I've joined this international online group called Photo-A-Day-May. There are prompts for a daily photo that you must take and post. Here is an album to the photos I've taken so far.
Today's photo, Day #8 got me....a smell you adore. I love the smell of citrus and freshly cut grass. I adore sniffing and nuzzling my husband's neck. He always smells likeTide laundry detergent. I'm NOT a big fan of strong floral odors. They make me sneeze. Don't put me next to a chick wearing tons of perfume or a guy wearing oodles of after-shave cologne in a closed elevator! Ack! Allergy time!
So, I tried to remember a smell that I loved that made me feel good and warm. Nothing's better than walking into Grandma's house while she's cooking Kasha mit Varnishkes! The smell of the diced onion, crackling in a frying pan with chicken shmaltz. The warm, nutty smell of the oat groats. Yes, this is a smell I adore.
Both of my grandmothers made this dish. My Grandma Ethel passed away when I was about 9 years old. Grandma Freda lived until I was an adult, so I remember her recipe best.
Freda's Kasha mit Varnishkes
- 1 cup kasha buckwheat groats, medium granulation
- 1 egg, well beaten
- 2 Tablespoons rendered chicken fat or vegetable oil
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cups fresh or canned chicken stock
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup pasta bow ties
In a small bowl, mix the dry kasha with the beaten egg. Be sure all the grains are covered with egg. Place a medium non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the kasha to the pan and, using a wooden spatula, flatten it out a bit, stirring and moving it about the pan until the egg dries and the grains have mostly separated. Set aside.
Place a pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta bow ties. (Do not cook them yet.)
In a 4-quart heavy stove-top covered casserole, heat the chicken fat or oil and saute the onions until clear. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the salt and pepper and the reserved kasha. Stir a bit and cover. Cook over low heat, stirring now and then, until the kasha is tender, about 10 minutes. If it is not done to your taste, cook for a few more minutes.
In the meantime, boil the pasta just until tender. Drain well and stir into the kasha. If you like a crispy top to the kasha/varnishkes dish, place it under the broiler for a few minutes. Serve hot.
Thank you, Ethel Bloom and Freda Katz for widening my home cookin' horizons!