Welcome to FOOD & FELLOWSHIP: Old & New Recipes from the Green Acre Kitchen. Each week we will share three recipes, both old and new. When the day comes—and it will—that we can sit at a table and break bread together again, perhaps we will all have a few new dishes to share.
‘Brunch’ is often described as a combination of breakfast and lunch. Some define it as a late breakfast, or early lunch. It first appeared towards the end of the 19th century in England and seems to have been born from the British upper classes. Today, brunch is typically eaten on weekends and special holidays.
Servings per Recipe: 6
Shakshuka in various interpretations is popular throughout the North Africa and the Middle East. It is particularly beloved in Israel where it has become something of a national dish eaten at all times of day or night, frequently accompanied with freshly baked pita. Shakshuka has few hard rules but the basic recipe calls for cracked eggs poached in a quick spicy sauce usually made with canned or fresh tomatoes. Variations may include adding ground meat or sausage to the sauce or garnishing with crumbled feta.
1 medium onion, diced
1 green or red pepper, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 28-ounce can of peeled plum tomatoes
6 large eggs
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
In a medium hot skillet, sauté the onion in olive oil until light brown, add the peppers and cook until softened. Stir in garlic and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Stir in spices, cook for another minute then add tomatoes and their juices. Continue stirring and cooking for another 5 – 7 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.
Once the sauce has thickened and the tomatoes have broken down adjust the spices and add salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium low and make 6 indentations in the sauce with the spoon. Crack eggs into the indentations and cover skillet. Poach eggs for about 5 minutes. The eggs are done when the yolks are warm but not firm.
Garnish with fresh herbs and serve with warm pita bread for sopping. There are two other ways of finishing your Shakshuka. One is to leave the skillet uncovered after the eggs are dropped into the hot sauce, second is to put the uncovered skillet into a hot oven. The open skillet method will require additional cooking time.
Simple Potato Pancakes
Servings per Recipe: 4
Potato pancakes can be found in some version all over the globe, but especially in Eastern Europe and the British Isles. They are also as known as: latkes, boxties, kartoffelpuffer, raggmunk or draniki. The names might be different, but the basic ingredients are always the same. I grew up eating potato pancakes almost every week of my childhood, a simple version, but potato pancakes none the less. This recipe is great after a large holiday dinner, since it relies basically on leftover mashed potatoes.
1 ounce grated cheese, parmesan works well
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or scallions
1 large egg
2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
½ cup all-purpose flour, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Sour cream – optional
Grate cheese (about 1/2 cup) and place in a large bowl. Add chopped chives to the bowl. Add 1 large egg and lightly beat with a fork or wooden spoon to combine. Add 2 cups cold mashed potatoes and 1/4 cup of the all-purpose flour, and stir to combine. Refrigerate the mixture for 10 minutes.
Place the remaining 1/4 cup flour in a shallow dish. Divide the potato mixture into 8 (1/4-cup) portions. Working with one at a time, shape each portion into a patty about 3-inches in diameter, then dredge the patty in the flour on both sides, shaking off excess. Place on a baking sheet or large plate.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a 10- or 12-inch cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Tilt the pan so that the oil coats the bottom. Using a wide, flat spatula, gently transfer 4 of the patties into the pan and cook, flipping once, until golden-brown and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 4 patties. Serve warm with sour cream. For a healthier version, try experimenting with sweet potatoes.
Green Acre Chocolate Banana Bread
Servings per Recipe: 8 slices
This rich and chocolatey sweet bread has been served at many Green Acre brunches and functions. Feel free to experiment with different types of chocolate and nuts. If you don’t have coconut oil, you can use all butter.
3 ½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup Dutch process cocoa
2 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
6 ripe bananas, mashed
4 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
½ cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips, good quality
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 F and spray or grease two loaf pans.
In a bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a second bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, coconut oil and vanilla.
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just mixed, do not overmix. Add the chocolate chips and nuts.
Divide the batter in half and pour into 2 prepared loaf pans. Bake for approximately 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before turning out of the pan onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely before cutting.