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Explore Ethnic Cooking

March 10, 2012

Sometimes it’s worth getting out of the same old stuff. Here are two recipes that with a little effort can yield wonderful tastes!

Lithuanian “Little Ears” Cookies

12 egg yolks
8 tbsp. sugar
4 shots rum
3 1/2 cups sifted flour
Oil for deep frying
Confectioners’ sugar

Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon in color. Add sugar, whiskey and enough flour to make a firm dough that does not stick. Knead dough on a sprinkling of flour until no additional flour is needed to prevent sticking.

Next, with a rolling pin proceed to beat the dough with the rolling pin. Wack it good and hard. The dough will flatten out and elongate. When it is roughly three times the length you had started with, fold the dough into thirds onto itself and beat it some more.

Keep beating and folding the dough for approximately 15 – 20 minutes, creating layers of dough compressed with pockets of air. You can test for this by slicing through the dough with a sharp knife, occasionally as you go. You will see tiny bubbles develop and you will see layers of dough forming.

Roll out the dough thinly with just a bit of flour on the rolling surface. It should be almost thin enough to see through. Cut into diamond strips 4 inches long and 2 inches wide. Make a slit lengthwise in the middle of each strip just big enough to pass the two longer corners ends through. Or if you’re like me and get lazy…cut them into diamond shapes and that’s it.

Using vegetable oil, deep fry in at least 2 inches of fat at 350 degrees or a high temperature. The pastry will quickly puff up and be ready in 15 to 30 seconds when golden. Do not allow to get brown. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

Use the first two or three pastries as a test. They should puff up as soon as they hit the oil. They should not be oil-heavy when done. If they don’t puff right away, the oil is not hot enough.

The rum is added to this recipe to prepare the pastries for deep frying. When the pastry is placed in the hot oil, the alcohol evaporates quickly and does not let the pastry absorb the oil. The alcohol is gone and it will leave a subtle flavor.

These pastries are so light, that they are fragile. They just melt in your mouth.

Asian Grilled Chicken
1 3/4 cups chicken Stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)

Stir the stock, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic powder and red pepper in a shallow nonmetallic dish or a gallon-size resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover the dish or seal the bag and refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove the chicken from the marinade.

Lightly oil the grill rack and heat the grill to medium. Grill the chicken for 15 minutes or until it’s cooked through, turning and brushing often with the marinade. Heat the remaining marinade in a 1-quart saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil and serve with the chicken.

Serve with cooked rice and grilled strips of pepper.

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