Community, Recipes

Larry’s Lutefisk

When I wound up at SDSU, our Extension Director, Larry Tidemann, exposed his Norwegian roots occasionally.  With a Scots surname, I never pointed out that more of my recent ancestors are Scandinavian – mostly in self-defense.  The descendents of Scots make a point of eating Haggis – but Larry made a point of bringing lutefisk into the office, to share with all.  I think there were always leftovers.

As near as I can make out from the old, penciled recipe (unused these many years) you start with:

5 pounds of lutefisk
2 pounds of bacon
4 tablespoons of salt

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Cut lutefisk into servings and place in a baking pan (skin side down)
  • Sprinkle with salt and cover with aluminium foil
  • Bake the lutefisk in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Fry bacon on medium heat so the fat melts and the bacon gets crispy.

The pea stew (I think that’s the translation – 20 years have affected the lettering)  Quantities seem to be a matter of personal choice or availability.

2 lbs of dried peas
butter
Salt
Sugar

  • Leave peas in water overnight
  • Pour off the soaking water, cook in fresh water until tender
  • Add more water if it doesn’t get tender
  • Add butter, salt and sugar
  • Serve lutefisk with bacon and pea stew

I only ate the bacon – it wasn’t half bad despite the presence of lutefisk.  I can understand why the Vikings went to sea.

Community, Recipes

Back to School Bread

This versatile classic frequently receives compliments. It can be made into rolls and bread-sticks. With a little cornmeal it becomes pizza dough.

It also serves as the foundation of Lunch in a Bun, a popular menu item at Trego School. For lunch in a bun, each bun has a filling. Sometimes, it is taco meat and cheese. At other times, they are filled with pepperoni, ham and cheese, then served with marinara sauce.

These numbers in this recipe are reduced to result in a smaller amount of bread than is produced in the school kitchen.

Single Rise Dough

2 Tbsp. Active Dry Yeast
3 Tbsp. Sugar
3 tsp. Salt
1 cup Water
1 cup Warm Milk
1/3 cup Oil
2 Eggs
6-6 & 1/2 cups Flour or Bread Flour

  1. Decide on which mixing method you would like to use
    • If dissolving yeast in warm water, use a water temperature of 110 degrees
    • If mixing the yeast right in with the dry ingredients, use a water temperature of 115-120 degrees
  2. Mix as much flour as possible in using a mixer. Work the remaining flour in by hand and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic
  3. After mixing and kneading process is complete, let dough rest for 10 minutes
  4. Scale into proper size units (bread loaves, sandwich buns, dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, etc.
  5. Mold your dough into the shapes you will be making. Pan into the proper sized pans.
  6. Proof the dough units until almost double in bulk. When touched gently, a unit that is fully proofed will full out the dent slowly.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes for loaves and approximately 15-20 minutes for dinner rolls and smaller units.

Community, Recipes

Using your Zucchini

As I visit our garden, I remember a time when my driver’s door closed, latched, and didn’t lock.  I went to drive home and found close to a hundred pounds of zucchinis in my back seat.  I kind of sniveled about this experience, and another county agent sent me this recipe:

Zucchini Jam

5 ½ C grated Zucchini 
1 (20 ounce) can crushed Pineapple|
6 C sugar                                            
2 (3 ounce) packages Jello (any flavor)
1 C water          
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Boil zucchini, sugar and water for 6 minutes.  Add lemon juice and pineapple.  Boil for 6 more minutes.  Add 2 packages of Jello, and boil for 6 more minutes.  Pour hot mixture into jars, put on lid and screw band.  Jars will seal without processing if you put the lids on immediately as you pour in the boiling mixture.

Demography, Recipes

Fruit Soup

For many years, the Census differentiated between Germans and Germans from Russia.  While there were significant historical differences between the two groups, by the time I was doing the demographic work for South Dakota, the largest difference I could see was the menu.  This recipe, for Plumemoos, a fruit soup served cold, is a hot weather dish passed to us from the Germans from Russia.

            Plumemoos

2 qt      water
1 c.      sugar
1 c.      seedless raisins
1 c.      dried prunes
1          29-oz can of peaches
1          cinnamon stick
1          package red jello
1 qt.     Purple grape juice

Cook dried fruit, sugar and cinnamon stick til fruit is tender.  Add jello to hot soup and stir to dissolve – this will color and thicken the soup when it has cooled.   When cooled, add grape juice to taste.  Serve cold – a wonderful, soothing soup for a hot summer day.

Community, Recipes

Corn on the BBQ

I like cooking my corn on the BBQ. Especially during hot summer days! This is a great method to cook it. Keeping part of the husk helps prevent it from burning the kernels and it turns out tender and juicy. They can even be made up in advance so it’ll get you out of the kitchen sooner. Try it for your next summer get together!

  • Ears of corn
  • Peel back husks, remove hair and the outside husks, but keep several around the corn leaving them connected.
  • Butter each cob
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Put tender husks back around corn
  • Wrap in tin foil
  • Put on BBQ for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally. Enjoy!
Community, Recipes

Mexican Cornbread

In the mid-eighties, I taught at Trinidad State Junior College, where I learned that the names Carson, Bowman and Simpson belonged to Hispanic students.  I recollect one beginning student hanging back at the end of class, to ask “Mr. McCurry, did you notice that we were the only white people in this class?”  I hadn’t noticed – I’ve known my students as individuals rather than by race.  Anyway, this recipe comes from Trinidad, Colorado – the notes say it was from Mary DeKleva, and I can’t say if it’s cultural appropriation of not.

1 cube melted oleo
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup white flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 can hot diced green chili
1 cup american cheese grated and melted

Mix ingredients together.  Bake in 350 degree oven in a 9 x 9 pan, for forty minutes.

A suggestion for lightweights might be to start with a can of mild diced green chili – southern Colorado and northern New Mexico have a tendency for some downright hot peppers in the food.  I learned to enjoy it, but I was never sure the delicacies weren’t a test my students gave me.  “Try this, Mr. McCurry – my grandmother made it.”

Community, Recipes

Rice Krispy Treats with a flair

This summer sweet is a great little treat. It’s easy to make and you don’t have to bake.

  • On low heat, boil 1 cup sugar and 1 cup light karo syrup until sugar dissolves and remove from heat. Then mix 1 cup peanut butter until smooth. (Be sure not to overcook or they will turn out rock hard)
  • Stir in 6 cups rice krispies until fully coated. Press into a 9×13 pan.
  • In a separate pan, melt 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup butterscotch chips. Spread over rice krispies.
  • Let cool and serve. Enjoy!
Recipes

Skillet Chicken Pot Pie

I’ve looked at many recipes for making Chicken Pot Pie using my cast iron skillet and didn’t find one in particular that fit into my “how can I make this with the least amount of work” philosophy. So I combined a few different recipes and this chicken pot pie is easy to make and the crust is flakey and very tasty. Enjoy!

FOR PIE CRUST:

  • 8 tablespoons cold butter cut into cubes
  • 8 tablespoons cold shortening cut into cubes
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • (I have a 12″ skillet, so I make 1-1/2 times this recipe so I have plenty of dough). I put the butter and shortening in the freezer for a few minutes to harden and then cut them into your flour/salt until clumps form. Then pour in water and mix until dough ball forms. Cut the dough in half and form into two flattened round disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until ready to use.

FOR FILLING:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • Frozen carrots
  • Frozen peas
  • Frozen or diced potatoes
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups chicken, diced
  • (Flour and chicken broth can be adjusted based on size of pan–I use 1/2 cup flour and 5 cups chicken broth)Preheat oven to 400. Add butter and oil to large pan and melt. Sauté celery, onion, and garlic until soft, about five minutes. (If you are using uncooked chicken, at this point cook chicken until its internal temp reaches 165 and remove from pan), if not, add frozen vegetables and sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir until evenly coated and cook for a few minutes. Then add chicken broth a little at a time and whisk after each addition until mixture begins to resemble a thick pudding. Once this consistency is reached, remaining broth can be added in. Stir in cooked chicken and salt and pepper and simmer until thickened.
  • Roll out pie dough until it is 1/4″ thick. Lay one dough across bottom of skillet (no need to oil/butter skillet). Add chicken/vegetable filling. Roll out second dough and place it over skillet. Crimp edges together. Cut vent holes in center of pie.
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 400. Then reduce temperature to 350 and bake for 25-28 minutes more, or until top is golden brown (you may need to wrap edges of pie with tin foil if the edge gets too dark. Allow 15-20 minutes before serving.
Recipes

Sardine Burgers

One of the more interesting recipes we brought back from South Dakota is from Jeeta Kant’s cookbook.  Jeeta’s BS was in Sociology, her Master’s in Geography, and her Ph.D program was in Civil Engineering – with her dissertation on edible wild plants used on the Pine Ridge. She has a rather eclectic academic transcript.

Jeeta’s recipe is reduced to six sandwiches instead of serving an entire Hutterite colony with a burger based on canned sardines. 

  • 1 can mustard sardines
  • 1 can catsup sardines
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 and 2/3 cups cooked ground chicken meat
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 and 1/3 cups bread crumbs
  • 12 slices of bread, buttered on 1 side

Mix all the filling ingredients together.

Spread 6 slices of bread with mixture.  Top with the remaining 6 slices and cook slowly on grill, buttered side down, until the filling is done and the bread toasted.

More of Jeeta’s recipes are available in the Hutterite Community Cookbook, by Joanita Kant.  The ISBN is 0-934672-56-3 if you want to get a copy of your own.

Community, Recipes

Homemade Tortillas

This is a tortilla recipe which requires no special equipment. Just simple ingredients found in the cupboard. I use this recipe when making fish tacos (See pic below-fresh perch taco with homemade coleslaw and tortilla…Yummy!). They don’t refrigerate well, but they’re so easy to make, you can make them fresh for the meal and impress your guests! Recipe makes 6-8 tortillas.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Whisk all ingredients together. Pour enough in a hot nonstick pan and swirl to make a tortilla (about 1/4 cup). Don’t use oil in your pan. Cook until the edges turn up and flip to the other side to continue cooking. Cook a couple minutes on each side. Keep warm in oven until use.