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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Weekly Recipes: February 13

Choucroute Garnie
This first recipe is one I first saw on the internet, but have modified to work with our tastes. If you don't wish to cook with the alcohol, I think you could use sweet apple cider and chicken broth, respectively for the hard cider and white wine, but I have not tried it that way.

1 large onion, peeled and quartered
4 whole cloves
8 ounces thick-sliced bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 pounds sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
2 smoked pork chops (about 1 1/2 - 2 pounds)
1 pound kielbasa, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces
2 baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 pound small red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
1 1/2 cups hard cider
1/4 cup dry white wine
Pumpernickel rye bread, mustards, horseradish, and cornichons, for serving

Stud each onion quarter with a clove. Layer the bacon, sauerkraut, garlic, onion quarters, herb sprigs, bay leaves, pork chops, kielbasa, apples, and potatoes in the slow cooker in the order listed, then pour the cider and wine over the top. Cover the cooker and set it on low. Cook until the pork is falling apart and the potatoes are fork-tender, between 6 and 8 hours.

Arrange the meats, potatoes, apples, onions, garlic, and sauerkraut on a large platter. Serve with pumpernickel rye bread, mustards, cornichons and horseradish. (I didn't have time to make pumpernickel this week, and it was not available in any decent quality, so we ate this with noodles and sour cream, horseradish and homemade pickles.)

Stuffed Potatoes (Mahshi) and Kofta
Mahshi is the word for stuffed in Arabic. You can stuff any vegetable. Sometimes we make this with a medley of vegetables, like small eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes and peppers, in the summer. This filling is basically what I use to make stuffed grape leaves (waraq ounab) and cabbage leaves as well.

8 large potatoes (or one for each person) peeled and hollowed out, leaving at least 1/2 an inch of flesh all around center
2 pounds ground beef or lamb
1 bunch parsley
1 large onion
6 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup basmati rice (or other medium to long grain rice)
16 ounces tomato sauce

Prepare meat filling before prepping potatoes, to keep them from discoloring. Puree parsley, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Mix this in with the meat and 1 cup of rice. Stuff potatoes with this filling. Form remaining meat mixture into small to medium football shaped meatballs. Layer stuffed potatoes and kofta into a pot. Pour tomato sauce over the top, along with half to an equal amount of water. Invert a small plate over the top of the food and cover with a lid. Bring liquid to a boil, reduce heat and cook for about 45 minutes, or until meat is cooked and rice is soft.

Serve with rice, spooning sauce over and make a salad.

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