I've been a little MIA, thanks to a combination of a busy schedule and laziness, but I'm back with a bang. The Amsterdam Sandwich is a replica of an incredible creation I ate a couple of months back in Amsterdam (I probably could have been a bit more clever with the name). My gal pal Gina and I shared the original for lunch at a Dutch outdoor cafe and we fell in love- with the sandwich that is. It was so good that we didn't shut up about it for weeks. We decided it was time for a reenactment. This replica was just as delicious, although we did miss the beautiful Amsterdam scenery that surrounded us. The men in our lives (who were left behind while we traveled abroad) also agreed that this sandwich was a blue ribbon winner and I know you will too!
I volunteered to make a Greek salad for a recent bridal shower I was attending and after contemplating how to make it pretty (and still accommodate 25+ guests) , I decided to go for an unconventional approach. Being that the gathering was going to be a more casual, mingling type atmosphere (with lots of finger foods), I thought it would be fun to make individual Greek salad skewers. They combine all of the elements of the salad, but with more pizazz- including a beautiful presentation. Serve these with the zesty dressing as a dipping sauce and you've got yourself a conversation piece for the party!
This Stuffed Cabbage is another family recipe that I have liked ever since I was a kid. It's one of mom's go to recipes when she's got ground meat to use and can be one of yours too! The preparation is rather simple, especially if you want to forgo the actually stuffing part (omit the cabbage leaves comepletely and prepare at large meatballs). Once you've got it all in the crock pot, you're done until it's time to serve.
No "Crocktoberfest" would be complete without a German meal so I decided to venture into something new- Saurbraten, a traditional dish transliterated as "sour, or pickled, roast." The inspiration came from an old Rachel Ray episode where she talked about making the sauce from gingersnaps, which intrigued me enough to give it a go. I also had a cut of London broil (top round) in the freezer that was waiting to be cooked and what a perfect dish to use it for.
After reading through a plethora of recipes, I opted not to go with the 3 day marinade that so many called for (talk about needing to plan ahead) and just did mine overnight. The meat came out tender, though it would have been a bit dull without the traditional gravy, which is super easy to make. I even made homemade Spaetzle, which mom actually had to assist me with (good thing she was invited for dinner), because my dough and the Spaetzle maker being used were not cooperating.
Spaetzle is a starchy side that on its own doesn't offer much, but when you add it to soup or pour sauce or gravy on top, it becomes dynamite. It works great as a substitute for pasta or potatoes, adding a litte variety to the world of carbs. While there are only two ingredients in our Spaetzle recipe, the process of making it can be tricky. There are several different Spaetzle makers out there and my mom handed one of hers down to me, but unfortunately, it stopped doing its job. We actually trashed the old fashioned maker and scrounged the kitchen for a back up plan. This resulted in what my mom claims to now be the best spaetzle maker ever, a grill pan with holes (this is the one I have). If you don't have a spaetzle maker or a grill pan, you can use a grater that has large holes. Whatever you decide to use, take your time and follow the directions to a "T" or you'll end up with a wad of dough in the trash (which I am guilty of).