FEBRUARY 20, 2014 • CCF RECORDER • B3
Comfort food can help you get through winter Reader Mike R. said: “Everywhere I go, I never find two coleslaws alike. Everyone has his or her own taste and ingredients. In my personal opinion, Blue Ash Chili in has the best coleslaw, creamy and sweet. Does anyone have a recipe for this version of slaw?”
My friend, Charlene Castle, known as the dumplin’ queen around here, is a Southern girl who makes her dumplings with soft, self-rising flour and hot water. She doesn’t use measuring cups; she uses special bowls like her mom. Real heirloom cooking. “Roll them out, put them in the chicken and broth. They’ll thicken it,” she said. I make Rita dumplings, Heikenfeld too, but RITA’S KITCHEN mine are the kind you scoop up and plop on top of soup or stew. Fun to make. Granddaughter Eva, almost 6, is pretty good at making these dumplings. It won’t be long before I get her little sis, Emerson, up on the stool to help, as well.
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No-peek herbed dumplings
1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned lightly into cup and leveled off 11⁄2 teaspoons baking powder 1 ⁄4 teaspoon each salt and pepper or to taste Palmful fresh minced parsley (optional) 1 ⁄2 cup milk or bit more, if needed 3 tablespoons butter
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together. Add parsley. Make a well in center. Heat milk with butter until butter melts. Pour into well and mix. Dough will look sort of shaggy. Add a bit more milk, if necessary. Don’t over mix. Sometimes there’s a bit of dry mixture in the bottom of the bowl. Just leave it. Turn heat down on soup to simmer. Use an ice cream scoop sprayed with cooking spray to drop dumplings carefully on top of liquid, leaving space in between for expansion. Put lid on. No peeking! Simmer anywhere from 8 to 10 minutes, or until largest dumpling is done: cut in half to test. Dumpling will be cooked through and not soggy in middle. Dumplings expand to double or even tri-
Don’t peek in the pot if you want these dumplings to be fluffy.THANKS TO RITA HEIKENFELD
ple. Depending upon size, you’ll get eight or more.
Quick beef stroganoff
I only know her by her first name, Sherry. We almost collided at the store. Sherry was buying ingredients for this recipe and when I told her it sounded so good, she gave me her copy! “I have another at home,” she said. I followed her recipe pretty close, with a few adaptations. Worth sharing! 1 pound flank steak Olive oil 1 cup chopped onion 1 ⁄2 to 3⁄4 teaspoon minced garlic (optional) Salt and pepper to taste Hot paprika or a little cayenne, to taste 6-8 oz. fresh exotic mushrooms or regular mushrooms, sliced 11⁄2 cups beef broth 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons flour 1 ⁄3 cup sour cream plus more for garnish Several green onions, sliced Nice pat of butter, about a tablespoon or so Cooked noodles
Slice beef across grain 1 ⁄4-inch wide strips, then cut strips in half. Film bottom of pan with oil and heat to medium high. Add
beef and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove and add onion, garlic, seasonings and mushrooms to pan and cook until mushrooms are tender, adding a bit more oil if necessary. Reduce heat to medium. Mix 1⁄4 cup beef broth with flour to make a paste. Add to pan along with beef, stirring well. Stir in 1-1⁄4 cups broth, cover and cook until sauce thickens. Adjust seasonings. Stir in sour cream, green onions and butter. Serve over noodles and pass sour cream.
Thriftway’s tortellini salad. Western Hills reader Mark Wiggershaus would like to have this recipe or something similar. “It had an earthy taste and was very good,” Mark said. Like Frisch’s or Jock’s batter for deep-fried fish. Reader Tom Ohmer would love to have a similar recipe. Blue Ash Chili’s coleslaw.
Can you help?
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First, have your soup, stew or even canned broth boiling. I like to put these on top of chicken soup. The secret to fluffy dumplings? Don’t peek!
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Rita Nader Heikenfeld is an herbalist, educator, Jungle Jim's Eastgate culinary professional and author. Find her blog online at Cincinnati.Com/ blogs. Email her at email@example.com with "Rita's kitchen" in the subject line. Call 513-248-7130, ext. 356.
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