Saturday, January 8, 2011

Greek Yogurt Blintzes - from the Kosher Everyday Test Kitchen!

When I was growing up I had the distinct privilege of having my maternal grandmother live with us in our house.  In retrospect, as a “grown up” with my own home, it really speaks volumes of the midos (positive character traits) of my parents (ad meyah v’esrim) - especially the midos of my father for having an in-law in the home, and of my Bubbies grace in earning her welcome.  My father always had an amazing relationship with my grandmother and my grandmother was a kind, bright, wonderful “beautiful” woman (inside and out) with amazing midos.  We are blessed to have one of my daughters named after her with the hope that she will share all those wonderful characteristics that my Bubbie had.

My Bubbie taught my mother how to cook and bake.  She was very “old school” and I can still remember the hollowed out log that we had in our house that was used for making dough (I’m pretty sure my parents still have it in their house).  I learned at an early age how to make classic dishes from scratch like kreplach, yeast hametashen, chopped liver (we had a hand grinder to grind the liver), halishkes (stuffed cabbage), and gefilte fish, just to name a few.   It’s pretty obvious where my love of cooking and baking comes from – I was born with it!

My Mom is the creative cook and baker in the family.  My Dad recently found her Wilton Cake Decorating course certificate, and I was the cool kid in my class that always had a beautiful doll cake for my birthday parties!  I learned to make sure to turn my Angel Food cakes upside down on a wine bottle after baking so they don’t flatten, how to make lemon bars, and the best Pesach matzoh cookies anywhere – again, just to name a few!

My Dad is the “by the book” cook and baker in the family.  He will follow a recipe exactly and the engineer in him always comes through in the “whys and how’s” when he is in the kitchen. 

Knowing all that explains a lot about me I think…

One, one, one!
My Mom is the one that gave me my original blintz recipe that came from my Bubbie.  “One, one, one” she told me.  It’s easy to remember that way and it always comes out right.  One egg, one cup of water, and one cup of flour.  It hasn’t failed me yet!

My cousin Tziporah recently introduced me to Greek yogurt.  I love how it’s thick and creamy with a little bit of the yogurt tartness to it.  While eating a strawberry one for lunch the other day I thought “wow- this would probably be really good in a blintz!”  I already had the blintz wrapper recipe from Mom, although in the past I had always made classic blintzes filled with farmer cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla
Greek Yogurt Blintzes!!
(it’s the “Bubbie’s old school” part of me).
The “new school” part of me thought about the fact that the yogurt is already sweet and creamy with fruit inside, and would probably only need something to bind it a little – like eggs.  Additionally, these would be pretty healthy because of the yogurt, and the fruit flavors would be appealing to my kids (disguising the healthy property of the yogurt)! 

Welcome to the Sharon Matten Blintz Test Kitchen where you are taken through the process of developing Greek Yogurt Blintzes!  (Mom: a new kind of Blintz, Dad: Test kitchen process).

I started out by making the blintz wrappers.  That was pretty straight forward.  I stacked them between sheets of waxed paper and was ready to make the filling.

I had stocked up on different flavors and brands of Greek Yogurt so I was ready to go.  I went with my initial concept of yogurt and eggs and put two containers of Blueberry Greek Yogurt with one large egg in a large bowl.  It ended up kind of loose, but I hoped it would solidify during the frying.  Unfortunately, it was too loose and the filling ended up oozing out of the blintz.  I also hadn’t considered that with a looser filling the blintzes might open up during the frying process.  The blintzes tasted pretty good but I still had some process issues to resolve.

I then pulled out the Peach Greek Yogurt.  I only had one, and it came in a convenient “little bowl” to mix in (i.e. the actual yogurt container).  I knew that a whole egg was going to be way too much liquid in volume for the 6 oz. yogurt.  I needed a way to add less egg without trying to break up a single egg.   In the interest of keeping the family’s cholesterol level lower, we keep cartons of “liquid egg substitute” in the house.  Egg, but you can decide how much you want to use by volume.  It works!  I added a very scant tablespoon of liquid egg (probably more like a teaspoon to a teaspoon and a half) to the yogurt container and mixed it right in the container.  It had the right consistency…smooth and still pretty thick with the pretty pieces of fruit right there in the cup!  I proceeded to make the peach batch of blintzes.  Unfortunately, I still added too much filling. I learned that it wasn’t about the filling consistency, but simply the filling quantity.  I also had tried to use plain water brushed on the edges of the blintz to assist in sealing them while frying.  That was one of those – “doink! What was I thinking” kind of moments.  Everyone knows that oil and water don’t mix.  The oil was very unhappy with me and the blintzes didn’t stay closed.

On to the strawberry.  I had learned that I needed to add less filling, and decided to used a little liquid egg brushed on the inside end edge of the blintz to try to seal it while frying.  Hooray!  It worked!  You can see from the pictures how pretty they are!!

I still had one container of Honey flavored yogurt of a different brand to try.  It was a little looser than my original two brands, and even without the little bit of extra honey I added was still a little loose.  Even with the lessons I learned above it did “ooze” a little – but all in all tasted great!  You could probably use plain vanilla yogurt from one of the thicker brands and add a little honey to it with a good result.

My family is very happy with the huge selection of home made blintzes that they are having for dinner.  I made them even prettier by topping them with defrosted frozen strawberries and blueberries, the diced peaches from a “peach fruit cup”, and drizzled honey.  With powdered sugar sprinkled over the top and they almost looked professional!  Bubbie would be proud.        

Note:  To make these blintzes for the GFE (Gluten Free Eater) use the gluten-free recipe from the aish.com article BLINTZES FOR EVERYONE!   

Blueberry Trials:




Peach Trials:



Strawberry Trials:

 



BLINTZ WRAPPERS:
1          cup       all-purpose flour
1          cup       warm water
1          large     egg 
            additional salt or sugar (optional)
            non-stick vegetable spray

Tools needed:
Whisk or fork
3 quart work bowl
Non-stick frying pan
Large spatula for flipping wraps
Silicone or metal spatula for spreading batter
Ladle (or 1 cup measuring cup)
1 cup measuring cup
Plate for stacking wraps
Waxed paper

In a 3 quart work bowl (medium) blend egg and water together using a whisk or fork.  Whisk in flour until smooth.

Spray a large non-stick skillet with non-stick vegetable spray.  Ladle batter onto the center of the skillet.  Immediately spread the batter into a larger circle using the silicone spatula.  When batter is nearly cooked through, use the large spatula to flip the wrap over to cook on the second side.  Cook the wrap for another minute, then remove to a plate to cool.  Stack blintz wraps between sheets of waxed paper.

GREEK YOGURT BLINTZ FILLING:
1 6oz             cup          Fruit Flavored or Honey Flavored Greek Yogurt
1 ½                tsp          liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)
¼                   cup         liquid egg substitute (for sealing blintzes)
1                    tsp          sugar or honey (optional)
(makes approximately 6 blintzes)

Stir yogurt in container to blend.  If yogurt is a more fluid type add only one teaspoon of liquid egg, otherwise blend in 1 ½ teaspoons of liquid egg with a fork or small whisk.  For a sweeter filling add additional sugar or honey.

Remove a pre-made blintz wrapper from the stack.  Place approximately one tablespoon of filling around 1 ½ inches from the top of the wrapper.  Fold the sides of the wrapper over the filling slightly overlapping.  Brush a small amount of liquid egg over the bottom of the inside of the wrap.  Fold the top of the wrap over the filling and roll, pressing lightly to seal at the end.  Set aside on a plate.  Finish remaining filling with the rest of the wrappers.

In a large (preferably non-stick) skillet heat oil or non-stick vegetable spray until hot.  Place blintzes in pan, seam side down and fry on medium-high heat until golden brown.  Flip blintzes and repeat on second side.  Remove from pan.

GREEK YOGURT BLINTZ TOPPINGS:
Frozen fruit to match the blintz flavor – defrosted.
Honey drizzle.
Powdered sugar.
Fruit cup to match the blintz flavor.

MAKING THE BLINTZ WRAPPERS:

Egg and water whisked together
waiting for flour to be added! 

A ladle full of batter.

Batter spread out into a large
circle with silicone spatula.

I've flipped!

All done and ready to go!
















Look for additional information about  Edible Experience Kosher Everyday at sharonmatten.blogspot.com or on Facebook at Edible Experience by Sharon Matten.






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