Tag Archives: sour cream

Latvia…

Sunday, November 10 –

This dinner was good. Really good. I would make it again and my diet would hate me. If you want a rich, filling, delicious meal that most people would like, this is a good option for you. It was just BestestHusbandEver and latviame and I really wish more people could have experienced the plate-licking goodness.

I started by putting the potatoes on to boil. Then I started the cream sauce. We didn’t end up picking up mushrooms for it (which totally broke BestestHusbandEver’s heart *ahem*) so it was an onion cream sauce instead. Once that was done I coated the pork, fried it hot and fast in oil, and set them aside. BestestHusbandEver drained the potatoes and put the rest of the ingredients in the pan so that everything would get coated evenly.

Dinner was served. The potatoes were perfectly cooked and the sour cream and dill on the outside was a wonderful way of preparing them. The pork was juicy and tender and the cream sauce was so good!

Latvia
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.saveur.com)

Karbonāde (Pork Cutlets With Canterelle Cream Sauce) 

  • 1/4 cup canola oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 10 3–4-oz. pork cutlets, pounded to 1/4″-thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 4 cups roughly chopped chanterelle mushrooms
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Place flour in a medium bowl, and whisk together eggs and 1/4 cup water in another medium bowl; set both aside. Season cutlets with salt and pepper, then dredge 3 cutlets in flour. Dip in egg mixture until evenly coated, then place in skillet; cook, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to serving platter and repeat with remaining cutlets, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

Add butter to skillet, then onion; cook, stirring often, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until they release their liquid and begin to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Add cream and cook, stirring, until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. To serve, pour sauce over cutlets, and sprinkle with parsley.

Kartupeli ar Dillem (Boiled Potatoes With Dill)

  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 lb. small Yukon Gold or new potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 6 tbsp. minced fresh dill
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Bring an 8-qt. saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to pot with sour cream, dill, butter, salt, and pepper. Cover pan with lid and shake until potatoes are well coated. Transfer to large serving bowl, and season with additional salt and pepper.
Advertisements

Hungary…

Monday, March 18 –

Full house for this dinner, that’s for sure! We had: Hot Momma (wine and bread), Baby Bear, MoneyShot, SlotMachine (cucumber salad, wine, and beer), Officially Gangster, ChinUp (goulash), MyBuddy, photo(5)BestestFianceEver, and yours truly. Whew, what a crowd! And we had some seriously good food, too.

I heated up two large pans and put the cubed pork in, browning the pieces on both sides but not worrying about cooking them all the way through. Then I transferred the pieces from the secondary pan to the main large one and added a little oil to the smaller pan and cooked the onions until they were translucent. In the big pan I added in the paprika, crushed tomato, sugar, bay leaves, water, and drained sauerkraut. Once the onions were done I added them in as well. Covered and set to simmer on low until everyone showed up. Once everyone was over I added the sour cream, stirred, and it was ready to go.

The green beans I rinsed and trimmed off the ends. I put them into a large pot, covered them in water, set it on the stove, covered it and turned it onto medium high. I let that boil until they were tender but not squishy. Drained and set aside. In another pan, while the beans were simmering, I melted the butter, added the onions, and cooked until they were soft. I used dried dill and then added the flour. Once that was well mixed I added the rest, let it bubble, and it thickened pretty quickly. I added the beans, stirred, turned the heat to low and put the lid back on.

That’s all four burners going at once! Which meant I had to quickly shuffle the two extra pans into the sink when everyone showed up so that the goulash could be on the heat as well. And dinner was served!photo(4)

The pork was tender and cooked through after being on low for about 40 minutes. The sauerkraut, tomatoes, and sour cream tasted almost like a vodka sauce for pasta. You almost couldn’t tell it was sauerkraut except for the texture. That with a good crusty bread would be a great warm, filling dinner. The goulash looked tender (I say looked because I didn’t try it, as it was beef) but the potatoes I did nibble on had great flavor and were extremely good. And finally the cucumber salad was a good bright, sharp flavor to cut between the rich flavors.

Definitely a win all around – and all of the plates were scraped clean. Keep these recipes handy!

Hungary
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: http://homepage.interaccess.com/~june4)

Sauerkraut and Pork (Szekely gulyas)

  • 2 lbs. pork cubedphoto(6)
  • 1 &1/2 lbs. sauerkraut, rinse and drained
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbls. lard or oil (if meat is very lean)
  • 2 Tbls. Hungarian sweet paprika (no generic please)
  • 1 large can of crushed tomato (or fresh tomatoes peeled and crushed)
  • 1 Tbls. sugar
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 pint of sour cream (no yogurt please)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Brown the meat and onion (in lard or oil if needed) in a pot with lid. Add the paprika to the meat and onion mix, stir to mix in (do not burn). Put in the drained sauerkraut, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves and sugar. Mix. Cover pot. Cook slowly for about one hour, or until meat is tender. Add the sour cream and stir it in. The aroma will make yphoto(3)our mouth water. Serve in soup plates, with good crusty bread, a meal fit for the Kaiser.

Green Beans with Dill (Kapros zoldbabfozelek)

  • 2 packages of green beans
  • 2 Tbl. Lard or butter
  • 2 Tbl. flour
  • 1/2 cup of sliced onion
  • 1/4 cup of good vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbl. chopped fresh dill

Directions: Cook beans in salted water till tender, not soft. Melt lard or butter, add onions and saute till limp, add chopped dill. Then add flour making a roux. Add 1 cup of water, sugar and vinegar and stir while the sauce gets thick. Add drained beans, and mix, if too thick add a little more water.


Estonia…

Sunday, September 23 –

Little known fact (at least that’s what I tell myself) – curd cheese and cheese curds are NOT the same thing. Damn it. So I only made two of the four recipes, but they all sound good so I’m listing them below anyway.

I started with the pork, cutting it into bite sizes. I chopped the onion pretty small and dumped it in with the pork pieces (one onion and one pound of pork shoulder) and the rest of the ingredients. I mixed it together for a minute or two (no, I didn’t massage it for 15 minutes, I was too burned out from my hectic week), covered it, and put it in the fridge to marinate together.

Once I was ready to start cooking I cut the yellow potatoes into wedges and lined them up on the foil-covered pan. I drizzled them with oil, sprinkled them with caraway seeds and sea salt, and put them into a 400* oven. I flipped them once after about 15 minutes and took them out after 35 minutes.

While the potatoes were in the oven I dumped the pork and onion mixture into a hot pan and cooked it until it was done but still tender.

I served the two dishes with a tomato/cucumber side and sour cream for dipping the potatoes. BestestFianceEver and I had a quiet tv show-watching evening together and enjoyed this dinner. It was good, but nothing to write home about. I really liked the crunchy sea salt on the potatoes, but other than that it was all pretty normal. I do wish I could have made the curd patties, but maybe it was better for my diet that I didn’t.

Almost to the end of the E countries and I’m definitely looking forward to this Fall and the F’s and G’s.

Estonia
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: nami-nami.blogspot.com)

Oven-baked potato wedges with caraway seeds

Take your favorite roasting potato (I use a local variety, Laura, which has a thin pink skin and dark yellow flesh – Estonians like their potatoes to be yellow, not white inside), scrub very clean and cut lengthwise into wedges (four is plenty). Place into an oven tray, preferably large enough to snugly fit the potatoes in one layer. Drizzle generously with oil (and give them a good stir, so they’d be covered with oil), season with sea salt and caraway seeds.

Bake for 35-45 minutes (the timing really depends on the size and variety of your chosen potato) at 200 C/400 F, until the potato wedges are soft inside and crisp & brown outside and a lovely smell of caraway seeds has filled your kitchen. Sprinkle with some extra sea salt, if necessary.

Serve as a side dish with some meat, or simply dip them into some nice sour cream. Mmmmmm….

Estonian Shashlik Recipe  (Traditsiooniline šašlõkk)

  • 1 kg pork shoulder
  • 4 large onions
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar (30% proof)
  • 2 tsp finely ground salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp caster sugar

Cut the pork shoulder into thick slices (about 1,5-2 cm), then into small chunks, sized about 4×4 cm. Place into a large bowl.

Peel the onions and cut into thin slices. Add to the bowl with crushed garlic, salt, pepper and sugar. Sprinkle the vinegar on top.

Now – wearing a pair of kitchen gloves – massage the meat and onion rings for about 10-15 minutes, so the onion juices are released and the seasonings are firmly massaged into the meat chunks. Instead of dark red (as above), the meat should look much paler now. Cover the bowl and leave to marinate for 24 hours.

Pierce the meat chunks into a skewer and cook over hot coals until fully cooked and dark brown outside. (Sorry, I cannot give more accurate timings here – it all depends on your cooking vehicle).

Traditional side dishes would include freshly boiled new potatoes, a cucumber and tomato salad with some sour cream (but a coleslaw would work as well) and some ketchup. Serves 4 to 6, depending on the amount of side dishes.

Syrniki aka curd cheese patties  (Sõrnikud)

  • 500 g curd cheese
  • 2 egg yolks (or 1 egg, if you wish)
  • 60 g plain flour (100 ml), or slightly more, if necessary
  • a generous pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar (for sweet syrniki)
  • flour for breading
  • oil for frying

Combine curd cheese, egg yolks, salt and sugar, if using.

Sprinkle some flour on the work surface and on your hands. Form small patties from the curd cheese mixture (add a spoonful or two of flour, if the mixture is too loose), flatten them slightly. The curd cheese patties should be about 1 cm thick.

(You could put them into the fridge for about and hour – it helps them to stay in shape).

Heat some oil on a frying pan over moderate heat. Fry the syrniki on both sides for 3-5 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Serve when still warm.  Serves 4.

Redcurrant Meringue Pie (Beseekattega punasesõstrakook)

Pastry:

  • 130 g plain/all-purpose flour (250 ml/1 cup)
  • 30 g oats (100 ml)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 125 cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 Tbsp cold water

Filling:

  • 250 g sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp caster sugar
  • grated zest of half a lemon
  • 150 g redcurrants, cleaned (1 cup)
  • 1 Tbsp potato starch or cornflour

Meringue topping:

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 85 g caster sugar (100 ml)

Pastry: mix the dry ingredients, add cubed butter and pulse couple of times, until the mixture is fine and crumbly. Add the water, pulse again briefly. Press the mixture into a dough, then use your fingers and press the dough into a 26 cm pie dish.

Place to rest in a fridge for 30 minutes, then blind bake at 200 C for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 175 Celsius. Mix sour cream, sugar and grated lemon zest, spread on pre-baked pie base.

Gently mix potato starch/cornflour with the cleaned redcurrants and sprinkle on top of the cream layer.

Whisk egg whites and sugar until thick and white, then spread over the filling (or, for an even prettier effect, use a piping bag).

Bake at 175 C oven for about 15 minutes, until the meringue is light golden brown.


Belarus…

Saturday, November 19 –

The recipes this time ended up me-ified before I even got started cooking. I’m trying to learn the lesson about taking the ways people cook that I don’t particularly enjoy (like boiling meat) and fixing it so that I know I’ll enjoy it instead of just grumbling about it once it’s on my plate. This time I started out with the 4 potatoes like the recipe called for, which were peeled and grated by Wonderful Boyfriend. From there I used half of an onion, diced to pretty small chunks and an entire 8 oz. container of fresh crimini mushrooms, also diced pretty small. This made for a half-and-half ratio between the two that I thought would add better flavor to the filling. I put them in a pan with some butter and let them sizzle and brown.

In the next pan went 4 tbl. butter and 2 pounds of pork shoulder. I let them brown just a little on each side, but they weren’t really done (unlike the recipe). Then came the 2 cups of chicken broth, (Yes, chicken. That’s what I had and it worked just fine.) and the bay leaves and salt. I let it simmer for 20 minutes like the recipe called for and worked on the flour mixture while it cooked. I put in 2 tbl. of flour and 4 tbl. of the juices from the pan. It turned into a paste-like substance (like roux recipes normally do, I suppose) but when I added the sour cream, it didn’t un-paste itself. I tried to get it to blend together with a whisk, but it was pretty much a mashing more than mixing. After that had simmered for a little while I added it straight to the pork, without straining it. I thought it would lose all of the thickening if I took all of the chunky flour out. I poured the whole pan into a baking dish and put it into the oven for the 20 minutes the recipe called for.

I went back to the potatoes and made palm-sized patties in my hand, added a scoop of mushroom and onion mixture, put another patty on top and squished it all together. I fried the patties in the same pan that I cooked the pork in, figuring the juices that were lingering would only help add flavor. It took two batches, but they cooked like hashbrowns and browned pretty quickly. I didn’t simmer dried mushrooms to make mushroom broth – I completely skipped that part of the recipe. But fresh mushrooms and butter made an excellent combo in the end. As a side dish I added asparagus with a little garlic salt and pepper, just to add some green to the plate and break up the cream flavor.

Let me tell you, the picture might not be pretty, but everyone LOVED the meal. We had Wonderful Boyfriend, Roommate Extraordinaire, Hot Momma, and Baby Bear at this dinner, and everyone was happy with the flavors and textures that this meal was made of. I’m pretty sure there was second servings on most plates, which were quickly devoured.

This meal was pretty extraordinary, mostly because Wonderful Boyfriend doesn’t like mushrooms or sour cream and Roommate Extraordinaire doesn’t really like mushrooms, and they both thought it was delicious. Weird, I know. I was shocked too. Apparently the flavor of chicken marsala, which has mushrooms in the sauce, is ok as long as it’s not a texture issue. So with the onions and mushrooms chopped up so small inside shredded potatoes, the mushrooms didn’t offend them so much. I’m still not so sure how we got away with Wonderful Boyfriend liking the sauce, but I’m happy that everyone liked it!

Things I have learned: Saving this meat from being overcooked was definitely a win. Using double the meat recipe with the exception of the sour cream also worked out perfectly. Using an even ratio of filling for the potatoes was also a really good idea. Double hooray for following my gut feeling about this dinner and pre-fixing it to what I know we like to eat.

Thoughts about wine: Roommate Extraordinaire brought three different kinds of Malbec for this dinner, and they were an amazing flavor addition. Definitely a great suggestion if you’re going to make a dinner like this!

Belarus
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.marga.org)

Mushroom Stuffed Draniki

  • 4 potatoes
  • 2 tsp. flour
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • vegetable oil for frying

For the stuffing

  • 1/2 oz dried mushrooms
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • salt
  • oil for frying

Instructions: Prepare the stuffing. Wash the dried mushrooms and soak in cold water for 3-4 hours. Wash the mushrooms again and return to the water you used to soak them. Pour water with mushrooms into a saucepan and boil for about 1 hour. Remove mushrooms from the stock and mince finely. Reserve the stock. Meanwhile, fry the slice onion until golden. Add the minced mushrooms and 1/2 cup of the mushroom stock and mix well.

Prepare the draniki. Shred the raw potatoes and wring them out. Add the flour, egg, salt and pepper and mix. Shape the potato mixture into small balls, flatten with your hand, put a little bit of filling on top and cover with more potato mixture. Flatten into patties and fry until golden brown. Place in oven for a few minutes and serve. You can accompany the draniki with sour cream.

Machanka (pork stew)

  • 1 lb stewing pork
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp. beef or pork stock
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt to taste

Instructions: Cut pork into bite-size pieces. Melt butter in a saucepan and fry the pork until dark. Add 1 cup of stock, bay leaves and salt, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until the pork is half done. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, sauté the flour for a couple of minutes. Add 2 tbsp. of stock and mix well. Strain and return to saucepan. Add sour cream and salt to taste. Mix well and cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Heat oven to 350F. Put pork in baking dish, cover with sour cream sauce and bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until done. Serve with pancakes.