Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Hello to all food-lovers! My dearest readers, I am sorry if lately I don't post too often. It will change soon, I promise. I still have to post some wondeful recipes with old pics, that wait on my usb to be posted, and which made with the old camara and don't have the best quality, but as soon as I do it I will post new pics of good quality. There is still Polish bilberry soup, Romanian quince soup, Portuguese carrot cake, German leek pie, Turkish lentil and potato croquettes, Estonian buckwheat-rutabaga soup and some more waiting to be posted. In the near future I am gonna show you how to prepare French fennel cake, French red cabbage soup, US-American nut soup, German elderberry-plum cake, Swiss mirabelle cake, Georgian spinach spread, Greek mastic ice-cream, Brasilian sweet potato cake, Polish sorrel soup, several Polish ancient desserts with groats/cereals, Portuguese bean cake, US-American cidre pie, sweet Jewish haroset and Arabic sellou, Russian honey-wafer cake and many many differrent tasty dishes from all over the world, so don't forget to drop in!!! See you soon,

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Brasilian cornmeal-yoghurt-lemon cake

Polish: mąka kukurydziana
Portuguese: fubá
Swedish: majsmjöl
French: farine de maïs
Spanish: harina de maíz
Russian: кукурузный мука
German: Maismehl
Dutch: maismeel
Japanese: コーンミール
Danish: majsmel

Since corn is one of the most commonly eaten vegetables in South America, cornmeal is also widely eaten. There is a plenty of cornmeal recipes especially in Brasilian cuisine: cakes, fried sweets, buns, cookies, puddings. I like this one: bolo de fubá com iogurte e limão, cornmeal-yoghurt-lemon cake.

1 1/2 cup cornmeal
1 cup wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup lemon yoghurt
1 cup oil
2 eggs
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 pack vanilla sugar
a pinch of salt
1/3 cup goiabada or candied lemon zest chunks

1. Beat eggs with yoghurt and oil. Add 1 tablespoon lemon zests, salt, sugar and vanilla sugar and beat until sugar dissolves.

2. Sieve both flours with baking powder. Add slowly to egg-yoghurt mass and whisk all the time. When everything is smooth, add goiabada cut ínto chunks (or candied lemon chunks) but spnkle them with a little bit of flour (this way they will not fall down during baking).

3. Prepare a tray by smearing with butter and sprinkling with thin dry coconut flakes. Pour the dough and bake 45 minutes in 180C. Before serving, sprinkle with icing sugar

Portuguese papaya flan

Polish: papaja
Vietnamese: đu đủ
Tongan: lesi
Thai: มะละกอ
Yucatec Maya: put
Zulu: uphopho
Portuguese: mamão
Malayalam: പപ്പായ
Bahasa Melayu: betik
Telugu: బొప్పాయి

Crème caramel, flan, flam, bánh flan, leche flan, pudim de ovos, caramel custard - this dessert is a celebrity, worldwide beloved. I was never a fan of it cause I never ate a really delicious one, probably. Here in Central Europe other custard and pudding-like desserts are eaten. So I decided to prepare a flan on my own. With papaya flavour :) The technique was interesting, expectations were high and results... won out! Make yourself this Portuguese papaya flan, pudim de papaia, it's worth your effort!

(makes 4 small portions or 1 big)
1 medium papaya, not ripe!
3 eggs
50 gr flour
150 ml milk
100 gr butter
400 gr sugar
(+ more sugar to prepare caramel)
zest of 1/2 lemon (ground)
(+ you will need 1 big or 3-4 small bowls which are suitable to bain-marie cooking, and 1 big tray for the water!)

1. Peel papaya and cook it until soft (check with a fork constantly! It doesn't take much time!). When ready, drain it, throw the seeds away and press through a sieve or puree the fruit.

2. Combine milk, flour and lemon zest. Add to papaya puree.

3. Whisk eggs with sugar. Add melted butter. Add to papaya puree and stir well.

4. Prepare caramel: pour sugar into the saucepan (I tool about 1/2 cup, but here the measurements are not that important... if you have a ready, bought liquid caramel, you can probably use it too), add a little bit of water (2-3 tablespoons or more) and stir on a low heat until you have caramel. When still warm and liquid, pour it into the bowl (one big or 3-4 small ones) and move the dish the way so that its walls are covered with caramel. Pour papaya cream into the bowl(s), place it in the tray with water and place the tray (with water and bowl(s) in the oven. Bake 30 minutes in 180C. When still warm, take off from the bowl(s) and serve.

Russian rolled oats blintz

Polish: bliny
Russian: блины
Ukrainian: Млинці
Belarussian: бліны
Erzya: Пачалксеть
Lithuanian: blynai
Yiddish: בלינצע
Hebrew: בליני
Swedish: blinier
Japanese: ブリヌイ

What is the differrence between blintz, pancakes, crepes, naleśniki, galettes, palatsinken? Well... The main thing to remember is that blintz are always made with yeast. But remember, Central and East-Slavonic nations love all kind of fried batter cakes and know thousands of differrent recipes for them. In Russia, no-yeast crepe-like thin pancakes are called блинчики (blinchiki) and thick, smaller pancakes, often made with fruits or sour milk, are called oладьи (oladi). The most popular blintz are made of a mixture of buckwheat and wheat flour, but you can make blintz from ground rolled ots, millet flour or maize starch. You can serve them with sour cream or melted butter and caviar, herring, sturgeon or salmon meat, or on a sweet way: with honey or jam. I am gonna show you in this post Russian rolled oats blintz, Блины овсяные

2 1/2 cup rolled oats, finely ground (powder)
1 1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 cups milk
30 gr fresh yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter
3 eggs

1. Sift ground rolled oats and wheat flour into the bowl. Heat 1 cup milk (don't bring to boil!) and pour it over yeast and stir fast. Pour yeast milk on the flour. Add the rest of milk. Set in a warm place to grow.

2. Whisk eggs with sugar, melted butter and cream. Add to the dough and stir. Fry thin blintz on a saucepan without oil (or with just a drop of it).

Turkish rosehip-meatballs soup

Polish: klopsik
Hungarian: fasirt
Italian: polpette
Sicilian: purpetta
Bahasa Indonesia: bakso
French: boulette
Catalan: mandonguilla
Sardinian: coyetta
Albanian: qofte
Portuguese: almôndega

Meatballs are one of the essential ingredients of this great autumn Turkish soup. Aparts of them, kuşburnu çorbası contains not much more than rosehips. In opposite to Swedish rosehip soup, this one is not sweet at all. Tastes unforgettably.

(makes 3 portions)
500 gr rosehips
1 l water
200 gr chopped meat
a pinch of salt, pepper and cumin
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 - 1 teaspoon dried mint

1. Wash rosehips, cut into halves and cook in 1 l water 30 minutes or until soft. Drain very well but don't throw the rosehip water away! Pour it into a deep bowl. Press the resting rosehips (as much as you can) through a sieve into the bowl with rosehip water. Throw seeds and peels away.

2. Prepare meatballs from meat, season with salt, pepper and garlic. I also added chopped fried onion but this is my little invention which original recipe didn't contain. Fry them shortly in oil together with dried mint

3. In a saucepan, melt butter and add flour. Stir and add rosehip water and puree from the bowl. Bring to boil, it will be thicker after cooking with flour. Reduce heat, add meatballs with mint and cook about 15 minutes more. Serve and enjoy!

I dedicate this recipe to my dear friend Asuman who nabbed me when I was collecting rosehip buds under her window :)

US-American autumn vegetable soup

Polish: jesień
Armenian: աջռւն
Uzbek: kuz
Erzya: cёксь
Pashto: منۍ
Võro: süküs
Chuvash: Кĕркунне
Tigrinya: tzödia
Abkhasian: хкаарачан
Somail: dayr

Autumn slowly appears in central Europe again. Autumn is for me always more than welcome. There are not many things in this world better than floundering in colourful leaves, buying lovely orange pumpkins at the local markt and cooking and eating one of the most delicious soups of the world, US-American apple-rutabaga soup .

(makes 4 portions)
about 100 gr buter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup grated rutabaga
1 cup grated apples (unpeeled)
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup grated sweet potato
1 cup grated squash or pumpkin
1l stock (vegetable / chicken)
1 cup heavy cream
salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin (optionally: mashed garlic clove)
1/4 maple syrup (I added Turkish mulberry molasses)

1. Fry onions in butter until goldeb brown. Add the rest of the vegetables, stir constantly, fry them all together for about 10 minutes more on a low heat

2. Add sock, increase heat, bring to boil and cook about 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

3. Puree the soup or press through a sieve (I pureed only a half of my soup cause I like to bite little vegetable chunks). Add the rest of the ingredients and season to taste, reheat and serve!

I am sorry, but you have to use your imagination while looking at this picture. Its colour is much mre intensive but due to my poor camara it is impossible :(

Top this soup with chopped dill or parsley. Pumpkin or sunflower seeds would be a great idea too!

German leek pie

Polish: por
Albanian: preshi
Spanish: puerro
Sepedi: diliki
Welsh: cenhinen
Uyghur: کراث
Romanian: praz
Bahasa Indonesia: bawang bakung
Cornish: kenynen
Greek: πράσο

What was first, French quiche of German savoury Kuchen? Don't feel mistaken, Kuchen means usually sweet cake, but sometimes is used to describe savoury pies. In Germany people usually eat Zwiebelkuchen, onion pie, but I personally consider leek pie, Lauchkuchen, much tastier.

125 gr butter (1/2 pack)
250 gr (1 1/2 cup) flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water
2 cups chopped leeks
1/2 onion
1 scallion
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs
2 handfuls grated cheese
optionally: 1 handful ham / sausage cubes
(+ butter, breadcrums)

1. Prepare the dough: knead butter with flour, salt and water until your dough is elastic. Set in the fridge until you are done with the rest of the preparations.

2. Fry chopped leks in butter or oil, low the heat. Add chopped onion and scallion and simmer until they all are soft.

3. Beat egg yolks with sour cream and (optionally) ham chunks. Whip egg whites until they are stiff and stir lightly in the yolk-sour cream mass. Spread butter into your pyrex dish, sprinkle with few breadcrumbs and cover with the dough (roll it possibly thin). Put vegetable chunks on the dough layer and pour egg-cream over it. As the last step, pour grated cheese over it and bake (30-40 minutes, 180C)

Friday, 12 September 2008

Slovak potato pancakes (sweet or savoury)

Sepedi: tapola
Ruanda: ibiraya
Suahili: kiazi
Sestwana: lekwele
Bemba: ifyumbu
Shona: mbatátisi
Swazi: li-tábhane
Zulu: ilizambane
Xhosa: izambane
Hausa: dànkálȉ
Lingala: mbala
Maasai: ilpiasi

This is a small collection of "potato" in several African languages. Africa is known to be by far the most linguistically diverse continent. The number of African languages is usually put at around 2000 but it is difficult to estimate. I love languages and don't like to be "eurocentric" but for me it reslts quite difficult to find good african resources. But with potato, it worked :) Even if yam would be Africa's staple starchy root vegetable, not potato. While here, in Central Europe, potato is very, very important. And Slovakia is a country in the heart of Europe. And Slovak potato pancakes (lokše) are really tasty!

see also: Lithuanian potato fritters
see also: Slovak potato dumplings

1 kg potatoes
300 gr flour
1 egg
a pinch of salt

+ vanilla sugar, icing sugar and apple mousse
+ slices of ham and grated cheese*

1. Cook potatoes, peel, mash and mix with flour and egg. Add a pinch of salt and, if they will beserved sweet with apple mousse or jam, you can add vanilla sugar (1 teaspoon or more)

2. Sprinkle your workplace with flour. Roll the dough thinly, as thin as you can. But beware, it is a hard work! Don't get descouraged cause the final result is really great!

3. Fry thin pancakes in few oil.

4.* There are some ways of serving savoury lokše. Here is one of them: leave one pancake on the pan and fry it only from 1 side. As quickly as you can, put a slice of ham and grated cheese (or slices of cheese) on 1 halve of the pancake. Cover with the secon halve, close the edges well by pushing them with a fork. Fry a bit more to be sure that the cheese inside melts.

(my version without ham)

(sweet lokše with apple jam)

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

German Bratwurst salad

Polish: rzodkiewka
Mohawk: yotsihkwatskàra
Tagalog: labanós
Basa Java: lobak
Italian: ravanello
Manx: rahgyl
Silesian: radiska
Portuguese: rabanete
Tongan: lētisifoha
Albanian: rrepkë

Radishes taste like spring. I never thought they could go so well together with my beloved Bratwurst! I really love German Rostbratwurst, a kind of delicious white sausage. It can be grilled, fried, cooked, but I mostly buy it covered in filo sheet and baked this way, a kind of German hot-dog, my favourite outdoor snack (cause I rarely eat something outside, I am a kind of home-cooking fan). If you still find radishes, make yourself this German spring salad, Bratwurstsalat. Tastes great also during the first days of autumn :)

1 Rostbratwurst
1 bunch radishes (if you take 1 Wurst, 1 cup radish slices would be enough, but it's up to you)
1 bunch scallions
1-2 gherkins or cucumbers pickled in vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard or ground horseradish
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon vinegar-water taken from the jar with gherkins/pickles
1 teaspoon oil (olive, canola)
salt, pepper + a pinch of sugar

1. Fry / grill / cook Bratwurst. I think cooking it would be the best choose cause cooked slices would combine so good optically with radish slices, but it's up to you. When you are ready, cut Bratwurst into thin slices. Same with radishes. Cut scallions into rings and gherkins into cubes.

2. Prepare the sauce: combine vinegar, oil, mustard/horseradish and season with salt, pepper and sugar. Pour over salad and set into the fridge for about 1 hour - it will taste much better then eaten inmediately. Serve with slices of Schwarzbrot or any kind of integral or rye bread.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Polish layered cake (wafer or cookies) + peanut & cocoa filling

Polish: wafle
Spanish: oblea
Turkish: kağıt
Japanese: ウエハース
Italian: cialda
Russian: Вафля
Croatian: vafel-list
Hebrew: ופלה
Portuguese: obreia
German: Oblaten

If you like layered wafer cakes and would like to make some on your own but you have no possibility to buy wafer sheets (my advice: Polish or Russian groceries!), you can use butter cookies instead of wafer sheets and fill them with the same filling as you would do when using wafers. This kind of cookie layered cake will ressemble German layered cookies-chocolate cake, called Kalter Hund (cold dog) which I am going to post soon.

see also: Polish filled wafer cake (with 3 filling options)
see also: Polish custard crackers cake

500 gr butter biscuits (petit beurre / Leibniz type)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (the pure one, without sugar or powdered milk)
250 gr margarine (no butter!)
2 eggs
1 pack vanilla sugar + a pinch of salt
5 tablespoons milk
10 butter biscuits, ground
1/2 cup peanuts, crushed

1. Melt margarine in a saucepan. Add flour, whisk and bring to boil. Add sugar, cocoa and milk.

2. Whisk eggs with vanilla sugar and salt. Add to the saucepan together with ground biscuits and crushed peanuts (peanuts, if salted, should be covered with boiling water first to melt saltiness) and reheat, stirring all the time.

3. Prepare a tray and cover it well with kitchen aluminium paper or baking paper just like you did with Polish custard cake on crackers. Spread some filling (not more than 5 mm) and cover with next layer of biscuits. Repeat until filling is over. The last layer should be cookies. Cover with aluminium sheet, set in the fridge and put something heavy on the top of the tray. Leave overnight.

Of course, this filling is great to be used with typical waffers. the amount of cookies depends on teh thickness of your filling layers and of the size of your tray.

Egyptian fried pastries

Polish: Ramadan
Albanian: Ramazani
Lithuanian: Ramadanas
Greek: Ραμαζάνι
Kazakh: Рамазан
Arabic: رمضان
Persian: ماه رمضان
Portuguese: Ramadão
Wolof: Koor
Telugu: రంజాన్

The Muslim Holy Month begins. Every laic knows it is about fasting. Of course fasting is only one of the exterior manifestations and Ramadan means much more than fasting only. And, fasting doesn't mean abnegation of all delicacies, quite to the contrary, after the sunset, delicious sweets are, well, maybe not obligatory but more than welcome. One of them is called dates from Siria, balah el Sham, Egyptian sweet fried cakes.

1/2 cup oil (you can give less!)
1 cup water
1 1/2 cup flour*
4 eggs
vanilla sugar (1 pack)
a pinch of salt

1 cup sugar
172 cup water
lemon juice (about 1 tablespoon or to taste)
+ coconut flakes (1/2 - 1 cup)

1. Pour oil and water in a saucepan, add salt and bring to boil. Sift flour and stir until you obtain a plain dough which doesn't stick to the pan. Set aside to cool a bit.

2. Prepare syrup by cooking the ingredients (sugar, water and lemon juice) together. When thick, set aside to cool.

3. Whisk eggs with vanilla sugar. When oil dough is template, you can start adding egg mass little by litte while stirring constantly. Check the consistency; the dough has to be quite thick. If needed, *add some more flour.

4. Place the dough into a pastry bag with a star shape tip. Press the dough into frying oil and fry until golden brown but on a low heat. Otherwise your dates will be crispy outside and raw inside! When ready, put them on a paper kitchen towel to avoid excessive oil contain. When still warm, deep them into the syrup for some minutes. You can deep warm dates in cold sirup or cold dates in warm sirup. Then roll in coconut flakes.

My balah el sham are a bit long, almost like Spanish churros. They are traditionally about 3 cm long.

Pictures will be available very soon. I just have to find them on my pendrive :)

Edit: I have the pics now. The quality is not the best but the pics are just to give you the idea about this dish :)

German elderberry soup

Polish: bez czarny
Manx: berrish hrammanagh
Persian: آقطی سیاه
Turkish: kara mürver
Bosnian: zohva
Russian: бузина черная
German: Holunder
Basque: intsusa
Italian: sambuco nero
Swedish: fläder

Holunderbeerensuppe / Fliederbeersuppe is a kind of late summer-autumn north German delicacy. Must be made from very ripe elderberries; if the winter is not frosty people enjoy elderberry soup even in the wintertime. As a rule, elderberry juice tastes tart but after some sesoning it becomes deep fruity rich flavour.

(3-4 portions)
1l elderberries
1l water
1 pack vanilla sugar (or vanilla stick) + more sugar to taste
2-3 cloves
1 stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice (i added instead a teaspoon of freshly made sea-buckthorn juice)
a zest from 1/2 lemon
1 apple, 1 pear
1 tablespoon potato starch

1. Wash berries, take off from the stalks and measure about 1 liter. Cook them in 1 liter water for about 20 minutes (until they soften and break). Press through a sieve and throw the seeds and rests away. Pour into the saucepan again. Add vanilla stick/sugar, cinnamon stick, lemon zest, cloves, lemon juice and sugar to taste. bring to boil. if it is still too tart for you, add 1/2 cup apple juice.

2. Mix potato starch with a little bit of water and add to the soup. Whisk well and boil. Lower the heat.

3. Peel apple and pear (throw seeds away), cut into slices. Add to the soup.

Usually this soup is eaten with milk-semolina balls, but I don't like them. You can serve your soup plain, with noodles (for instance ribbons), with crepes cut into long noodles or with semolina balls (Grießklößchen). How to prepare them? Cook thick semolina in milk or milk mixed with water with a pinch of sat and vanilla sugar. Add egg (half egg, one egg or more, depending on how much semolina dough you have) and cook them in water. When ready, put on the soups surface and let them swim :) Some people cook them directly in the soup but it's up to you.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Rutabaga croquettes

Polish: brukiew
French: chou-navet
German: Kohlrübe / Steckrübe
Danish: kålroe
Icelandic: gulrófa
Russian: брюква
Estonian: kaalikas
Scottish english: neep
Japanese: スウェーデンかぶ
Thai: รูตาบากา

Rutabaga seems to be a very versatile vegetable and people from central Europe were eating them ages ago. During the IWW in Germany were written recipe-books with rutabaga recipes: rutabaga marmalade, rutabaga casseroles, rutabaga soups, false Sauerkraut, false apple mousse and even rutabaga coffee... "in the morning, rutabaga soup... in the afternoon, rutabaga steaks... in the evening, rutabaga cake"... So you can imagine why is this delicious vegetable so unpopular around here. In Warsaw you can never find them, in any supermarkt, at any markt, and for the first generation after the IIWW rutabaga is nothing but animal futter. Oh they just don't know how much do they loose... cause rutabaga tastes really great. Here is a proof, my own recipe for rutabaga croquettes.

see also: Kashubian rutabaga soup

(makes 10 croquettes)
1 cup cooked, mashed rutabaga*
1/2 cup grated cheese (Edam, Cheddar and so on)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 egg
1 medium onion
some flour
some rolled oats
salt, pepper
optionally: some curry powder, some chopped dill

1. Chop onion finely and fry. Whisk the egg. Combine mashed rutabaga (* you can also take 4/5 cup rutabaga and 1/5 cup potatoes or of course change these proportions) with finely grated cheese, fried onion and rolled oats. Set in the fridge for 1 hour. Atfer that time add salt, pepper, (curry, dill) and 1/2 egg.

2. Prepare 3 plates: first with beaten egg (the resting half), second with flour and third with rolled oats. Form croquettes and roll them in flour, then in egg and at least in rolled oats. Fry and serve (warm or cold)

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Cuban green plantain soup

Polish: plantan / banan skrobiowy
Swedish: kokbanan
Portuguese: banana-da-terra
Dutch: bakbanaan
German: Gemüsebanane / Kochbanane
French: banane plantain
French Antillais: banane farine
Korean: 요리용 바나나
Arabic: ‏موز الجنة

Green (unripe) plantain soup could be eaten anywhere where plantains grow, but the recipe I post here is Cuban. Sopa de plátano verde has some variants, as you will realise while reading the recipe, and tastes absolutely wonderful. Plantains should be green. I don't know what happens if they are ripe and yellow, well, surely the taste won't be the same.

see also: Ecuadorian green plantain stuffed fritters

600 ml vegetable stock (optionally water)
*1 unripe, green plantain
1 onion
**(optionally some more vegetables, like 1/2 sweet potato, 1 carrot, a handful of chickpeas, 1 potato, chopped parsley green, 1 celery stalk)
cumin, salt, pepper

1. Peel green plantain. It may be easier if you cut the peel lengthwise. Cut into 1-2 cm chunks or cut very thin chips. Fry them in oil.

2. Heat the stock in a saucepan and when starts to boil, add resting vegetables (**but this is optionally; some people prefer just to taste plantains. Anyway, I took 1 small potato, diced, and a handful of canned chickpeas. *If you decide to not take any other vegetables, you may want to take 2 plantains).

3. Back to plantains. If you have chunks, work with a fork to mash already fried pieces, add 1 cup of stock, bring to boil (it will be thick) and pour into the saucepan with the rest of the stock. If you chave chips, fry them until crispy, pulverize in a blender and add to the stock. Cook until all the ingredients are soft. Now it's up to yu if you want to puree everything until smooth or puree only a half or mash vegetables with a fork. I like smooth pureed soups but some crispy pieces are always welcome.
You may put some fried onion chunks on the top and serve with lemon slices

1st variant: smoothy pureed

2nd variant: with chunks

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Polish custard cake without baking

Polish: krem
Hungarian: tejszín
Japanese: カスタードクリーム
Dutch: banketbakkersroom
Swedish: grädde
Hebrew: קרם
Italian: crema pasticcera
French: crème pâtissière
Basque: pastel-krema
Persian: سس کاسترد

Between two layers of salty crackers you find a sweet... custard! Custard creamy filling is the main ingredient of this Polish cake, kremówki. There are several variants of this simple delicious cake, the classical is custard cream between two filo sheets, cut into squares and sprinkled with icing sugar: it was the most beloved dessert of John Paul II :) My version requires no baking so it is practical and useful for those who at the moment have no oven but would like to pinch a bit of something sweet. Don't be afraid, salty crackers that you should use would not disturb nor distruct the taste! Using salty crackers is a must here, don't take sweet butter cookies (petit beurre or Leibniz or similar) cause you will be dissappointed; they melt and the whole cake losts its consistency. If you are afraid of saltiness, just bake 2 filo sheets :)

see also: Polish filled wafer cake (with 3 filling options)
see also: Polish wafer or cookies cake (with 1 more filling option)

about 150 gr salty crackers
250 gr margarine (don't replace with butter cause you will obtain vanilla sauce instead of custard!)
2 packs vanilla sugar
1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 l milk
icing sugar

1. Pour 3 cups of milk into a pan, add margarine and vanilla sugar and heat until boils.

2. Beat yolks with sugar until white and creamy, add flour and the rest of the milk and mix until homogeneous.

3. Pour slowly yolk-flour mixture to the pot with milk and margarine and stir constantly. Reheat and whisk until homogeneous in consistency. Filling is ready.

4. Cover a tray with baking paper or aluminium paper. Put the first layer of crackers. Spread the whole cream on them and cover with the second layer of crackers. Set aside in the fridge overnight, the tastes have to compose together through night. Before serving, cut into squares and sprinke with icing sugar.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Portuguese sweet chickpea pockets

Polish: ciecierzyca
Pashto: نخود
Macedonian: Леблебија
Greek: Ρεβιθιά
Bengali: ছোলা
Mapunzugun: kalfan
German: Kichererbsen
Arabic: حمص
Thai: ถั่วหัวช้าง
Slovak: cícer baraní

Don't be angry on me. I know we have still 4 months until Christmas but I couldn't wait... Anyway, I wouldn't mind if someone makes for instance pascha (Polish -also Russian and Ukrainian- Easter fresh cheese dessert) in December or fry Polish Christmas carp in the summertime... :) So here they are: delicious Portuguese pockets with sweet chickpea-lemon filling which just melt in your mouth: azevias de grão, a Portuguese Christmas dessert dish, absolutely delicious!!

(to make 25-28 pockets)
250 gr flour
75 gr butter* (cold)
1 egg
a pinch of salt
a bit of water, if needed to knead the dough

250 gr chickpeas (canned)
150 gr sugar
zest from 1 lemon or 1/2 orange
a pinch of cinnamon
2 egg yolks
(optionally: 1 handful ground almonds)

+ (optionally***) oil to fry
+ powdered sugar to sprinkle

1. Find a good movie and put a comfortable pillow under your back while peeling chickpeas (yes, you should throw away that thin "membrane"...)

2. Knead all the dough ingredients together. You may need a little bit of water to make your dough elastic but it is optionally. I think that you can replace butter with *vegetable oil or *margarine. Some recipes require the use of *lard. If you have nothing against this ind of fat you should do your azevias with lard exactly, cause it is the most traditional and typical way. Set the dough in the fridge until you are finished with the filling.

3. Blend "naked" chickpeas with lemon zest, sugar, cinnamon (and optionally almonds) and yolks. If needed, add some water (but I didn't). I must admit that I didn't add cinnamon. When I prepare something with cinnamon, I always add too much of this spice cause I just love it and then everything tastes so similar and cinnamon taste dominates. I wanted to feel chickpeas and not necessarily cinnamon, so I just added two times more lemon zest and the taste was fantastic!

4. Roll the dough thinly on your workplace which should be sprinkled with some flour. Cut rings using the edge of a glass, mug or bowl, depending on the size that you wish to obtain. Proportional, put a tea- or tablespoon of a filling and close dough rings forming half-moons. Fry (***or bake!), sprinkle with powdered sugar and control yourself to not eat half of the portion before serving to your family!

**some more information about the filling:
you can serve azevias with chickpea filling, the one I just wrote abozt, but azevias are also eaten with sweet potato (azevias de batata doce), kind of sweet white pumpkin (azevias de gila / chila) or white beans (azevias de feijão). I can't help you with gila/chila cause I've never seen it nor tasted, but if you prefer to make a filling with sweet potato or white beans then just cook those vegetables and add same ingredients as you would add when choosing chickpeas. Just beware cause sweet potato is already a bit sweet. Some recipes omit yolks. Good luck in experimenting! If it is still too difficult and you would like to have an exact recipe how to prepare similar pockets with sweet potato, I will post very soon a very similar, but Spanish recipe, to make truchas de boniato, Canarian Christmas sweet potato delicacy.

Polish (Kashubian) rutabaga soup

Polish: Kaszuby
Kashubian: Kaszëbë
Catalan: Caixúbia
Czech: Kašubsko
Romanian: Caşubia
Italian: Casciubia
German: Kaschubien
Slovenian: Kašubsko
Estonian: Kašuubid
Upper Sorbian & Silesian: Kašuby

Kashubia pretends to be one of the most beautiful regions of Poland and deserves this denomination. Even called "Kashubian Switzerland". Well not because of mountains or chocolate, no... But if we start to divagate, we will easily find several common points. Kashubians speak their own ancient beautiful language (similar to Polish, Kashubian belongs to Slavonic language family) which is unluckily out of national protection, unlike then in Galicia, Catalonia or Bavaria... Without entering into complains or monologue about Kashubian culture, I would like to share with you some Kashubian cooking traditions, and today it will be a delicious and easy recipe to make Kashubian rutabaga soup, in Kashubian: zupa z żeltich wreczi / in Polish: zupa z brukwi.

1/2 kg (about) goose meat (traditionally goose necks)
(+ optionally broth vegetables, which means for example 2 carrots, 1/2 leek, 1/2 celeriac and 1 parsley root - if you are lazy, use vegetable broth instant but of course it won't be the same. If you are a vegetarian, cook a vegetable broth from the vegetable listed above, or take instant broth, and add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil or any other native oil: flax, pumpkin seed or canola)
1/2 kg rutabagas
1/2 kg potatoes
1 1/2 l water
a pinch of marjoram
salt and pepper

1. Cook meat and broth-vegetables (no need to cut them) in water. You may, as said above, prepare broth in another way.

2. Peel and slice rutabagas. Pour boiling water on them - they will loose some of its bitterness. Add rutabaga slices to broth and cook on a medium heat. In the meantime, peel and dice potatoes. Rutabaga has to be added first cause it needs more time to be soft. Take the meat off. Some people would take the broth vegetables off, too (like me, I hate cooked celeriac). Divide the soup from vegetabels using a sieve and a) blend vegetables, b) mince them with a fork, c) blend half of them and mince another half. Season with majoram, salt and pepper.
Put pieces of cooked meat in serving soup bowls and pour the soup. You may serve it with bread.

my version: vegetable Kashubian soup with chunks (no blended rutabagas!). I really hope that Kashubian purists will not be angrily oppositing by argumenting that the real Kashubian rutabaga soup needs to contain goose necks... Surely, traditionally it HAs to contain goose meat and I am sure it tastes much better made this way. But if you don't eat meat or at the moment you can not find goose necks, try the vegetarian version and you will not be disappointed!

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Polish lentil patties

Polish: soczewica
Mapunzugun: jügi
Basque: dilista
Breton: pizenn rous
Persian: عدس
Hebrew: עדשה
Russian: чечевица
French: lentille
Greek: φακή
Upper Sorbian: sok

I love lentils almost as much as I love all kind of patties, fritters or pancakes, especially those savoury ones made from differrent kind of vegetables. If you already tried any of the patties / croquettes that I showed on my blog (grain croquettes from buckwheat , rolled oats or quinoa; sweet croquettes from black locust, apples or carrots; fish croquettes from codfish or herring; pulse/nut croquettes from soybean or walnuts; vegetable croquettes from aubergine, zucchini or spinach - yes, the spinach dumplings can be fried as patties too), I think you may like to taste soczewiaki, Polish lentil-potato patties, too. This dish comes from north-eastern Poland.

(ingredients for 8 patties)
1/2 cup red lentils
potatoes (*see point 1.)
1 big onion
salt, pepper, optionally cumin and curry powder
flour, a bit
garnish: tomato slices, lettuce, parsley

1. Wash potatoes, don't peel them but cook in salted water. The best would be to peel them and leave in the fridge overnight but if not then at least for 2 hours. After that time, grate them with a vegetable grater, not necessarily very fine. Take 1 cup and 1 full tablespoon of grated potatoes - this is the dough for the patties.

2. Wash lentils carefully, until the water in which you wash them is clear. Cook washed lentils in 1 1/2 cup water, covered, on a low heat. After 20 minutes start cooking on a high heat stirring constantly, to obtain a thick lentil puree. Add salt, pepper and optionally curry powder and cumin. I say optionally, cause those last two are not an ingredient of typical soczewiaki, but in my opinion adding curry powder and cumin makes them taste much, much better.

3. Take walnut-size balls from potato puree and roll so thin as you can. You can do it in your hands. Potato dough shouldn't be sticky but you may like to sprinkle your hands with flour. Put a walnut-size ball of lentil puree on each potato sheet and hide it by closing potato sheet and roll.

4. When ready, sprinkle each croquette with some flour and deep-fry. In another saucepan, fry thinly sliced onion half-rings until golden brown.

5. Drain croquettes on a kitchen paper, put a bit of fried onion on each croquette and serve warm or cooled with fresh vegetables.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Swedish rosehip dessert soup

Polish: owoc dzikiej rozy
French: cynorrhodon
Armenian: Մասրենի
Luxembourgian: Mullebutz
Hungarian: csipkebogyó
Finnish: ruusunmarja
Catalan: gavarró
Russian: Шиповник
Breton: agroazenn
Danish: hyben

Summer is a great time. From now until October you can pick rosehips and prepare yourself this delicious nutritive thick sweet velvety soup. The recipe comes from Sweden, where rosehip soup is called nyponsoppa and is very popular, even ready to buy in tetra boxes in supermarkts.

see also: Polish rosehip dessert
see also: Turkish rosehip-meatballs soup
see also: German elderberry soup

1l ripe rosehips
1l water
sugar (about 4-5 tablespoons)
vanilla stick
(optionally heavy, sour or whipped cream)
almond flakes, raisins, little almond cookies (amarettini)

1. Wash rosehips, cut into halves and pour into boiling water with vanilla stick. Cook on a low heat until rosehips are soft (it takes about 30 minutes). Put rosehips aside and keep the water in which they were cooked.

2. Press rosehips trough a fine sieve. Keep rosehip puree in a bowl and pour the rest (peels and stones) back to the rosehip water. Cook again and strain, it should be quite thick. Take 3 amounts of this rosehip water to 1 amount of rosehip puree, add sugar to taste and it should be thick enough. if not, add more rosehip puree. It takes a bit more time than cooking rosehips and adding cornstarch but the soup has a rich intensive taste due to this proceedings.

I am not sure if Swedes eat their sweet fruity soup just like Poles, in the summertime as a light dinner, or rather as a dessert. Anyway, serve with heavy, sour or whipped cream (if you like), sprinkle with raisins, almond flakes and amarettini.

What to do with the rest of rosehip puree? heat it in a saucepan with vanilla mark and 2 tablespoons butter. You will receive a delicious breakfast spread :)