Sunday, September 25, 2011
Whew... I am a little late posting this week's game day snack - it's only 25 minutes before the first kick-off here on the east coast and I am just sitting down to write this!!
Anyway, this week's treat is Spaetzle Pizza.. and it's a two step post! I will post the recipe I used to make my own spaetzle, and then what we did to create our little pizza's.
Once the spaetzle is made, you can bring this on the road and make while tailgating on those little grills. or you can pre-assemble the whole pizza and just grill it up or reheat it there.
I was surprised that my spaetzle turned out decently, not being anything close to German, and not usually enjoying working with dough. In fact, most of my dishes I attempt where I make my own dough turn out only so-so. But this worked for once, and I was happy.
The spaetzle is easy to make. It took me about a half hour total from set up to when I finished off sauteing the spaetzle. It was delicious on its own as well, and I could see my husband and I eating this for dinner with a side of our favorite sweet and sour meatballs.
Here is the spaetzle recipe:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper (recipe suggested white, I used black because it is what I have, only difference is color)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
Bring about a gallon of water to boil.
Mix together flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Beat the eggs well and add it alternately with the milk into the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.
Press the dough through a spaetzle maker if you have one. Or you can use a large holed sieve or metal grater. I used a spaghetti colander. It worked totally fine.
Drop a few spaetzle dough pieces into the boiling water at a time and cook 5 to 8 minutes - drain well.
Saute the cooked spaetzle in butter or margarine. If eating plain - sprinkle some fresh parsley on top and serve!
And now, the pizza's.
I had bought whole wheat pitas to use as our base.
For the "sauce," we used Philadelphia's Cooking Cream in the Italian Herb flavor. Spaetzle went on next, followed by some mozzarella cheese and those crunchy onions that come in a can.
The little pizza was baked in the oven at 375 degrees F for about 10-12 minutes until the cheese began to brown slightly.
This was a very satisfying dish and my husband really enjoyed his treat!
Sunday, September 18, 2011
This week's Game Day snack was supposed to be something with spaetzle, but that will be coming up next week now. That recipe is half done (the spaetzle is made, but I didn't put the rest of the snack together yet), because I got distracted yesterday by something I saw on the Cooking Channel.
My husband and I were watching one of the Unique Sweets episodes and it was about cookies - one of my favorite subjects. There is this place in Chicago that had these really delicious looking cookies, some including potato chips.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I have had chocolate covered potato chips in my life and they are simply, awesome. I love them. They have the right combination of sweet and salty, and, in my opinion, I like them much better than chocolate covered pretzels.
So the thought of chocolate chip cookies with potato chips really excited me - and I couldn't believe I never thought to experiment with that before. So, to make me happy, my husband sent me out to get some Baked Lays and he started whipping up a batch of our favorite chocolate chip batter.
With the first batch of cookies, we decided to just sprinkle some potato chips on the top of the cookie after they had been baking for a few minutes. The result was okay - I didn't think you tasted the potato chips enough.
So for the second batch he sprinkled some crushed up chips into the batter first, and then also put some on top of the cookie a few minutes after they had been baking. This time they were fantastic! You tasted the chocolate chips with the salty potato chips and I LOVED them!
We ended up bringing some of them over to a friends house last night and their three year old dove right in and thought they were pretty tasty! She didn't even seem phased that the chocolate chip cookies had a little something different about them!
So these are the perfect Game Day snack, whether you are at home watching the game or our tailgating. Salty and sweet, people will munch on these happily!
They are easy to make - just use your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, but use half of what the salt content is because the potato chips will add their own salt factor. We found that crushing the chips and adding some into the batter worked best.
After we put them in the oven to cook (usually 8-10 minutes), we opened the oven after just about 3 or 4 minutes and pressed some potato chips onto the tops of the cookies and returned them to baking.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
I'M BACK!! It's been too long since I have cooked. I am serious. I don't know what I have done all summer, but I have been incredibly lazy, and had zero desire to cook new foods. The little cooking I did resulted in pasta or things like that, which aren't exciting to post about. I'm still having some motivation issues (seriously, who stole my motivation?!) but I made an effort so I could bring back the football snacks!
This week's idea is seriously unhealthy. I mean, deep fried?!?! Blame it on Food Network though. They had a whole feature in this month's magazine about deep frying many different foods, and it looked just too darn good not to try at least once. So I figured I'd kick off the football season with a deliciously unhealthy, ooey, gooey, assembly of treats.
The batter I used was really easy to make, and it is so versatile to different seasonings. I split the batter 3 ways and actually used 3 different sets of seasonings based on which food I was frying. I could totally see making a batch of foods and putting them out on a tray for hungry football fans to eat while cheering on their respective teams.
For this post, we tried fried strawberries, Oreo's, mashed potatoes, mac n cheese and a slice of pizza. The pizza was actually on the article's "do not fry" list, but honestly, it was THE BEST THING WE MADE. OMG!!
Also on the "good to fry list" are things like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bananas, nuts, olives, cheesecake, Snickers, mini muffins and some other assorted goodies.
Some of the "do not fry" foods include M&M's, marshmallows, tomato slices, bologna, watermelon, as well as some other foods. Like I said, pizza WAS on that list (I guess maybe they mean regular pizza?? We used a specialty slice), but it turned out to be so delicious that I can't imagine why it's not good to fry.
There are a few different batters to use depending on your foods. I picked the basic batter because all the foods we wanted to play with used that batter.
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold club soda
After you make the batter, you add in the spice blend you want, and I will talk about what I used for each food.
There is also a thin batter which uses just 1/4 cup more of club soda, and an egg batter, which is the basic batter with only 3/4 cup of club soda and adding in 2 egg yolks.
The only recipe they gave us using the egg batter was for the Snickers candy bar... everything else used the basic or thin batters. In fact, the only 2 things on their list using the thin batter is the PB&J sandwich and the bananas. So basic seems to work for most anything.
**You also need a pot with about 3 inches of vegetable oil (or peanut oil) heated to 375 degrees F.
And now, on to the goodies:
Hull the strawberries, and add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and a teaspoon of sugar to the batter. (I actually used 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar and 1 teaspoon of cocoa sugar for a more chocolatey taste!!) Dip the strawberries in the batter and drop into the oil. Fry for 1 minute until golden brown.
My first attempt at the strawberry was so-so...we didn't fry it long enough and it just tasted like a hot strawberry. My second attempt was much better and it became more gooey, so it was sort of like biting into hot strawberry sauce. But it was delicious!
We used the same seasonings that we used for the strawberries for the Oreo's. They came out fine - just like a fried Oreo should! I could see sprinkling some confectioners sugar on top of these and the strawberries as well. Oreo's get fried for 2-3 minutes.
Macaroni & Cheese:
Spread mac n cheese in a baking dish, chill and cut into squares. (I actually just put some in a tiny ramekin and stuck it in the freezer for a half hour to form a shape). Add a pinch of cayenne to the basic batter and fry for 1-2 minutes. I used paprika instead (we didn't have cayenne), and it was very tasty!
Well, these would have been one of my favorites but my mashed potatoes leaked out of their batter shell and made a mess. I was so upset. The little bite we had left was SO delicious!! I'm not quite sure what happened, but the instructions are to chill the mashed potatoes and roll into balls. Use the basic batter with 2 tablespoons of chopped herbs. I decided to just use a pinch of dried parsley and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Fry 2-3 minutes.
There is a restaurant near us called Pantano's and they make a very delicious pizza that consists of creamed spinach with mozzarella on whole wheat crust. We LOVE it. We had one slice left so I cut off the crust and used the batter I used for the mashed potatoes. We fried it for about 2 minutes and honestly, between the spinach, cheese and spices in the batter, everything worked so well, and my husband and I had to try SO hard not to eat it all in the middle of a random Saturday. My husband joked about going to get another pie to fry as well but we knew that would be even more unhealthy than we were already being!! Haha.
Despite us testing the waters before Sunday (I really wanted to get the recipe up for anyone wanting to make this for the game), and being really unhealthy, we also knew that without a doubt, if we had people over, we would make a few of these items to put out - especially the pizza and mashed potatoes (if I can make them right next time!)
So I hope you all are ready for some football (or party entertaining!) I promise I will try to come up with some healthier options as well for throughout the season.