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Mexican Shepherd's Pie

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Betty 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Monday, September 01, 2008 5:49 PM
Subject: Hello

I use to make a "Mexican pie" made like a Sheperds pie using ground beef corn and I think 
chili powder was used...Also it had mashed potatoes on it like a sheperd's pie...I made this
in the 70's but can't find my recipe. My daughter who is grown now has been asking me for the 
recipe...Can you help? Thanks.....Betty 

Hi Betty,

See the first recipe below. No corn, but you could add it if you want. For another interesting recipe, see the second one.


Mexican Shepherd's Pie

 2 lbs. hamburger
6 c. mashed potatoes
1 c. red pepper
1 c. green pepper
1 tsp. butter or margarine
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Brown and drain hamburger.Chop up peppers and saute in teaspoon of butter or margarine 
and a teaspoon of olive oil.Stir in chili powder and black pepper.Stir in hamburger.
Heat at low temperature.Make mashed potatoes.Place hamburger and peppers in baking pan.
Cover with potatoes.Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until potatoes brown and sides 
bubble.Sprinkle with paprika.
Mexican Pie

Mashed potatoes, enough for 4 servings
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 c. sliced green onions with tops
2 tbsp. dairy sour cream
1 lb. ground beef
1 sm. green pepper, chopped (1/2 c.)
1 med. onion, chopped (about 1/2 c.)
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/4 c. sliced pitted ripe olives
2-3 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 lg. clove garlic, crushed
1 c. (4 oz.) shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.Grease 9 x 1 1/4 pie plate.Prepare potatoes as directed 
on package for 4 servings except decrease water to 1 cup and omit milk. Stir in egg, green 
onions, and sour cream.Press potato mixture against bottom and side of pie plate.Prick 
bottom and sides with fork.Bake 15 minutes.Cook and stir ground beef, green pepper, and 
chopped onion in 10-inch skillet until beef is brown; drain.Stir in remaining ingredients 
except cheese.Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.Spoon into 
pie shell; sprinkle with cheese.Bake until cheese is melted, 2-3 minutes.Garnish with 
tomato slices if desired.Makes 4 servings.

Hungarian Szalonna

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Claire 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 9:12 AM
Subject: Recipe no one can find--Hungarian

Hi there,

Here is a recipe request for a dish that was served by my Hungarian/Czech grandparents-in-law. 
They were from the Hungarian/Czech border but considered themselves Magyars. This is a very simple 
recipe but I do not know what meat to buy or how the dish is properly spelled. They called it 
"Sulenah" or "Sullena". 

Basically it was a piece of fatback pork, perhaps smoked or cured in some way, skewered on sticks 
and roasted over an open fire. The pork fat was then pressed against fresh rye bread and the bread 
with the fat then was eaten (not the fat or meat itself). My grandmother in law told us that this 
was a typical breakfast packed for farmers in the fields in Hungary when she was a child. 

I would love to recreate this recipe, find the kind of meat, etc. These folks got the cut from a 
Hungarian butcher in Southern Connecticut.



Hello Claire,

Think bacon. This meat is called "Hungarian bacon" or "Gypsy bacon". The term is "szalonna". I hope you aren't watching your cholesterol.

From Wikipedia:

"Szalonna is the Hungarian word for bacon. Hungarian tradition - it is smoked pork fat with the rind, skewered onto a rod and roasted over an open fire pit. Once the meat starts to sizzle and drip with grease, you remove the bacon from the fire and allow the grease to drip onto a slice of bread. Return the bacon to the fire, and wait for the dripping, then again bring the bacon over your slice of bread to sop up the grease. This is repeated until the piece of bread is nearly saturated with grease. Sliced cucumber, red onion, paprika, ground pepper, and salt are used to jazz up the slice of bread, and then more drippings are followed to top it off."

See also:

Homebrew Talk

You can buy it here:

Kaczur Meats


From: "Marian "
Subject: Hungarian Bacon
Date: Tuesday, December 09, 2008 4:02 AM

I read your article about Hungarian Szalonna in the 9/2008 archive. I am Hungarian on both sides, 
and grew up "making bacon." What you wrote is pretty accurate, but I remember my grandfather 
(who came from Hungary in the early 1900's) smoking his own meat. What he used to make like you 
described was called abbalt (not sure of the spelling.) szalonna. It was different from regular 
bacon. I believe it was boiled for a short time and then coated with paprika before it was smoked. 
They cut it in pieces about 3" X 5" (approximate) and then it was cut in strips both ways nearly to 
the skin before it was put on the sticks. Thick slices of homemade bread were toasted and put on 
a plate and covered with chopped onions. As the bacon cooked over the fire the grease was drizzled 
over the bread. It had a wonderful flavor. Then they finished cooking the bacon and ate it along 
with the toast. That's the way we did it in our family. Hope it helps.



----- Original Message ----- 
From: kris 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2008 4:47 PM
Subject: perogi

my husbands family is Ukrainian they eat what is known here as pirogibut they call it
something that sounds like ped-a-hare .i have no idea how to spell it correctlyi am sorry
but i would love to find a recipes that is actually called ped-a-harethankskris 

Hi Kris,

I can't find any food or dish on any Ukrainian recipe site that sounds like "ped-a-hare". Ukrainians do love pirogis, but they call them "pyrohy" or "varenyky."

From the Ukrainian Cuisine site:

"Varenyky (or pyrohy or perogies) are dough pockets filled with potato, or potato and cheddar cheese,or kapusta (sauerkraut), or cottage cheese, or blueberries, or cherries, or ... Ukrainian varenyky are boiled and resemble to various degrees Polish pierogi, Russian pilmeni, Italian ravioli, Jewish kreplach, or Chinese wonton. Varenyky are very are often served with onions and sour cream. The word 'varenyky' is used throughout Ukraine.The singular form of 'varenyky' is 'varenyk.' The word 'pyrohy' is used by Ukrainian American and Ukrainian Canadian descendants of pre World War I settlers from Western Ukraine. The singular form of 'pyrohy' is 'pyrih.'"

There is a recipe for varenyky here:




Hello Again Kris,

I found some more information about this after another reader gave me an alternate spelling.

"Pedahe" or "pedaheh" are piroghi.

From Wikipedia:

"The word 'pyrohy' is used by Ukrainian American and Ukrainian Canadian descendants of pre World War I settlers from Western Ukraine. Speakers of that Canadian/American Ukrainian dialect call them 'pyrohy', which can be misheard 'pedaheh' by Anglophones unaccustomed to the fast rolled-r sound, or alveolar trill. They are known as 'varenyky' in standard Ukrainian, and 'pyrohy' there refers to a different dish, which is often a source of confusion."

See below for two recipes.


Pedahe Dough (1/2 Batch)
1250 ml flour
1 egg
500 ml milk
Makes enough for one batch using Moulinex
mixer with dough hook, two batches makes
enough for one session.
Put flour in 250 ml at a time, and put last batch of
flour in 1/2 at a time.
1 box Piroghe (also known as Piroshki), any flavor (I like cheese and onion)
1 large onion, quartered and cut across the grain into thin strips (see below) 
pinch of sugar
1 ~ 4 cloves garlic, crushed (use more or less to your taste) 
1-2 TBS butter
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream to taste 
1. Start the onions before you even start the water boiling,. Rule of thumb is that the onions can wait;
the pedaheh only takes about 5-8 minutes to cook.
2. Cut the onion into quarters, then across the grain, thinly so you have thin sticks of onions. 
3. Melt down some butter and toss the onions into the butter with some salt, pepper. Keep it on medium 
low heat. You want to sweat down and carmelize the onions, not fry them. Once some moisture appears, 
then add a sprinkle of sugar which will help them carmelize.
4. Start the pot of salted water boiling at this point. 
5. When the onions become soft, throw in some garlic. Be careful on the amount because it can knock 
your socks off cooking it like this. Watch the heat carefully on the onions. You don't want to burn 
them. What you want is a carmel color and a sweet taste. Slow cook them until they basically start to 
bunch up in the pan. Add more butter as needed just to keep them from sticking to the pan. Watch them
closely, no running to the computer. I swear you can look away for 10 seconds, turn back around, and 
the whole batch is burnt. Cook them until you think they are almost done, then cut the heat. The residual
heat in the pan could be enough to burn them, so continue to watch closely until it cools down. 6. When 
the water is boiling, keep the stove at maximum as they suck a lot of heat out of the water since they 
are frozen. Stir them RIGHT away or they will settle and stick to the bottom. Once the boil is established
again, you can reduce the heat to medium-high and cook them for 5-8 minutes. When the peroghy float, 
wait another 2 minutes of cooking. Kinda poke them down with your spoon, if they drop, then float back 
up right away, they are done. You want a firm texture, they can get mushy really quick. 7. Drain them,
place them on your serving platter, and spoon the onions over them. Spoon as much butter from the pan 
onto the Pedaheh as you like. This way you can control the amount of butter and it isn't overly greasy. 
The onions will be clumpy, so try to spread them out as much as possible. Lotsa fresh pepper, and a 
dollop of sour cream on top finishes it off. 

Italian Egg Balls

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Joe 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2008 11:29 AM
Subject: Grandma's "Egg Balls"

My Grandmother, who was from Naples, Italy made something which she called "egg balls"that were 
a part of her Sunday Meat Sauce. They consisted of soft,cheesy tasting dumplings which were cooked 
in with the meatballs and other meats in her tomato sauce. My older sister doesn't recall ever 
seeing her make them, but guesses she must have first fried them before adding them to the sauce. 
I have never heard them mentioned or seen them in any restaurant serving food from Southern Italy. 
Could she have invented them? I don't think so. Can you help?


Hello Joe,

See below for three recipes. The first one sounds most like what you recall, since it has cheese. The longer these simmer in the spaghetti sauce, the better.



1 egg
Salt and pepper
Pinch parsley (optional)
1 tbsp. grated Romano cheese
2 tbsp. grated bread crumbs

 Beat egg.Add salt and pepper to taste; parsley, Romano cheese and bread crumbs.If necessary, 
add more cheese and bread crumbs so egg mixture is not watery.Fry by teaspoonfuls in hot grease 
in frying pan.When egg ball is brown on both sides, drop into simmering tomato sauce.Serve with
spaghetti. Serves 2. 
Italian Egg Balls

6 eggs, beaten
Breadcrumbs (Canned are ok) 
Italian Seasoning to taste
Pepper to taste

Beat the eggs in a bowl with the seasoning and slowly add just enough breadcrumbs to make a 
medium batter that will hold together while frying. 

Fill pan to 1/4" to 1/2" with oil and heat to medium frying temperature. 

Using a spoon, scoop up some of the batter, shape it into a ball with your fingers, and carefully 
place it in the oil. When brown on one side, use tongs or a slotted spoon to turn it over. They may 
not be perfect balls.

Drain on paper towels. Let cool and then put them into spaghetti sauce (Homemade or from the jar). 
Let simmer for a while. The longer they simmer, the better they'll be. 
Italian Egg Balls


4 eggs 
4 tablespoons grated romano cheese 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 
1/4 cup butter, softened 
6 cups chicken stock or beef stock 
1 cup fine breadcrumbs 
salt and pepper 


Beat eggs and blend with cheese, parsley and butter. 
Add enough bread crumbs to hold ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. 
Shape into balls about 3/4? in diameter, If sticky, very lightly dust hands with additional 
bread crumbs. 
When mixture is used up, bring broth to a rolling boil and carefully drop in balls. 
When they come to the surface, boil 5 minutes. 
Serve hot with additional grated cheese. 
The egg balls should be light and fluffy in texture. 

Sourdough Buckwheat Pancakes

----- Original Message ----- 
From: wendy 
Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2008 2:51 PM
Subject: Recipe request for Old fashioned Buckwheat Pancakes

I am hoping you can help me on my search for good old fashioned SOUR buckwheat pancakes.
We used to get them at a restaurant on Rte. 118 near Red Rock, PA.The place was called 
Zel's Restaurant and was run by a little old lady by the name of Mrs. Seward (I was a kid, 
not sure if her name was Zel or not.)Zel's is gone, but the memory of those pancakes still 

I know that they came from a starter batch because she gave some to my Dad.I also remember 
that you had to leave them on the counter or someplace other than a refrigerator.She never 
gave us the recipe for starting the starterthough.There is a restaurant in Benton Township, PA 
on Elk Grove Road called The Brass Pelican which also serves them. They are not sharing.I can't 
blame them!Unfortunately, this restaurant is nearly 2 hours from my home so going there for 
pancakes Sunday morning is out of the question.

I know you can't recreate a recipe from the taste described, but just for a little humor and 
nostalgia I'll tell you about the taste.They are SOUR with a capital SOUR!!! What a wonderful 
earthy flavor they have!One young man I know squeezed his eyes shut, puckered his lips and 
proclaimed, "That's the first time I ever ate pancakes that bit me back!" I've had other buckwheat 
cakes, even at a buckwheat festival in Penn Yan, NY but they just don't have that real sour taste.
In fact, most don't have a whole lot of taste at all. 

I hope you can find them, maybe you've had them. I am hoping to someday run across the recipe 
and the proper vessel in which to hold the starter. I haunt antique shops looking for and earthen 
crock batter bowl with a pour spout and a lid.I don't even know if they made such a beast, but 
it seems as though that would be the proper and fitting vessel for such an unusual flavor medley.

Thanks in advance for your help!!

Hi Wendy,

Thanks for an interesting e-mail.

There is no mention of Zel's Restaurant in Red Rock, PA on the Internet that I can find, much less a recipe. There are plenty of mentions of the Brass Pelican, and raves about their sourdough buckwheat pancakes, but no recipes. So, all I can do is point you to sourdough buckwheat pancakes recipes. You'll have to try them to see whether they're sour enough. The Brass Pelican may add something to the batter to make them extra sour.


Global Gourmet

Northwest Sourdough

Food Not Rockets

Czech Buckwheat Pancakes


A reader sent this recipe:

From: Cindy
Subject: Fwd: Recipe
Date: Friday, January 09, 2009 5:43 PM

Please forward this recipe on to "Wendy".  She was looking for the perfect Buckwheat Pancake 
recipe.  My sister and I had these every morning from the time school started in the fall until 
we were out in the spring.  The secret to the sour flavor is that you have to keep baking them 
several times a week using the saved starter.  Usually by Christmas they had acquired the truly 
sour flavor.


Old Fashioned Buckwheat Pancakes

3 cups stirred buckwheat flour
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 tsp. granulated sugar
2 Tbl. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. soda
1 Tbl. salad oil

Combine flour and salt. Soften yeast in 1/4 cup warm water (110 deg.). 
Dissolve granulated sugar in 3 3/4 cups lukewarm water; add yeast and 
stir into dry ingredients.. Mix well. Cover; let stand overnight at room 
temperature (bowl must not be over 1/2 full). The next morning, stir 
batter; add brown sugar, soda and oil. Refrigerate 1 cup batter for 
starter (keeps several weeks). Bake remaining batter on hot, 
lightly-greased griddlle. Makes 20 pancakes.

To use starter, add 1 cup lukewarm water, 1/2 cup stirred buckwheat 
flour, and 1/2 cup sifted, all-purpose flour; stir smooth. Let stand 
overnight as before. When ready to bake, add 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. 
soda, 3 Tbl. brown sugar, and 1 Tbl. salad oil. Again reserve 1 cup for 


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