Thursday, 3 April 2008

Polish apples in jackets

Polish: jabłko
Mohawk: sewahyowane
Blackfoot: ápasstaamiinaamm
Navaho: belasana
Anglonquin: waabimin
Ossetian: фæткъуы
Inuktitut: kimminaujaq
Polabian: jobkú
Votic: õuna
Livonian: umar

Apples are everywhere! In English in pineapple and aubergine (mad apple is one of its synonys), in French in potato (pomme de terre), in Old English in cucumber (eorþæppla)... but there is also apple mint... elephant apple... alligator apple... apple snail... apple of eye... apple of discord... apple butter... Adam's apple... Newton's apple... and... Ewa's baked apple :P Originally this Polish dessert is called apples in jackets or apples in dressing gowns (jabłka w koszulkach / jabłka w szlafrokach)

2 cups flour*
125 gr margarine
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 pack vanilla sugar or few drops vanilla aroma
3 tablespoons cream (should be thick)
salt ( pinch)
apples: about 8 (I can't tell you exactly; it depends on your apple's size)
1/2 cup marmalade, sour*
powdered sugar + cinnamon to sprinkle
+ flour to sprinkle the workplace

* the Polish name of the flour I used is krupczatka. I will not give you the number, cause the numeration differs depends on the country. Take the flour you would use to make shortcrust pastry: a grainy one (called semolina flour)

** homemade would be the best: I used homemade mirabelle jam, but gooseberry, sea-buckthorn and currant would be great too. If you don't have any of those, take bilberry or bramble or actually anything which is at least a little bit sour

1. Sieve flour, add cold margarine and hack with a knife. Usually it is not recommended to do it with hands because we don't want the margarine to melt with the warm of our hands, cause this dough has to be crunchy after baked. Add egg, yolk, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, vanilla sugar / aroma, cream, salt and knead fast with your hand (has to be done fast for the reason mentioned above). Let in the fridge until you are ready with apples, but the best would be to let it rest for at least 30 minutes

2. Peel apples, divide into halves and take the seeds off

3. Take small amounts of the dough from the fridge, roll them on the surface sprinkled with flour. Roll until thiner than 1/2 cm. Put a half of an apple in the middle, fill with marmalade and cover with the resting dough (see the picture, it serves better than my words :P)

4. Preheat your oven until 200-220C. Butter your tray and sprinkle it with semolina, breadcrumbs, coconut flakes or simply with flour. Bake about 15 minutes or until golden. When ready, sprinkle with sugar and / or cinnamon.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Belarussian curd rolls (pancakes)

Polish: twaróg
Albanian: gjizë
Russian: творог
Tatar: eremçek
Swedish: kvarg
Spanish: requesón
Romanian: urdă
Hungarian: túró
Latvain: biezpiens
Dutch: wrongel

Curd roll covered in chocolate is one of the Central and East European snacks. Probably it's because Central and East Europe is a true kingdom of milk and its products, from buttermilk and kefir through differrent kind of curd and fresh cheese until curd pancakes, breadrolls, crepes, buns, dumplings and thousands of differrent curd snacks, until innumerable variety of cheesecakes. My grandmum has access to fresh cowmilk and she makes her own curd, of course, and soured milk. Coming back to my Belarussian Recipes book, I tried Belarussian curd rolls, Батончики творожные. They are actually a kind of pancakes, we prepare very similar ones in Poland. Curd rolls available in grocery stores are not fried, and also remember that frying curd pancakes is a bit difficult cause it drinks oil and becomes golden brown very fast. But still, they taste really good!

500 gr curd / fresh cheese
1 cup flour
1 egg
2 tablespoons cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
powdered sugar to sprinkle

1. Rub curd with cream and sugar. Whisk egg, mix flour with baking soda

2. Add egg to the curd, when homogeneous add flour and mix well

3. Roll the dough and cut into 10 cm slices. Fry and sprinkle iwth powdered sugar

Moldovan aubergine pancakes

Polish: bakłażan
Sranan: bulansyey
Malagasy: baranjely
Kashmiri: वाँगुन्
Tagalog: talóng
Bahasa Melayu: terung
Swahili: mbilingani
Papiamento: berehein
Tonga: paingani
Tajik: Боқлаҷон

Back to the discussion what should be called fruit and what should be called vegetable... How about aubergine? Actually, it should be denominated a fruit, cause from biological point of view it is a true berry, together with plantain, guava or grape. Let's see: there are several dishes from aubergine in the world cuisines that are sweet: Indonesian sweet aubergine stew semur terong, breaded eggplants dipped in honey (also Asian delicacy), Turkish eggplant marmalade (is it really sweet?) and Japanese eggplant... ice cream! (about the last one I am absolutely unsure of its sweetness, since Japanese produce and... consume... crab, eel, cheese or potato ice cream...). Aubergines are something new in Poland, my grandmum for instance never cooked them. I like them a lot, that is why regularily I browse the net in search of some new aubergine recipes, since there are no original Polish aubergine recipes. Lately I visited and I found a nice collection of Moldovan recipes. First I tried eggplant pancakes, placinta cu vinete, something really, really tasty!

1 big eggplant
1 egg
3-4 tablespoons flour*
salt, pepper

1. Bake eggplant in the oven until its skin becomes dark. Peel, take the seeds off if they are big. Drain and chop.

2. Whisk the egg, add flour* (the recipe speaks about 1 tablespoon but I had to add more cause with only one I couldn't fry the pancakes), chopped eggplant, salt and pepper to taste.

3. Fry! What a great alternative for Polish potato pancakes! Serve with salads or pickles.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Polish carrot pancakes

Polish: tarka
Lithuanian: trintuvė
Luxembourgian: Rapp
Persian: رنده
Estonian: riiv
Russian: Тёрка
Hebrew: פומפייה
Finnish: raastin
Turkish: rende
Portuguese: ralador

...yes, kitchen grater :) The most important (and actually the only one) utensil to prepare Polish carrot pancakes, racuszki karotenki. Could be served as a warm sweet supper, dessert or breakfast, with cream, powdered sugar or cinnamon. After deliberating yesterday wether a carrot is a fruit or a vegetable, I decided to add one more sweet carrot recipe to my blog, also one of my favourites. I guess I really like carrots served in a sweet way. This recipe will be sent to Joelen to join her Tasty Tools Blogging Event. I have no special tips about kitchen grater... and my family already ate all the pancakes while only now I realised that I should make a pic with both pancakes and a grater :( But I hope I can still join, Joelen?

and the recipe:

1/2 kg carrots*
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
a pinch of salt
cinnamon, icing sugar

1. Grate raw peeled carrots very fine (take the side of the garter with the smallest "eyes")

2. Whisk eggs with salt, sieve flour mixed with baking powder. It should be ready to fry but if you ffind it too loose, add a bit more flour. Fry, sprinkle with cinnamon and icing sugar

*you may add half grated apple too

Turkish sweet carrot balls

Polish: marchewka
Belorussian: морква
Armenian: գազար
Turkmen: кәшр
Maltese: zunnarija
Zulu: ikhalothi
Urdu: گاجر
Guarani: makychĩguasu
Estonian: porgand
Gujarati: ગાજર

Why is avocado considered a fruit and carrot or pumpkin - a vegetable? Right... Is carrot actually a fruit or a vegetable? The European Union didn't want to preoccupy baout this issue and an adequate decree declares that it is a fruit. So that Portuguese carrot jams can be classified as required. If in Portugal there is carrot jam; in Poland apple and carrot pie filling, carrot sweet fritters and carrot sweet dumplings; in Belarus sweet carrot and semolina puddings; in Spain, probably not very popular but still eaten carrot flan; and carrot cakes are eaten worldwide: then is carrot a fruit? We could divagate, multiplying arguments and reasons. In the meanwhile, prepare yourself another wonderful carrot dessert, Turkish carrot balls, havuçlu toplar.

see also: Turkish pumpkin balls
see also: Brasilian sweet potato balls
see also: Banana-aniseed balls

1 cup carrot puree (peel and cook carrots in water with salt and sugar, mash)

1 cup cookies, pepit beurre / leibniz type (mash them or grind in coffee grinder)

1 cup ground walnuts or a mix of walnuts and hazelnuts

a pinch of cinnamon

(about) 1/2 cup sugar, or to taste*

some biscuits, coconut flakes and / or cornflakes

When you have all the ingredients already prepared, just combine all of them and form lovely balls. I add 1/2 cup of powdered milk* to sweeten and make the mass thicker, but the original recipe require sugar* or sometimes a bit of butter / margarine (about 50 gr). Sprinkle with ground biscuits, coconut flakes or cornflakes (the last one is my invention). It is one of my favourite desserts.