Today's column features a couple of deep-fried treats requested by readers.
Kardene Campbell had requested an old Ukrainian recipe for khrustyky, a deep-fried cookie sprinkled with icing sugar, that she recalled nicknamed "torn pants" because of their shape. Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond. There were several spelling variations for this recipe, and readers had other nicknames that included "nothings" (because of their light texture), and "pigs' ears" and "bows" (because of their shape). I knew them as "nothings" growing up and they always seemed to be stored in big blue roasters wherever I saw them in someone's kitchen.
The recipe that follows is called khrusty cookies and is courtesy of Carol Solar. Thanks also to Agnes Robertson and Gail Tanasychuk, both of Kenora, Florence Semeniuk of Pine River, Millie Boschman of MacGregor, Elsie Reid of The Pas, Bernice Massey of Selkirk, Edna Mroz of Beausejour, Donna Mayor, Jean Krysko, Marilyn Allan, Wanda Lismer, Le Beau Jakobson, Stella Scherbatiuk, Jane Verin, Elizabeth Yakmission and Jennie Smith.
Wilma Thiessen of Oakbank had requested a recipe for the mojo potatoes that were served at the Shakey's restaurant that used to be on Nairn Avenue. Thanks to Flower Vuong for sending in a copy-cat recipe that she had in her collection.
Another deep-fried request comes from Barbara Lavigne of Stony Mountain who is looking for a recipe for an appetizer she used to enjoy at a restaurant called Chum's that was on Waverley Street in the 1980s. She writes that the appetizer was called Chum's favourites and was a type of breaded cheese that was deep-fried and served with apples.
Sandi Scanlan has tried a few recipes to duplicate Applebee's shrimp and baby spinach salad, and asks if anyone has a version that they think is a match.
Lastly, Lorraine Turner would like to duplicate Kentucky Fried Chicken coleslaw.
If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Darlene Henderson, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.
6 egg yolks
60 ml (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
60 ml (1/4 cup) whipping cream
2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
15 ml (1 tbsp) rum or brandy (optional)
5 ml (1 tsp) white vinegar
500 to 625 ml (2 to 2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 litre (4 cups) vegetable oil (for deep frying)
In a large bowl, using a whisk, whip yolks until light in colour. Whisk in granulated sugar, cream, salt, rum and vinegar.
Using a wooden spoon, stir in 500 ml (2 cups) flour, stirring in a little more flour, if necessary, so that the dough is smooth and satiny and no longer sticky. Then knead lightly with floured hands. Divide dough into quarters, then form each quarter into a ball. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
Work with one ball of dough at a time, keeping the rest in the refrigerator until needed. Lightly dust counter and rolling pin with flour. Roll out dough as thinly as possible, no thicker than (.3 cm) 1/8 inch. Using a knife, pizza cutter or a scalloped edge pastry cutter, cut rolled dough into 2.5 x 8 cm (1 x 3 inch) strips. Using tip of a small knife, make a 1 cm (1/2 inch) slit lengthwise in each strip. Pull one end almost all the way through the slit.
Line a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels.
Pour oil into a deep saucepan. It should be at least 8 cm (3 inches) deep. Place over medium high heat until hot. Then reduce heat to medium and carefully slip 4 to 6 cookies into oil. Cook until lightly browned on one side and turn to cook until evenly browned. Immediately remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels. Repeat with remaining dough.
When cool, dust cookies with icing sugar. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week. Do not freeze. Makes 50 cookies.
Taste Tester Notes: These light cookies (more like pastries) are tasty treats. I used rum and like the extra flavour it adds (similar recipes called for 5 or 10 ml/1 or 2 tsp of vanilla extract instead). You can sprinkle them lightly or liberally with icing sugar, as desired. I used a fine sieve to do this and some readers suggested gently tossing them in a paper bag with the icing sugar. You can store them plain and then sugar them before serving. I used a stand mixer to make the dough and the pasta attachment to roll it thinly. Cut the dough into strips or diamonds to make whatever shape you like. Keep them covered with a tea towel to prevent drying out before frying. I found an oil temperature of 175 C to 190 C (350 F to 375 F) worked well.
Like Shakey's mojo potatoes
6 large Idaho baking potatoes
500 ml (2 cups) all-purpose flour
2 ml (1/2 tsp) cayenne
10 ml (2 tsp) thyme
Salt and pepper
About 125 ml (1/2 cup) milk
Vegetable oil (for frying)
Bake potatoes at 220 C (425 F) for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool. Cut each potato into 1/4-inch rounds.
Heat oil to 190 C (375 F).
Stir together the flour, cayenne, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Dip each wedge into the milk and then dredge thoroughly in the seasoned flour mixture. Deep fry wedges without overcrowding for about 90 seconds until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels and serve.
Taste Tester Notes: These mojo potatoes are good, and you can adjust the seasoning to your liking. Try deep frying a sample one to taste before making all of them. I initially found the seasoning a bit too plain for my taste, so then doubled the cayenne and added about 5 ml (1 tsp) of garlic powder to the coating mixture, and used a generous teaspoon of salt and a generous grinding of fresh pepper.