August 1, 2011

A Rose by any Other Name.....

would smell as sweet. Perhaps not - what if it was named Athlete's Food Plant? You might not want to get near enough to find out if it is sweet - or noxious!  Many recipes in my collection of vintage cookbooks are placed at a disadvantage by their selected name. Water-fried Onions, anyone? Sounds like a soupy messy, but it's only carmelized onions that are then cooked a little longer by adding 1/4 cup of water to the pan and letting it evaporate.  Or Salad Soup? Doesn't sound as appealing as Gazpacho, but it's about the same thing. How about Beerocks?I thought it would be some conflation of beer and rock-hard somethings, but it's a version of the Welsh pasty, or hot pocket, made with a potato bread crust. The clear winners in the bad name contest , though, are the authors of The Pennsylvania Dutch Cookbook. I think the recipe for Boova Shenkel takes the prize. A silly name, but not that bad, you say? Allow me to translate: Boy's Legs. What? You read that right: Boy's Legs.

Where the name came from is hard to imagine. The only similarity I see is that most boys have two legs, and this recipe makes two giant potato-stuffed pierogies (about calzone size). I actually can't decide if this one sounds good or bad. I think I would prefer that the beef served on top of this was in gravy rather than broth. What do you think?


3 lbs. beef for stewing
2 tsp. salt
12 medium potatoes, washed, pared and thinly sliced
3 TBS. butter
1/3 cup minced onion
2 TBS. minced parsley
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 eggs, beaten
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 TBS. lard
2 TBS. shortening
8 to 10 TBS. cold water

Cut meat into piecves and place into Dutch oven. Cover with water, add salt and simmer for 2 hours. Cook potatoes until tender; drain. Mix in butter, onion, parsley, salt and pepper. Add eggs and beat mixture lightly. Set aside. Sift together the flour, baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cut in the lard and shortening with a pastry blender or two knives. Add water, using only enough to hold the dough together. Work quickly; do not overhandle. Shape into a ball. Using 1/2 of dough, roll on a floured surface into a 10" round about 1/8" thick. With a knife or spatula, loosen dough from surface whenever sticking occurs; lift dough and sprinkle flour underneath. Spread one half of the potato filling on one half of the round. Fold dough in half over filling. Press edges together with tines of fork to seal. Set aside. Repeat process for remaining half of dough. Carefully drop the two filled pastries into the boiling broth with the meat. Cover and simmer about 25 minutes. Arrange the Boova Shenkel on a platter and pour hot sauce over pastries. Serve immediately. 8 to 10 servings

The Pennsylvania Dutch Cookbook, 1977, Culinary Arts Press

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