Smoked Gouda and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas

I’ve treasured this appetizer for 15 years, ever since my husband’s high school buddy and trained chef David prepared these extra-ordinary quesadillas for us at his house party.  The flavors are out of this world, but that means this appetizer disappears fast!

Begging for the recipe, he directed me to the recipe invented by James H. Turner IV, of Saco, Maine, and published in 1995 by Bon Appetit magazine. Now it can be found at Epicurious: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Smoked-Gouda-and-Caramelized-Onion-Quesadillas-699.  The recipe repeats below:

Smoked Gouda and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas
2 tbsp. (1/4 stick) butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
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Super Layered Taco Bean Dip with Guacamole

If using a glass bowl or footed trifle bowl, this 1990s appetizer can be made more attractive by mounding the top with black olives, cilantro leaves and cubes of avocado. Traditionally served with tortilla chips.

Super Layered Taco Bean Dip with Guacamole
2 c. refried beans (canned, or recipe follows)
1 c. guacamole (recipe follows)
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix Continue reading

Beef, Ham, Turkey and/or Crab Hye Roller Roll Ups

Another great 1990 appetizer that we love. Make all four flavors, or just one! Or, mix and match, it’s up to you.

Beef, Ham, Turkey and/or Crab Hye Roller Roll Ups
2-4 (8 oz.) pkg. chive&onion cream cheese, and/or garlic&herb cream cheese, room temperature
2 tbsp. prepared white horseradish
4 tsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
4 (16″) round sheet of Hye Roller soft bread/cracker sheet, room temperature
About ½-1 lb. Italian roast beef, thinly sliced
About  ½-1 lb. honey ham, thinly sliced
About  ½-1 lb. deli turkey or chicken, thinly sliced
About  ½-1 lb. imitation crab, thinly shredded
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Nicklow’s Greek Meatballs

Nicklow’s, a signature Greek Restaurant in the Twin Cities, closed in 2014 after the loss of founder Bill Nicklow.  The Minneapolis Star Tribune (link: http://www.startribune.com/local/224725502.html) wrote about Nicklow: “Greek restaurateur Bill Nicklow came to America at 13, unable to speak English, with a boyhood that included living in a cave and begging for food after Nazis burned his village and killed his father.

“In his pockets, young Billy carried only $3. In his heart, he carried a rich love and devotion for his family that stayed strong throughout his life.

“Nicklow worked nearly all his free time in high school in Minneapolis to pay his sister’s dowry and support his mother in their tiny village in Greece, which he later helped rebuild. He worked to bring his two younger brothers and other relatives to America, where they built a string of restaurants that have served the metro for more than 50 years.”

Nicklow’s Executive Chef Andy Ortis provided this meatball appetizer to upscale grocer Lunds, who advertised it in the early 2000’s on recipe cards.

Nicklow’s Greek Meatballs
1 lb. lamb, ground
1 tbsp. mint, chopped
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Zaldivar’s Queso con Rajas

In Feb. 2001 the Minneapolis Star Tribune highlighted the Zaldivar family, Alberto and Laura and their boys, Nick, Andrew, Zachary and Joseph, who “whipped” up the dishes that their mother and grandmother made in Mexico City in their Maple Grove, Minnesota kitchen.

Today’s recipe can be used as a filling for corn tortillas, or as a dip and comes from Alberto’s mom, whose heritage, the Star Tribune wrote, “is Navajo and Yaqui Indian.”

Zaldivar’s Queso con Rajas
2 (4 oz.) cans dice mild green chiles
1 (4 oz.) can diced hot chiles
(Note: if chiles labeled ‘hot’ or ‘mild’ are unavailable, add 1/4 sm. can of diced jalapeño peppers, or to taste)
2 med. onions, diced
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Uncle Julio’s Restaurant: Tia Elsa’s Pineapple-Serrano Pico de Gallo

The following recipe is not served at Uncle Julio’s, an Irvine, Texas Restaurant dedicated to “Mexican by Scratch.” That salsa is top-secret. So, instead, when a Minneapolis Star Tribune reader requested Uncle Julio’s salsa recipe in 2001, the restaurant provided a family recipe that can be served with chips, as well as grilled fish or chicken. Find it here and below: http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/taste/11413426.html.

Tia Elsa’s Pineapple-Serrano Pico de Gallo
2 c. finely chopped fresh pineapple
1 c. diced tomato
¾ c. diced red onion
2 tsp. chopped serrano chile
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Carol Z’s Deviled Eggs

I snatched mom’s deviled eggs recipe over a quick phone conversation, and had just enough time to write down the ingredients.  It is Gold!

But this is yet another 40 or more year-old recipe where there is no recipe. And that means the ingredient amounts vary with the number of eggs boiled. The rest of the ingredients are combined to just highlight – to devil – the egg yolk, not take it over.

Deviled Eggs
Eggs, hard-boiled
Ham (or any smokey meat, i.e. bologna, bacon, etc.), chopped very fine
Dill pickles, chopped very fine
Celery, chopped very fine
Dry mustard (not hot)
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Karl Ratzsch’s Roast Duckling a la Ratzsch

Karl Ratzsch’s is an old world landmark in Milwaukee and has been the epicenter of fine German food and dining for more than 100 years at 320 E. Mason Street. Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 7.11.03 PMThe history and lore of the restaurant is detailed on Karl Ratzsch’s site:http://karlratzsch.com/history.html.

Today’s posts include the cache of Karl Ratzsch’s recipes we’ve scored, starting with Duckling a la Ratzsch. This duck was prepared for President George W. Bush when he visited Milwaukee during his term. He told WTMJ radio, “I had a duck that looked like a goose. It was the biggest duck I ever saw in my life. But it was good.”

Karl Ratzsch’s Roast Duckling a la Ratzsch
1/2 c. vegetable oil or melted shortening
1 (4-5 lb.) whole duck, trimmed of excess fat, giblets removed Continue reading

Karl Ratzsch’s Roast Goose Shanks

Customers rave about this dish! The recipe was originally published in the Milwaukee Sentinel in 1979.

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Karl Ratzsch’s Roast Goose Shanks
4 goose shanks (1 to 1¼ lbs. each)
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
2 apples, cored and quartered
2 med. onions, quartered
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Stuffed Sole a la Ratzsch

Karl Ratzsch’s serves this fillet of sole stuffed with crabmeat and topped with a creamy wine sauce.  The recipe was published recently in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s reader’s request section, found here: http://www.jsonline.com/features/recipes/125922753.html. Stuffed Sole a la Ratzsch Wine Sauce: ½ c. white wine 2 c. chicken stock 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 1 shallot, diced ½ bay leaf ¼ tsp. garlic, chopped Pinch of white pepper Continue reading

(Karl Ratzsch’s Chef) Dreazy’s Short Ribs in Baked Beans and Beer

Michael Dreazy was a chef at Karl Ratzsch’s and first provided his recipe to the Milwaukee Journal in 1981, simply naming it “Baked Beans au Schlitz.”  Schlitz, “the Beer that Made Milwaukee Famous,” is now being brewed by Pabst.  At the time, Chef Dreazy advised, “Any beer will work, but why not Schlitz?”

The other advice he gave, “Don’t hurry, give it full cooking time.  Don’t blast away at 400° F. Let the flavor develop slowly, like a good wine, it takes time.”

Finally, he added, “like any good stew or soup, the leftovers may taste even better than the initial serving.” Dreazy’s advice was to “leave it in the crockpot (a note:~in Milwaukee, we use a Nesco) and place it in a refrigerator rack, where the air can get to it from underneath. Keep the cover off until it’s completely cool, then place the cover back on and keep it airtight.”

Dreazy was also sous-chef for the Milwaukee Athletic Club and the University of Milwaukee Club, and in 1998 was named executive chef for the Golden Hills Golf and Turf Club in Ocala, Florida.

This recipe was reprinted in the Milwaukee Journal sentinel, by request, in 2010.

Baked Beans au Schlitz
2 c. navy beans, soaked overnight
1 med. onion, chopped
1 lb. short ribs, cut in 1″ cubes (the bone adds a lot of flavor)
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Karl Ratzsch’s Crackling Pork Shank

John Poulos, executive chef and co-owner, recently sent the recipe for this famous dish to a answer a reader request in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at http://www.jsonline.com/features/recipes/56808522.html.

Karl Ratzsch’s Crackling Pork Shank
1 fresh pork shank (about 2 lbs.)
1 gal. cold water
2 tsp. salt (divided)
1½ gal. vegetable oil (must cover shank)
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ lemon rind (left whole or in large pieces)
½ orange rind, (left whole or in large pieces)
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Karl Ratzsch’s Liver Dumpling Soup

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A traditional and amazing soup. The recipe was originally published in 1980 by the Milwaukee Sentinel.

Karl Ratzsch’s Liver Dumpling Soup
1 qt. consumme, beef broth or beef bouillon
2 tbsp. bread crumbs
4 tbsp. butter

Liver Dumplings
1 lb. calves liver, coursely ground
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Karl Ratzsch’s Sauerbraten

One of the most celebrated Sauerbraten in Milwaukee, the recipe was published in 1983 in the Milwaukee Sentinel.

Karl Ratzsch’s Sauerbraten
4 lbs. beef (rump, chuck or sirloin)
1 tbsp. salt
1 c. red wine vinegar
1 c. white wine vinegar
2 c. cold water
1 onion, sliced
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