We’re home, we’re home!
My husband and I took a week long cruise to celebrate our anniversary last week and although we had a fantastic time….there’s no place like home. Check out our pics on my Facebook page if you haven’t already.
On the way back, we spent a day with my husband’s family, which was long overdue. They live in south Florida, so it’s not an easy trip either way. So, I’ve been in this family long enough to know that get-togethers surround one thing: Food.
But, let me tell you, that’s also how I was raised. My mother has slightly discolored Polaroids from the 1970’s in her photo albums of an entire dinner table full of southern greens, pinto beans and banana pudding. It makes me wonder…why the hell did they take those pictures?
My mother also tells the story (over and over) about how, beginning age 3, I could say every fast food restaurant name and anytime we left the house I would ask to stop and eat. This particular trait was inherited from my father, I’ll admit, who always had a reason to eat/cook/stop to get something to eat.
Hence, Dixie Chik was born.
Back to the story. While we were visiting with Mark’s family, we had Rugelach with coffee after lunch. No, I have never in my life heard of it. Something about the texture of the pastry made me want to taste this, although I’m not a fan of sweets. I’m not even kidding, there was something so seductive about this pastry I couldn’t get my mind off of it. It was so buttery, flaky, but more dense than a croissant. Like a tiny pie crust, but more buttery and intense. These, apparently, are typically filled with a jam/nut mixture that compliments the pie-like crust so well, and these happen to be an authentic Jewish staple. Oh, and typically, a dessert.
If you know me, you can predict my plan.
I have to make this savory.
Spinach and Cheese Rugelach
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
2 tbsp sour cream
6 oz cream cheese, cold, cut into pieces
2 tbsp ricotta cheese
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
16 oz box frozen chopped spinach
5 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup Italian blend shredded cheese
1/4 cup Ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
You will also need 2 egg whites, whisked for baking
Sriricha sauce for serving
In a food processor, pulse the butter, sour cream and cheeses until combined. It doesn’t need to be smooth, but well incorporated. Add the flour and salt to a stand mixer, add the butter/cheese mix and mix on low until it forms a ball and pulls away from the sides.
You should probably coat your hands with a little flour at this point. Separate the ball into 4 baby ones, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Take one dough ball out of the fridge and roll out on a floured surface to about an 1/8″ thickness. Cut to make as large of a circle as you can using a knife; make a ball out of the extra dough and refrigerate. We don’t need to waste! Cut the dough like a pizza into even triangles; obviously a pizza cutter works best but even a regular knife will do. Spoon about a tsp of the filling on the fattest part of the triangle and roll tightly like a croissant.
Place each rugelach on a baking sheet and brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with salt and bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown.
Take a look at this flaky, buttery pastry…
It literally flakes apart in your hand. I dredged these in Sriracha – amazing.
I honestly think the filling options are limitless.
There’s no place like home…there’s no place like home.
Missed every one of you!