Monday, 30 June 2008

Danish buttermilk dessert soup

Great recipe with a bad picture :( Koldskål is a Danish summer dessert, actually something between sweet cold soup and (butter)milky drink. Some people drink it with a straw, other eat with a spoon. If you prefer the second variant, serve it with Danish kammerjunker cokies, or your favourite biscuits, wafers or butter / cardamom (or other) cookies.

1 portion:
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg yolk
25 gr vanilla sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
cookies (kammerjunker or similar)

1. Beat yolk with vanilla sugar to obtain a creamy froth

2. Slowly add buttermilk and lemon juice and continue whisking. You can season it with lemon peel. Optionally, sprinkle with crunched cookies. Very refreshing, enjoy!

(my version, delicious even without any cookies)

Moldovan whey-vegetable soup

Polish: cebulka dymka
Thai: ต้นหอม
Romanian: ceapă verde
Catalan: calçot
Malay: daun bawang
Korean: 파
German: Frühlingszwiebeln
Cebuano: sibuyas dahunan
Bulgarian: пресен лук
Dutch: bosuitjes

Scallions / spring onions are an inportant ingredient of many spring and summer dishes, especially soups, egg dishes and of course salads, probably more common in Asia than anywhere else. Some people tend to choose scalions instead of onions cause it is much nicer to chop scallions than onions, that's sure :) They are one of the main ingredients of this Moldovan summer vegetable-whey soup, sîrbuşca

see also: Polish whey-horseradish soup
see also: Polish whey-millet soup

2 medium potatoes
2 medium carrots
2 spring onions (scallions)
2 cups whey
1 tablespoon cornmeal
2 tablespoons butter (or more), the best would be clarified one
salt, pepper

1. Clean, peel and dice potatoes. Cook them in whey until soft.

2. Fry chopped scallions and grated carrots with (clarified) butter, until carrots are golden-orange and scallions smell.

3. Add fried vegetables to the saucepan with cooking soup. After boiling, add cornmeal and cook about 5 minutes more.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Polish summer cold soup

Polish: burak
Turkish: pancar
Ossetian: цæхæра
Finnish: punajuurikas
Slovak: navadna pesa
Bahasa Indonesia: bit
Sestwana: segwere
Portuguese: beterraba
Hebrew: סלק
Albanian: panxhar

The last entry was about beets. This one will be about beets, too. And it is not the end of beet entries ;) I am sorry, but I like beet soups too much :) And this one is perfect for the summertime: cold Polish beet soup, called chłodnik. Actually, some people call it here in Poland chłodnik litewski, which means Lithuanian cold soup. he fact is that a similar or even same soup is eaten in Lithuania (known as Šaltibarščiai), Belarus, Ukraine and probably Russia, too. My recipe is Polish. this is the most beloved summer soup of my father. As a child I didn't like it but believe me, there is nothing better and more refreshing during the summertime, when you just don't want to eat anything warm. Especially recomemnded for gazpacho, tzatziki and tarator fans :)

see 2 other cold soup recipes

(2 portions)
1 bunch young tiny beets with leaves*
1 beetroot, medium (1/2 cup shredded beet)
1/2 cup radish slices
1/2 cup cucumber slices
1 handful chopped dill
1 handful chopped chives
1 big garlic clove
salt, vinegar, sugar
2 cups buttermilk / soured milk / kefir
2 eggs

1. Cut young beets into small cubes and chop the leaves finely. Cook with a little bit of water, only to cover the vegetables, until soft. If you can't find young beets with leaves, *take a handful of parsley green instead plus 1/2 cup beet juice (from the jar with pickled beets) instead of the water that should be cooked with the leaves and young beets.

(this time I had to use canned beets, too)

2. Peel and cut beet into cubes and cook with salt, a bit of sugar and vinegar. If you don't have fresh beet, take the one from the jar or pre-cooked and packed and don't worry cause it will taste really good, too.

3. Chop finely all the herbs. Vegetables have to be cut finely or shredded, too. Mince garlic and mash with salt. Boil eggs for 10 minutes with a bit of salt.

4. Pour buttermilk into a bowl, add cooled *beet-leaves-water or *beet juice from the jar, chopped vegetables, herbs and garlic with salt, optionally a bit more salt to taste. Leave for 1 hour or more (even overnight) in the fridge. Serve with boiled egg cut into halves pro portion, sprinkled with some more fresh dill. You can eat it like that or serve with young boiled potatoes with dill and butter.

(chłodnik is gonna have some rest in the fridge now)

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Russian nettle borscht (beetroot soup)

Polish: barszcz
Lithuanian: barščiai
Finnish: borssi
Russian: борщ
Greek: Μπορς
Persian: سوپ برش
Korean: 보르시
Japanese: ボルシチ
Hebrew: חמיצה
Swedish: borsjtj

Borscht is a soup. Warm or cold, with a variety of ingredients, but with one must: beetroots. With or without sour cream, with potatoes or huge white beans, with boiled egg, little stuffed dumplings or fried savoury pancake roll - so many possibilities, depending on the region, season and occasssion. Polish Christmas borscht, for instance, is nothing else but a beetroot broth served in a cup, which you can just drink. Of course, there are exceptions from each rule, so there are some borscht with no beet: in Russia you can find green borscht made with sorrel, and in Poland during the Eastertime people eat white borscht, made from fermented rye flour, bacon and sausage. As you already know or guess, the homeland of borscht is Eastern Europe. During the surpingtime it is worth to try Russian nettle borscht, борщ с крапивой.

see also: Polish spring nettle soup

2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup beetroot, cooked and diced*
1 cup nettle leaves
2 tomatoes
garlic (1-2 cloves)
sugar, salt, pepper
optionally: sour cream

1. Prepare beetroots: cook them on your own or use pre-cooked or even canned beets (I know, it is not easy to find fresh beets in each country) and dice or cut julienne (into long thin "matches"

2. After dividing nettle leaves from the stalks, pour some boiling water over the leaves, so that your nettle is not excessively scorching :) This step is very important! After pouring boiling water, nettle will not burn your fingers anymore and you can now chop it

3. Dice tomatoes and mince garlic with a bit of salt

4. Heat the broth. When boiling, add beets, nettle, tomatoes and garlic. Add a bit of sugar and pepper and optionally more salt to taste. Cook 5-10 minutes (vegetables are already pre-cooked and tomatoes don't need much time)

5. You can eat the borscht as it is now, or serve with a tablespoon of sour cream on eah plate.

Friday, 13 June 2008

German sweet woodruff syrup

Polish: przytulia wonna / marzanka wonna
Upper Sorbian: wonjaty sydrik
Platt: Möösch
Estonian: lõhnav madar
Icelandic: ilmmaðra
Japanese: クルマバソウ
Manx: lus vollagh
Italian: caglio odoroso / stellina odorosa
Slovak: marinka voňavá
Danish: skovmærke

(pic taken from the net)

Sweet woodruff is a smell and taste of German spring and summer season. At the beginning I thought that Waldmeister mean nothing but forester (yeah, artificially flavoured and coloured green "forester" ice cream, cheesecakes and puddings :P) But yes, now I finally know the incredible sweet woodruff. I found it in a forest next to the Baltic coast. If you have a chance, collect some and prepare this sweet woodruff syrup (Waldmeistersirup), so popular in Germany. You can drink it with water, pour over pancakes or ice cream or, just like some Germans do, add to beer or mix with other alcohol (but I am not a specialist in this area so I can't give you many tipps, sorry...)

I will share now two recieps with you. First using sugar and second: honey and apple juice.

1st recipe
1 bunch sweet woodruff (only the one that is not blooming yet!)
4 cups sugar
2 cups water
1/2 cup lemon juice (+ 1 teaspoon citric acid)

1. Cook a syrup from water, sugar, lemon juice and citric acid.

2. When the syrup is cool, pour into a bottle and deep sweet woodruff in it. Let stand for about 5 days in the fridge or any other cool place

(sweet woodruff macerating in sugar syrup)

3. After 5 days, divide the plant from the syrup. Close the syrup in the bottle. In Germany people would add few drops of green food colouring, since there everything related with sweet woodruff should be green. You can do it as well :)

2nd recipe
1/2 l apple juice (without sugar!)
250 g honey
1 bunch sweet woodruff

1. Deep woodruff in apple juice for 20 minutes. After this time, divide juice from the plant

2. In a saucepan, cook (very short!) apple-woodfuff juice with honey. Still hot, fill the bottle. To prepare a delicious drink, dissolve 1 part of apple-sweet woodruff syrup in 4 parts mineral water.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Egyptian lentil soup

Polish: soczewica
Chuvash: Ясмăк
Mokshan: babanjsnavnae
Gujarati: દાળ
Arabic: عدس
Swahili: dengu
Guarani: kumanda mirĩ
Malagasy: voa
Kurdish: nîsk
Albanian: thjerrëz

Lentil soup is eaten worldwide, hence it has many, many variants. In my family we rather eat lentils as a filling to differrent dumplings and fritters while pulse soup contains rather yellow peas or big white beans, so I was very excited to learn this Egyptian way of preparing other pulse, protein-reach and vegetarian soup, شربة عدس, which makes your body warm in the wintertime.

1/2 kg lentils (red or yellow)
1 mediom potato
2 medium tomatoes
a medium bunch of carrots
some garlic cloves, depending on your personal taste (I take 5-6 cloves)
1 medium onion + 2 more
salt + cumin
lemon (chunks)

1. Wash lentils and put them in a saucepan with 1/2-3/4 l water. Start cooking and in the meantime peel and dice or grate carrots, onion, potato and garlic, cut each tomato into 4 chunks and add those vegetables to cooking lentils. After several minutes, take tomatoes off and peel them (it will come very easily to peel them now). Add salt and cumin o taste. Cook on a low heat until the lentils are disintegrated and vegetable chunks soft (about 1/2 hour)

2. Cut finely the rest of the onions and fry until golden brown. Rub already cooked soup rub through a sieve or blend in a food processor. Pour back into the saucepan, add fried onions and cook again.

3. Serve with lemon chunks (so that each person can pour lemon juice) and bread

Egyptian-style fish

Polish: ryba
Erzya: калт
Abkhazian: аҧсыӡ
Tatar: balık
Somali: kaluun
Navajo: Łóó'
Uyghur: بېلىق
Bashkir: балыҡ
Tajik: моҳӣ
Burmese: ငါး

-> fish (I used Lachsforelle - a kind of trout with pink, salmon-like meat)
-> marinade: salt, cumin, garlic, lemon juice, flour
-> rice, onions
-> tahina, vinegar, parsley, grlic

1. Clean the fish and throw away everything that has to be thrown. Clean the skin of the fish with a knife. Cut the fish into portions and cut the skin of each portion.

2. Prepare spices: mix about 2 teaspoons salt with same amount of cumin, add 5-6 minced garlic cloves and so much lemon juice until you obtain a spreadable cream. Spread it on the fish skin and put into the holes you cut on the skin same as inside the fish. The best would be to put the fish to the fridge overnight, but if not, some hours are enough.

3. You should not eat fish with other rice than onion rice :) So cut onions finely into chunks and fry until slightly brown. Put in a saucepan and cook with 1 cup water. When boiling, add washed rice (as much as you want but let's say 2 cups of rice + 2 medium onions) and so much water so that there are about 2 cm water over the rice surface. When it starts boiling, simmer on a low heat until ready.

4. Sprinkle fish chunks with flour and fry. Serve with onions rice and tahina cream mixed with vinegar, water, chopped parsley and minced garlic.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Kashubian / German buttermilk sweet spread

Polish: maślanka
Chuvash: yйран
Xhosa: ixibhiya
Finnish: piimä
Chinese: 酪漿
Marathi: ताक
Slovakian: pinjenec
Suahili: mtindi
French: babeurre
Vietnamese: nước sữa

Do you remember manjar blanco, Latin American spread / cream / filling? There is a traditional Kashubian and/or German breakfast bread spread, very similar to the Latin American one, and the technique is so similar, too. Buttermilch Honig, or buttermilk honey, great with fresh crunchy bread (integral bread, too!) or pancakes :)

1 l buttermilk
500 gr sugar
optionally: a little pinch of cinnamon or vanilla

Cook buttermilk with sugar in a pan on a low heat and mix constantly until you obtain a creamy thick spread (takes about 1/2 hour)

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Palestinian mutton-rice-vegetables dish

Polish: baranina
Portuguese: carneiro
Norwegian: lammedeig
Russian: Баранина
Dutch: schapevlees
Danish: fårekød
Czech: skopové
French: mouton
Breton: kig-dañvad
Shona: nyama yehwai

Makluba (مقلوبة) is a Palestinian dish from mutton, rice and vegetables, but as far as I know eaten also in the rest of Levant countries. In Arabic its name means nothing else but... "upside down", and Spaniards call it "arabic paella". Factually, there are many similarities between those two dishes: both contain similar ingredients (rice, vegetables, meat) cooked in one pan and were rather a poor dish, prepared from the resting pieces of meat and differrent vegetables. Today it is eaten usually on fridays and served to the guests to offer them respect and honour. But why is it called "upside-down"? After cooking, you should invert the content of the pan into a plate. If you are lucky, it will conserve the shape of the pan, but mine didn't. Anyway, taste counts ;)

(ps. the pics are of a bad quality; I am sorry for that, but you have to believe me, this dish tastes wonderful even for me, who never liked meat too much)

2 medium aubergines
2 big tomatoes
1 medium couliflower
1 big onion + 1 small onion
1/2 kg mutton shoulder*
1 1/2 cup basmati rice

1. Chop the small onion, fry until smelling and golden, add mutton (*I had about 3/4 kg mutton with bones and after cooking and throwing the bones away, there was 1/2 kg meat), fry a little bit and cook in 1/2-3/4 l water until soft

2. Peel and slice aubergines, sprinkle with salt and set aside until drops appear on its surface. Drain with a kitchen paper towel or with your hand, and fry

3. Divide cauliflower into chunks, cook for a very short time (about 5 minutes) in water with salt cumin

(beginning with tomatoes and moving as a clock needle: tomato slices, fried eggplants, mutton chunks, mutton broth, eggplants being drained, fried cauliflower chunks)

4. Wash rice, divide meat chunks from the broth

5. Prepare the pan: put some spoons of the fat that swims on the surface of your broth or spread some spoons oil, and cover the bottom of the top with thick slices of the big onion. This is actually my invention cause I like the taste of onions and here onions serve as a protection layer instead of backing sheet (some people put baking sheet on the bottom of the pan, some put tomatoes). The second layer are thick slices of tomato and the third are slices of fried eggplant. Then you put 1/2 amount of washed, drained rice. Next layer should be meat, then cauliflower, then the rest of the rice and then eggplant slices.

6. When ready with the layers, pour the broth over the dish. Broth should reach the top of the last layer, if it does't, add water. Taste the broth if there is enough salt. Cover the pan with aluminium sheet and simmer until rice is ready (usually about 1/2 hour). After that try to take the makluba away as it was a cake :) You can sprinkle it with toasted pine nuts and serve with yoghurt.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Polish black locust fritters

Polish: robinia akacjowa / grochodrzew
Upper Sorbian: běła robinija
Korean: 아까시나무
Serbian: багрем
Romanian: salcâm
Vietnamese: dương hòe
Czech: trnovník akát
Slovakian: agát biely
Ukrainian: біла акація
French: robinier faux-acacia

Black locust is a grateful tree. Belongs to the pea family and is improperly called acacia (but caling it false acacia is true, following the latin name robinia pseudoacacia). Probably you often have a walk around your country plot and smell its intensive aroma and you even never thought that you could pick some and prepare delicious fritters. In my homeland, Poland, black locust fritters (racuchy akacjowe) are maybe not the most common sweet snack, but belong to the most favourite childhood memories of the summertime in the countryside and people still willingly prepare them in the springtime, if they only can find black locust tree away from the contamination of big cities and cars. There are several recipes to prepare this great breakfast dish or sweet evening snack; here is mine:

1 cup* black locust flowers**
1 apple (should be sour!)
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup condensed milk (7,5% or 10% fat)***
1 egg yolk
1 pack vanilla sugar

1*. After collecting black locust, what you have to do is to switch on some interesting film so that in the emantime you can divide flowers from the panicles. Some people (see elder flower pancakes recipe) just deep the whole panicles in the batter. You can do it of course but a) it won't taste that good, b) black locust is generally considered toxic, with the exception of the flowers!

2. Beat egg yolk with vanilla sugar and a bit of salt. Add condensed milk (3,5% whole milk or yoghurt can be used instead***).

3. Swift flour with baking powder and add to the milk-yolk cream

4. Peel apple and cut into tiny chunks or grate it. Apple is important to add somesour taste; otherwise, fritters taste a bit insipid (some say that similar to soap :P) Mix with the batter and add black locust flowers. I once added a handful of chopped rose petals** to make the fritters look more colourful ( observed no differrence in taste). Mix everything well and fry.

(black locust fritters with rose petals**)