Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Waldorf Salad

Anyone remember Waldorf Salad from years gone by? Well, even though I have seen it in older cookbooks, I don't remember eating it until just recently. My sister in law asked me to make one and bring it to a family birthday party. So after perusing the internet and reading through my vast collection of cookbooks, I tweaked some and came up with my version of the Waldorf Salad. For the party, I made up a big batch, expecting to bring home leftovers and enjoy them over the next few days. When I opened the dish at home later, I was shocked to see it almost finished off!

The basic salad consists of usually apples, celery and nuts with either raisins or grapes. The dressing varies a little but is usually mayonnaise and/or sour cream, or yogurt. I initially wasn't sure about using mayonnaise in the dressing with yogurt but it went together very well. Also,  I have decided that I prefer to use a variety of apples since you get all the different nuances of apple flavor working together.

I have varied the dressing a couple ways and each is equally delicious. The first time I made the salad, I used equal parts mayonnaise and vanilla yogurt. The second time, I only had about 2-3 Tbsp before I ran out of mayonnaise. So I just added that to enough sour cream to equal the vanilla yogurt and it was still very good. Try both of the versions out! As a side note- the amounts may vary depending on the size of your fruit and I often eyeball my amounts. I like to use about 1 part celery: 2 parts grapes: 3 parts apple.

Makes about 10 cups

  • 6 apples, variety of types coarsely grated or chopped
  • 4 ribs of celery hearts, chopped
  • 1 pound of grapes, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (even better flavor if slightly toasted before chopping)
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup mayo or sour cream or mixture of both

  • Chop the fruits, celery and nuts. 
  • Mix together the dressing ingredients. 
  • Pour over the fruit and mix well.
  • Refrigerate until serving. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Russian Black Bread and a Pastrami, Egg on Russian Black Bread Sandwich

I have always loved hearty and rustic breads because they seem to have so much flavor. So when a friend told me about trying some homemade Russian Black Bread, I was excited to try making it also. Since I wanted to be sure to have a really rich, dark bread like dark pumpernickel bread, I increased some of the ingredients from other recipes I found. I absolutely love the seeds in this bread! They really add to the texture and flavor. This recipe was adapted from one on and a couple other ones that were a little different. Additionally, if you have whole rye berries (whole rye grains),  try adding 1/2 cup (that have been softened by soaking or cooking) to the dough when almost finished kneading for a wonderful chewy texture. After this came out of the oven, everyone was in heaven eating it warm with butter. Later, it was wonderful made into a Pastrami Egg Sandwich with Thousand Island Dressing (a half-wink to the Reuben sandwich). I also made this in my bread machine but it can also be mixed/kneaded with a stand mixer or food processor (or by hand) and then baked in a large loaf pan. This is the perfect bread to have with a hot bowl of soup!

Makes 1 loaf- 1 1/2 pounds

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cups rye flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil or butter
  • 2 Tbsp black strap or regular molasses
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 1 Tbsp caraway seed
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp dried onion flakes or 2 Tbsp finely chopped onion
  • Place ingredients into the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. 
  • Use Whole Wheat setting, regular crust.
  • After baking cycle ends, remove bread from pan and allow to cool on wire rack for about 1 hour (or as long as you can resist!) before slicing or the bread will be gummy.
  • If making by hand and using instant yeast, mix yeast with dry ingredients and stir in wet ingredients until the dough is no longer very wet and able to be kneaded.
  • If using Active Dry Yeast, you need to rehydrate the yeast by mixing it in 1/4 cup of the warm water and proofing first- wait until it gets a little bubbly.
  • Then mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until worked together well. Cover with a bowl and allow to rest for about 30 minutes. 
  • Knead dough for about 10 minutes. Cover and place in warm place to double in size. (It may not completely double if using this much rye flour.)
  • Punch dough down and knead for about 5 more minutes. 
  • Place in greased bread pan and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for about 45-50 minutes. 
  • If desired, baking sheet may be used that has cornmeal sprinkled and then dough put on the sheet with top of dough ball slashed diagonally a couple times with a sharp knife.

Here is the perfectly sublime sandwich that was so good! Use Thousand Island salad dressing on both slices of bread, then layer slices of pastrami, add a semi-soft yolk fried egg (well seasoned), slice of cheese- pepper jack or a creamy cheese is good, thin slices of onion. A little sauerkraut layer would be wonderful, also!