knoephla soup

We have had a great big week! On Friday, we wrapped filming and ate a bunch of fried food to celebrate. It was so sad to see everyone go, but unlike the past two seasons when I didn’t know if the show would be renewed or not before wrapping, this time I knew they’d all be back in July! And they’ll be able to meet Poppy Seed! Over the two weeks of filming, Poppy Seed grew soo much and also flipped to be head down. For a little while I kept patting what I thought was her head but then we went to the doctor and confirmed that I’d been patting the butt this whole time. Hehe. Even though the counter became further and further away, my carpal tunnel symptoms luckily subsided (there will be a lot of pre-chopped vegetables in these episodes!) but then my brain turned to mush! Toward the end of the run it sometimes took me like six attempts to explain the simplest things like how to put sprinkles on the rugelach. And I dropped an entire tray of choco tacos. But thankfully I was able to hold onto my energy for the most part and avoid back pain, which were my two greatest fears other than over baking the potato bagels. On my evenings and days off, I recharged by swimming, watching figure skating, and descending deeper into my bachelor obsession. 

After wrapping, Eggboy and Poppy Seed and I were thrown the most beautiful baby shower by our moms (soon to be grandmas!), sisters (aunties!!!), and friends. It was sprinkle and hotdish themed, and they took my fear of baby shower games seriously so it was a lovely afternoon of eating confetti petit fours and tater tot hotdish, hanging out with friends from near and far, writing funny things on diapers, and unveiling the sweetest gifts that ranged from ultra practical (mountains of diapers!) to ultra homespun (like cousin Elaine’s hand knit sprinkle cupcake hats!!) to ultra hippo. I’m obsessed with this hippo. He’s sitting right next to me and I can’t stop looking at him and giggling. Eggboy and I felt soo loved and got even more excited to bring Poppy Seed into our extremely rad mishpocha. 

Continuing on with my list of foods that I plan to stock in our freezer for my maternity leave, I have to share this soup with you that is the best kept secret of the upper Midwest. Knoephla soup is right up with tater tot hotdish as my favorite new food that I’ve learned about since moving here. Knoephla (neh-fla) are little chewy dumplings that made their way to this area with German immigrants and are most commonly enjoyed in creamy potato soup, but can also be sautéed with sauerkraut and sausage or put into hotdish. They are kind of like plumper smoother spaetzle and the frozen store-bought ones look a lot like mochi bits. Knoephla soup is traditionally made without meat, just potatoes, vegetables, a bit of cream, and my favorite (from Dakota Harvest, r.i.p.) had the most warming hit of nutmeg. The texture of the dumplings and the pure comfort of it all makes this the kind of soup that I just shovel into my mouth with abandon. We had it at our wedding and for years now I’ve wondered why it hasn’t seemed to pick up that much popularity outside of the upper Midwest. The #knoephla hashtag is my favorite hashtag to follow on IG but all of the posts are from North Dakota! Many of them are from Kroll’s dinner, which has a killer version that you can supposedly buy by the bucket (?!), just in case you find yourself at one of those. This is probably one of the only areas where you can buy frozen knoephla at the grocery store, but not to worry, they are very easy to make. I have a recipe in Molly on the Range for knoephla soup but this is a new and improved version because over the past couple of years I’ve started adding more herbs to it, including an egg in the dumplings for added chewiness, and making a much bigger batch so that I can freeze some. I’m not sure if adding dill would be considered the most traditional move, but as I become closer and closer to being a Jewish mother, I’m more inclined than ever to channel severely dill-y matzo ball soup vibes into, like, everything. So while it’s still winter, make a gigantic batch of this and then eat it on the couch from under a fluffy blanket. 


knoephla soup

Serves 8-10

instructions

3 tb unsalted butter

1 large onion, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

kosher salt and black pepper

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp nutmeg

10 c chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 tsp dried thyme

2 sprigs dill, chopped

4 sprigs parsley, chopped

2 bay leaves

1 1/2 lb (680g) red potatoes, chopped into 1/2” pieces

1 1/2 lb (680g) store-bought frozen knoephla or homemade knoephla (recipe below)

1/2 c (120g) heavy cream

clues

in a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. add the onions, carrots, celery, a good pinch of salt, and a few turns of black pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. add the garlic and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes, until fragrant.

stir in the stock, herbs, bay leaves, and potatoes, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. if using store-bought frozen dumplings, add them when the soup reaches a boil. if using homemade dumplings, begin making them when the soup reaches a boil and then add them for the last 20 minutes of simmering.

stir in the cream. taste and adjust seasonings as desired. remove the bay leaves before serving.

enjoy!

to freeze, let cool and transfer to freezer safe containers. freeze for up to three months and defrost in the microwave or overnight in the fridge, and then reheat in the microwave or on the stove.

knoephla

3 1/4 c (422g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/4 tsp kosher salt

black pepper

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1 c (236g) water

1 large egg

to make the knoephla:

in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, a few turns of pepper, and the nutmeg. stir in the water and egg and mix to form a shaggy dough. turn it out onto a clean work surface and knead it for a few minutes, adding flour as needed, until you have a smooth and stiff dough. roll it into 1/2”-thick blob, cut into 1/2”-3/4” squares, dusting with flour so they don’t stick together, and drop them directly into simmering soup.


-yeh!

photos by chantell and brett! dutch oven by great jones!

gigantic party breakfast sandwich

~*~*~ how to win brunch in six easy steps! ~*~*~

1. pick stuff from the garden that looks good! herbs, peppers, tomatoes, onions, and zucchini are all great choices. and don't forget to swing by the coop eggs!

2. make a sheet pan of focaccia and use your biggest serrated knife to cut it in half horizontally, almost like you're leveling a cake.

3. make a big baked egg situation that's the same size as your focaccia and flop it onto the bottom of the focaccia.

4. top it with cheese, herbs, tomatoes, bacon, any other toppings you'd like.

5. top it with the top of the focaccia and bake until the cheese is melty. now you have a hot sheet cake of breakfast sandwich!

6. cut it into squares! yay!

yeahhhh baby!

I am knee deep in development mode for recipes to make at Unglued Camp and have been testing this as a way of making breakfast sandwiches for a huge group of people! I'm so excited about it. It's my take on this thing that I discovered on the internet, the breakfast sandwich casserole. Google it, it's wild.

I am digging this recipe for these reasons:

-Most of the prep can be done in advance. You can bake the focaccia and egg a day before serving, and then the day of all you need to do is assemble and heat.

-It's endlessly improvisable based on what you've got in your garden or what looked good at the market! Think of the egg layer as one giant quiche: cram in as many or as few veggies as you'd like, change up the cheeses, fux with the seasonings, you know the drill. 

-You get geometrically pleasing sandwiches where the filling lines up exactly with the bread.

-It's vaguely reminiscent of those really long Subway party subs, which were the most underrated birthday party food.


party breakfast sandwich

makes 12 sandwiches

part 1: focaccia

ingredients 

1 1/2 c (354ml) warm water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tb sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 c + 2 tb (175g) olive oil, divided
5 c (650g) all-purpose flour, or sub 2 c (260g) for whole wheat flour
Leaves from 1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped (thyme would also work!)
1/2 purple onion thinly sliced
Flaky salt
 

clues

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together the water, yeast, and sugar. Let it sit for 5 minutes, or until foamy. With the mixer running on low speed, add the salt and 1/2 cup olive oil, and then gradually add the flour. Add the rosemary. Increase the speed to medium high and mix for 7-10 minutes, adding just enough additional flour so that the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Do not add too much flour. The dough should be smooth and slightly sticky. Lightly coat a clean large bowl with oil or cooking spray and then place the dough in the bowl and turn it once or twice to coat it in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

[This is a good time to make the eggs!]

Coat the bottom and sides of a 9” x 13” rimmed sheet pan with 1/4 cup olive oil. Pat out the dough all the way to the edges, but keep it slightly thinner around the edges (it will seem like there’s a lot of oil in the bottom of the pan but that will make it good). Brush the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and distribute the purple onion slices all over. Sprinkle with flaky salt. Let rise uncovered another 40 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Bake for 25 minutes, until lightly browned on top. (While it’s baking the dough might start to creep over the edges of the pan but that’s ok, some overhang will actually make it easier to cut it when the time comes.) Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan. If making this the day before, turn onto a wire rack, let cool completely, wrap in plastic wrap, and store at room temp. If you’re wanting to serve asap, let the focaccia cool until it’s just cool enough to handle and zip down to the assembly steps.
 

part 2: eggs

ingredients

2 tb olive oil
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
Other optional veggies: 1 small zucchini thinly sliced, 1 jalapeño seeded and thinly sliced, a handful or 2 of leafy greens like spinach, kale, or chard
Kosher salt
Black pepper
3 oz (85g) shredded cheddar (swiss or mozzarella would also work!)
8 large eggs
1/2 c (120ml) Heavy cream
3/4 c (180ml) whole milk
1 tsp sweet paprika
Hot sauce, to taste
 

clues

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Grease and line a 9” x 13” rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper, leaving 1” wings on two of the sides. 

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the pepper, onion, and other veggies and cook until soft, about 7-10 minutes. Transfer to the sheet pan, spread them out evenly and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the cheese over the top. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, whole milk, paprika, hot sauce, 1 tsp salt, and a few turns of pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the veggies and bake until set and lightly browned on top; begin checking for doneness at 25 minutes.

If making the day before, let this cool in the pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. If not, go straight to assembly, below.
 

part 3: assembly

ingredients

About 8 oz (226g) shredded or sliced cheese
Optional toppings: sliced tomatoes, chopped fresh basil or other tender herbs, cooked bacon, cooked sausage
 

clues

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the focaccia back in the sheet pan if you took it out to cool. Use the largest serrated knife you have to cut the focaccia loaf in half horizontally, using the rim as a guide. I like to rotate the pan with one hand as I saw off the top with the other (it’s just like leveling a huge cake). Flip the egg onto the bottom piece of focaccia. Top with cheese and other toppings as desired. Top with the top of the focaccia. Bake until the cheese is melted, the edges of the focaccia are crispy, and the egg is warmed through; begin checking for doneness at about 20 minutes. If the focaccia begins to get too browned for your liking but the middle still needs some time, then tent with foil. Slide onto a cutting board, slice into squares and enjoy!
 

french onion yogurt

Is French Onion Dip Actually French is what I just googled and it turns out that it was invented in California! So that’s a fact that you can rattle off if ever you’re standing near the dips and need something to talk about that’s not the weather. This here is a French Onion dip that is made with—wait for it—yogurt. Predictable! I know. But I just wanted to put this somewhere since it was cut from Short Stack Yogurt and I love it so much. In the first draft of my manuscript, it was paired with butternut squash tots which were tasty! But I never wanted to make them. I dreaded having to test them because that meant peeling a big dumb squash, shredding a big dumb squash, molding like a hundred dumb tots, and frying them. And for what? So I could slow down the acquisition of my bikini bod??

I liked the sound of the words “Squash Tots with French Onion Yogurt” all strung together, but if I was dreading making them then chances were that you would too. So it fell to the cutting room floor and unfortunately dragged this great dip along with it. Oops! It’s ok now though because here it is, and I’ve served it here with sweet potato fries but it is good with anything fried because fried things and yogurt go together like peanut butter and jelly. The fried thing provides the oomph, the crunchy satisfaction, the bulk of the dish, while the yogurt cools it down, offers a bit of creaminess, and takes some weight off of an otherwise heavy bite. It’s a perfect partnership, and pretty much whenever I fry up a vegetable or fritter, my first instinct is to grab some dollops of yogurt out of the fridge.

This sweet onion yogurt dip bursts with a nostalgic flavor that will take you straight back to junior high basement parties. It's very simple to make and cooking it will make your house smell ~amazing~. 


French Onion Yogurt

Ingredients

2 tb unsalted butter

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided

1/2 tsp sugar

1/4 c white wine

3/4 c (170g) whole milk greek yogurt

1/2 tsp onion powder

Black pepper

Chives, for topping

Clues

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium and add the onion, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and sugar. Cook, stirring, until golden brown and caramelized, about 30-40 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the wine: add it to the pan, scrape off any bits that have stuck to the pan and continue to cook until the wine is mostly reduced. Let cool and then stir with the yogurt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, onion powder, and a few turns of black pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with a sprinkle of chopped fresh chives. 


I’d also like to include some shoutouts to friends who have blogged about Short Stack Yogurt and posted recipes!! Thank you sooo much, sweet friends!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ (If you’ve blogged about Short Stack Yogurt, let me know in the comments or by tagging #shortstackyogurt on social!!) 

challah french toast with sumac yogurt and pickled onions on kale + caramel

pita on rose water and orange blossoms

lazy b mac and cheese on chatelaine

Pistachio Rosewater Cake With Labneh Frosting on buzzfeed

yogurt-marinated ras el hanout chicken skewers on a cozy kitchen

yogurt ranch salad pizza on a couple cooks

pita on fig and bleu

yogurt cookies with strawberry and thyme on oh curious rose

yogurt pita and baked chicken shawarma on joy the baker

dulcey yogurt pretzels on hummingbird high


farmhouse party quesadillas

To know Eggboy is to know that, when left to his own accord, lunchtime means dumping a can of beans into a bowl and topping it with raw walnuts and dinnertime means going across the street to eat Eggmom’s salmon and roasted vegetables. In the past year or so he’s started salting his beans so that’s a step up. I used to feel guilty when I’d go out of town without leaving a lasagna in the freezer but I’ve witnessed him do the beans for lunch thing enough times even when there is a perfectly good leftover soup in the fridge that I think he actually just… likes it? He’s the first person I’ve ever really gotten to know who basically just eats to survive and doesn’t seek out the best bakeries wherever he travels. And yeah, aside from the occasional egg and my annual birthday cake, he doesn’t really cook! At all. I’ve never had an issue with it because he is a great dishes doer and also I like cooking haha. 

So imagine my surprise when he took up a tortilla making hobby! Last fall I returned home from a trip to find a baggie of really adorable amoeba shaped tortillas that were doughy and delicious. They were slightly thicker than the tortillas that we buy at the store and super dense. I thought it was a one off thing that he did while I was away but then there were multiple nights when I’d be standing at the stove stirring a pot of something and I’d turn around to find him kneading tortilla dough. It was so fun!!! I’d made Turkish Yufka before, which is super similar, and a few of our friends once had us over for tacos with homemade tortillas, but this was the first time we’d made tortillas at home and I can’t believe it took us this long. They are soo good. So for Chrismukkah I got him a few tortilla themed goodies like a server, a press, and a few taco holders to up our taco Tuesday game and we can never go back to store bought tortillas now. 

We always make a big batch to have some leftover, and when it’s lunchtime and we have leftover tortillas I usually make quesadillas. Quesadillas were the best already but when you throw in two thick doughy homemade tortillas, it is like, game over, it does not get much better. For the topping, I like to clean out the fridge of whatever vegetables we have on hand and pile them on top for a colorful fork and knife situation that is a total party. I usually start with a layer of something creamy, like yogurt or sour cream, and add some avocado, pickled onions, fresh herbs, chopped peppers, maybe some greens, a squeeze of lemon or lime, hot sauce, etc., etc., and when the tomatoes come back there will be those too. Inside the quesadilla, I have been using Cabot’s Farmhouse Cheddar which has a delicious sharpness that shines through brightly from under this bed of toppings. And it’s called Farmhouse! And Eggboy is a farmer! So it all checks out and I’m running with it! 


Note: lard is traditionally used in tortillas but we don’t typically have that on hand so we usually use canola or olive oil. I kinda wanna try schmaltz in a tortilla though?? Don’t tell Macaroni. 

Farmhouse Party Quesadillas

Makes 4

Ingredients

Tortillas

2 c (254g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp sugar

3/4 c water

1/4 c flavorless oil or olive oil, plus more for cooking the quesadillas

 

Filling and Topping

6 oz cheese Cabot Farmhouse Cheddar, shredded

Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream

sliced onions, pickled or raw

Sliced avocados 

Sliced Radishes

Fresh herbs

Fresh greens

Other chopped veggies, as desired

Lemon or lime wedges

Hot sauce

Kosher salt

Black pepper

Clues

To make the tortillas, combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Mix in the water and oil and stir to form a dough. Turn it out onto a surface and knead for 5-7 minutes to form a smooth, slightly sticky dough, adding more flour if needed. Cover it with plastic wrap or a towel and let it rest for 30 minutes. (Full disclosure, when we’re hungry we skip this step. But letting the dough rest does make it easier to roll these out.) Heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and roll them out until they’re really thin, keeping the dough balls covered until you roll them out. I like a 1/16” or 1/8” thickness but wouldn’t turn down a 3/16” thick one. Cook them in the skillet on both sides until they’re just starting to show some brown spots. Keep in mind that they’ll cook more when you’re making your quesadillas so don’t be afraid to keep them on the undercooked side. Immediately transfer cooked tortillas to a large ziploc bag, stacking them up, and keeping the bag mostly closed while you finish cooking the rest. This will steam them and make them nice and soft.

To make the quesadillas, keep your skillet hot but add a thin layer of oil. Top 4 of the tortillas with the cheese, distributing it evenly, and top them with the remaining tortillas. Cook on both sides until they’re splotchy and golden and the cheese is melted. Top with a blob of yogurt or sour cream, any and all veggies and herbs as desired, a squeeze of lemon or lime, a few shakes of hot sauce, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Enjoy! 

Any unused tortillas can be stored in a ziploc bag in the fridge!

thank you, cabot, for sponsoring this post! 

-yeh!! 

photos by chantell and brett!