Story and photos by Angie Sutton, http://www.mothersapronstrings.com
I don’t want to jinx us by saying, “spring is in the air,” but my seven-year-old did remind me that technically spring is here. It has been without a doubt a throw-open-the-shutters and welcome the sunshine couple of weeks. The grass has greened up and Jeff Smith, Windom, Kan., notes that his pear trees are showing growth already.
The first few warmer weeks of spring energize our batteries and a few miles on the porch swing on a crisp evening after the sun goes down soothes our souls. Cleaning is synonymous with spring. A co-worker told me last Friday that he and his wife used to have a cleaning lady named Marilyn. One day she quit coming and their home has been a mess since then. It took me awhile to realize that Marilyn was a fictitious character (okay, so I’m slow at getting jokes).
Warmer weather also gives us a chance to get outside and be active. Lori Haresnape in Smith Co, Kan., is probably thinking “Gosh, I’ve been outside all winter chasing cattle.” There’s something about being outside in the sunshine and warmer temperatures that invigorates the mind and body. In our home, it means trying a few new recipes! We’ve been enjoying fish and this is the best time of year in Kansas for access to fresh seafood during the Lent season. This week we tried several new-to-us recipes that we’re sharing with you!
Hubby Jeff ate this wonderful dish during a fellowship to Germany a few years ago. He recreated the recipe for us and it was devine!
4 (6 oz.) very thin beef steaks or flank steak
1 Tbsp. prepared Dijon mustard
2 large dill pickles, cut in half lengthwise
1 onion, sliced very thinly into rings
4 slices bacon
1/2 c. red wine
1 1/2 c. beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. water
Lay the steaks on a flat surface and brush with mustard. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay a slice of bacon on each steak. Layer the onions evenly on each steak and top with a pickle slice. Fold two sides of the steak in towards the center, about one inch, forming a roughly rectangle shape. Roll into a tight tube and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining steaks. Brown the rouladen in 1/8-inch of canola oil in a sauce pot just big enough to hold all four in a single layer. Brown evenly on all sides. Use additional oil if needed. After browning, remove and discard remaining oil. Add wine, beef broth and bay leaf to pot. Bring to a simmer over low heat and braise with a tight-fitting lid for one and a half hours or until tender. When done a thin knife blade should meet no resistance when poked into the meat.
Remove the rouladen from the broth. Stir together cornstarch and water then whisk into broth until it thickens. Serve with Swiss Cheese Späetzle.
Swiss Cheese Späetzle
There are a few ways to form your spätzle if you don’t like the dumpling version. You can also press the dough through a colander or use a machine specifically for making spätzle. We really liked the nutmeg in this recipe!
1 medium onion, chopped
3 slices bacon, sliced
1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. Swiss cheese, grated
Fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bacon. Cook until the onion is slightly golden. For the pasta, mix together eggs, flour, milk and nutmeg. The dough will be quite runny. Put the pasta dough onto a wooden board, now scrape with a knife to form little dumplings about the size of a nickle and let each dumpling fall into the boiling water.
Once the dumplings float on the water, take them out as they are done. Add the Spätzle dumplings and the cheese to the frying pan and fry for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle some parsley on top.