Meatless Meals 4: Broccoli Cheese Soup

When You Think “Lenten Meals” — Think Vegetarian!

As a family, Lenten Meals to us are an opportunity to enjoy “meatless” meals.  And, I do mean — ENJOY!  During the Lenten Season, we make an effort to eat “meatless” two times a week — on Wednesdays and Fridays.  I will do my best to post some of our favorites during these next few weeks!

Growing up in a four row-home complex surrounded by family members (through birth & adopted)…. grandmothers, aunts, uncles and cousins…. during the time when every Friday was meatless, I have many a recipe for “meatless” / “lighter” meals.  Many are the “normal” fare…. Macaroni & Cheese, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Spaghetti in a meatless red sauce, Fish Dishes, Egg Dishes, Crepes (palacinka)….. But, some are very “ethnic” in nature.  As you will notice as I share them with you through my posts.  I expect at times, you may be taken back asking yourself —- “Really?”  As to the likes of our Slovenian “Turnip Pie” for example.  And, then you will make it, taste it and delight in its deliciousness!

Here’s our favorite recipe for…

Broccoli Cheese Soup

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 small head of broccoli, washed, cutting mainly, bite size, florets for the soup      (you can buy the florets at your local grocery and use the stems if you wish)
  • 1 cup carrot, julienne thinly or grate
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

In a saute pan, melt your butter and saute the onions.  Set aside.
Melt the additional butter in the same pan and whisk in the flour for approximately 5 minutes.
Stirring constantly, slowly add the half and half.
Cook for approximately another 1 – 2 minutes.
Then, add the vegetable broth — as you continue to whisk the ingredients together.
Reduce your heat and simmer this for approximately 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, add the sautéed onions, broccoli florets and carrots.
Cook over a low heat until the vegetables are tender.
Approximately, 20 – 25 minutes.

Taste and add salt and pepper to your preference.

At this point some people like to puree it in a blender or use your infuser blender (my favorite!).
We just eat it like this because the florets are bite size.

The soup should be a nice consistency.
Over low heat, now add the shredded cheese stirring until it is well blended.

Serve it in a hollowed out mini round bread or just serve it with some delicious crusted bread!

Top with a little of the shredded cheese and as always…..

Enjoy!

 

Serve with some delicious crusted bread ;)
Serve with some delicious crusted bread 😉
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Meatless Meals 3: Mary Ann’s Crab Imperial

Meatless Meals 3: Lenten Meals: Mary Ann’s Crab Imperial – Adapted from a coveted Cossie Snyder’s recipe!

During Lent, it was a given, Cossie Snyder’s in Allentown, Pennsylvania is where you would find Bob, our girls, my mom and myself on a Friday night.  Marie Geletkanych, co-owner with her husband, would wait on our table.  A lovely woman, knew us by name and we always ended our meal with the most delightful of conversations.  And, some Irish coffee!  :)!

Enjoying Cossie Snyder’s because of Marie’s hospitality was one thing but, another…. they had good food!  Lobster tails, fish, crabcakes, Crab Imperial — were some of our favorites on their menu.  Mom always got breaded fish, the girls and I enjoyed their Lobster tails!  To this day, I will say — It was the best or could compete with any lobster tail in our area or anywhere we have eaten to date.  The reason I say that…. they knew how to make them!   They were perfect!  Not undercooked and not over cooked — and, always served with drawn butter!

Bob’s favorite, on the other hand, was their Crab Imperial.  He loved it so much I would call Marie right before New Year’s Eve and she would make some for us to serve at our annual New Year’s Eve – Make A Favorite Food Wish – Feast at our house.

Cossie Snyder’s has since closed and to find Crab Imperial anywhere is a difficult task to say the least.  I’ve searched for recipes and recently found an article and some notes in our local newspaper — The Morning Call.  Google it — it was fun to read!

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The Morning Call – March 11, 2009

The Recipe You’ve Been Waiting For — Crab Cake Recipe finally Revealed
By Diane Stoneback

Marie Geletkanych always said she’d take her recipe for crab cakes — a signature dish at the former Cossie Snyder’s Corner in Allentown — with her to the grave. She closely guarded her secret during the 34 years she and her husband Robert owned the seafood and steak restaurant at Seventh and Washington streets. She made the crab cake mixture early in the morning, before anyone else was in the kitchen. Not even Robert, who cooked everything else on the menu, was entrusted with making the crab cakes.

1 lb. jumbo lump crab meat (fresh or pasteurized)
2 stalks of celery grated (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup grated sweet onion
4 slices fresh white Wonder bread, crusts removed and then cut into very small cubes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
2 Tbsps. parsley flakes
2 tsps. Worcestershire sauce
2 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and then grated
5 Tbsps. Hellman’s mayonnaise
1 egg, raw for breaded crab patties,
you’ll also need:
Flour
One beaten egg
Bread crumbs.
Gently sort through the crab to find and remove any shells.

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And, there it was!!!!   Right before everyone’s eyes!  In Black and White!!  Such excitement!  People in our area got sooooo excited!  Here’s another note I found:

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The Morning Call March 18, 2009

Crab Cake Recipe Prompts Store Rush
By Marion Callahan

Heckenberger’s Seafood in the Allentown Farmers Market sold a week worth’s of fresh lump crab meat in one day, and owner Ray Adams knows the reason behind the rush. Adams said customers lined up for crab meat last Thursday, eager to make Cossie Snyder’s crab cakes, a coveted recipe that was revealed in last Wednesday’s Morning Call. Marie Geletkanych’s crab cakes were a signature dish at the former Cossie Snyder’s Corner in Allentown. She closely guarded her secret recipe during the 34 years she and her husband Robert owned the restaurant at Seventh and Washington streets.
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Sweet story……
But, back to the Crab Imperial!!!

NOW I HAD A Recipe…… for crab cakes!  Not, Bob’s Crab Imperial……
So, I improvise!  I Create!  🙂

Basically, it’s the same recipe with a few, slight changes.

Mary Ann’s Crab Imperial – adapted from a coveted Cossie Snyder’s recipe

1 can jumbo lump crabmeat, picked through for shells
2 stalks celery, grated ( approximately 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup sweet onion, grated
4 slices fresh white bread, crusts removed, cut into very small cubes
or non seasoned bread crumbs / panko
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
2 Tablespoons parsley flakes, minced
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs, hard-boiled, shelled and grated
5 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix all of the ingredients into a large bowl.
Butter individual baking dishes and fill 3/4 full.

Mom's Crab Imperial pic
Mary Ann’s Crab Imperial – Before 😉

Bake in a 375 degree oven until a light, bubbly, golden brown!

Mary Ann's Crab Imperial - After
Mary Ann’s Crab Imperial – After 😉

Enjoy!  Enjoy!

Oh….. End of story…..  Bob Loves it!  :)!

Bucca – What?!? Palacinkas – Meatless Meals 2

What is Bucca????
My Goodness…what an odd name lol!

Well, let’s start with the Palacinka! Maybe some of you have heard of this one…

A Palacinka / Palatschinke is a thin crêpe-like variety of pancake common in Central and Eastern Europe. (see more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palatschinke )

There are many different names or ways to spell palacinka! Check some of these out below!

Palacinka wiki pic

Did you figure out why I spell it palacinka? Our heritage is Windish/Slovenian. We make a lot of our foods with Slovenian, Croatian, Hungarian, Yugoslavian and Slovakian influences in mind. My Great Grandmother came to Ellis Island from Yugoslavia when she was 23 years old. Her name can be found at Ellis Island in New York. But that’s another story. 😉

Oh the many things we learned from Great Grammy, Grammy and family!

We learned to eat really well!!! LOL!! ❤

So…..Anyway…..

As a meatless meal during Lent or really anytime of year (because we love it so much), Grammy and Mom would make us palacinkas. These amazing thin crepe-like pancakes were filled with any jelly or jam we chose. For mom, dad and Grammy, they would have a cheese filling. Oh and don’t forget to cover them with some powdered sugar! 😉

What an easy meatless meal it was too! I’ll give you the recipe later lol!

Now that you know what palacinkas are….

Bucca—–What?!?!?!

Bucca is always a favorite in our home! Jackson absolutely loves it! Who am I kidding? I absolutely love it too! Now…

Take the same recipe that I will give you shortly and rip them up in the pan! Then cover it in pancake syrup or a syrup of your choice! Oh YUM!!! I love palacinkas and bucca soooooo much that I have an inner struggle every time I make them just because I don’t know which way I want to eat them! They’re both soooooo good!!!!!! YUM!!!!!

Ok, ok….Here’s the recipe 😉

Palacinka

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • splash of vanilla (shhhhh)
  • butter to lightly coat the pan between palacinkas (I don’t bother when I use my crepe pan after the first couple, because it has become “seasoned”)
  • choice of jellies/jams

Combine the 1st 4 ingredients and whisk well, try to get rid of all the lumps. Ah….I throw it all in a blender now just to mix them well. Makes for easy cleanup too. It will be a thin batter, if it is a little thick you can add a little more milk. Then pour roughly a 1/4 cup of the batter into a crepe pan or small nonstick pan. Swirl pan around til the batter covers the entire bottom of the pan. Then when edges brown slightly and you start to see some bubbles (similar to making pancakes), flip with a thin spatula and lightly brown the other side. When both sides are lightly browned…place on a plate, fill with favorite jelly/jam, roll it up and dust with powdered sugar! Enjoy!!!

You can keep them covered with foil and warm on a low temperature in the toaster oven until everyone is ready to eat. 😉

I literally flip the palacinkas in the air…learned how in 8th grade and have been flipping ever since! Jackson gets a kick out of it every time! 😉

Making Palacinkas in the crepe pan ;) (Just flipped)
Making Palacinkas in the crepe pan 😉 (Just flipped)
This is how Palacinkas look on the plate...now just fill with your favorite Jam or Jelly and roll up ;) Sprinkle powdered sugar too!
This is how Palacinkas look on the plate…now just fill with your favorite Jam or Jelly and roll up 😉 Sprinkle powdered sugar too!
Jackson likes to roll them up and dip them in pancake syrup! ;)
Jackson likes to roll them up and dip them in pancake syrup! 😉
Bucca - All cut up and smothered in Pancake syrup ;) Yum!
Bucca – All cut up and smothered in Pancake syrup 😉 Yum! Grammy used to make it this way for me! ❤

For Bucca:

Do the same as above, but when you flip the palacinka…start to pull it apart into bite-size pieces with a fork and spatula, then when lightly browned…place on a plate and cover with pancake syrup or syrup of choice. 😉

Seriously….Making Palacinkas and Bucca is that easy. We always at least double the recipe because literally 1 batch feeds only Jackson and I for how much we love it! LOL!

We hope you enjoy Palacinkas and Bucca as much as we do! Let us know below! 😉

Jackson wanted his Picture in the post ;) He said "Mom, ya gotta put in a picture like this, it looks like a flower!" <3
Jackson wanted his Picture in the post 😉 He said “Mom, ya gotta put in a picture like this, it looks like a flower!” ❤

Meatless Meals for Fridays in Lent!

Not sure what to make as a Meatless Meal for a Friday night during Lent?

Well…..

We’ve got some ideas for you! Here is one of our Windish/Slovenian Favorites:

Cabbage and Noodles!

SAMSUNG

List of Ingredients:

  • 1 head of Cabbage
  • 1 bag of Egg Noodles (my hubby likes the extra wide ones by Pennsylvania Dutch or Light n Fluffy, doesn’t matter to me lol!) ALSO…any noodle will do 😉
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Little bit of Vegetable Oil or your choice of cooking oil

Directions:

Chop up the cabbage into small bite-size pieces. Place cabbage in a large skillet with a little bit of cooking oil, salt and pepper (we use a large stock pot cuz we’re gonna mix it all together anyway lol). Saute the cabbage until soft and lightly browned…salt and pepper to taste. While sauteing the cabbage, prepare the noodles according to package instructions. Strain the noodles and mix together with the sauteed cabbage.

Enjoy some Cabbage and Noodles hot off the stove!!! YUM!!!

Some people use this as a side dish, but we eat it as a meal! I absolutely love it!!! I usually eat way too much of it and get way too full…oops! But I do it every time! LOL!

Now, back in the day, my Grammy would chop the cabbage, place it in a large bowl with about a Tablespoon of salt sprinkled on top and let it rest for about an hour. She would then squeeze the cabbage (really builds the muscles lol) to release any water in the cabbage (the salt helps pull it out) and then saute it. Sometimes I still like to do it Grammy’s way 😉

On the other hand, my mother-in-law would boil the cabbage in salt water until soft and then brown it lightly.

And others like to put some chopped onion in too…that’s up to you!

Different ways to come to the same delicious Cabbage and Noodle outcome! 😉

Let us know if you try our recipe and how you liked it 😉

More Meatless Meal recipes to come….

Filet Mignon Roast & Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom

This is truly one of my favorite cookbooks!  It is by a chef I absolutely adore!…. the one and only, Julia Child!  I have such respect and deep, soul, “cooking passion” emotion for this woman it is hard to put into words.

That said, this is one of those cookbooks that I refer to often and give as gifts to new brides, friends & family members.  My personal little green, hard back version is precious to me and it is centrally positioned in my “creating” kitchen.  

Her famous, very detailed, 2 Volume Set, my husband Bob, gave to me as a gift one Christmas.  So special!  It was written with Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck — “Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volumes I and II.”  I also cherish these cookbooks —  for just the mere pleasure of reading and “dream” cooking with them.   
This book however… is always near me… my favorite… my little green one.

In describing Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom book, I will use her words:
“This book aims to give quick, snappy answers to many…questions.”
“It is, rather,  a mini-aide-memoir for general home cookery…. “
“It began as my loose-leaf kitchen reference guide gradually compiled from my own trials, remedies, and errors — corrected as I’ve cooked my way through the years.  Now that it has evolved into a book, information is arranged according to the large categories of soups, eggs, bread, and so forth, with the emphasis on technique.”
As for the essential techniques, “….in the roasting section for instance, the master recipe, though brief, details the technique.… Once you have mastered a technique you hardly need look at a recipe again and can take off on your own.”

And only as Julia can express with her heart on her sleeve… “My own little loose-leaf served me well, and I am hoping this book version will give you too, as well as me, many of the essentials needed for brief instruction and problem solving.”

Here’s a recipe selection under the category of “Meats, Poultry and Fish” — Technique, Roasting — Master Recipe: Our Filet Mignon Beef Roast!

This is a tried and true, favorite family recipe – used throughout the course of the year and consistently for our New Year’s Eve Celebration which I call…. “Foodie Wish Fest Celebration!”

To note… this recipe is always delicious and perfect —— every time!  
Enjoy!!  From our family to yours!
Or as Julia would say…..  “Toujours bon appetit!”  


Family Filet Mignon Roast* – A Foodie Wish Fest Celebration Favorite


Roasting time at 325 degrees – preheat oven

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
Salt & pepper, freshly ground

For the Deglazing Sauce
1/2 cup each – carrots and onions, chopped
1/2 cup plum tomatoes, fresh, chopped
 2 cups beef broth

Rub the exposed ends of the roast with oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Arrange the roast in a roasting pan and set in the lower third of the preheated oven.

After 1/2 hour, baste the ends of the roast with accumulated fat, strew the carrots and onions into the pan, and baste with the fat.

Continue roasting, basting again once or twice, to a meat-thermometer reading of 125 – 130 degrees at the large end – for medium rare.  
We prefer to roast it until medium – 140 degrees / medium well.   December 2012, 160 degrees was perfect for us!

Remove the roast.

Spoon fat out of the roasting pan.

Scraping up the coagulated roasting juices, stir in the tomatoes.
Blend in the beef broth and boil several minutes to sauté the tomatoes and create a concentrated flavor.
Correct the seasoning, strain and pour into a warmed sauceboat.

Enjoy!


*from the book’s recipe: Roast Prime Ribs of Beef

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