Friday, September 23, 2011

Sour beetroot soup - barszcz / borscht...

It is widely known and liked soup, not only in Poland but mainly in Eastern Europe. I used sour beetroot juice I made earlier, but you can easily add acidity to your barszcz by adding either vinegar or lemon juice - it's not 'authentic' but you'll get pretty similar result.
Barszcz in Poland is mainly eaten on Fridays, as it's usually vegetarian soup and in many parts of Poland during Wigilia, on Christmas Eve.
I like mine with a hard boiled egg and boiled, diced potatoes, sometimes with a teaspoon of cream to make it less sour. Traditionally barszcz is served with uszka or sometimes with a krokiet on the side. It's completely up to you and your own taste how you eat it!

"The basic Polish borscht (barszcz) recipe includes red beetroot, onions, garlic, and other vegetables such as carrots and celery or root parsley. The ingredients are cooked for some time together to produce a clear broth (when strained), and the soup is then served as boullion in cups or in other ways. Some recipes include bacon as well, which gives the soup a distinctive "smoky" taste. (...) A key component to the taste of barszcz is acidity. While barszcz can be made easily within a few hours by simply cooking the ingredients and adding vinegar, lemon juice, or citric acid; the traditional way is to prepare barszcz several days in advance and allow it to naturally sour. Depending on the technique, the level of acidity required, and the ingredients available, barszcz takes 3–7 days to prepare in this way." - by Wikipedia.org




How to make it...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sour, fermented beetroot juice for borscht (barszcz)...

I know that it may sound horrible, but believe me it's the key ingredient for anyone who wants to try the 'real deal' which is borscht. It's very easy to make and beetroots are mainly what you need. I have to admit though, that it was my first time making sour beetroot juice, as it's my Dad who always makes it (and I had to give him a call to check the details ;) ). You can easily keep it in the kitchen, pantry, utility room but just away from the direct sunlight and maybe not next to heater etc. You can use your beets twice for it, but the second batch of the juice will be less sour.
It's something very traditional, especially in Eastern Europe, but as everything else it's slowly being forgotten. I think we should keep those traditions (not only the culinary ones) alive. Hope you'll give it a go!





How to make it...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Jam doughnut style muffins...

Those muffins are great! Highly addictive! They're way easier than traditional doughnuts and healthier too (for what it's worth you're not deep frying them but baking). Very quick and easy to make too. I usually make them when baking the bread. The most energy consuming is actually heating the oven so once it's on the full swing I use it for baking muffins etc. and bread dough has ideal warm condition for rising.


How to make it...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Stuffed zucchini (or courgette) with tomato sauce...

I don't know about other countries but in Poland we love our stuffed veges. it will normally be either stuffed peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini, cabbage leaves etc. this time we tried zucchini - and it was great! You have to look for 'fat' ones so you can put as much stuffing inside as you can. The sauce is simple too - I used a big jar of ready made tomatoes pasta sauce but you can easily make your own - pureed tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil, some garlic and that's it!
Another thing - it was hard for me to give you exact quantities of the sauce needed here - the main thing is that it has to cover your stuffed veges.



How to make it...

Monday, September 05, 2011

Gypsy tart...

I've heard so much about Gypsy tart and wanted to try it for a long time. I couldn't believe that 3 ingredients - pastry, evaporated milk and sugar can taste sooo good. My Hubby called it 'weird' - not bad not good just weird... Well, I love it! It's perfect with some strong, black coffee and a spoon full of crème fraîche.



"A gypsy tart is a type of pie made with evaporated milk, muscovado sugar (though some varieties include light brown sugar), and pie crust. It originates from the County of Kent in England. The tart is extremely sweet and is, for many people, associated with school dinners (...) Originating in Kent, the story behind this pie is that during the early part of the 20th century a lady regularly saw undernourished gypsy children playing in the fields next to her house. One day she decided to feed them but had nothing more than a pie crust, evaporated milk and brown sugar. She made the sweet tart and henceforth the tart has been a Kentish tradition, present in many Kentish bakeries and of course, a regular on school dinner menus during the 1960s, 70s and 80s." - by Wikipedia.org



How to make it...

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Yes, indeed the best pancakes ever...!

I wish I could take credit for those - but I can't. Those are really, truly, the best breakfast pancakes ever - and I've tried good few recipes... This one comes from a lovely blog 'A feast for the eyes'.
Those pancakes are very quick and easy to make, they're rising very well and are light and fluffy. I was a little skeptical at the beginning when reading the list of ingredients... a vinegar... in pancakes... yack! But you can't taste it and that vinegar is that secret ingredient which makes everything better! So give it a go on those lazy, weekend mornings - I assure you - you'll love it!
I had them first with some maple syrup - heavenly! - and then with some strawberry yogurt - yum!... The below version is "full on" - honey, yogurt, strawberry jam and even diced banana! Because WHY NOT?! ;)






How to make it...