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.


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

Slavic Christmas Food Sale At HMB

Slavic Christmas Food Sale At HMB

Halubtsi, Halushki At Holy Myrrh-Bearers

The Slavic delights of halubtsi and halushki are featured in a special sale at Holy Myrrh-Bearers  Eastern Catholic Church in Ridley, along with a Ukrainian platter.

The halubtsi or stuffed cabbage is three for $10. The halushki, which is sautéed cabbage, onions and noodles is $4 a pint and $8 a quart.

The Ukrainian platter consists of stuffed cabbage, three pierogies, halushki, kielbasi, coffee and cake and is $8.

Orders must be made by Nov. 6. Pick up for the halubtsi and halushki is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Nov. 11. Pick up for the platter is 9 a.m. to noon, Sunday, Nov. 12.

To place one call 610-544-1215 for email at

The church is at 900 Fairview Road, Swarthmore, Pa. 19081


Halushki At Holy Myrrh-Bearers

Halubtsi, Halushki At Holy Myrrh-Bearers

Daphne Cudd Curried Chicken

Daphne Cudd Curried ChickenDaphne Cudd Curried Chicken

There was an involuntary shudder and the green eyes suddenly were filled with fear.

Daphne Cudd was a beautiful woman, who had the good sense to be afraid of violent bandits and poisonous snakes. She had recently joined her husband in India.

Victoria was the queen and the sun never set on the British Empire.

Col. Reginald E. Cudd was the commanding officer of the 3732 Royal Fusiliers. He was ruddy faced, wore a handle-bar mustache, and engaged in much throat clearing.

“Harrumph! harrumph!” he said, as he speared a piece of chicken. “Veddy hot, but good, but good.”

Cudd chewed contentedly.

“What do your call this, my dear!” he asked.

Daphne was deep in thoughtful worry. Reggie had been blunt and direct in his warning about the plundering dacoits i.e. robbers and the deadly hooded cobras. The robber bands were active and the rain had brought out the snakes.

She shook her head.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “It’s an Indian dish. I got the recipe from a native.”

Daphne retired to her bedroom early. She read until overcome by tiredness, then fell into a restless sleep. Sometime past midnight a cobra, in an effort to escape the night’s chill, entered the Cudd residence through a hole where a pipe had once been. The snake made its way to Daphne’s bedroom, crawled into the bed and cuddled up next to the sleeping beauty.

During the early morning hours Daphne felt a cold and clammy weight on her chest. It seemed to get heavier and heavier. It finally woke her. She opened her eyes and found herself staring straight into the gleaming eyes of the snake.

Her sudden movement angered the snake. Its eyes cruelly glittered and its tongue movement increased. It appeared ready to strike. Then as Daphne lay still, paralyzed by fear, the snake became calm and appeared to fall asleep.

Daphne knew, however, that one slight movement on her part would probably mean death. The cobra’s bite was fatal, usually within 10 hours.

The snake’s weight became oppressive, even worse, the reptile had an awful case of halitosis, and its head was only inches from Daphne’s chin.

Daphne then saw a shadowy figure flit toward her dresser.

“My lord,” she thought. “Now I have a bandit to contend with also.”

She heard the dacoit open her jewelry box, and remove its contents. The shadow then approached Daphne’s bed. If she uttered a warning, the snake would wake up and strike her. She could only stare wide-eyed as the bandit reached for her.

The snake suddenly heard the movement and saw the bandit’s hand come toward it. The snake hissed and struck the prowler full in the face.

The dacoit slashed with his dagger and cut off the snake’s head. He knew he could not be saved, so he simply sat down to await his fate.

Daphne’s scream brought Reggie into the bedroom.

“Harumph! Jolly rich eh, what? A watchsnake. Too bad the rogue had to kill it,” Reggie said. Then he laughed uproariously.

At that moment, Daphne thought seriously about substituting arsenic for the curry in her Indian chicken recipe.

Of course, she did not. She had a deep love for Reggie, even though he was a blowhard. She continued to prepare his favorite dish. The recipe follows:

Daphne Cudd’s Curried Chicken

3 Lb. chicken parts

2 Tbs. water

1 Tsp. salt

3/4 Cup finely chopped onion

3 Tbs/ vegetable oil

1 Cup sour cream

2 Tsp. curry powder

1 1/2 Tsp. ginger

1/4 Tsp. ground cumin

2 chili peppers

Heat oil in 12-inch skillet or Dutch oven. Cook chicken in the oil over medium heat until brown on all sides, which should take about 15 minutes. Drain fat from skillet. Sprinkle salt, onion, chili peppers and water on chicken. Cover and simmer until thickest pieces of chicken are done, which should take between 30 and 40 minutes.

Remove chicken from skillet and pour liquid from skillet into a bowl. Skim fat from top and return a quarter of the liquid to the skillet. Stir in sour cream and the spices. Stir until hot taking care the sour cream doesn’t curdle. Pour sauce over the chicken.


Daphne Cudd Curried Chicken

Studenina Palinko Style, A Legendary Recipe

Studenina Palinko Style, A Legendary Recipe
Ready to eat

Studenina Palinko Style, A Legendary Recipe — Timmy Palinko was known all over the Pocono Mountains for his magnificent homemade whiskey. Timmy operated a butcher shop in Freeland, and while his meat was the finest quality, it was the top-of-the-line whiskey he manufactured that made him a rich man.

He had runners in every coal patch in Luzerne County. Of course federal agents were always after them. One day in Freeland,  a well-dressed agent approached Baron Lutz, one of Timmy’s runners.

The dapper detective told Baron he would give him $10 for a quart of good whiskey.

“Can’t do it for $10,” said Baron. “It will cost you $40.

The agent agreed, and handed over the $40.

“Hold this shoebox,” Baron said. “I’ll be back.”

After a while, the agent began to get suspicious. He opened the shoebox and found a quart of Timmy’s best whiskey, so he got what he paid for. It was hard for the feds to put one over on the natives.Timmy’s liquor still was hidden in the desolate strippings behind Eckley, and there was no agent alive who was ever going to find it.

Timmy, during certain holidays, would give out a bonus pint of his finest cornbrew to the best customers at the butcher shop.

One Easter there was an unbelievable run on the pork sausage.Timmy was making it as fast as he could and just barely keeping up with the demand. He finally ran out of pork.

“Keep everything under control,” he told an assistant. “I’ll be right back.”

He hopped into his pickup truck and took a ride into the countryside where he knew there were always pigs along the road. He spotted one, and simply ran over it. He tossed it into the front seat where it would not be seen, and headed back home.

He was in such a hurry, he ran a stoplight, and was pulled over by a state policeman new to the area.

“I’m sorry officer, I’m in a big hurry,” Timmy said, pointing to the pig. “That’s my sick brother, and I’m rushing him to the doctor.”

The cop took one look and waved Timmy on.

“I’ve seen a lot of ugly people in my time, but your brother has got to be the ugliest in the entire world,” the cop said.

Timmy smiled. “I’ll tell him what you said. He’ll be might proud,” Timmy said. A few minutes later he was back in his shop butchering the hog. The bulk of which was used in the making of his sausage.

But the feet were set aside to use in making studenina, a Slovak delicacy of which one never tires once one gets the courage to try.

Timmy enjoyed his whiskey, studennia and sausage.

After Prohibition, Timmy went into the legitimate whiskey making business, and until he died on April 27, 1947 put out what might have been be the best sipping whiskey in the world. His studennia weren’t bad either.

Timmy Palinko’s studennia recipe follows:

4 trotters (pig’s feet either split or not)
2 garlic cloves or 1 Tbl of garlic powder
6 peppercorns
3 Tbl black pepper
3 bay leaves
1 Tbl salt
1 Tbl paprika

Studenina Palinko Style, A Legendary Recipe
After filling the bowls put them in a cool place overnight.

Place the trotters in a large pot and add just enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil, skimming if necessary, for a half-hour. Remove them and discard the water. Rinse them and the pot. Place the trotters along with the rest of the ingredients back in the pot. Cover again with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for about three or four hours until meat is falling off the bone. Place the trotters in large bowls—Corningware works great. Pour the liquid over the trotters and let stand overnight in a cold place.


Studenina Palinko Style, A Legendary Recipe

Onion Tomato Soup Makes A Delicious Fall Meal

Onion Tomato Soup Makes A Delicious Fall MealOnion Tomato Soup Makes A Delicious Fall Meal — This fusion of French onion and comfort tomato soup will warm your heart on the coldest autumn day.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a stock pot and add a tablespoon of garlic. Add a large diced onion and a healthy helping of parsley (or basil or whatever fresh herb you have) and sauté.

Quarter a generous amount of tomatoes — nine delicious garden fresh ones in our case — and season heavily with salt. Dumb to do it that way? Smart? Doesn’t matter that’s what we did.

Put the tomatoes in the pot and and cover them with water. Throw in a beef bullion cube along with some pepper and paprika. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and leave it be for an hour or so then take a hand blender to it. If one should be sans hand blender one should use a food processor but that will increase the aggravation factor and start taking the fun out.

Return the soup to the simmer and cut some slices of nice Italian or French bread. Put it at the bottom of an oven safe bowl and cover with cheese. Nicely meltable American works fine. Fill the bowl with the hot soup and put another slice on top. If you wish you can put it in the microwave for 10 seconds to speed up the melting.

Eat. It’s a yum.

Onion Tomato Soup Makes A Delicious Fall Meal