you pour over the apples is really thin, so it rises almost like a popover. And while she added sugar and cinnamon, we both agreed that this could be made savory with crumbly sausage or pancetta. I can’t wait to bring this to the next potluck/brunch!

You’ll need:

4 eggs
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
2 medium apples
1/4 cup sugar (omit if you’re going to make this savory)
1/4 tsp cinnamon

To make the cake:

Preheat your oven to 400 F. Put the butter in the bottom of a rectangular glass pan and let it melt in the oven for 2-3 minutes. Slice the apples thinly, then layer them over the butter in the pan.

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In a bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, milk and salt. Pour this mixture over the apples. Mix together sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle over the apple mixture.

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Bake uncovered for ~20 minutes until the crust is golden and risen.

Nom!

Liz

Hungry Texans



Rose Lemonade & Gin Cocktail

These yummy gin cocktails are the perfect addition to any Sunday brunch. We wondered for a slight moment if Easter was a drinking holiday, and quickly settled on “duh,” so these made an appearance on our Easter Sunday brunch table. Check out the full brunch menu here!

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You’ll need:

1/2 oz lemon juice

2 oz rose lemonade

2 oz gin

Mint to garnish

 

To make the cocktails:

Combine the lemon juice, lemonade and gin in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a champagne glass. Top with ice and garnish with mint.

Gin-Cocktail

Happy sipping!

Liz

Hungry Texans

Heirloom Tomato & Roasted Beet Gazpacho

This recipe is featured today in Luri & Wilma, a smart magazine for smart ladies run by native Texan Charlie Heck.  I love the way they shot and featured this recipe, and just as much, I love this Tomato & Beet Gazpacho!  Click through the article below to read the whole issue online (there’s great stuff about fashion, body issues, and vintage duds inside) and scroll down for the full recipe!

Gazpacho Luri Wilma

 

Heirloom Tomato & Beet Gazpacho

Aside from being the perfect make-ahead, quick-cleanup recipe, I love this gazpacho because it relies on fresh ingredients for a bright and complex flavor.  The raw veggies lend a subtle spice to the cold soup, and garden herbs leave it freshly flavored.   Red and golden beets impart a deep magenta hue while keeping the soup slightly sweet.  Plus, this silky staple requires zero cooking and limited utensils, so you can stay cool in the kitchen while impressing your guests with a light supper.  This recipe will serve two as a main course or four as an appetizer.

You’ll need:

  • 3 large heirloom tomatoes
  • ½ large cucumber, seeded
  • ½ red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 beets (try for a mix of red & golden)
  • Handful of fresh herbs: basil, parsley, lemon thyme, chives.
  • 3 tbs red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil

First, finely dice the cucumber, red onion, and garlic.  Seed the tomatoes and dice them as well.  When it comes to tomatoes for this gazpacho, I opt for heirloom, but any blend of particularly juicy ones will do- Green Zebras and Brandywines are favorites.  Combine the vegetables in a large bowl and use an immersion blender to puree the veggies until smooth, adding the olive oil slowly.  To flavor the gazpacho, use any herbs you have on hand- I snipped a handful of basil, parsley, garlic chives, and lemon thyme from the window box.  Add 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, then cover the bowl and pop it in the refrigerator.

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Because the flavors of this gazpacho intensify with time, I like to keep it in the fridge for up to two days, then strain it using a fine sieve when I’m ready for a quick weeknight dinner.  Of course, if you don’t want to strain the veggies, you’re welcome to serve it chunky, but I’m always impressed with silky soups.  Serve it up in bowls with roasted shrimp, a creamy burrata, or toasted ciabatta for a simple supper.

gazpacho

xoxo,

Liz of The Hungry Texans

HungryTexans Flour Tortillas


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Y’all, something fun happened this weekend- the HungryTexans took their talents off the interwebs and into the District Flea (brought to you by the kind folks at Brooklyn Flea and gracing DC for the next few weekends).

As hungry Texans, we are huge proponents of the breakfast taco- eggs, cheese, savory meats and veggies, all rolled up into a perfectly fluffy flour tortilla.  The breakfast tacos at Chacho’s in Houston have capped many nights out (as well as nursed our headaches the morning after).  But when I find myself reaching hungrily for a breakfast taco in DC, I come up empty-handed.  So what better to bring to the denizens of our great district than these breakfast treats?

Of course the eggs are important.  Cheese?  Essential to a proper breakfast taco.  But what really makes our breakfast tacos special is the homemade flour tortilla, the perfect vehicle for savory goodness.  And because I promised plenty of market-goers the recipe and top-secret-super-secrets for a tortilla that stays soft and pliable and tasty, I want to share it with all of our readers!  It really is extremely simple and quick to make a tortilla, if not labor intensive.  This recipe uses all vegetable shortening to make our veggimatarian friends happy, and makes exactly 16 tortillas (counting helps visualize the size they should be).

You’ll Need:

2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 generous cups vegetable shortening (you could use lard, but we’re accommodating the masses here)
1 cup hot water

Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl or a stand mixer.

Add the shortening in small handfuls and use the mixer (or your hands, which I did for 180 tortillas on Friday- not sure if I can recommend doing this to our readers- it’s quite cruel) to combine until the mixture looks like sand.

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Slowly add a cup of hot water (I do 3/4 cup first, then add as necessary).  You want the dough to seem a bit moist and definitely not crumbly.  Knead the dough ~30 times (or let the Kitchen-aid do this work for you) until the dough becomes a ball.

Let this dough rest, covered with a tea towel, for 30 minutes (up to an hour).  Once the dough has rested, pinch off golf-ball-sized pieces of dough and roll into balls, and set on wax paper.

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Using a tortilla press or a rolling pin, flatten the dough balls into thin, round discs.  I try to get these as thin as possible with a tortilla press by using my hands to flatten the dough against the press.  Also, breaking news: my grandfather just mailed a beauty of a tortilla roller and I cannot wait to try it out.

pressing dough

You can store these tortillas between wax paper for a few hours in the fridge before cooking them.  When you’re ready, just pop a disc of dough onto a hot cast iron skillet or an electric griddle and cook for 20 seconds on each side.  Keep warm in a…tortilla warmer!

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Happy pressing and, if you can’t make your own, we’ll be at the District Flea every Saturday until October 18th, slinging tortillas!

new year’s day supper: grilled pork chops with apple & peach chutney

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Pictured clockwise, from pork: Grilled Pork Chops with Apple-Peach Chutney (progress), Braised Cabbage (wealth), Pan Seared Red Kale & Rainbow Chard with Bacon (prosperity), Black Eyed Peas (luck), Potato Mash (yummy), Ginger-Cabbage Potstickers (multicultural wealth).

Whew!  We sure felt lucky this morning.  Was it from finishing up a year full of adventure and friendship, starting countless new projects, or finishing up the year with old friends?  Maybe.  Or maybe it was the symbol-ripe supper we whipped up last night.    We covered all of the basics- pork for progress, cabbage for wealth & black eyed peas for luck.  And we even found new meaning for mashed potatoes (potato –> irish –> famine –> perseverance?)  Special thanks to Man Chef Alan for bringing his perfect pecan pie and Tex-Pat & Boston Boy for peeling themselves away from the couch long enough to churn out a few cabbage dumplings.

This recipe is for the grilled pork chops, but more New Year’s Day recipes will follow.  I urge you to try this pork for your next lucky supper or just a quick weeknight dinner!

You’ll need:

4 thick, boneless pork chops (you can use bone-in if you’d like)

For the Brine:

4 cups water

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp red pepper flakes

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Combine ingredients for the brine in a large bowl.  Place pork chops in a large ziplock bag, then add the brine and be sure the pork chops are covered in the liquid.  Let them sit in a bowl overnight.

For the Chutney:

2 apples, diced

2 peaches, diced

1 jalapeno

2 tbs brown sugar

2 tbs vinegar

2 tbs minced ginger

1/2 cup red onion

1 tsp curry powder

Heat olive oil in small pan and add red onion and jalapeno.  Cook until soft, then add other ingredients and cook over low heat for 20-30 minutes, until soft.  Mash with a potato masher or with an immersion blender, leaving the mixture slightly coarse.

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Remove the pork chops from the brine ~30 minutes before cooking.  Season both sides with salt and pepper.  Heat your grill (or a cast iron grill pan) to medium low heat and cook the pork chops for 4 minutes on each side.  After ~10 minutes, glaze the chops with the apple chutney on both sides.  Pork gives me a bit of anxiety because I’m always afraid to overcook it, so I use a meat thermometer and take it off the heat when the internal temperature is 160°.  Let them rest off the grill for 10 minutes before serving.

basics: homemade applesauce

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Happy Hanukkah,  everyone!

I’m sure all of my fellow shiksahs in the kitchen can agree that the holidays can be a doozy.  As much as you love to cook, you’ll never shine a light to the recipe that has been passed down by tough critics.   I’ve made my fair share of high-holiday-hiccups (starting with a milchigs fork mix-up and ending with bringing a butter-laden bread pudding to Thanksgiving) but this applesauce is not one of them.  It’s the perfect way to preserve your apples and requires only two added ingredients.  And during Hanukkah, you won’t find a better topping for your potato latkes.

You’ll need: (for 2 cups applesauce)
4 apples, mixed
1 tbs honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup water

ingredients

We used Red Macintosh and Pink Lady apples for this recipe.  You can use whichever are in season (the farmer’s market usually has enough apple samples out to give you a tummy ache), but I recommend a mix of apples to elevate the depth of flavors.  Start by peeling your apples roughly (a little apple skin never hurt anyone) and chopping them into cubes.  Add them to a saucepan with the water over medium heat, until they’re just simmering.

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Add the cinnamon and honey and stir.  In the past, I’ve used white sugar for the sweetness in my applesauce, but switched to honey because, well, apples and honey taste great together.

Let the whole mixture simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.  Then, using a hand potato masher (or a food processor if you’re looking for a really smooth sauce), mash the apples until they look like applesauce.

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Serve over freshly-fried latkes and or just enjoy as a sweet snack.

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xoxo,

the hungry texans

le nouveau est arrive! french onion soup dumplings

a happy bijoulais nouveau to y’all!

bijoulais nouveau is really a cute little holiday.  i only learned about it since moving to DC- the closest I’ve ever come to speaking french in texas is “laissez les bons temps rouler!”  the young french wine is actually quite un-tasty.  it’s aged for only a few weeks, but brilliant marketing has awarded it an entire midnight celebration- brava!  french law prohibits the young red from being uncorked until 12am on the second wednesday of each november, so francophiles wait in anticipation.  a few classic dc bistros, like 1905 and Bistro du Coin, were throwing their celebrations  last night, but who were we fooling- 2am on a school night?

so i hunkered down with Boston Boy in my kitchen, while my roommates set some serious mood lighting and french music, and embarked on a journey into these french onion soup dumplings.  there are recipes for these little succulent pouches of magic all over the internet (ever since making their Cooking Channel debut), so i glanced at all of them and then decided on my own approach.  and here it is!

for 20 dumplings, you’ll need: 

20 wonton wrappers
2 onions (mix of red and yellow)
1/2 bouillon cube
1 tbs flour
10 sprigs of thyme
2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups shredded gruyere or swiss cheese
1 french baguette
Optional: a cut of beef (we used new york strip)

1. Heat 1 tbs of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Thinly slice your onions and add them to the oil.  Give the whole thing a stir, then cover and let them cook for 10-15 minutes without messing with them.

2. While the onions are softening, dice your beef into 1/2 inch cubes (if you would like to make this vegetarian or if you don’t want beef in your dumplings, then omit this step and just heat your beef broth over low heat on the back burner).  Season with salt & pepper, then sear on each side over medium-high heat until they are caramelized.  Add your beef broth and dry white wine and a couple sprigs of thyme, then reduce the heat to low and let the broth & beef simmer.

3. Remove the top from the onions and stir in 1 tbs flour, leaves from 5 sprigs of thyme, 1 tsp salt & pepper, and 1/2 bouillon cube.  Re-cover and let simmer on low heat for another 10 minutes.

4. When the onions are ready, you’re ready to start building your dumplings.  Lay out a sheet of parchment paper and dip each wonton wrapper in the beef broth (this makes the wrappers easier to work with and more flavorful).  Drop a tablespoon of the onions onto each wonton and wrap the sides up into a little onion purse.  Since you’ve dipped these into the beef broth, the dumpling edges will stick perfectly.  I preferred the more traditional onions, but Boston Boy added a cube of beef to each of his- man hunger!

5. Place the dumplings into an oven-safe dish, ladle the broth over your dumplings, and top with (a lot of) shredded gruyere and swiss cheese.  For that delicious crouton (arguably the best part of french onion soup), poke a toothpick through a cube of french bread and into each dumpling.  In addition to being delicious, these are like little buoys to mark where the dumplings lie.

6. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, then broil for a minute or until the cheese is golden.

We had tons of broth and onions left since we only made a few dumplings, so we ended up just combining everything for a delicious french onion soup- hello leftovers!   And full disclosure: we popped the Bijoulais cork about an hour before midnight.  BB says we’ll be cursed with bad french kisses for a year… I haven’t noticed yet.