Visit Johnstown PA Area Flavor

Area Flavor

Visit Johnstown PA The Johnstown Area Heritage Association Cookbook
The Johnstown Area Heritage Association Cookbook

Ethnic Recipes of Johnstown compiled by Henry Boni and Patricia Klavuhn can be purchased from the Johnstown Area Heritage Association (JAHA)

Visit Johnstown PA Chicken Paprikas
Chicken Paprikas (Csirke Paprikas) [Hungarian]

Use a 3 quart saucepan or Dutch oven. Place chopped onion in Dutch oven with oleo or butter; sauté on low heat until onion is clear and transparent. Sprinkle with paprika, pepper and salt on the onions and add 1/4 cup of water. Stir well. Place chicken parts in Dutch oven to brown lightly. Add enough water to completely cover ingredients generously. Add tomatoes and parsley sprigs and cook on low heat until chicken is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

When done, the chicken should be placed in a casserole and kept warm. Blend flour with sour cream thoroughly in a separate bowl. Gradually add to the chicken sauce in the Dutch oven, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil. Then remove and keep warm in a casserole or on a warming plate. Serve with boiled rice, dumplings or any variety of noodles. To serve 6

*Skins can be left on, if so desired.

**Add these ingredients to give more flavor and coloring, but can be omitted.


Kobako, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit Johnstown PA Chocolate Gobs
Chocolate Gobs

Mix sugar, shortening, eggs, milk, water and vanilla. Then sift together flour, baking powder, soda and cocoa.

Gradually add dry ingredients to the first mixture, beating constantly until well mixed. Drop by tablespoon on engrossed cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes. Cool before icing.

Visit Johnstown PA Classic Mexican-Style Savory Beans
Classic Mexican-Style Savory Beans [Mexican]

In a large 8 quart saucepan, combine pork rind, beans, onion, garlic, bay leaf and broth or water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat, cover the pot and allow the beans to cook gently for 1 1/2 hours. Add salt and cook another 15 minutes.

Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook in a medium skillet over high heat until golden brown. Add the tomatoes, chilies, and cilantro and allow them to cook together over low heat, uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes. Add to the beans. This can be eaten as a side dish vegetable or with the addition of more liquid, as a soup. Serves 6 to 8.

Visit Johnstown PA Forfar Bridies
Forfar Bridies (Meat Pies) [Scottish]

Melt butter. Sauté onion about 5 minutes. Add ground beef and sauté 3 to 4 minutes until all pink disappears, breaking up any large pieces. Stir in parsley, salt and nutmeg. Remove from pan, draining excess liquid. Cool 5 minutes. Add hard-cooked egg. Divide crescent rolls into 16 triangles as marked. Place 1 tablespoon mixture in center of each triangle. Brush all edges with water. Pinch each one together to enclose the meat mixture. Brush with a little egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Lindy Buckley from Nanjing, China, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit Johnstown PA Gob Icing
Gob Icing

Cook flour and milk together over low heat. Stir continuously with wooden spoon until thick like paste. Remove from heat and cool. Cream oleo, shortening, vanilla, and salt with flour mixture.

Beat in enough powdered sugar (3 to 4 cups) to make mixture thick enough to spread.

Put icing between gob cakes and wrap with plastic wrap or wax paper.



Other variations found in the area include pumpkin gobs, banana gobs and chocolate gobs with peanut butter icing.

Visit Johnstown PA Irish Lamb Stew
Irish Lamb Stew [Irish]

Using a large frying pan, sauté the bacon. Reserve the fat and the bacon. In a large mixing bowl place the lamb, salt, pepper, and flour. Toss to coat the meat evenly. Reheat the frying pan. In batches, toss the meat in the flour to coat evenly, then brown in the reserved bacon fat. If you run out of fat, use a little oil. Transfer the browned meat to a 10 quart stovetop casserole, leaving about 1/4 cup of fat in the frying pan. Add the garlic and chopped yellow onion to the pan and sauté until the onion begins to color a bit. Deglaze the frying pan with 1/2 cup water and add the garlic-onion mixture to the casserole along with the reserved bacon pieces, beef stock and sugar. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Check for salt and pepper before serving. Top with parsley to garnish.

Visit Johnstown PA Knishes
Knishes [Jewish]

(Makes About 4 Dozen)


Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a heavy electric mixer, such as a Kitchen Aide. Mix with the dough hook until dough is very smooth. Cover and allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Roll out 1 piece of the dough in a very thin rectangle. Place a rope of the filling, about 3/4-inch in diameter, 1-inch away from the long edge of the dough. Fold the long edge of the dough over to enclose the filling; press to seal. Cut the filled roll away from the rest of the dough. Using the narrow edge of the handle of a table knife, press and cut the roll into individual Knishes, 2-inches long. Place the Knishes on oiled baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Bake at 425 degrees, uncovered, until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

Potato Filling:

Sauté the onions in the butter and chicken fat until golden. Boil the potatoes; drain and mash. Add the onions along with any oil that remains in the pan. Season with salt and pepper.

Cheese Filling:

Sauté the onions in the butter until golden. Mix the onions in with the remaining ingredients, including any butter left in the pan. Cover and chill.


Julianleibo, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit Johnstown PA Nut-Poppy Seed Rolls
Nut-Poppy Seed Rolls [Slovak]

Mix 1/2 of the milk and sugar and the cake of yeast in bowl. Let raise until dough is mixed. Take the flour, salt, sugar and oleo; mix as for pie crust. Beat egg yolks and milk. Put yeast mixture in and beat well. Mix with dough and refrigerate overnight.

Divide dough into 8 rolls. Roll out and fill with nuts or poppy seed. Brush with egg. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


Boil milk and oleo. Pour over filling mixture.

Maksym Kozlenko, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit Johnstown PA Pagach
Pagach [Carpatho-Rusin]

(Makes 1 large loaf, enough for 8 servings)

This recipe certainly points to the cleverness of the cooks from the Ukraine. The dish is bread and potato or cabbage pie. That's it, no meat at all. The results are unusually delicious.

Dissolve yeast in the warm water(105 degrees). Add the salt and 2 1/2 cups flour. Knead until smooth, adding more flour as needed if the dough is still too sticky. Place the dough on a plastic countertop and cover it with a stainless-steel bowl. Allow it to rise until double in bulk. Meanwhile, make the filling(recipes follow).

Punch down the dough. Divide it into 2 parts. Roll the dough out into a rectangle, 18 x 12 inches. Place the filling on one side of the rectangle, being careful to leave a margin of about 2-inches from the edges. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling so that you now have a turnover, 9 x 12 inches. Pat the top of the dough down lightly into the filling. Carefully pinch the edges together. Spread the salad oil on top and sprinkle generously with the salt or garlic salt. Place on a greased baking sheet. Let rise until double in bulk. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Pagach and Cheese Potato Filling:

Boil peeled potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds); drain and mash with a little butter and milk. Add grated sharp Cheddar cheese to the potatoes and cool(the more cheese, the tastier). Taste for salt and black pepper. This is a great filling for Pierogi or Pagach.

Pagach Cabbage Filling(Sweet Cabbage Filling): Cook 1 large peeled and sliced onion in 1/2 to 3/4 cup oil until soft. Add shredded green cabbage(medium head) and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Cover and cook until the cabbage is soft. Drain excess oil. This makes a good filling for Pagach or Haluski.

Visit Johnstown PA Pierogi
Pierogi [Polish]

Work egg into flour with fork. Add salt, warm water and margarine; mix well. Knead until firm and soft. Cover with a lightly damp cloth and let stand for approximately 10 minutes. Roll dough to about 1/8 thickness and cut into 3-inch circles. Spoon filling on to one side of round and pinch edges firmly to seal. Drop Pierogi into salted (optional) boiling water. When they rise to the top, lower the heat and cook for approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Drop into cold water and drain. Pour a little melted butter on Pierogi to prevent sticking.


Boil potatoes. Sauté onions in butter or margarine until transparent. Mash potatoes. Add sautéed onions, cheese, salt and pepper immediately to mashed potatoes and mix well. To serve, sauté onions in butter or margarine and pour over Pierogi. (If Pierogi is cold, add Pierogi to sautéed onions and heat slowly). Other fillings to consider are: sauerkraut, cottage cheese, prunes or lekvar.

Visit Johnstown PA Pineapple Cheese Baklava
Pineapple Cheese Baklava [Serbian]

Drain pineapple and save syrup. In mixing bowl combine cream cheese, cottage cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, egg yolks and whole egg, lemon peel and vanilla. Blend together on medium speed. Stir in drained pineapple. Place filo leaves between dampened towels to keep moist. Place a sheet of pastry on greased pan(9 x13 x 2-inch). Brush with melted butter. Repeat process with 4 more leaves. Spoon on the pineapple-cheese mixture and spread level. Top with remaining filo leaves, brushing each sheet with melted butter as it is layered. Use sharp knife to carve diamond shapes in top of pastry. Bake a 350 degrees about 50 minutes or until golden brown. Combine 1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice, remaining 1/2 cup sugar and lemon juice. Cook to thick syrup. When Baklava is baked, spoon hot syrup evenly over top. Cool and cut into diamond shapes at markings.

Visit Johnstown PA Sarma
Sarma (Stuffed Cabbage) [Croatian]

Combine meat, rice, eggs, seasonings and sautéed onion. Plunge head of cabbage into boiling water to soften leaves; separate leaves from head. Place about 2 tablespoons meat mixture into each leaf and roll up, tucking the ends in. Leftover cabbage can be cut up and placed into the cooking pot as a bed for the cabbage rolls. Layer these rolls in the pot. Cover with rinsed sauerkraut and tomato sauce. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook slowly for 1 1/2 hours or so. Yields about 10 cabbage rolls.

Yuval hoffman, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sweet Potato Pie Visit Johnstown PA
Sweet Potato Pie [African-American]

Beat eggs well; add sugar, salt and spices and mix thoroughly. Add cream and stir. Add mashed potatoes and mix thoroughly. Turn into pie shell and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until firm. Yields 8 to 10 servings.

Visit Johnstown PA Ukrainian
Ukrainian [Ukranian]

In small mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour and the yeast. In saucepan heat the 2 tablespoons butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup water just until warm (115 degrees to 120 degrees); stir constantly. Add to dry mixture; add egg. Beat at low speed. By hand, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, 5 to 8 minutes. Shape into ball. Place in greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover, let rise until nearly double, 45 to 60 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook mushrooms and onion in 3 tablespoons butter until tender. Stir in chopped eggs cooked rice, parsley, pepper and 3/4 teaspoon salt. On lightly floured surface roll dough to 12 x 12-inch square. Cut into thirty-six 2-inch squares. Place about 2 teaspoons mushroom mixture on each; fold one side of dough over filling making a rectangle. Moisten edges and seal. Place on greased baking sheet; brush with milk. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. Serve with soup or as appetizers. Makes 36.

Visit Johnstown PA Weiner Schnitzel
Weiner Schnitzel [German]

Cut veal into 6 pieces. Coat with a mixture of flour, salt and pepper. Dip in a blend of the egg and milk and then coat with bread crumbs. Let stand 10 minutes to seal coating. Melt butter in large, heavy skillet. Add the cutlets and cook over medium heat until browned and tender, about 20 minutes.

Visit Johnstown PA Zuppa Di Fagioli Con La Pasta
Zuppa Di Fagioli Con La Pasta (Bean Soup with Pasta) [Italian]

Combine beans and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand 1 hour. Return to medium heat and add olive oil, ham onion, celery, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook 3 hours. Then add spaghetti and simmer 10 to 15 minutes until tender. Serve in soup bowl and top with generous spoonfuls of Parmesan cheese. Serves 4 to 6.