By Joe Stumpe
A Newton woman expanded her culinary horizons during the coronavirus pandemic. Is it any wonder that someone whose last name is Kitchen-McKinney enjoys cooking?
Speaking of names, she goes by Kevin, her middle name. “I was supposed to be my big brother’s little brother. I’ve met two other women with the same name.”
Regarding her cooking during the downtime, Kitchen-McKinney said: “I prepared two recipes that I had never made before. The first one, that I made up, is my version of Applebee’s Fiesta Lime Chicken.”
“My husband really likes it,” she added.
“The second one is a German dish that my paternal grandma and aunts used to make and has always been one of my favorite dishes. I watched them make these many a time, yet had never made them myself.”
The recipe came with her ancestors from Freiburg in southwest Germany’s Black Forest via German colonies in the Russian Empire to immigrant Volga German communities on the Great Plains.
Kitchen-McKinney consulted a Volga German cookbook for the accompanying recipe “but did change up the recipe to how I watched our family prepare them.”
Fiesta Lime Chicken
Boneless chicken breasts or tenders
Bake chicken at 350 degrees about 15 minutes or until almost done, turning once. Remove from oven and top each piece with a slice of cheese. Add a tablespoon of salsa, some crushed Doritos and a squirt of lime juice. Return to oven for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted and chicken is cooked through.
Kase Maultaschen (Cheese-filled Pockets)
2 cups flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons milk
12 oz. dry curd cottage cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg, beaten
3 slices bread, toasted and cut into cubes
¼ cup oil
¼ cup chopped onions
8 oz. sour cream
Boiled potatoes, for serving
To make dough, combine flour, eggs, salt and milk. Knead until smooth; dough should be moist but not sticky. Let sit 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make filling by combining cottage cheese, salt and pepper and egg in a bowl.
Turn dough out onto a floured board and roll 1/8 inch thick. Cut dough into 4-inch squares and place a heaping tablespoon of filling mixture. Bring the corners of each square together and pinch the edges together securely. Drop the filled pockets into a large kettle of boiling water, cooking until they rise to the top plus two minutes longer. When done, remove with a slotted spoon and place in a dish in a warm oven while preparing the topping.
For the topping, heat oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Saute onions, adding bread cubes when onions are almost done. Pour over the cheese pockets, fold in sour cream and serve with boiled potatoes.