Eclectic Eats 12.5.15

For the last several months, I have had a hankering…a craving for something I haven’t had in over a decade. This breakfast item was something I quite liked growing up and for some reason, a few months back, I decided I wanted a strawberry Pop Tart again. But everywhere I looked, all I saw were frosted Pop Tarts. I saw chocolate frosting. Strawberry frosting. Multiple frostings. Frostings with sprinkles. Those just don’t work for me. Too sweet. The kind I was looking for were the old-school Pop Tarts that had no frosting. Alas, I’d pretty much given up until 10 minutes ago, when I posted about missing the taste of these delightful breakfast snacks (though really, they probably ought to be a dessert). Not only did a friend of mine tell me that her local grocery store has some, but she said she was going shopping tomorrow and would be happy to buy me a box. She told me to think of it as a Christmas present.  That was so incredibly kind of her. I imagine sometime next week, I’ll be sinking my teeth into a deliciously warm Pop Tart just out of the toaster for the first time in probably two decades. Mmmm-hmmm. Cannot wait.

When I posted about my craving on Facebook, I learned that some of my friends hadn’t heard of unfrosted Pop Tarts. As I was looking around online for images of these delectably yummy treats, I came across another type of Pop Tart, one that is quite a bit different from any I’ve tried before. One that made me think “hmmm, I might eat that”. And thus the first item on today’s Eclectic Eats was discovered!

The I Can Haz Pop Tart Burger

I’m not sure if this is a real product. There’s no recipe at the link, nor any link at the link for me to click. So this may not be real. It may be a figment of my imagination. But if other people are seeing it too, then it may be a shared figment of our imaginations and that means the suckiness of this not being real isn’t all on my shoulders. It means other people can share in the sorrow…and the angst…and the agony I feel at the thought of not being able to have this grass-fed beef patty with bacon onion jam and the cheesy goodness of cheddar all within a buttered Pop Tart pastry (no pickles for me). ::Sigh:: If it isn’t real, someone make it dammit! Where are my minions?!

Verdict: If I ever got my hands on one of these, I suspect I’d enjoy the hell out of it.

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Cinnamon Roll Bread

I love cinnamon rolls. They are some of my favorite desserts. In fact, the last time I bought some, I had to fight to keep myself from eating them all (there’s 8 in a pack of Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls and I had 5–and could have come back for more). So right out of the gate, this sounds good. And it actually is. In a rarity for this series, I’ve actually tried this. For the Thanksgiving holiday, I visited family and my sister wanted to prepare something. She found this dessert online and made three pans of it. After turkey day dinner, this was the first (and only) dessert I made a bee-line for. I had a slice of it, and OMG I was in heaven. Perfectly moist. Not too sweet.  Not too filling. I could have eaten the entire loaf (each pan was about the size of half a loaf of bread). I told my sister I had to take some of the cinnamon bread with the leftover food we were bringing with us. Unfortunately, at some point, the cinnamon bread got left out of the bag of leftovers. I was really bummed out bc I wanted some more. In any case, if anyone wants to try their hand at this scrumptious dessert, here’s the recipe (it’s easy bc there’s no yeast to worry about and you don’t even need a mixer):

BREAD INGREDIENTS
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg – room temperature
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup plain greek yogurt, or sour cream
SWIRL INGREDIENTS
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly (can use water instead)
GLAZE INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 – 3 teaspoons cream or milk (as needed for consistency)
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray a glass loaf pan.
In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, vanilla, and yogurt or sour cream.
Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, stirring just to combine using a spoon or wooden spoon. Pour into prepared loaf pan.
In a small bowl, stir the Swirl ingredients together. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the top of the bread, then use a knife to swirl it a few times into the batter.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the center tests done with a toothpick. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from the pan and cool completely on the rack.

Meanwhile, make the Glaze by whisking the ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth, adding a dab of milk at a time until a good drizzling consistency is reached. When the bread is completely cool, drizzle the glaze over the top.

Verdict: Amazing. I could eat an entire pan of it, upset stomach be damned I tell you!

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Next up is a variation on a dessert that I’ve only recently (in the last year) become acquainted with:

Oreo Churros

Churros are fried-dough pastries popular in Spain, Portugal, France, and Southwest states in the US (among other places). Churros are typically fried until they are crunchy, then tossed in sugar (though not always). Depending on where (and who) you buy them, they can be filled with dulce de leche, chocolate, or vanilla. I became familiar with them last year at the Mexican restaurant I worked at. They served churros filled with Bavarian Cream Cheese and tossed in cinnamon sugar. For probably six weeks, I ordered churros once a week–that’s how much I loved them (though they are filling and there were six per order, so I almost always gave a couple to co-workers). While I liked those churros, I’m not completely sure about the Oreo version-primarily bc that looks like a *lot* of filling. Oreos are already on the upper end of my tolerance for sweets. I get a craving for Oreos once every few months, but six of them are usually my limit. They’re just a bit sweet. Nonetheless, this appeals to me enough that I’d at least try it.

Verdict: Sample it, I would. Like it, I am not sure.

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This next one, while sweet, is definitely more of a breakfast item. And I have to admit I have no earthly idea how you’re supposed to eat this

Chocolate Chip Pancake Casserole

The basic gist is that you take pancake halves, layer them in a baking dish, cover them with an egg/milk mixture, top with chocolate chips, and refrigerate overnight. The next day, you bake it and bc of the eggs, the pancakes become super fluffy. Sounds great (well except for the chocolate chip part–I like my pancakes plain with a dollop of butter and maple syrup), but I can’t figure out how you’re supposed to eat it. The pancake halves are stacked vertically, rather than placed flat in the dish. In thinking about a traditional casserole, you can take a spatula or large spoon and scoop out a good portion of the dish, but this one doesn’t work that way. I guess you’re supposed to take tongs and remove a few halves? I’m guessing you don’t cut anything, but given how fluffy the pancakes are, it seems like pulling some of them out would cause the others to possibly fall apart-they are pretty well packed into that dish. I’d be interested in seeing this made, especially bc I love fluffy pancakes. If you’re interested, here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS

  • Butter, for greasing baking dish
  • 20 cooked pancakes (frozen or fresh)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
  • Maple syrup, for serving

DIRECTIONS

  1. Butter a 9-x-13″ baking dish. Cut cooked pancakes into halves and begin layering them in the dish.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Pour over pancakes, flattening them with a spatula to make sure they’re submerged in liquid. Cover with aluminum foil and transfer to the refrigerator overnight (at least 4 hours).
  3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, recover with foil, and bake 40 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking, 10 minutes.
  4. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup.

Verdict: Sans the chocolate chips, I’d give this a go.

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Finishing up this edition of Eclectic Eats is another kind of pancake. Quite an offbeat one at that-

Hot and Saucy Potato Pancakes with Applesauce

I have never heard of potato pancakes, but these sound intriguing. Only problem is they’re made with leftover mashed potatoes, and I don’t often have leftover mashed potatoes. They go quickly. I suppose next time I make some, I could make extra, just so’s I can try this recipe:

Ingredients

1 bowl of mashed potatoes (about 2 c.)
1 egg beaten
2 tbs. minced onion, white or yellow
1 tbs. minced parsley, fresh (or 1 tsp. dried)
½ c. breadcrumbs
butter, for cooking
salt and pepper, as needed

Mix the beaten egg into the mashed potatoes with onion and parsley. Blend well. Season with salt and pepper.

In a non-stick skillet (iron skillets are more right than rain), heat butter until bubbling on medium heat. Drop heaping tablespoons of the potato mixture into the pan and press it down with a spatula to form patty-like shapes. Toast the potatoes on each side. Serve with suggested toppings.

Now that you know about potato pancakes, don’t you think it’s time you learned how to make your own applesauce? Me too!

Applesauce

6 apples, peeled and cored and quartered
1 c. water
1 tbs. lemon juice
1-2 tsp. brown sugar or honey
1 cinnamon stick
*pinch of salt optional

Put the apples in a large pot. Add lemon juice, water, sugar and cinnamon. Bring this to a boil and then reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Remove from heat, discard the cinnamon stick, and mash or puree the apples. Store in the fridge for about a week, or eat it with potato pancakes as soon as humanly possible.

Most of that sounds pretty darn good. All except the applesauce, which I Just. Don’t. Like. Yeah, I know, I know. I’m picky. Yup. Heard that all my life. But since I can cook on my own, I get to be as picky as I want (thanks parental units-for ensuring I knew how to make my way around a kitchen).

Verdict: Minus the applesauce (actually, a spicy beurre blanc might be lovely atop the potato pancakes), I’d definitely try these. In fact, I may prepare some in the near future.

That’s it for this week. What are your thoughts? Anything look finger-licking good? Anything sound atrocious? Feel free to share in the comments!

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Eclectic Eats 12.5.15
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4 thoughts on “Eclectic Eats 12.5.15

  1. 2

    To-ny, To-ny, To-ny, what youse needs is a good Jewish friend, like me, to aid in your gustatory education. Potato pancakes, aka Latkes are a fine old Jewish tradition. The variations are endless. Enjoy! However, be warned, if you go looking for Jewish haute cuisine, don’t bother. It is peasant food, all the way down, and some of it I never touch. Ya sorta have to be raised in the tradition, yannow?

  2. 4

    No. No. No.
    You don’t make potatoe pancakes with left over mashed potatoes. You take raw potatoes, grate them, drain them a little and mix with eggs, bit of flour, too much salt (the potatoes soak it up), nutmeg, a grated onion.
    Applesauce is traditional with them.

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