Sunday, 29 March 2009

Waffle cake tutorial + vanilla filling

Wafer cake (torcik waflowy, sometimes called pishinger) is very popular in Poland, but also in Russia and probably other east-european countries. Simply wafer sheets filled with differrent kind of creams. Thanks to Feedjit I know that many internauts visit my blog in search of filled wafer cake recipe, and I know that some of you make this cake in a wrong way. That is why I decided to give you a kind of tutorial, to explain you step by step how to prepare this delicious, simply no-bake cake.

First of all, you need big wafer sheets (outside Poland, available in Polish or Russian groceries) -> like these or these. There are even heart-shaped waffles :) Don't you believe me? Go and see what a Polish blogger made with her waffles in a free time :)

Secondly, you have to choose the filling. There are plenty of differrent fillings, for example:
- toffee filling (or more extravagant: toffee with cookies)
- fruity filling
- helva filling
- peanut cream filling*
- eggnog cream filling
- honey cream filling
- lekvar-choco filling
- cacao cream filling
- vanilla cream filling
The most popular fillings in Poland are toffee filling (cook a can of condensed milk for 3 hours in a pot with water, open the can, beat the toffee that you just obtained with some soft butter) or powdered milk-based cacao cream. I promise to show you in the future more differrent filling recipes.
*this filling is delicious but you need to double or triple this recipe to be able to fill 1 pack of wafer sheets

Third thing is decoration. You can just leave undecorated filled wafers and cut them into diamonds, or spread with chocolate glaze and sprinkle with chopped nuts (other ideas are more than welcome). Torcik waflowy is often made for Easter and decorated just like mazurek, a famous Polish Easter cake. Just decorate waffle cake like mazurek or cut it into a shape of egg and decorate - like here or here.

Ok. If you already have made your plans, let's start!

1. Prepare enough cream (better more than less). At least 2 cups of cream for 1 pack of waffles.

2. Smear cream on waffles, when it is still warm! Don't skimp it, remember to cover the whole waffle with about 5mm of filling! Start from the inside.

Remember, begin with a wafer sheet and end with a wafer sheet - cream should stay inside! Cause...

3. ...cause when you are done with smearing waffles, now you have to wrap your cake into a baking paper or culinary aluminium paper. Leave it in a cool place and load it by putting a heavy big enciclopedia on the top of the wrapped cake! If not, soft (by a warm cream) waffle sheets will probaly deform. By loading our cake, it stays well-shaped and the filling glues wafer sheets (but remember, just like I said before, each sheet needs a lot of filling!) the best would be to leave the cake overnight but if not, than at least 2 hours. After that time, sheets will stay soft and the filling won't run down by cutting the cake!

4. Only now you can cut your cake into diamonds (or any other portions) and put on a plate or... decorate it and serve without cutting.

Now the fifth filling option (after toffe, fruity, helva and peanut filling), the one my mum got from my aunt Basia, who makes the best cakes of the world: sweet and delicious milky vanilla filling

1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
250 gr margarine (important: no butter!)
3 cups powdered milk*
few drops vanilla flavouring
(optionally: 1/2 teaspoon cocoa. If you add 3-4 tablespoons pure cocoa powder, you'll obtain vanilla-cocoa cream)
*If your cream is thick enough, you can add a bit less powdered milk. Or, take 2 cups powdered milk and 1 cup ground walnuts/almods/coconut flakes!

1. In a saucepan, bring to boil milk, margarine and sugar. Pour into a bowl and gradually add small amounts of powdered milk (nuts, cocoa) and flavouring and stir well all the time (make no clumps!). Smear waffles... well... and follow the tutorial instructions above (from point 2) :)

2. Optionally, melt 100 gr milk chocolate with 25 gr copha (coconut fat), decorate the cake, sprinkle with chopped nuts, decorate with nut halves, candies, coconut flakes or anything you like! It's really delicious!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Polish Jews sweet matzo pancakes

Polish: maca
Slovakian: maces
Arabic: مصة
Hebrew: מצה
Dutch: matse
German: Matze
Russian: маца
Romanian: pască
Portuguese: matzá
Japanese: マッツァー

Many dishes of Polish Jews are today considered regional specialities, and same time Polish regional cuisine left influences in Jewish recipes. Matzo and challah are available in most Polish groceries; Bagels originates in Poland; raw potato fritters, stuffed goose necks, fish in almonds and raisins, red cabbage salad and noodle-curd pies are eaten commonly at Vistula river. Nevertheless, many Polish Jews dishes are today forgotten, but thanks God there still are old cookbooks :) Here is a great recipe for Polish Jews delicacy, sweet matzo pancakes, called chremzel.

100 gr matzo
50 gr almonds
50 gr sugar
4 eggs
200 ml wine
a pinch of salt
a pinch of baking powder
a drop of almond flavouring

1. Grind matzo and peeled almonds in coffee grinder. Heat wine with sugar (leave 3 tablespoons apart). Pour warm wine over ground matzo and almonds.

2. Beat yolks with resting sugar (those 3 tablespoons). Whisk egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Combine yolks with wine matzo, almond flavouring and baking powder. Add stiff egg whites and slightly mix under matzo dough.

3. Fry small pancakes in oil. Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

Polish dill soup

Polish: koperek
Berber: aslili
Dhivehi: ދަމުއި
Manx: lus veein
Greek: άνηθο
Spanish: eneldo
Japanese: イノンド
German: Dill
Persian: شوید
Basque: ezamihilu

Dill was the most favourite seasoning of a Polish medieval poet, Mikołaj Rej. I guess Mikołaj never ate young boiled potatoes with butter and dill, accompaigned by a glass of fresh kefir or soured milk, a popular summer Polish meal, cause in medieval Poland potatoes were still unknown. But I guess he could know the taste of herring in dill, soured cucumbers pickled with dill, fish in dill sauce or dill soup (maybe a bit different than mine). Polish zupa koperkowa, dill soup, is really a very tasty dish. And an extremely easy one, you will be done in 10 minutes!!! Eat dill and you'll be strong, dill was stimulating Roman gladiators and strengthing Egyptian pyramid constructors :)

2 buns dill (from 1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped dill)
1 l vegetable or chicken stock
1 carrot
1 onion
100 gr processed cheese (melted cheese - Polish serek topiony, German Schmelzkäse) or thick sour cream (but it tastes better with cheese!)
tiny noodles (like those , those or those or any other small noodles. Eventually, take 1/2 cup rice and cook it in the stock just like it would be noodles)

1. Chop dill finely and slightly fry in oil. Grate carrot and chop onion and fry them, too. Add them to the stock (homemade or from cube). Add noodles. Cook until noodles are done.

2. Take a cup of the soup and, in a bowl, whisk well with processed cheese or sour cream. Add to the soup and stir. It's ready! You can sprinkle the soup with some fresh (not fried) chopped dill before serving.

Monday, 23 March 2009

US-American buckwheat cookies

Polish: ciasteczko
Kawésqar: kilíta
Mapunzugun: kochüke kofke
Quechua: qhapukillu
Guarani: mbujapemi
Aymara: misk'i t'ant'alla
Cheyenne: vé'keekóhkonôheo'o
Maliseet: sukolopanis
Naskapi: kwaaihkunaas
Ojibwe: pakwezhigaans

For language fans, cookie in Polish and some native American languages :) For cookie fans, a great cookies recipe, but a special one, with buckwheat flour. I love buckwheat so I couldn't resist, when I saw Alice Medrich's buckwheat recipe from her "Pure Dessert" book. This recipe was circulating in the web between American culinary bloggers. I changed it a little but and I promise, buckwheat flour gives those American cookies a tasty, surprising, nutty twist!

1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
225 gr soft butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder + 1/3 cup chopped peanuts (unsalted)
(originally: 1/3 cup cocoa nibs)
a pinch of salt
few drops vanilla extract

1. Sift both flours with cocoa powder. Beat soft butter with sugar and salt until creamy and fluffy. Mix all the ingredients together and work the dough the way it stays homogeneous.

2. Wrap the dough into a plactic bag and roll it as thin as you want it to have. Or, form a long roll - you will cut slices of it like salami :) After 2-3 hours (or after night) cut cookes using a cookie cutter or knife. Bake 15 minutes in 180C oven.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Israeli date pastries

Polish: daktyl
Portuguese: tâmara
Xhosa: umhla
Sicilian: rattula
Romanian: curmală
Azeri: xurma
Arabic: تَمْر
Kurdish: salroj
Malay: buah kurma
Mokshan: fig

Mammouls are delicious stuffed pastries, eaten in the whole Near East. They can be filled with dates, walnuts, pistachios, dates with sesame seeds and so on. they are a festivity cookie, eaten (depends on religion of the eater and on the filling) during Easter, Ramadan, Hanukkah and Purim. I ate once great Lebanese mammouls with pistachio filling in the most important moment of my life and that is why I will never forget its taste. Again, using great Elizabeth Wolf-Cohen's book "Jüdische Küche", I prepared Israeli mammouls (מעמול) with date filling and they were incredibly tasty and similar to the Lebanese ones I ate. However, Jewish and Arab recipes differ and I will show you Arab recipe another day, too.

(to make 12 pastries)
175 gr flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1+1 tablespoon orange blossom essence
90 gr soft butter
100 gr pitted dried dates
icing sugar to sprinkle

1. Combine flour with sugar. Add milk, orange water and butter and knead. Optionally, add few more milk but don't add too much cause the dough can't be sticky! Form walnut-size balls (I made 12).

2. Prepare the filling: chop dates finely and add orange blossom water (or optionally a bit of water to make the consistency better, but I just soaked dried dates in water before chopping them and it made everything easier, I simply strained them and chopped)

3. With your fingers, make a hole in dough balls and stuff each ball with a teaspoon of the filling. Close the balls and form them anyhow you wish. Mammouls can be formed with special wooden molds like these or you can shape them in your hands with a help of tongs (see also here , here and here). To inspire yourself, take a look at these pics: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
And here are my no-mould-no-tongs-hand-made mammouls :)

ps. my mum asked me to make mammouls with our homemade chokeberry jam as a filling. I guess I'd like to experiment, I am sure it would taste great!

Friday, 20 March 2009

Israeli olive oil bread rolls

Polish: oliwka
Romanian: măslină
Ligurian: auriva
Sicilian: aliva
Hausa: zàitùn
Basque: oliba
Kabyle: azemmur
Greek: ελιά
Caló: letaya
Hebrew: זית

To be honest, I hated olives and olive oil. My sister, after her travel to Valencia, brought to us a new habit of sprinkling bread with olive oil and juice squeezed directly with hands from a fresh tomato. I couldn't stand that taste until I went... to Chile. Once my lovely Chilean friends, Susy and Diego, bought a pack of olives for our trip at the sea side. I tried one reluctantly and... I fell in love :) Now I understand my friends who are able to eat the whole jar while going bakc home from the grocery, cause I sometimes do the same. But I don't care, they are healthy and delicious!
My brother bought 1 kg of black olives and I was wondering wether to eat them all, make tapenade or Palestinian ragout with olives and chicken... But yet I decided to try another recipe from Elizabeth Wolf-Cohen's book "Jüdische Küche", which my sister and brother-in-law gave me for Christmas. But I made some small changes in this recipe. If you love olives, try Israeli olive breads, לחם זיתים!

(for 9 buns)
350 gr flour
90 gr buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
a pinch of pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dried yeast
225 ml lukewarm water
300 gr black olives (pitted)

1. If you use bread machine (as I did), just pour the water to the recipient and add salt, sugar, oil, oregano, sieved flour and yeast and set for a kneading program. If you use your hands, put all dry ingredients into a bowl (sieve flours of course) and slowly add warm water and oil and knead. Cover and set in a warm place to let the dough grow (it takes about 1 hour)

2. When you are ready with 1st point, the dough is twice as big as it was while kneading, chop olives and knead the dough again, together with olives. Form buns (I made 9) and leave them for about 30 minutes to grow again.

3. You can eventually lightly cut your buns lenghtwise or make a cross with a knife. Bake about 20 minutes in 180C oven. And that's it!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Polish (Silesian) herring appetizer

Polish: śledź
Ukrainian: оселедець
Lithuanian: silkė
Faroese: sild
Mari: селедка
Manx: skeddan
Venetian: renga
Occitan: arenc
Korean: 청어
Indonesian: biang-biang

Hekele is a great Silesian appetizer made basically from herrings. Simple, healthy and delicious, eaten like a salad or with bread.

2 herring filets (mine were about 200 gr)
2 eggs
2 sour pickled cucumbers (about 100 gr)
1/2 onion
1 tablespoon mustard
salt, pepper

I guess my proportions are not proper, cause I should take twice or maybe thrice more herrings, but I personally prefer to not loose the taste of eggs.

1. Cut herrings into small chunks. Boil eggs until hard (about 8 minutes), peel cucumbers and onion, chop everything finely. Add mustard, season with pepper and optionally salt.

2. If you want to transform hekele into a wonderful salad, add few cooked and chopped potatoes and champignons.

I don't like mustard too much so I added 1 tablespoon of mustard and 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise :) That is why my hekele look so white :) Oh, and I decorated the whole plate with chopped chives.

A very similar herring salad is eaten in my family at a Christmas Supper. That is why I add this recipe to my Christmas Menu collection.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Belarussian sweet yeast buns

Sweet yeast buns, part 2.: Belarussian sour cream buns, cметанники (smetanniki). Very similar to vatrushki, but this dough is less fluffy, more like a typical bread roll and a bit less like a sweet yeast bun. Great for breakfast.

to make 16 buns

5 cups flour
30 gr fresh yeast
250 ml milk
3 eggs
1 cup milk
2/3 cup sugar
130 gr butter
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons butter (melted)
4 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sugar
(optionally 1 egg to smear the surface of buns before baking)

1. Melt yeast in warm milk. Add 2/3 cup flour, whisk to eliminate lumps and set in a warm place, waiting for bubbles.

2. Whisk eggs with sugar, add melted butter and the rest of the ingredients. Add flour at the end. Do it slowly and stop when the dough is not sticky anymore (it depends on the humidity of your flour, but it should be about 5 cups). knead and set aside in a warm place. When the dough is twice as big as it was just after kneading, knead it again and form buns. Just like in vatrushki recipe, make holes. leave buns to grow a bit more, spear with whisked egg (this time I didn't do it, but I recommend!), fill with sour cream filling (just combine together all the ingredients of the filling) and bake about 20 minutes in 180C oven.

Russian sweet yeast buns

Polish: drożdżówka
Turkish: çörek
Portuguese: pãozinho
Czech: houska
Russian: булочка
French: petit pain
Hebrew: לחמנייה

Ватрушки (vatrushki) are delicious Russian yeast buns, filled usually with fresh cheese, but also with jam, millet, potato puree or apple filling. This is the first of three sweet yeast buns recipe which I just baked: Russian cheese buns, Polish custard buns and Belarussian sour cream buns :)

(to make 8 buns)
400 gr flour
60 gr butter
60 gr sugar
2 eggs
yeast (25 gr fresh or 7 gr dried)
1/2 teaspoon salt
125 ml milk
1 teaspoon mayonnaise

250 gr fresh curd cheese (twaróg)
2 eggs (1 yolk separately)
25 gr icing sugar
1 pack vanilla sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour

1. Add yeast to warm milk. Set in a warm place for a short time (until it bubbles). After that, sieve flour and add the rest of the ingredients (all of them should be of a room temperature, that is imprescindible when you make a yeast dough!!!) and knead or put them in a bread machine (which I did).

If you do the dough with your own hands, knead until it is homogeneous and elastic. Set in a warm place until it doubles its surface and knead again.

2. Prepare the filling: press the cheese through a sieve, beat eggs with sugar and vanilla sugar (1 yolk waits separately!), add very soft butter, sieve flour and mix everything together.

3. Form apple-size buns. Press each bun with a bottom of a glass (previously, deep it in flour). Leave them for some time to grow again, spread with the resting yolk, fill with cheese and bake (about 20 minutes in 180C oven). Eat warm with a glass of milk.

Ukrainian sauerkraut pancakes

Polish: kiszona kapusta
Ukrainian: капуста квашена
Italian: crauti
Estonian: hapukapsas
Finnish: hapankaali
Romanian: varză acră
Albanian: lakra turshi
Luxembourgian: Sauermous
Slovak: kyslá kapusta
Dutch: zuurkool

Sauerkraut is absolutely beloved in Poland. I buy it often in a fresh-air-markt near to my home, together with sour red cabbage, sour gherkins and gherkin kvas (to prepare borscht or bread). This healthy cabbage is especially often eaten in the wintertime in the whole eastern, central and northern Europe. The recipe I am gonna show you now is just fantastic. It is a version of potato pancakes, placki ziemniaczane, brothers of Jewish latkes, but in this wonderful Ukrainian recipe, sauerkraut is added. I think I am addicted to oладки з квашеної капусти, potato-sauerkraut pancakes :)

for 6 big pancakes:
200 gr sauerkraut
500 gr potatoes (uncooked)
1 medium onion
few chives
1 egg
salt, pepper and caraway to taste
(if needed, also 1-2 tablespoons flour)

1. Chop sauerkraut, onion, chives and grind potatoes (I was too lazy and ground them in a meat grinder, which method I recommend as it works great even with raw potatoes). Put on a sieve and let the juice flow away. This is important!

2. Add whisked egg and seasoning. If there is still too much juice from potatoes and cabbage, you will have to add few flour.

3. Fry thin big pancakes and serve with sour cream

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Polish horseradish soup

Polish: chrzan
Ossetian: туттургъан
Hebrew: חזרת הגינה
faroese: piparrót
Galician: labestro
Spanish: rábano picante
Greek: αγριοραπάνια
Estonian: mädarőigas
Latvian: mārrutka
Ukrainian: хрін

Horseradish is an important ingredient of Easter menu in Poland. I am slowly composing Easter menu, so last week I was trying a regional recipe for a horseradish soup from southern Poland highlander town, Lanckorona (chrzanówka lanckorońska), to be able to choose the best soup for Easter breakfast. I recommend this spicy soup to all fans of horseradish, turnip, rutabaga, garden cress and radish.

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

1l whey*
5 tablespoons freshly ground horseradish
5 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon flour
2 garlic cloves
3 eggs
1 teaspoon lovage
salt, pepper to taste
(+ originally ribs and a bit of sausage)

1*. Don't have whey? To obtain about 1l of whey, take 1,5l milk and 2-3 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice. Bring milk on a low heat with vinegar/lemon juice without boiling, until it curdles. This is it, now you have to separate curd from whey using a fine sieve. (Of course, don't throw the curd, just eat it with scallions, dill and garlic on a slice of fresh bread!)

2. In a saucepan, put ribs and sausage (or a vegetable stock cube), ground horseradish and chopped eggs. Pour whey over the ingredients and slowly bring to boil. Season with salt and pepper. Take the meat off.

3. In a bowl, perfectly whisk flour with sour cream to omit lumps. Add 1 cup of your warm soup from the pan and whisk again. Now add this mixture to the soup and cook. Add lovage and ground garlic 1 minute before serving.

4. Serve with cooked potatoes sprinkled with fresh dill and parsley green.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Polish potato-buckwheat-cheese pie

Polish: gryka
Lithuanian: sėjamasis grikis
Romanian: hrișcă
Upper Sorbian: hejduška
Hungarian: hajdina
Croatian: heljda
Slovenian: ajda
Czech: pohanka
Bulgarian: обикновена елда
English: buckwheat

The eastern-Polish city Biłgoraj is famous from its buckwheat-potato-cheese pie, called in Polish piróg (or sometimes pieróg) biłgorajski. This is a great winter or early spring dish, when there still are no fresh vegetables available. You can serve it warm with your favourite salad.

1 kg potatoes
400 gr buckwheat
500 gr fresh curd cheese (twaróg)
2 big onions
3 eggs (separate 1 egg white)
1 teaspoon dried mint
salt, pepper

1. Wash potatoes and cook them unpeeled. Peel them olny when cooked and soft. Mash them with a knife or use potato press. Mix potato puree with washed, but uncooked buckwheat grains. Set aside for minimum 1/2 hour - groats will be softer since they are combined with warm puree.

2. Chop onions and fry until golden brown. Crush twaróg between fingers (you could use any fresh cheese, ricotta or feta or anything, but remember, twaróg is not salty at all so if you add a salty cheese, don't add salt anymore or add only a few) or with a fork. Whisk eggs (without that eggwhite) with salt, pepper and mint, add cheese and onion.

3. Combine all the previously prepared ingredients together. Spread with the eggwhite you set aside. Bake in the oven (180C) 90 minutes. Cut into squares and serve with yoghurt or kefir and your favourite salad

ps. my piróg is quite short cause I made only half portion. It should be twice thicker :)

Iraqi carrot soup

Polish: zupa
Cornish: yskel
Guarani: jukysy
Pitjantjatjara: tjuupa
Irish: anraith
Japanese: スープ
Slovenian: juha
Valencian: brou
Hindi: सूप
Zulu: isobho

A delicious Iraqi soup, again!

500 gr carrots
4 medium tomatoes
4 celery stalks
2 medium onions
2 garlic cloves
100 gr vermicelli noodles
1 teaspoon curry powder
salt, pepper

1. Grate carrots on the finest grater. Cut celery stalks into thin slices. Puree peeled tomatoes. Cut onions into slices. Grate garlic cloves.

2. In a saucepan, fry onions in oil. When they turn golden, add garlic and tomato puree. Fry until tomato puree thickens. Transfer to the pot with 6 cups of water

3. Now it's time to fry grated carrots and celery slices (separately). When carrots are sligltly yellowish and sceleries a bit brownish, transfer them to the soup pot, too. Season and bring to boil. Cook about 10 minutes, add noodles, cook 10 minutes more (or until noodles are done)

Monday, 9 March 2009

French (+ Jewish) pear tarte

Polish: gruszka
Cree: ᑳᔒᐅᐯᒋᓯᑦ
Blackfoot: ómahkínaotohton
Cheyenne: éškôsa'ehe
Quechua: pira
Mohawk: katshe'kahik
Guarani: yvavo’ĩ
Papago: pihlas
Maliseet: sikusq

Happy Women's Day! I know it was yesterday but better later than never! I wish all the best to all the women of the world, and especially to food lovers and guests on my blog! i baked something for you - a great French pear-almond tart (tarte aux poires et amandes), I usually try to use season fruits and vegetables but I just wanted so much to eat this tarte yesterday that I had to prepare it :) I took this recipe from a great book written by Elizabeth Wolf-Cohen titled "Jüdische Küche".

175 gr flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons icing sugar
120 gr butter (or, as suggested in the book, parve margarine)
2 egg yolks (+ 1 tablespoom cold water)
2 eggs
50 gr sugar
90 gr ground almonds + 2 tablespoon sliced almonds
few drops almond aroma
2 big pears (about 500 gr)

1. Prepare the pie crust pastry: knead flour, icing sugar, salt, butter / margarine and 2 yolks whisked with 1 tablespoon cold water. Cover with paper and set in the fridge for 2-3 hours (or better overnight)

2. Butter a tarte-form and sprinkle with flour, roll the dough and fill the form. Put a sheet of baking paper on it and spread some beans to bake blind . Bake 10-15 minutes in 200C

3. Peel pears and cut into thin slices and arrange them on the baked shell. Separate yolks and whites from 2 left eggs. Beat yolks with sugar until almost white and fluffy, add ground almonds and aroma. Whisk whites until stiff. Add to yolk cream and pour over pears. Sprinkle with almond flakes. Bake about 30 minutes in 180C. I recommend to cover the tarte with baking paper to prevent excessive toasting of the top of the tarte. It smells delicious and tastes really really great! We ate it just as it was, au naturel :P but I guess a great idea would be serving it with vanilla sauce, whipped cream or ice-cream!

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Iraqi lentil-pumpkin soup

Polish: zupa
Bashkir: Һурпа
Armenian: սուպ
Quechua: chupi
Hebrew: מרק
Chinese: 汤
Tatar: aş
Marathi: रस
Mari: шӱр
Czech: polévka

I could eat soups for breakfast, lunch, supper, dessert, five o'clock tea... The one I am gonna write about now, Iraqi lentil-pumpkin soup (schurbat adas ma qar) is one of the best soups that a human being could ever imagine.

1 kg pumpkin flesh*
500 gr tomatoes
300 gr red lentils
2 big onions
pepper, salt, paprica to season

1. Cook (washed) lentils in 2 l water for 1/2 hour

2. In a frying pan heat some oil and fry chopped onions until goldenbrown. Add diced pumpkin flesh (cubes should be rather small) and saute. Puree peeled tomatoes (or grate tomatoes with kitchen grater as I always do) and add to the pan; stew few minutes more (tomato puree should thicken a bit)

3. Add the content of the pan to the pot with lentils, season and simmer on a low heat 1/2 hour more. Serve with Arabic bread and slices of lemon.

*you can take zucchini instead of pumpkin

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Estonian rye bread mousse

Polish: chleb żytni
German: Roggenbrot
Albanian: bukë thekre
Finnish: ruisleipä
Russian: ржаной хлеб
Swedish: rågbröd
Greek: ψωμί σικάλεωσ
Bahasa Indonesia: roti hitam
Portuguese: pão de centeio
Czech: žitný chléb

Does a simple rye bread serve only to prepare sandwiches? In Baltic countries deffinitely no. Once I found in a grocery a delicious yoghurt with rye bread crumbles from Lithuania. Since that time I was looking for other sweet dessert recipes with rye bread. For instance, in Estonia people know how to prepare delicious rye bread sweet soup, rye bread pudding or cake or a wonderful rye bread mousse (leivakreem). I guess if there is rye bread ice cream? :)

To prepare 2 portions of leivakreem, you need:

few slices of rye bread (about 100 gr)
300 ml whipping cream
1 tablespoon butter
a pinch of cinnamon
40 gr sugar + 40 gr vanillasugar

1. If your bread slices are not dry enough, dry them in a toaster or oven. Then, grate

2. Fry bread crumbs in butter with sugar. Add cinnamon and set aside to cool

3. Whip the cream and when ready, add cooled breadcrumbs. Serve with any kind of sour jam (I used mirabelle)

ps. some people also add 1 teaspoon of gelatine to the mousse (just sprinkle the gelatine with few cold water, set aside for 5 minutes, warm shortly in microwave and beat together with whipping cream. Of course in this case you'll have to wait about 2hours before serving the mousse)

US-American stuffed butternut

Polish: dynia piżmowa
English: butternut squash
Spanish: zapallo anco
Swedish: bisampumpa
French: courge musquée
Quechua: lakawiti
Tamil: கல்யாணப் பூசணி
Hebrew: דלורית
Dutch: muskaatpompoen

A great recipe for American stuffed butternut squash:

1 medium butternut squash (1 kg)
100 gr blue cheese (I took Bavarian Blue)
1/2 cup crushed walnuts
1 onion, 1 garlic clove
a handful of breadcrumbs
optionally: salt, pepper

1. Cut cleaned squash lengthways in two halves, scoop out the seeds. Put some butter and mashed garlic in each cavity, brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 1 hour in the oven (200 C). The flesh has to be tender.

2. Scoop the flesh, leaving about 1 cm of flesh attached to the skin. Put it into a bowl with the butter-garlic juice. Mash it with blue cheese, chopped onion and nuts. You can add your favourite herbs (thyme, basil, oregano). Spoon back into squash halves and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake about 15 minutes more.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Russian milky rutabaga soup

Polish: mleko
Vepsian: maid
Udmurt: mel
Sakha/Yakut: үүт
Tatar: söt
Kalmyk: sün
Tuvin: süt
Bashkir: Һөт
Buryat: hün
Chuvash: cĕт

Language freaks will surely enjoy a small translation list of milk in few Russian Federation languages (plus, Polish, as always).
Food freaks will surely enjoy a milky recipe. So everyone is content :)

Milk soups are a part of my childhood memory. In eastern Poland milk soups in hunderts of varieties are eaten especially as a breakfast or a light evening meal. After milk, they can contain noodles (bought or homemade ones), grits, rice, millet, carrot or pumpkin. Milk soups as a dinner are more popular in Russia. There are plenty of varieties and I want to share milk-rutabaga-buckwheat soup recipe, cause it is one of those which I already tried and really liked.

see also: Polish milk and couliflower soup
see also: Polish milk and pumpkin breakfast soup

So here it is, Russian молочный суп из брюквы. To prepare it you will need:

500 gr rutabaga
500 gr potatoes
100 gr buckwheat
1 tablespoon butter
1 l milk
salt and caraway

1. Cut rutabaga in 2 halves. Put into a saucepan with cold water and bring to boil. Pour the water away, peel and cut rutabaga into cubes. Peel and cut potatoes into cubes, too.

2. Wash buckwheat. Boil 1 l water, add buckwheat, cubed vegatables and butter. After 10 minutes of cooking, add milk. Cook on a low heat and season with salt and caraway.