Alexander Selkirk Cheese Flambe

Alexander Selkirk Cheese Flambe

Alexander Selkirk, the son of a Largo, Scotland shoemaker, left home in 1695, when he was 19, to become a buccaneer. By the time he was 27, he was the sailing master of a galley in a fleet captained by the famed pirate, William Dampier.

Selkirk was a stubborn, thin-skinned man who always wanted to do things his way. In September 1704 he had an argument with the captain.

“Let me off this ship,” he demanded.

A few days later, he was put ashore on the desolate and uninhabited island of Juan Fernandez, 400 miles west of Chile. Selkirk was allowed to take weapons, tools, tackle, brandy and other supplies.

The first night on shore, Selkirk wondered if he had made a big mistake. He heard strange noises coming out of the jungle. Afraid of being attacked by wild animals, he slept in a tree.

The next day, he used a tarpaulin to make a tent, which he surrounded with a high picket fence made from saplings. He then felt safe.

During the next weeks, he explored the island and found an abundance of game — large birds, goats, rabbits and wild cats. He shot game for food, and soon captured and tamed a few goats. He even found a lemon tree.

From the goats, he was able to get milk. He soon learned how to make butter and cheese. The cheese was similar in texture to mozzarella. He built a small boat that he used to go fishing in a small safe cove.

For the most part, Selkirk enjoyed his isolation. He became a very good cook, and spent much of his time at the stove and oven he had made.

He hesitated to leave the island when the “Duke,” captained by Woods Rogers and piloted by Dampier, showed up five years later.

“Let’s not have any hard feelings,” said Dampier. “C’mon Alex, back to civilization.”

Selkirk finally agreed and was appointed mate to Rogers. The next month he was given command of the “Increase” which had been captured by the privateers.

He returned to England in 1711. His tale of being marooned on an uninhabited island reached Daniel Defoe who used Selkirk’s narrative as the basis of one of the most widely read classics of all times — Robinson Crusoe.

Selkirk returned to Largo where he spent most of his time as a recluse. On the few occasions, he did have visitors, he usually prepared his favorite dish, called “Toad-in-the-Hole” that he served with an ale and, cheese flambé hors d’oeuvre that he concocted on his beloved island. It is still a wonderful appetizer that is very easy to make. You would do well to try it. But be sure to follow with Robinson Crusoe’s “Toad in the Hole.”

Alexander Selkirk’s Cheese Flambé

1 Lb. Mozzarella cheese

3 Tbs. melted butter

1 Lemon

5 Tbs. brandy

Place cheese in ovenproof baking dish. Brush with butter and lemon juice mixture. Place in broiler under high heat about six inches away from heat. Broil about five minutes until cheese browns and bubbles. Meanwhile heat brandy until very warm. Take cheese from broiler, pour brandy over cheese and light immediately. Cut into cubes and serve with small pieces of seeded rye bread or crackers.

Toad-in-the-Hole

2 Cups all purpose flour

3 Eggs

1 ½ Cups milk

2 Tbs. vegetable oil

1 Lb.(8 links) good quality pork sausage

dash of salt and pepper

Brown the sausages in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and cook through, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 425° F.

Whisk together the flour, eggs and the milk in a medium bowl until you have smooth batter. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover and let stand for half an hour.

Pour the second tablespoon of oil into a baking dish and place sausages into it in a single layer. Pour the batter over the sausages and place in oven. Bake for about 20 minutes or until batter has risen and is the color of golden brown. Serve immediately.

Alexander Selkirk Cheese Flambe

Alexander Selkirk Cheese Flambe  Alexander Selkirk, the son of a Largo, Scotland shoemaker, left home in 1695, when he was 19, to become a buccaneer. By the time he was 27, he was

Simple Delicious Navy Bean Soup

Simple Delicious Navy Bean SoupSimple Delicious Navy Bean Soup –It is getting to be soup season and we will share with you a no brainer recipe that makes several delicious meals.

It requires one pound of dried navy beans (unsoaked, that’s important, unsoaked albeit you should rinse them), a cup of chopped ham ( bonus if you got a bone), one diced onion, one chopped small carrot and two packets of chicken bullion.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a gallon pot, and sauté the carrot, onion and ham until the veggies are soft. Add the beans and the bone if you have one and fill the pot. Season generously with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add the bullion and then let simmer for a few hours until the beans are soft. It’s even better the next day.

Sandwiches make a good side but we had fried green tomatoes as the tomatoes are still being found in our garden.

We made the tradition coating of flour, egg and breadcrumbs with salt and pepper added to the flour. We fried them in butter.

Simple Delicious Navy Bean Soup

Edmund Halley Rabbit — A Legendary Recipe

Edmund Halley Rabbit -- A Legendary RecipeEdmund Halley Rabbit — Edmund Halley was born in London in 1656. His father had more money than Daddy Warbucks. Young Eddie always had a pocket full of shillings to wine and dine the lassies, but he also spent much of it on telescopes for star-gazing.

Halley was famous as an astronomer by the time he was 19. Even at that age he could immediately detect a misplaced star.

He became the Astronomer Royal succeeding John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal who, along with Sir Isaac Newton, were his closest friends.

When a comet appeared in 1682, it was spotted by Halley, who after checking its orbit, identified it as the comet that had been sighted in 1607 and 1531. The streaking body is famous today as “Halley’s Comet.”

Later, the same year, 1682, Halley, Flamsteed, and Newton were at the Greenwich Observatory when Halley shouted for attention.

“I say!” exclaimed Halley. “It appears to be a cigar.”

This came long before any kind of aircraft was cluttering the skies. The trio jotted notes as they tracked the fascinating object through their telescopes. It had appeared out of no-where and moved steadily across the sky.

It was too slow for a meteor and much too fast to be a cloud. Besides the object was jet black and definitely solid.

The three compared notes and agreed they had seen the same thing. Newton described it as being shaped like a shuttle, and Flamsteed saw it as a spindle.

None of the famous astronomers could identify the object.

“Extraordinary,” they agreed.

And indeed it was. It is possible they reported the first UFO.

Many times Halley prepared a Welsh peasant’s ragout for his two friends at the observatory. One theory holds that the inexpensive dish was served to Welsh kitchen workers while English nobility dined on rabbit and wine. It was called Welsh Rabbit. Here is a popular version of the recipe which we call Halley’s Rabbit.

Halley’s Rabbit

1/4 Cup margarine or butter

Dash of cayenne

1/2 Tsp. dry mustard

1/2 Tsp. Worcestershire sauce

3/4 Cup milk

3/4 Cup ale or stout

1 Lb. shredded Cheddar cheese

8 slices toast

Shred cheese and set aside. Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and place over very low heat until liquid is hot. Add cheese, stir until melted. Pour over toast. For some modern wrinkles use ginger ale instead of the alcohol drink, and pour the sauce over bagels instead of toast. It’s delicious over French fries and baked potatoes as well.

 

Edmund Halley Rabbit — A Legendary Recipe

Gourmet Pierogie Sale At HMB

Gourmet Pierogie Being Sold At HMB — Holy Myrrh-Bearers Parish pierogie-makers just couldn’t stop pinching for the entire summer and are now taking orders for a special run of gourmet pierogies.

Varieties offered are:

Buffalo Chicken  –  $7  ½ dozen

Cheese Steak –  $7   ½ dozen

Kielbasa & Sauerkraut  –  $7  ½ dozen

Sauerkraut  –  $6  ½ dozen

Order yours by Sunday, July 8 and pickup between noon and 3 pm. on Friday, July 1 , unless other arrangements have been made.

Please place your order by calling our parish office at 610-544-1215 or send us an email at HMBChurch@verizon.net.  Please leave your name, phone number, and amunt dozen requested.  All pickups are made in the Parish Hall, at 900 Fairview Road, Swarthmore, Pa. 19081

Gourmet Pierogie Being Sold At HMB

Gourmet Pierogie Being Sold At HMB

Hrutka Easter Cheese Makes Great Leftover Meals

Hrutka Easter Cheese
Hrutka ready to cut

Hrutka Easter Cheese — Easter is over which means leftovers which around here means leftover hrutka or Easter cheese.

Hrutka is a traditional Slovak dish and is not a cheese. It is not unfairly compared to a big ball of cold scrambled eggs.

Yes, there is usually a lot of leftover hrutka.

But that’s where the dish truly shines. Microwave it with onions, cheese and leftover ham and you have an instant omelette. Heat it up and put it on an English muffin and an easy hrutka McMuffin.

And yes, if you should be lucky enough to acquire a taste you will enjoy it cold with horseradish and leftover kielbasa.

Hrutka Easter Cheese
Hrutka ready to eat with kielbasa and beet horseradish.

It’s never thrown out.

Here is how we make our hrutka:

Whisk 13 eggs, a quart of whole milk and a two teaspoons of salt in a big enough microwave-safe bowl. Nuke it between 25-30 minutes at 70 power stirring occasionally. Ladle it into a cheesecloth and hang it in the refrigerator overnight.

And there you have hrutka.

Hrutka Easter Cheese

Chicken Francese Made For Interesting Meal

Chicken Francese
Chicken braising in the lemon sauce

We recently tried Joe Losardo’s Chicken Francese recipe featured in the May Taste of Home magazine.

We followed it fairly close. We pounded flat two boneless chicken breasts then salted them. We washed them in two eggs and covered them with a mix of three tablespoons of shredded Parmesan cheese, a teaspoon of pepper, a teaspoon of dried parsley flakes and a cup of bread crumbs.

We fried them — about two minutes per side — in olive oil and removed them. We added a cup of water, a packet of chicken bullion and a half cup of lemon juice to the skillet remembering to scrap up the delicious brown bits to include their flavor. We boiled the sauce for eight minutes to reduce it then returned the chicken letting it braise  for about five minutes flipping it halfway through.

We served it with a Knorr pasta side and a box white.

Frankly, we prefer the tomato sauce and mozzarella way of doing it, but it was a nice tasty change and a bit easier as you only needed one pan and didn’t have to use the oven. It would be a good meal for guests as it is pleasing and not something they are likely used to.

Chicken Francese Made For Interesting Meal

Braised Pork Chops With Mushroom Sauce

Braised Pork Chops With Mushroom Sauce -- This meal is a riff on Judith Hannemann's recipe which can be found at The Midnight Baker Take two pork chops and salt and pepper them. Slice an onion and about five white mushrooms. Open a can of Campbell's Pork Gravy that has been sitting on shelf for three years and add a can of water to it.
Chops braising in the Dutch oven.

Braised Pork Chops With Mushroom Sauce — This meal is a riff on Judith Hannemann’s recipe which can be found at The Midnight Baker

Take two pork chops and salt and pepper them. Slice an onion and about five white mushrooms. Open a can of Campbell’s Pork Gravy that has been sitting on shelf for three years and add a can of water to it.

Heat up the old Dutch oven on your stovetop and put in a tablespoon of butter and a generous splash of olive oil. Sear the chops on both sides and remove them. Put in the onion and mushrooms along with a couple of good shakes of powdered garlic.

Stir until the onions are soft, then add a half cup of white wine to deglaze.

Add the gravy/water mix.

Return the chops, bring to a boil then let simmer while covered for 40 minutes.

The big guy thought the chops were a little tough and could have used more simmering. He was probably right but we will report what happened. The taste was great.

A slow cooker might have been better than the Dutch oven.

It was served with white bread, butter, homemade applesauce and a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon.

Braised Pork Shops With Mushroom Sauce

 

Trucker Veggies And Pork Chops

Trucker Veggies And Pork ChopsTrucker Veggies And Pork Chops — A long-haul trucker who worked the mine roads far from truck stops and diners told us how he noshed when he stopped for the night.

He’d make a mix of veggies with some meat, spice them according to his preference, wrap them in aluminum foil, and store them in his cooler. When quitting time came, he’d grill them over a camp fire by the side of his truck with a pot of coffee.

He said it was a wonderfully sublime experience eating on the prairie beneath a  star-filled sky.

And, of course, there were no dishes to wash.

Well, here is our riff on his recipe:

Dice carrots and a potato, and add a sliced onion. Smother them with salt, pepper, powdered garlic and dried parsley; bathe them in olive oil, wrap in foil and place on a hot grill for between 10 and 15 minutes.

Yum.

We had them with pork chops seasoned about the same way sans the parsley.

No coffee though. The wine was a Merlot.

Trucker Veggies And Pork Chops

 

 

Meatless French Onion Soup

Meatless French Onion SoupThis meatless French onion soup is an inexpensive, delicious Lenten meal and not hard to make.

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 4 onions thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 slices of bread
  • 4 slices of Swiss cheese
  • 1 quart of water
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

In a pot — we used a Dutch oven — heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Put the onions in the oven and let them cook for 10 minutes. Splash in some wine — we just used a box red — to deglaze then let them simmer on medium low for a half hour.   Stir in the garlic powder. Let it cook for two minutes then put in the rest of the wine. Turn the heat to hight to boil off half the wine, while you fill up a quart container with water. Add the soy sauce to the water then pour it in the pot. Add the salt and pepper. Bring it back to a boil then lower it to a simmer while it cooks for an hour.

Toast four slices of bread.  We used a Pao Caseiro from the Lusitania Bakery. Put a  slice in a broiler-safe bowl then ladle soup atop it. Pace the cheese atop the soup and broil until the cheese melts. A toaster oven works great.

Meatless French Onion Soup

 

 

Slavic Christmas Food Sale At HMB

Slavic Christmas Food Sale At HMB — Holy Myrrh-Bearers Eastern Catholic Church is having a Slavic Christmas Food Sale. Deadline for orders is Dec. 3 and pickup will be at the church, 900 Fairview Road, Swarthmore, Pa. 19081.

For sale are kielbasi, $10 for four links or $12 for a ring; meatless borscht for $8 per quart; ushki (mushroom dumplings), 8 per dozen; kutia, (boiled wheat, poppy seed, raisons and honey), $5 per half pint; mushroom gravy, $5 per pint; pierogies (potaot/cheese) $8 per dozen; and delicious pastry rolls at $15 per loaf with varieties being poppy seed, poppy seed-raison, walnut and apricot.

To order or for information call 610-544-1215 or email HBMChurc@verizon.net.

Slavic Christmas Food Sale At HMB

Slavic Christmas Food Sale At HMB