Sunday, 30 March 2008

Polish sand cake

Polish: piasek
Chechen: гхум
Samoan: oneone
Romansch: sablun
Xhosa: isidibi
Old Prussian: smėltės
Mongolian: элс
Thai: ทราย
Inupiaq: maġġaq
Aymara: ch'alla

... Sand? Why did someone call this cake a sand cake? No, there are no unpleasant lumps that crack and rustle between your teeth... Quite to the contrary, Polish babka piaskowa, sand cake, has a lovely soft consistency, because of the addition of potato starch. Polish babka piaskowa is a sister of German Sandkuchen (even the names eman just the same) but as I observed, in German recipes you should take same amount of wheat flour and starch. Instead of potato starch you could use cornstarch* (I am almost sure cause I saw cornstarch in several Sandkuchen recipes) and maybe even tapioca* (I am experimenting with tapioka lately, its consistency reminds me of potato starch)

4 eggs
200 gr powdered sugar
150 gr wheat flour
100 gr potato starch*
200 gr soft butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons milk
arak aroma / 1 tablespoon arak / vanilla / zest + juice from 1 lemon

1. Mix well soft butter with sugar. When homogeneous, add yolks one by one

2. Mix wheat flour with potato starch and baking powder, sift half of it to the eggs, add milk, mix and sift the rest of the flour

3. Beat whites. When stiff, combine with what you obtained in point 2. Also now add flavour (vanilla, arak, aroma or lemon)

4. Bake about 1 hour (depending, as always, on your oven) in 180C. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Polish herring croquettes

Polish: śledź
Kashubian: stupka
Korean: 청어
Latvian: siļķes
Ukrainian: оселедець
Norwegian: sild
Georgian: ქაშაყი
Luxembourgian: hierk
Arabic: رنجة
Scottish Gaelic: sgadan

Herring has been a known staple food source since 3000 B.C. Here, in the Baltic sea region, herring is one of the most popular fishes. There are various methods of preparing it: raw, pickled, fried and even fermented... In Poland it is a must to eat herring during the lent before Easter and at the Christmas Eve Dinner, usually raw, cut into chunks with onion slices and oil. In my family we often eat this kind of herring salad for breakfast. Let me also propose a warm dinner dish: Polish herring croquettes, krokiety śledziowe.

see also: Portuguese codfish fritters

2 herring fillets, those without bones and heads, that were cured in salt (+ water + milk)
1/2 kg potatoes*
2 big onions
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
pepper, dill
a bit of flour to sprinkle

1. Soak herrings overnight in water with a bit of milk to remove excessive salt

2. Cook potatoes (* if you want to obtain less herringy taste, take 1 kg of potatoes). Chop 1 onion and fry until golden brown

3. Using meat grinder, grind together soaked drained herings, cooked potatoes and the second onion

4. Combine the ground ingredients with breadcrumbs, chopped dill and lightly beaten egg. Add pepper to taste, you don't need to add salt cause herrings are already salty. Knead a bit.

5. Form croquettes, sprinkle with flour and fry. Serve with salads (tastes good with beetroot or raddish salad) and yoghurt with dill, parsley or chives

Thursday, 27 March 2008

pictures of some Polish Easter dishes

Easter is already gone...
Where I come from, the main ingredient of Easter is of course egg. Not mentioning pisanki and any other kind of painted or waxed eggs, the main dish of Sunday's Easter breakfast would be boiled eggs with mayonnaise and chives. So simple. Besides, there are plenty of ways to prepare eggs: in pockets of ground meat, chopped eggs stuffed in egg shells and fried and so on. People usually prepare homemade pate, baked ground meat with boiled egg inside or stuffed roast. Breakfast is 100% complete with traditional soured rye flour soup (żurek) with a bit of white sausage and boiled egg, and a tray full of differrent sausages and black pudding. The last but not least: before you eat, you share 1 egg, 1 sausage and 1 slice of bread plus salt and pepper with all the companion at the table; this symbolic amount that represents the whole Easter table has to be hallowed the day before.

Here is a small representation of Easter breakfast dishes:

eggs & obligatory bittercress

baked meat with quail eggs & eggs in meat pockets & toothpick-cubes & egg with mayo & hallowed piece of food to share (bread, sausage, egg with salt and pepper)

ground meat cake with quail eggs again

date & almond & chocolate cake, one of 1000 variations of so-called mazurek

pascha: curd cheese dessert with cocoa, raisins and succade, here with homemade bounty balls

babka: originally should be from yeast and minimum 20 eggs but I made a small one with lemon and orange and baking powder (shame, shame on me :P)

second variation about mazurek, typical Easter cake (this time with almonds and cooked yolks)

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Egyptian vermicelli with sugar

Polish: krajanka / nitki
German: Fadennudeln
Portuguese: aletria
Turkish: tel şehriye
Spanish: fideos
Estonian: niitnuudlid
Bresciano: formentì
Greek: φιδές
Persian: ورمیشل
Czech: vlasové nudle

I am not a big fan of pasta; actually, I prepare them sparsely at home. Once a month or less. But Egyptian-style sugar vermicelli is something I really like, depsite of being pasta :) It was the first Egyptian dish I actually tried. Cheap, easy and sweet, is a good alternative if you wanna eat something sweet but your fridge is empty. I hope you will enjoy شعرية بالسكر, Egyptian vermicelli with sugar recipe, as well!

vermicelli (let's say, 1/2 pack / about 1 cup)
ghee, 1 tablespoon or more
water (about 1/2 liter)
sugar to taste, about 5 tablespoons

1. Fry vermicelli in ghee until golden brown, stirring all the time. Do not burn them!

2. In a saucepan, dissolve sugar in water. Add golden vermicelli (together with ghee in which it was fried). Cook on a medium heat until vermicelli are soft

3. You can serve it hot or cooled (my idea is to sprinkle the dish with cinnamon and serve with vanilla quark)

Swiss carrot cake

Polish: ciasto marchewkowe
Indonesian: kue wortel
Turkish: havuçlu kek
Latvian: burkānu kūka
Welsh: cacen foron
German: Karottenkuchen
Afrikaans: wortelkoek
Hebrew: עוגת גזר
Basque: azenario tarta
Portuguese: bolo de cenoura

Carrot cakes are commonly eaten and appreciated in Europe since medieval period. The thing is that beet sugar was very expensive in the middle ages, cane sugar was still unknown while honey was not so commonly available, so sweetening with sugar beets and carrots was carried on. Generally, carrot cakes can be divided into two groups: gingerbread-like and spicy or soft, with just a bit of shredded carrots or carrot puree to give light taste and colour, topped with philadelphia cheese icing. Third group is not that common and contains no-flour, but almonds. Like this Swiss Rüeblitorte. The idea of making this delicious cake came on my mind in German grocery store, where I saw packed powder to make this cake. I asked my friend google how to make this cake from fresh products and compared all the Swiss recipes I found. The result is this natty recapitulation of all of them, excluding one ingredient: Kirschwasser (I never drink alcohol but you can add it, but I think it could kill the lovely subtile taste of almonds)

300 gr almonds or almonds + hazelnuts
300 gr carrots
250 gr sugar + 1 pack vanilla sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
juice and zest from 1/2 lemon
50 gr flour + 1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
(in the original Swiss version you would also need marzipan carrots and some apricot jam as a topping)*

1. Peel almonds (you can do it easily if you pour boiling water on them first) and grind (I did it in meat grinder to obtain crunchy texture instead of homogeneous mass). Grind raw peeled carrots too (or shred very finely)

2. Beat yolks with sugar, add almonds, carrots, lemon zest and juice, salt, and flour sifted with backing powder and cinnamon.

3. Beat whites and when stiff, mix lightly with carrot mass (it will not be easy but try to be as delicate as you can)

4. Bake 45 min - 1 hour in 180C oven. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, almond or coconut flakes or* smear with apricot jam and decorate with marzipan

For me, it was one of the best cakes I ever ate. My brother shared this opinion but my mum didn't like this taste :(

Polish cheesecake (sernik)

Polish: sernik
Russian: Чизкейк
Portuguese: bolo de queijo
Finnish: juustokakku
Norwegian: ostekake
Japanese: チーズケーキ
Slovenian: skutino pecivo
Turkish: labne peynirli pasta
Hungarian: sajttorta
Czech: tvarohový koláč

Cheesecake has to be a special guest on each Polish Easter table, same as during the Christmas time, but same time it has a very privileged place in the ordinary, non-festive period. It means that it is one of the most beloved cakes in Poland and so it is, together with apple pie. Cheesecake can be baked or cooled, light as a mousse or heavy and thick, with a differrent consistency that depends on adding gelatine, sour cream, milk or cooked egg yolks, flavoured with cocoa, peaches, jello, orange succade, lemon juice or sour cherries, underside with biscuit crumbs, layer of cake or anything... The big differrence in cheesecakes worldwide is the cheese that we use. In Poland it would be twaróg, a kind of quark or curd, which can be sold already mashed into a silky cream, or you mash it on your own. Nevertheless, people sometimes follow American standards and add philadelphia cheese. There also are cheesecakes with thick balcan yoghurt instead of cheese. I made mine with twaróg. Between thousands of cheesecake recipes, I am sure I will do this one again. I hope you will also like my Polish sernik!

1 kg quark / curd / twaróg
4 egg whites
4 egg yolks + two more*
2 tablespoons custard powder or potato starch
2 tablespoons wheat flour
9 tablespoons melted butter
9 tablespoons oil (mine was poppyseed oil)
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup raisins
a handful of orange succade
1 cup boiling tea

(underside is of your choice: none, layer of yeast cake or pie crust, biscuit crumbs with melted butter or just a layer of biscuits or a big wafer)

1. Mash quark carefully. Pour boiling tea over raisins and set aside.

2. Beat 4 yolks with sugar. Prepare two yolks more: they have to be cooked.* You have two options: cook whole eggs, eat whites and take yolks, or separate whites and yolks from a raw egg, use whites anyhow you wish in other dessert and cook yolks (unbroken!) in a saucepan with boiling water with 2 tablespoons of vinegar.

3. Press cooked yolks through a sieve precisely, mix with beaten raw yolks. Mix butter and oil with well mashed (until silky!) quark

4. Combine eggs batter with quark. Add sieved custard powder and flour, succade and drained raisins

5. Beat 4 wgg whites until stiff and pour into quark, mix gently. Pour the mass into a tray (with wafer, biscuit crumbs, layer of cake or just butter with breadcrumbs) and bake - about 1 hour in 180C (as always, you have to be near the oven and check, check, check!)

(I covered mine with melted milk chocolate but you don't have to, you can leave it without topping or just sprinkle with powdered sugar)

Polish filled wafer cake + caramel-and-cookies filling, helva filling or fruity filling

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

If you manage to find big dry wafer sheets, don't hesitate and buy them. In Poland they are very popular: wafer bars covered with milk or white chocolate, with differrent fillings: peanut, hazelnut, cocoa, coconut or even lemon, banana or apple; or big rounded layered cakes covered with chocolate, which you can buy in any grocery store. But same time you can buy sheets of wafers and make this kind of cake on your own; sometimes it is called pishinger. I will not give you now the most typical cocoa filling (maybe one day), cause I would like to suggest you to think about wafers from the other perspective. Here they are, homemade Polish wafers with 1: fruit filling, 2: biscuits-caramel filling and 3: halva filling!

(+ one advice before presenting you my recipes: when you are finished, cover your wafer cake with any baking or kitchen paper and put on the table and... cover with the heaviest book that you have, for, let's say, 30 minutes. This will help your wafer looking good, cause they are originally dry and when they feel the moisture of the filling, sometimes they re-shape and the edges deflect, which you have to avoid!)

Before starting, read wafer cake tutorial!!!!!

see also: Polish layered cake with wafers or cookies (with peanut-cocoa filling)
see also: Polish custard crackers cake

wafers (so many layers as you only wish)

filling 1:
120 gr butter / margarine
1/2 cup cream (12%, 18%, 36%... anything actually, but I took 12%)
1/2 cup sugar
1 pack fruit jello (depends on your pack but should be about 80 gr)
(optionally: 1 tablespoon powdered milk)

filling 2:
2 cans sweet condensed milk (one of them can be of cocoa flavour; if not, take 1 tablespoon powdered cocoa)
petit beurre / leibniz style biscuits (so many as many layers you would like to obtain, see below)

filling 3:
mashed sesame halva, 1 cup
butter, 1/2 cup
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon powdered milk (or more)

filling 1: put all the ingredients in a saucepan, heat and stir until melted. Set aside until cook and thicker. Take the first wafer, smear with jello cream, cover with the next wafer and so on, until the cream is finished. The last layer should be wafer, of course.

filling 2: cook cans with condensed milk for 3 hours in boiling water (be sure your cans are always under water; otherwise it can be dangerous!) or open them and prepare like manjar blanco, the choice is yours but the first option is much easier cause you don't need to stay in the kitchen for 3 hours and stir :) If you don't have cocoa condensed milk, whip one can of already cooked milk with cocoa. Some people beat cooked milk with butter, but you don't have to (I never do). Now smear the first wafer with caramel milk, which has to be covered with biscuits. Smear next wafer with cocoa milk and cover biscuits . Cocoa caramel has to touch biscuits, cause on the other side of wafer you will now smear milk caramel. Repeat until the last wafer and remember the layers: wafer - milk caramel - biscuits - cocoa caramel - wafer and so on (if my explication is not clear, please don't hesitate to ask me!)

filling 3: After mashing halva, mix it with soft butter, add peanut butter and powdered milk. Spread between wafer sheets. On my pic one layer is darker cause I added some cocoa too.
Observation: it is better to keep these wafers for 1 night in the fridge. I left them in the fridge and forgot abut them for 1 night and next day they were much better, cause halva filling need moretime to harden. What you see is a wafer just after cutting into misshapen diamonds. Next day the filling was solid and so easy to cut!)

I dedicate all those sweets to someone dear to my heart who is 33 today but unavailable to hear my cordial happy birthday... :(

Friday, 7 March 2008

Belarussian baked milk with plums

Polish: suszona śliwka
Welsh: prŵn
Breton: prunevenn
Spanish: ciruela pasa
German: Trockenpflaume
French: pruneau
Turkish: kuru erik
Russian: чернослив
Arabic: برقوق مجفف
Hungarian: aszalt szilva

Besides the digestive value, Moroccans add prunes to tagine, Jews to tzimmes, Norwegians to fruktsuppe, Poles to Christmas compote, Icelanders to the filling of Christams layered cake, Germans fill them with marzipan and fry in beer batter, and so on. There are so many ways of preparing prunes, in both sweet and savoury dishes. In Belarus (and probably Russia too, but I found чернослив в молоке recipe in an old Belarussian cookbook so it is Belarussian to me) prunes are baked in milk. This recipe is exceptional: very simple but astonishing and really tasty.

50 gr prunes (without stones)
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon sugar

1. Wash prunes, put in a bowl and pour boiling milk over them. Cover and set aside for 2 hours

2. Add sugar. You can cut prunes into smaller pieces as I did, or just leave them as they are

3. Pour the mixture into a pyrex tray and bake in the oven (200C) until the surface is golden and crunchy. I can't say exactly how long does it take cause it depends on your oven, but more than 1 hour for sure. When ready, cut into pieces and serve; it is not quiteeasy to cut thisdessert into lovely pieces but that doesn't matter. there will be a lot of sweet prune juice in the tray: pour it on each portion. You can experiment with quantity of prunes, milk and sugar and change a bit the taste and consistency, which reminds me all the milk-and-eggs desserts baked in the tray which is set inside another tray, full of water, like flan and leche asada.

Chilean quinoa croquettes

Polish: komosa ryżowa
Aymara: jiwra, supha
Mapunzugun: künwa, dawe, sawe, zawe
Quechua: kinwa , kiuna, kuchikinwa
Chibcha: suba, pasca
Lithuanian: bolivinė balanda
Russian: рисовая лебеда, киноа
Swedish: mjölmålla
Norwegian: perumelde
Greek: κινόα

Quinoa is a pseudocereal (just like buckwheat and amaranth) and was cultivated in South America even 5.000 years before. Together with potatoes, it was a staple food in Andean region before Incan Empire. Incas called them "mother of all grains"; until today in many countries quinoa has an alternative name: peruvian or incan rice (German: Inkareis / Perureis, Polish: ryż peruwiański, Spanish: trigo inca, arroz del Perú). Scientists say that without quinoa there would be no human being possible to live in the Altiplano. The mystery of its power is that quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete food. Try these Chilean quinoa croquettes (croquetas de papa y quinoa), they are really worth it!

1 cup cooked, mashed potatoes
1 cup cooked quinoa*
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped onions
a handful of parsley
a pinch of cummin, salt and pepper

1*. You don't need any advice how to cook and mash potatoes, don't you? :) About quinoa: take about 1/2 cup dried grains, wash them well under running ater or soak for some hours (cause it contains bitter-tasting saponins) and cook with 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup milk for about 5 minutes, after that time reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until the grains are transparent. Don't add salt!

2. Whisk the egg, drain quinoa, chop parsley finely. Combine all the ingredients, now it is time to add salt too; form croquettes, and fry them (no need to sprinkle with flour before frying)

German tuna pasta

Polish: tuńczyk
Turkish: ton balığı
Catalan: tonyina
Latvian: tuncis
Rapanui: kahi
Lithuanian: paprastieji tunai
Arabic: تونة
Japanese: マグロ
Russian: тунец
Thai: ปลาทูน่า

People were fishing tunas even in the antiquity, while canned tuna was eaten since the beginning of XX century. Now, the canned version is eaten especially among students and diet-watchers. I learned this simple dish when I was studying in Germany. If yiu have not much time but wanna eat something tasty, prepare this: Thunfisch-Nudeln.

about 500 gr noodles (or less)
1 canned tuna (better without oil)
1 cup tomato puree (packed or made on your own from fresh tomatoes)
2 big onions, 2 garlic cloves
a handful parsley
salt, pepper
grated cheese

1. Cook noodles the way you always do, chop onions and parsley finely and grind garlic

2. Fry onions and garlic until golden, add tomato puree and stew some minutes, until tomato puree is thicker. Add drained tuna, stew a bit more. Season with salt, pepper and parsley to taste

3. Combine cooked noodles with tuna sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese before serving

Monday, 3 March 2008

Polish potato-walnut fritters

Polish: orzech włoski
Saami: niehtti
Estonian: kreeka pähkel
Romansch: nose
Swiss German: Baumnuss
Kurdish: gûz
Irish: gallchnó
Turkmen: грек хозы
Greek: καρύδι
Belarussian: арэх

In this post I would like to present you a very old Polish recipe how to prepare potatoes, including walnuts: kotleciki z orzechów (walnut-potato fritters). I found it once while browsing old Polish cookbooks from the time before the Second World War. Potatoes are usually prepared in Poland as various dumplings or latkes, pancakes or as a filling for pierogi (the filling can be raw grated potatoes or cooked, mashed with curd, garlic and herbs). Believe me or not but walnuts and potatoes go really well together.

1/2 kg cooked, peeled potatoes
100 gr ground walnuts
2 eggs
1/2 cup breadcrumbs*
a handful dill
salt, pepper
+ 1 egg, a pinch of salt, a handful flour and breadcrumbs and oil to fry

1. Mash potatoes and mix well with ground walnuts, add whisked eggs, finely chopped dill (or parsley, but dill tastes here much better) and breadcrumbs (* if 1/2 cup is not enough to form balls from the dough, add more)

2. Form nice balls and flatten between your hands

3. Prepare 3 plates: first with egg whisked with a pinch of salt, second with flour and third with breadcrumbs. Now do the following: cover each piece of the dough with flour, then deep in whished egg and after all, cover in breadcrumbs and fry.

This is my second contribution into Sia's Ode to Potato event. I hope it is allowed ;)

Slovak potato dumplings

Polish: ziemniak
Nahuatl: tlālcamohtli
Aymara: ch'uqi
Quechua: papa
Maasai: ilpiasi
Occitan: trufa
Sudovian: bulvē
Kashubian: bùlwa / tufla
Georgian: კარტოფილი
Vietnamese: khoai tây
Plattdeutsch: Kantüffel

Earth bean? Earth pear? Ground fruit? Ground apple? Type of sweet potato, truffle or yam? That is how potato is called worldwide :)
In Poland people were always, always eating groats (especially cooked buckwheat, millet, barley and wheat). That was Polish staple food, most beloved in the court and in the village, so when the noble friends of the king Jan III Sobiecki tried potatoes for the first time (it was XVII century), they didn't like its taste. Portatoes suddenly became very popular and got acclimatized to Polish fecund soil quite fast. Now potatoes are consumed on many ways, as fritters, pancakes, many sorts of dumplings, baked, stiffed, in salads and so on. Potatoes are widely consumed in Central Europe, but we do remember that originally they come from the Andes. In Pozna (Posen), a city in western Poland, people call them pyry, which word derivates from Peru, potato homeland :)
Today's potato dish is a national dish in Slovakia, but also eaten in Poland. Slovaks call them bryndzové halušky and in Poland we call them przecieraki (literally: the strained ones). These small cooked potato dumplings are somehow similar to German Spätzle - cause prepared same way (through a special noodle strainer), but of differrent ingredients. A very important ingredient would be Karpatian salty sheep spreadable cheese, bryndza, but you can use any soft spreadable sheep or goat cheese, or even salted curd.

see also: Slovak potato pancakes
see also: Lithuanian potato fritters

500 gr uncooked, peeled potatoes
300 gr flour
salt, pepper, oil
1 pack (about 200 gr) bryndza cheese (or any salted curd - see explanation above)
+ (optionally) fried salo (pork underskin fat, Central-European delicacy which some Central Europeans really dislike :P) tiny squares [I know, I know, the original recipe really requires slanina (salo in Slovakian), but without it the dish is lighter in digestion and also for vegetarians), chopped chive and dill, fried chopped onion

1. Grate raw potatoes, combine with flour and salt (about 1/2 tablespoon). Now you need a noodle strainer (see photo instructions how to use it --> put a piece of dough on the strainer and push with your hand so that the tiny pieces jump into boiling water), if you don't have it, cut the dough into thin slices or nibble tiny irregular pieces of dough and pour them into boiling, salted water with a tablespoon of oil

2. Prepare the cheese: rub it (you can add a spon of sour cream) and combine with cooked, drained halušky. You can sprinkle with fried salo, onions, chives and / or dill

The final picture was of bad quality, you could see only a white stain... that is why I will not post it...

I add this entry to celebrate World's Potato Year and I wanted to join Ode to Potato event hosted by Sia from Monsoon Spice . I know a plenty of potato recipes but no time to post all of them so I just encourage all potato lovers to visit my blog again and browse well :) and you will find more Central-European (Polish, Belarussian, Lithuanian) delicious potato dishes to try :)

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Polish apple fritters

Polish: jabłko
ChuvashP: Панулми
Kashubian: jabko
Sudovian: ābalē
Old Prussian: vuobelis
Kazahk: алма
Tamil: ஆப்பிள
Fijian: yapolo
Greenlandic: iipili
Manx: ooyl
Yoruba: ápù

In France people say: An apple a day keeps the doctor away, in Morocco: A stone from the hand of a friend is an apple, in Germany: Handsome apples are sometimes sour, and in Poland: There no apple is sweeter than your mother. There are thousands of proverbs about apples, many stories, myths, legends about apples, because it is one of the most expanded and oldest plantations worldwide. Where was the biblical paradise? In China or in Cenral Asia, cause those regions are a homeland of wild apples. They love template climate, that is why in Central Europe they are the most beloved fruits. Can you believe that there are more that 10.000 differrent sorts of apples? And so many ways of eating them. This Polish recipe is called jabłka w cieście: Polish-style apples in batter.

1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 egg
salt, sugar, a handful dried coocnut flakes
apples - I took 7 (juicy and rather small ones, elstar would be great)
cinnamon powder, powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar

1. Put unpeeled apples into boiling water for a short while, less than 5 minutes

2. Peel them and hollow out the part with the seeds (great if you have a special knife to do this)

3. Cut each apple into 3 thick slices but be careful, they are quite soft!

4. Prepare the batter (combine all the ingredients), deep each apple slice in the batter and fry from both sides. Sprinkle with cinnamon or powdered sugar or both before serving.

I am really glad to participate in Apple Cooking Event, cause apples are the most popular fruits in the country where I come from. My mum is an avid apple eater, but she accepts only one sort, sweet and sour and juicy elstar apples. She eats about 3 apples a day! A very Polish way of eating apples is to deep them into a batter and fry. There are many kinds of batter, even with beer, but I offer you my batter that goes perfect with apples, bananas or even vegetables.

Polish soybean fritters

Polish: soja
Vietnamese: Đậu tương
Thai: ถั่วเหลือง
Japanese: ダイズ
Chinese: 大豆
Bahasa Indonesia: kedelai
Bahasa Melayu: kacang soya hijau
Finnish: soijapapu
Arabic: فول الصويا
Tagalog: balatong

Tofu, tempeh, miso, soysauce, sprouts, soymilk, yoghurt and cream cheese, ice-cream, textured protein, nut butter and so on... I even heard about the methode to prepare homemade soybean coffee, supposedly tastier as chicory coffee and ovomaltine (I have to try the recipe and post later). What a versatile vegetable :) I like the taste of soybeans, when combined with potatoes and fried. Just like those below:

1 cup soybeans
1 egg
1 big onion
a bunch parsley
salt, pepper

1. Soak soybeans overnight. Cook them witout salt,stirring, until soft. Cook potatoes* - you need to have twice more cooked soybeans than potatoes.

2. Fry chopped onion until golden. Mash potatoes and soybeans (or pass through meat grinder), add egg, chopped parsley and fried onion, breadcrumbs (** about 1/3 cup - until you can form balls), salt and pepper to taste.

3. As said above, form balls (walnut size). You can deep them thrice: in flour, egg and breadcrumbs, or only in flour, which was my way of serving them. You can also bake them instead of frying.

4. I saved one cup uncooked beans cause I wanted to try and prepare it the way I prepare falafel. I passed soaked and dried beans through meat grinder to obtain a kind of soy porridge. I added 1 teaspoon soda bicarbonate, chopped parsley, salt and pepper and form small fritters (and fry them of course)

5. Wanna try my mum's beetroot salad? Cook 2 beetroots until soft (it takes a lot of time, I know), peel them, shred and fry with soaked raisins and shredded apple. Add salt, pepper and cream, and mix.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Indonesian cheese cookies

Polish: ser
Greenlandic: immussuaq
Uzbek: пишлоқ
Cornish: keus
Old Prussian: sūris
Amharic: አይብ
Faroese: ostur
Hausa: cúkű
Tajik: панир
Abkhazian: ашә
Chechen: нехча

Cheese... cookies...? Yes! I want to present you the most delicious cookies of the world. Ladies and Gentlemen, Cheese Indonesian cookies called sagu keju! I think that all the cookie lovers should make them at least once in a lifetime. I am sure you will love them. I once found sago pearls in my shop and carefully browsed the web in search of sago recipes. The most interesting one was sagu keju, but only in Indonesian :) Using all the dictionaries I could only find, I translated the ingredients, but couldn't go through the whole recipe. A dear blogger comrade from translated for me her delicious recipe for these cookies. Thank you again for sharing that wonderful recipe, these cookies are unbelievably, unbelievably delicious!

125 g margarin
100 g butter
125 g powder sugar
3 egg yolks
100 g Edam cheese / old cheese*
50 g Cheddar cheese
300 g sago flour / arrowroots flour**
50 g maizena /cornstarch
50 g all purpose flour

1. Combine both shortenings with sugar until soft. Add egg yolks one by one and continue mixing

2. Mix sweet shortening with the cheese (*beware, it really has to be old! I made them once from fresh fat cheese and cookies melted in the oven... I did them thrice and I can say that you can take any kind of cheese -once I had olny fat Podlaski cheese- but frst grate it and leave uncovered overnight so that it becomes dry)

3. The last step is to add flours and to ocmbine well, until homogeneous. Use a piping bag with star nozzle and form lovely rings. Bake for 30 minutes in 180C, until dry but still not golden

and here are my sagu keju made without a piping bag