Posts Tagged With: feta cheese

Pan Fried Cheese Pie (Plăcinte) From Moldova

Moldovan Entree

PAN FRIED CHEESE PIE
(Plăcinte)

INGREDIENTS

4 cups flour (9 tablespoons more later)
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup buttermilk
¾ cup milk
1 egg
½ tablespoon dill
4 cups cheese (combination of feta, farmer’s cheese*, ricotta, or Moldovan cow cheese*
9 tablespoons flour (1½ tablespoons per pie)
⅔ cup vegetable oil

* = Can be found in ethnic or specialized supermarkets or online.
** = As far as I found out, you have to go to Moldova for this. Bon voyage.

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add 4 cups flour, baking soda, and salt to large mixing bowl. Mix with fork or whisk until well blended. Add buttermilk, milk, and egg. Knead until soft dough ball forms. Split dough balls into 6 smaller dough balls. Brush oil onto dough balls. Let sit for 30 minutes.

While the 6 dough balls sit, add dill and cheese to medium mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Dust rolling pin with ½ tablespoon flour. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon flour onto flat surface. Flatten dough ball with rolling pin, or hands, on flat surface until it is ⅛” thick. Add 1/6th of cheese mix (about ⅔ cup) to center of flattened dough ball. Fold in edges until they meet in the middle. Pinch edges together to form a seal. This is the cheese pie. Repeat for each dough ball.

Add oil to pan. Heat at low-medium heat until a bit of dough starts to dance in the oil. Add cheese pie to pan. Deep fry at low-medium heat for 4 minutes or until bottom of cheese pie turns golden brown. Carefully flip over cheese pie. Deep fry for 4 minutes more or until new bottom becomes golden brown. Repeat for each cheese pie. (Deep frying times will decrease with each pie.) Place on plate and pat dry with paper towel.

TIDBITS

1) We know the universe expands at an ever increasing rate as far-off stars display a red shift. If the Plăcinte on your stove shows such a shift, then it’s accelerating away from you at near-light speed. Plan on getting takeout. But, if the Plăcinte looks bluish, it’s coming at you just as quick. Duck!

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook,  Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on  amazon.com.

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Serbian Gibanica (Cheese Pie) – New Tidbits

Serbian Dessert

GIBANICA
(Cheese Pie)

INGREDIENTS

6 eggs
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup sour cream
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter
1 pound filo (phyllo) dough

SPECIAL UTENSILS

9″-x-13″ baking pan or casserole dish

Serves 8. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Separate eggs. Beat egg whites until fluffy. Add egg yolks, cottage cheese, feta cheese, and sour cream to mixing bowl. Blend thoroughly with whisk or fork. Fold in egg whites. Preheat oven to 360 degrees. Melt butter using low heat. Brush pan with 2 tablespoons melted butter.

Place 2 sheets filo dough in pan. Drizzle 2 tablespoons melted butter over filo. Spread ¼ cup egg/cheese mix on top. Gently crinkle 2 filo sheets into accordion-like balls. Dip accordion balls into cheese/egg mix from bowl until lightly coated. Place coated accordion-like filo balls over flat filo sheets in pan. Repeat until you have 2 filo sheets remaining. Top with remaining 2 filo sheets. Brush top filo sheets with remaining butter and cheese/egg mix. Bake in over at 360 degrees for 50 minutes or until top is reddish, golden brown. Serve warm or let cool.

TIDBITS

1) This recipe use eggs. When cooking, you really want eggs that stay put. It’s so hard to hold onto eggs that move around. Dancing eggs are the bane of chefs. Cooks everywhere drop thousands of dancing eggs every day. But how do you know if the eggs in the carton are motionless or prone to dance? After all, they can’t move in the carton. Study carefully the photos below for signs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Turkish Salad

Turkish Appetizer

TURKISH SALAD

INGREDIENTS

1 cucumber
1 green bell pepper
1 red onion
3 tomatoes
1 garlic clove
6 ounces feta cheese
2 tablespoons fresh mint
⅔ cup fresh parsley
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt

Serves 8. Takes 25 minutes.

PREPARATION

Peel cucumber. Seed green bell pepper. Dice cucumber, green bell pepper, red onion, and tomatoes. Mince garlic clove. Crumble feta cheese. Add cucumber, green bell pepper, red onion, and tomato to large serving bowl. Toss ingredients in bowl. Sprinkle feta cheese on top. Toss ingredients lightly.

Mince mint and parsley. Add mint, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper, and salt to small mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Pour this dressing over salad in serving bowl. Toss lightly.

TIDBITS

1) It is both enjoyable to eat well. It also necessary to be clean. Clean people needn’t worry about repelling loved ones and friends whenever the wind wafts your scent toward them. But why not have it all? Why not dine well and be squeaky clean? May I suggest a Turkish bath? They’re great fun. You and your 123 closest friends relax in room filled with hot air. This warmth causes healthy perspiring and gives you time to order your meal and sup.* Then cool yourself down with nice, refreshing, cold water.

2) * – But oh my gosh, be sure to tailor you menu choices to the type of Turkish bath. The Islamic hamman variety uses steamy air. This experience lends itself to eating steamed vegetables and steamed hot dogs and buns. When there, do not, do not, order the Turkish salad shown in this recipe. The steamy atmosphere wilts the lettuce something fierce. No if you wish this dish, without having to bolt down, you’d be much better off in a Victorian Turkish bath where the air is dry. Indeed, the well-known British love of salad and bathing, explains why there are only Victorian Turkish baths in that country. Now you know.

Chef Paul

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicken Flautas

Mexican Entree

CHICKEN FLAUTAS

INGREDIENTS

4 chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves
1 small onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (4 cups more later)
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ pound queso fresco or feta cheese
½ cup salsa
12 uncooked or freshly made corn tortillas*
4 cups vegetable oil (or at least ¾” deep)
2 tablespoon fresh cilantro

* = Cooked tortillas from the store will require softening in the skillet or microwave. Uncooked tortillas while harder to find will make preparation easier.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

toothpicks

Makes 12 flautas. Takes 1 hour 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add chicken breasts and enough water to cover to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove chicken to plate. Shred chicken using forks.

While chicken simmers, mince garlic and dice onion. Add garlic, onion, and 2 tablespoons oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently. Add shredded chicken and cumin. Stir until well blended. Remove from heat. Add equal amounts of the shredded chicken/onion mixture, queso fresco, and salsa to the middle of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas tightly and pin together with toothpicks.

Add oil to pan. Heat oil using medium-high heat until a tiny piece of the tortillas starts to dance in the oil. Add rolled-up tortillas to pan seem-side down. Sauté at medium-high heat for 4 minutes or until tortillas turn golden brown. Turn frequently, but carefully, to ensure even browning. You will most likely need to cook in batches. Remove from heat. Drain on plate covered with paper towel. Dice cilantro. Garnish with cilantro. Goes well with salsa.

TIDBITS

1) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “The Angler of Vienna,” was also a pretty darn talented musician, writing such toe-tapping operas such as, Il re pastore, Zaide, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cossi fan tutte.”

2) By the way, Mozart’s agent, Paolo Fettucine, arranged for tutti frutti, a new ice cream with chopped and candied fruits in it to be served at Cossi fan tutte’s debut. It was a stroke of P.R. genius. Ice cream lovers came for the dessert and stayed for the opera. Wolfgang never looked back, except when on the way to his secret fishing places.

3) But it is in Mozie’s culinary operas where The Angler of Vienna’s talents really shined. Who can fail to be uplifted by his sole English work, The Three Penny Hot Dog? or feel the anguish of Gibt es wirklich keine Apfelkuchen? (Is There Really No Apple Pie?)

4) The years 1784 – 1787 were his happiest; he had great fishing spots to himself. These interludes of quietude were also the moments of his greatest musical creativity as witnessed by the Fish Cycle operas: Der Kabeljau auf dem Markt (The Cod at the Market), Limone Pesce Impanati (Lemon Breaded Fish), and of course, “The Angler of Vienna’s favorite, Il Mio Punto di Pesca (My Own Fishing Spot.)

5) It’s ironic that Mozart, a famous fan of German cuisine, would write his greatest opera about Mexican food. But who could not be inspired by the brilliant cuisine of Vienna’s famous restaurant, “Los Cinco Tacos?” Wolfang tried the restaurant’s chicken flautas and fell in love with them. He would stay up all night to compose the brilliant, brilliant I say, opera, Las Flautas Mágicas (The Magic Flautas.) Unfortunately, the politics of that year dictated that no operas be performed in Spanish. (Do try to see it if it’s being performed nearby.) Broken hearted that he was, Mozart rewrote his opus. And so we have the not too shabby Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute.) But Mozart would never again write about Mexican food.

6) Then on December 5, 1791, Mozart’s muse, Ernestine, imparted to him the idea of writing the opera Stoßen der magische Kugelfisch, (Puff the Magic Pufferfish.) So strong was Mozie’s excitement over what he knew what would be his magnum opus that he grabbed his fishing pole and raced to Danube River. He continually glanced over his shoulders to see if anyone were following, for all the local anglers would descend on him en masse and fish and fish out his little side pond. It was heartbreaking. Mozart had to scrap one seafood opera after another because he couldn’t bring in enough fish to give a true, abiding sense of its flavor and abiding soul. On one occasion, competitors once fished all the trout from his special inlet. This is why we never got to hear his Guten Morgen, Forelle (Good Morning, Trout) and had to settle for the markedly Don Giovanni.

7) Anyway, Mozie eluded all anglers that day and caught six pufferfish. (1791 was an extraordinarily bountiful year for Viennese pufferfish.) Wolfie scurried home as fast as his chubby little legs would carry him. He cooked all the fish. Unfortunately, he died. For while his wiener schnitzel was second to none, he didn’t know how beans about preparing the potentially fatal pufferfish. His last words were, “Gott im Himmel, where are my car keys?” There were, of course, no cars in 1791 and so need for car keys. Culinary historians Mozart had channeling the frustration of millions upon millions of people two centuries later.

9) But Wolfgang’s musical vision for the pufferfish lasted through the centuries floating through the atmosphere until it found a suitable vessel, a worthy receptacle. This is how we got the classic song, “Puff the Magic Dragon” by Peter, Paul, and Mary. Sure the name and length of Stoßen der magische Kugelfisch changed a bit, but that magnum-opus had been floating around for centuries and became susceptible to modern musical scenes. And there you go.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history, international, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Greek Hamburgers

Greek Entree

GREEK HAMBURGER

INGREDIENTS

3/4 pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons feta cheese
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon parsley
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/3 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cucumber
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 garlic clove

4 hamburger buns

PREPARATION

Crumble the feta cheese. Mix beef, cheese, oregano, parsley, pepper, salt, egg, and bread crumbs. Make four patties. Cook on grill until meat is no longer pink.

Mince cucumber and garlic clove and add to yogurt and mayonnaise. Mix with whisk to make sauce.

Toast the hamburger buns. Put patties in buns. Top patties with sauce. Yum.

TIDBITS

1) As far as I know, Greek hamburgers might be an invention of Greek Americans.

2) Florida leads America in cucumber production.

3) Cucumbers are 95 percent water.

4) Feta is a bad word in Western Sweden.

5) Garlic gloves hung around the neck are supposed to ward off vampires. We have no vampires in Poway, California, so I don’t wear them.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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