Caraway Puffs

We have made these with Stilton, Gorgonzola, Cougar Gold, and Blue Cheese.  Any one of these that you may have on hand is delicious.  What an easy and impressive hors d’oeuvre this is when the cupboard is almost bare and you’re challenged to come up with something fast.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Open a ten ounce cylinder of large buttermilk biscuits and cut them into fourths, then roll into balls and coat with caraway seeds.  Put in a baking dish. Melt 1/2 cup of  butter with four ounces of the chosen cheese in a saucepan.  Pour over the balls and bake for 15 minutes, turning once.  When puffed and browned, serve proudly.

Charleston Shrimp Patties

I discovered an old cookbook in Charleston during a visit with our great friend Wickie last year.  Two Hundred Years of Charleston Cooking was printed in 1930, and contains a fascinating collection of low-country family recipes from antebellum Carolina.  Here, adapting and utilizing updated kitchen equipment, is a recipe for fresh shrimp in its purest form.

  • 1 cup of cooked, shelled shrimp
  • 3 slices of bread, crusts removed
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon of mace
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Lightly chop the shrimp in a food processor.  Moisten the bread and squeeze dry.  Crumble into the shrimp and fold in the butter and spices.  Hand-mold into silver-dollar size patties about one inch thick.  Saute in butter until both sides are brown, or alternatively, place on a buttered cookie sheet and oven-bake at 350 until golden brown.

Bratwurst in Beer

bratwurstNuremburg is one of Germany’s jewels with an ancient walled center offering quaint shops, restaurants, and beer gardens. This authentic recipe comes from a centuries-old guest house near the entrance to what was once this small medieval village.

1 pound of bratwurst, cut into bitesize portions

2 tablespoons of butter

1 cup of dark beer

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon of black pepper, freshly ground

1 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of flour

Bring bratwurst to a boil and drain. Brown in butter and add additional ingredients. Simmer for fifteen minutes and add flour to thicken. Serve in sauce with picks.

Chipotle Corn Puffs

corn frittersWe love the smoky taste of chipotle peppers wedded with sweet corn. To ready the peppers for this recipe, soak dried peppers in hot water for an hour or so, drain and chop.

2 eggs

¼ cup of biscuit mix

2 heaping tablespoons of sharp cheddar, grated

2 cups of fresh corn, cut from the cob

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1 medium chipotle pepper, chopped

Mix all ingredients well and drop by the heaping tablespoon into hot vegetable oil. Cook until browned which will take about four miniutes on each side. Salt and serve.

Sauerkraut and Swiss Cheese Pancakes

I encountered these little pancakes in Nuremberg a few years back and they have remained favorites. We have strictly assigned pancakes in this country to the breakfast table, ignoring the delights of crepes as a main course and dessert, as well as the buckwheat pancakes enjoyed in Northern Europe. Try these…they will become a favorite cocktail companion.

1 large egg, beaten

1 cup of biscuit mix

2/3 cup of water

2 cups sauerkraut, drained and chopped

1 cup grated Emmentaler or Swiss Cheese

2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

cup of cottage cheese, well-drained

1 teaspoon of caraway seeds

2 teaspoons of sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

½ cup of butter, melted

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for a hour or so. Thin with a bit of milk if the consistency is too thick for pancake batter. Brush butter on a coated grill and pour in silver dollar-size pancakes. Cook three to four minutes on one side until edges are crisp and turn for thirty to forty seconds more. Brush with butter and keep warm. Serve on a warm platter with a selection of sliced sausages, hot and cold.

Mini-Potatoes with Raisin Butter

This is a unique appetizer that your guests will

enjoy.  Don’t be surprised if no one can determine

the actual ingedients.  I couldn’t when I first tried


1/2 of a pound of salted butter

1 cup of golden raisins

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 cup of brandy

2 dozen small potatoes, baked

Submerge the raisins in the brandy and cover,

preferably overnight. The next day, drain thoroughly

and place with the butter and Worcestershire sauce

in a food processor. Blend well and freeze for about

half an hour. Halve the small potatoes and scoop

out an indentation in each. Spread the raisin butter

in each potato half and place on a baking sheet.

A half hour before serving, warm in a 225 degree

oven until the butter softens, then let come to room


Happy New Year

We wish you a successful and properous New Year. 

May each of us have an opportunity to challenge

our palates, experience new sensations, and explore

new worlds.  Yet, we remember that the things we

hold most dear are a loving family and old friends. 

May God bless each of you.

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