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.