Twenty-four days into a new year finds me wondering if there were any recipes requested by readers last year that failed to reach fruition like the one for a self-rising bread … a recipe I assumed someone in our Dairyland state of incredible bakers would answer. When that didn’t happen, my 2017 column scrapbook was opened to see if there were other recipe requests waiting to be acknowledged. They include: Thai crab curry soup once served at the Blue Marlin, a stove-top skillet pizza with a semolina crust, “large, dark brown molasses cookies from the Farmers’ Market,” the “best long johns” in the whole world made many years ago on State Street at Elsie Klein’s bakery, Rennebohm’s chop suey, and “squash biscuits orange in color.”

When responses don’t arrive, a search begins for answers from my own cookbook library. Due to the nice comments shared by readers a few weeks ago when recipes for two were featured, the search began for a few more from “The Art of Cooking for Two: Down-To-Earth Recipes Using Natural Ingredients.” This soup could be a main meal.

Cream of onion soup

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped onions

1 tablespoon unbleached white flour

2 cups milk

1 cube frozen beef stock concentrate, or 1 teaspoon Tamari soy sauce

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon white pepper

1/8 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 small carrot, finely grated (1/3 to ½ cup firmly packed)

¼ cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons dry white wine

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Saute until onions are transparent. Sprinkle with flour. Cook and stir 3 minutes and gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Add, blend well and bring to boil frozen beef stock concentrate or Tamari soy sauce, bay leaf, salt, white pepper, Hungarian paprika, grated Parmesan cheese, and grated carrot. Lower heat and stir in heavy cream, wine, and parsley. Remove from heat, cover and let stand 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf and adjust seasonings.

Here is a wonderful recipe shared by Tracy Carey for Monty’s Blue Plate Diner’s 2008 “Atwood Community Cookbook.” The recipe belonged to Carey’s Grandmother Telles, once a cook for the Governor of Budapest, Hungary, and will feed more than two.

Hungarian goulash

4 slices bacon

2 onions, chopped

1 ½ pounds cubed beef

1 tablespoon paprika

1 ½ teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon marjoram

¼ cup chopped green pepper

2 cups beef broth

¾ cup Moselle wine

6 carrots

¼ cup flour

½ cup water

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon water

½ teaspoon paprika

Brown bacon and remove from pot. Saute onions in pot and remove. Brown beef; remove from heat. Add bacon and onions. Combine paprika, salt, pepper, and marjoram; add and mix thoroughly. Add green pepper, beef broth, and wine; bring to a boil and simmer 2 hours. Add carrots 30 minutes before done.

Mix flour and water; add half of the mixture to pot and bring to a boil. Add remaining mixture and boil 2 minutes. Combine butter, water and paprika; just before serving add this mixture and stir. Serve over wide noodles or spaetzle (tiny German noodles)

Continuing with onions, here is a meatloaf made even better with a mushroom sauce.

Onion meatloaf with mushroom sauce

1 cup minced onion

2 tablespoons butter

1 pound lean ground beef

1 egg, beaten

½ teaspoon herbed salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

¼ cup bread crumbs

½ to ¾ cup dry white or rose wine

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms, sautéed

1 ½ tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

2 tablespoons sauce

2 tablespoons sour cream

Saute onions in butter until browned. Combine with ground beef, egg, salt, pepper and bread crumbs and form into a loaf in a shallow baking dish. Bake in 325 degree oven for 1 hour. Transfer to heated platter and keep warm. Deglaze pan juices with wine. Saute mushrooms in butter and carefully stir in water, cornstarch and thyme and simmer until thickened. Combine 2 tablespoons of sauce with sour cream and return to rest of the sauce, stirring well. Serve meatloaf with sauce on the side.

This baked bean recipe stirred enough intrigue for me to make for no reason other than sheer curiosity.

Boston baked beans

2 15-ounce cans of navy or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained

½ cup beer (not dark beer)

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

1/3 cup ketchup

3 tablespoons molasses

2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon ground ginger

4 slices bacon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place rinsed and drained beans in 11x7-inch glass baking dish. Combine beer, onion, ketchup, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and ginger in medium bowl. Pour over beans; toss to coat. Cut bacon into 1-inch pieces; arrange in single layer over beans. Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes or until most liquid is absorbed and bacon is browned.

Serves 4 to 6

A long held tradition of mine is serving panettone Christmas morning while opening gifts. While still having an unopened loaf of the Italian sweet bread on hand, I opened my Italian Slow Cooker compilation to discover a recipe for panettone bread pudding.

Panettone bread pudding

3 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1 3/4 cups whole milk

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

5 cups cubed panettone

½ cup golden raisins

¾ cup mixed candied fruits

Vegetable oil spray

Whisk eggs in large mixing bowl with sugar until thick and lemon-colored. Whisk in milk, melted butter, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Add bread cubes and press down with the back of a spoon so they absorb egg mixture. Stir in raisins and candied fruit.

Grease the inside of the slow cooker liberally with vegetable oil spray or butter. Spoon mixture into slow cooker. Cook on High for 1 hour, then reduce heat to Low and cook for 2-3 hours, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the pudding reads 165 degrees. Serve hot or at room temperature, with gelato or whipped cream.

Note: Dish can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered. Reheat it covered, in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until hot.

I serve this warm with a traditional bread pudding sauce.

Looking forward to hearing from you with more requests.

Contact the Cooks’ Exchange in care of the Wisconsin State Journal, P.O. Box 8058, Madison, WI, 53708 or by email at greenbush4@aol.com.

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