Cook’s Corner

Sassy, jelly-sauced meatballs a classic

 

Side dish

Polish White Cheese Dumplings (Kluski Leniwe)

16 ounces farmer cheese (or dry curd cottage cheese)

1 tablespoon butter, optional

2 eggs, separated

1 cup flour

Salt to taste

Mash the cheese with a fork. If using butter, melt it and mix with the egg yolks. Otherwise, mix the yolks with the cheese and flour and add a pinch of salt. Beat the egg whites until light and fluffy and add to the dough.

Knead into a smooth dough and separate into thirds, rolling each into a log about 1/2 inch thick. Flatten the top gently and cut across diagonally with a knife into pieces about 1 by 1 1/2 inches.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and slide in the dumplings about 20 at a time, cooking for about 3 minutes, until they rise to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon. Drizzle with melted butter, sprinkle with sugar or enjoy with yogurt or sour cream. Makes 3 servings.

Per serving: 308 calories (12 percent calories from fat), 4 g fat (1.4 g saturated fat, 1.4 g monounsaturated fat), 135 mg cholesterol, 24 g protein, 42 g carbohydrates, 1.1 g fiber, 547 g sodium.


Quick Bread

Beer Bread

You can make this with self-rising flour, omitting the baking powder and salt. Make a cheese bread by adding 1 cup shredded Cheddar or other variety.

3 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 (12-ounce) can of beer

2 tablespoons butter, melted, optional

Stir all ingredients together. Place in greased loaf pan and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until golden. Brush top with melted butter, if desired. Makes 12 servings.

Per serving: 153 calories (13 percent from fat), 2.2 g fat (1.3 g saturated fat, 0.5 g monounsaturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 3.3 g protein, 27 g carbohydrates, 0.8 g fiber, 277 g sodium.


Appetizer

Cocktail Meatballs

1 1/2 pounds ground chuck

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 (12-ounce) bottle chili sauce

1 (18-ounce) jar grape jelly

Combine meat, parsley, salt and pepper, mustard, chili powder and garlic in a small bowl, mixing well; shape into 1-inch balls. Brown in oil, turning, over medium-high heat or bake on a rack for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Combine chili sauce, grape jelly and 1/4 cup water in saucepan or chafing dish. Heat, stirring until well blended. Add meatballs and simmer over low heat 30 minutes, or until done. Makes 36 bite-size meatballs.

Per meatball: 84 calories (23 percent from fat), 2 g fat (0.8 g saturated fat, 0.9 g monounsaturated), 12 mg cholesterol, 4 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 0.8 g fiber, 187 g sodium.


Sleuth’s Corner

Q. If anyone has the recipe for a banana layer cake with fluffy white frosting that was sold regularly in 1954-55 at a farmer’s market in Fayetteville, I would love to hear from you. My family lived there while my father served in Korea, and my mother used to buy it.

Susan Taylor,

Knox, Maine


LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com

Q. I misplaced a recipe my mom had from The Miami Herald. It had three ingredients: Meatballs, grape jelly and one other item. Do you still have it?

Susan Rolnick

It seems that every few years someone asks for this recipe, which first appeared in Cook’s Corner in 1985. And no wonder: It is easy, quick and delicious. The quirky ingredients make a sweet yet sassy sauce. It’s perfect for game day or a potluck.

I’ve taken to making these with ground turkey and the result is just as delicious, and a bit healthier.

Q. When I was a little girl my grandmother made me a simple dish whenever the grownups were having a fancy dinner. It was a little noodle thing and she called it lenwhey, though I am unsure of the spelling. The dough was made with farm cheese, and she always served it to me in a bowl of yogurt.

F. Maskerwitz

Serendipity was at work here, for I grew up in a town with a Polish community and am still in touch with a childhood friend whose mother is a fantastic Polish cook. My friend Sandra knew the dish and had gotten a new Polish cookbook for Christmas that she highly recommends — Authentic Polish Cooking by Marianna Dworak (Skyhorse, $24.95).

The recipe here is adapted from the book, which has more than 150 recipes for both traditional and modern Polish dishes. My friend says she, too, had the dumplings in a bowl of yogurt or sour cream, topped with toasted, buttered bread crumbs. My one criticism of the book is that it does not provide serving sizes, so the cook must guess how many a recipe will serve.

Q. I had a recipe taped to the inside door of my pantry for “emergency” bread. I think you made it with just three or four ingredients and it was great anytime. I forgot to save the recipe when my kitchen was redone. I’m pretty sure I got it from your column.

Catherine, Miami

I had to go back to the early 1980s to find the first time this appeared in my column. The secret is to have a can or bottle of beer on hand. The original recipe just uses three ingredients — self-rising flour, sugar and the beer. If you get creative with cheese or herbs, the ingredient list can grow. I love to make it with diced tomatoes, asiago and mozzarella cheeses and oregano.

Bake-off time

Cook’s Corner readers are fond of recipes from the Pillsbury Bake-Off, and no doubt many dream of competing for the million-dollar grand prize. So here’s the scoop: The contest has been streamlined for its 46th edition — fewer categories, fewer ingredients and, for the first time, America will vote to determine all 100 finalists.

You can find out more about the contest, now open, at bake-off.com. It takes place Nov. 10-12 in Las Vegas.

You can get a free apron and a chance to win a $500 gift card and see your recipe on a Tuttorosso tomato can by going to the brand’s Facebook page. You have to supply an original Italian recipe and photograph. The apron goes to the first 4,000 who “like” the brand.

Send questions and responses to LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com or Food, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, FL 33132. Personal replies are not possible.

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