Sunday, November 28, 2010
It's possible that I was naive as to how different food cultures could be from one Amish community to the next when I married my handsome Lancaster Countian 16 years ago. I guess I just figured that they would mostly do things the same. Well I soon figured out otherwise, and have decided that there are definitely good things about both Holmes and Lancaster Counties. This particular recipe is one that differs greatly in the two Amish communities in which I have lived.
In Holmes County, Ohio we call this, Dressing. In Lancaster County, Pennsylvania it is called Roscht., (as in roast.) I still can't bring myself to call it Roscht, maybe I'm stubborn or maybe it's other things but I feel strangely self conscious when I say it and feel like I need to cast a glance around my immediate perimeter to see if someone heard me. Haha, sounds like an issue, doesn't it? But definitely not one worth stressing over. It's simply what one gets used to calling it.
I've never made it the way they do around here but there are definitely ladies around who know how to make good Roscht, (there, I said it again) but I'll stick to my Dressing.
And here again I learned how to prepare this yumminess by watching and helping my Mom.☺
2-3 sticks butter
1 long loaf white bread*
2½ cups diced potatoes
2 cups diced celery
¾ cup shredded carrots
1½ tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 pint chicken in broth
¼ cup hot water
2 heaping tablespoons chicken base
1½ cups milk
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Additional milk as needed
Approximately 10-12 servings.
Cut bread in small squares.
Toast diced bread cubes in batches in melted butter, stirring to prevent burning.
Pour into a medium to large sized mixing bowl.
Peel and dice potatoes and boil in water, just enough to cover potatoes. Boil just until soft but not mushy.
Pour potatoes, undrained over bread cubes in mixing bowl. Add diced celery, shredded carrots, chopped parsley, and chicken in broth.
Dissolve chicken base in hot water and add to the bowl.
Beat the eggs and 1½ cups milk together until well blended:
add to the bread mixture.
Fold gently to mix and even it out in the bowl. Add the additional milk pouring into the center of the bowl and stopping when you see the milk rising at the side of the bowl.
Stir gently again and let set for about 10 minutes until the liquid is soaked into the bread.
Melt about ¼ cup of butter in a large frying pan (I like to use my electric frying pan for an even controllable heat) and fry bread mixture in batches. I like to use a 1 cup measuring cup and pour 1 cupful in the pan and spread out to make a thin layer. This helps more surface to get browned without a lot of extra turning stirring.
When browned on one side turn and brown the other side.
DO NOT OVERDO THE STIRRING. You want the bread cubes to still look like cubes. When you have achieved a nicely browned Dressing, transfer to a greased baking dish and bake at 350° until nice and brown and slightly crusted over the top, approximately 30 - 45 minutes.
This can be made a day ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen a week ahead until needed. Thaw in the refrigerator and bake as usual.
*I sometimes use Italian Wheat Bread because that's what I usually have on hand but the white bread makes a much nicer Dressing all around. The bread cubes in the first two pictures are made with wheat bread and the rest of the pics are made with white bread. This is because I made two different batches about a week apart and used pics of both.