Appetites: Lincoln Del gets new life in cookbook

Outside the legendary Lincoln Del.
Outside the legendary Lincoln Del.
Submitted image

When the Lincoln Del closed in 2000, the Twin Cities lost more than a delicatessen. It lost a treasured institution.

Ever since Lincoln shut down, people have mourned the coleslaw and challah bread, the pickles and pumpernickel, not to mention the matzo ball soup.

Now, Wendy Zelkin Rosenstein, the granddaughter of the famous Berenberg's who owned and ran the deli, collected her family's recipes and stories in "The Lincoln Del Cookbook."

She spoke with All Things Considered host Tom Crann, and shared some recipes for the book, seen below.

Cover for "The Lincoln Del Cookbook."
Cover for "The Lincoln Del Cookbook."
Submitted image

Use the audio player above to hear the interview.

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Chocolate Pie

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars

Matzo Ball Soup

Reprinted with permission from The Lincoln Del Cookbook: Best-Loved Recipes from the Legendary Bakery and Deli by Wendi Zelkin Rosenstein and Kit Naylor, published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press.

Chocolate Pie

Yield: 1 (9-inch) pie

Nope: no extra forks.

Few will share this flavor sensation.

Wendi has received the most bribery attempts over this recipe. Offers of money and fame. Marriage and adoption proposals. Sad, pathetic pleadings from people around the world. All who love the Del's chocolate cream pie ask this most important question: frozen or thawed? Those who swear by the orgasmic first bite they chisel off a frozen slice of heaven can't imagine it eaten any other way. Some purists even discard the real whipped cream topping and the flaky crust to focus only on the chocolate.

2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar

2/3 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder

1/3 cup shortening or butter

1/2 cup warm water (see note)

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 large pasteurized eggs

1 (9-inch) prebaked pie crust (see below)

Whipped Cream (see below) for serving

shaved chocolate for serving

Prepare chocolate liquor by placing confectioner's sugar, cocoa, and shortening in a large bowl and blending on slow speed until smooth. Slowly blend in warm water. Set aside to cool.

Place 8 tablespoons butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla in bowl of stand mixer and blend on low speed until smooth. Slowly add f cup of the cooled chocolate liquor and eggs. Scrape sides of the bowl and then mix on medium speed until fluffy. Pour filling into pie shell, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate or freeze for 24 hours before serving. Decorate with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.

Note: Kit prefers to use strong, dark coffee in place of the hot water. The extra chocolate liquor will keep in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Pie Crust

Yield: dough for 9-inch (2-crust) pie The original Del recipe used shortening rather than butter. 2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt 1 cup shortening or butter, chilled and cut into pieces 3 or more tablespoons cold water (see note) Combine flour and salt in a food processor and pulse gently, or combine in a mixer set on low speed. Add shortening or butter to the flour mixture and toss gently to coat, pulsing or mixing until the texture is the size of small peas. Gently blend in 3 tablespoons cold water, adding more water if the dough is dry. Try not to overwork the dough. As soon as the dough forms into a ball, dump onto a large sheet of waxed or parchment paper and pat into an oval shape. Cut in half and wrap each in waxed paper or plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour and up to 24 in the refrigerator before rolling out on a well-floured surface to use as directed. To prebake: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out half the dough into a 10-inch circle. Pat into a 9-inch pie pan. Line crust with parchment paper and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until crust is lightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully lift and remove paper with pie weights, and let crust cool. Note: For a flakier crust, in place of the water, Kit substitutes cold vanilla vodka for sweet pies and unflavored vodka for savory pies.

Whipped Cream

Yield: 3 cups 1f teaspoons unflavored gelatin powder or 2 packets whipped cream stabilizer (see note) 1f tablespoons cold water 1f cups heavy cream, chilled 5 tablespoons confectioner's sugar

1f teaspoons vanilla Chill a large mixing bowl and whisk in the refrigerator or freezer. In a small microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the cold water and let sit 1 minute or until the gelatin is absorbed. Microwave gelatin mixture on high for 30 seconds or until the mixture is clear. In the cold mixing bowl, use the cold whisk to beat the cream until peaks form. Gradually add confectioner's sugar, whisking constantly. Slowly pour in the cooled gelatin mixture, add vanilla, and mix until stiff peaks form.

Note: Whipped cream stabilizer, such as Dr. Oetker brand, can be found in the international section of large grocery stores or online.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars

Yield: 24 bars

Cousins have offered cherished belongings in exchange for this recipe, the very first tested for this book. Wendi's college roommate, the brilliant Joanne Levine, requested these with each of Wendi's pilgrimages home.

8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, softened

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup corn syrup

5 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups pastry flour, or substitute cake or all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

melted chocolate for dipping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch pan. In bowl of stand mixer, combine butter, peanut butter, sugars, and baking powder, beating on medium speed for 4 minutes. Add corn syrup, eggs, and vanilla, beating on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add flour and mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool bars, then cut into squares and dip edges in chocolate.

Matzo Ball Soup

This recipe calls for the signature schmaltz, and the balls can be doctored with a chunk of fresh carrot in the middle to surprise the kids. We recommend chilling the raw matzo ball "dough" for an hour to make it easy to roll the balls and drop them in the boiling chicken broth.

The Del took a basic chicken soup base and added onions, celery, and carrots. At home, the base is eliminated. In a stockpot, combine a parsnip, onions, celery, carrots, 1/4 cup fresh chopped dill, and a whole chicken. Add 2 cups chicken broth (optional) and enough water to cover. Cook the soup until the meat falls from the bones, remove the bones, season broth with salt and pepper to taste. About 30 to 45 minutes before serving, drop the matzo balls into the slowly boiling broth to absorb all of the flavors.

The Del's matzo balls were baseball size when dropped into the soup. Oy!

Matzo Ball Mix

Yield: 8 servings

Ask anyone, "What is Jewish food?" and matzo ball soup will be at the top of the list. The quality of the matzo ball soup can literally make or break a new deli. If the matzo balls are too dense, too small, too cold, tasteless, or falling apart, the rest of the menu offerings are suspect. Perfecting the matzo ball is the topic of culinary legend.

4 large eggs

1 cup liquefied schmaltz

2-3 cups matzo meal

In bowl of stand mixer, beat eggs on high. Reduce mixer speed and add in schmaltz and matzo. Mix until matzo is well coated and dough is a little sticky. Refrigerate, covered, for at least an hour.

Prepare favorite chicken soup or follow instructions on page 81. Form baseball-size matzo balls and gently drop into the boiling broth. Return broth to boiling, then reduce to simmer. The balls should eventually rise to the top.

Cook for about 45 minutes, until the ball is cooked to the center. Enjoy!!