Tag: Slovakia

Legendary Dishes | Bryndzové Halušky (potato dumplings with cheese)

SLOVAKIA

To egg or not is the question good cooks ignore when making perfect potato dumplings (gnocchi in Italy). The addition of eggs is associated with Alsace and Piedmont where the technique aids the kneading process, but produces harder gnocchi. The Alsace version calls for larger pieces, shaped between two spoons. A ratio of 2:1 raw grated potatoes to cooked puréed potatoes is mixed with two eggs and sufficient flour to make a smooth paste. These gnocchi are seasoned with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. In Veneto expert gnocchi makers select potatoes that will not absorb too much flour and hold their shape while cooking. A 4:1 ratio of boiling potatoes to white flour should produce the light fluffy effect demanded by gnocchi aficionados but beware, there are some difficulties. Marcella Hazan gives one of the best descriptions for shaping Veneta gnocchi using the prongs of a fork. She recommends small gnocchi, 2.5 x 2 cm pieces, which are pressed against the inside prongs and flipped toward the handle of the fork.

‘When gnocchi are shaped in this manner,  the middle section is thinner and becomes more tender in cooking, while the ridges become grooves for the sauce to cling to.

In Slovakia, where they marry old potatoes to a tangy sheep‘s cheese called bryndza, the debate is also a matter of preference. The traditional method for making bryndzové halušky is without eggs and a high potato to flour ratio of 5 to 1. Then try eating bryndzové halušky with a 3 to 1 ratio made with egg, coated with grated cheese and sour cream, and served with more cream! A recipe for gnocchi is in the potato section.

500 g Agata / Agria / Bintje potatoes, cubed small, blended to a purée
300 g bryndza cheese, grated
250 g Oravská údená slanina / smoked bacon, cubed 
200 ml smetana / sour cream 
100 g white wheat flour, t550
1 egg
Salt, large pinch

In a large bowl work puréed potatoes, egg, flour and salt into a paste. Ideally you need an halušky pan, but anything with with round holes about 1 cm in diameter will do the job. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, push the paste through the holes, cook until the small dumplings rise to the surface, about eight minutes. Drain, retaining cooking liquid. Spoon 100 ml of the liquid into a bowl with the cheese, fork and whisk into a thin sauce. If desired mix half of the sour cream into the sauce. Fry the bacon until the fat runs, drain the fat and crisp bacon for three minutes, turning constantly. Arrange the halušky in a separate bowl, cover with cheese sauce, top with the bacon. Serve with cream.

INDIGENOUS INGREDIENTS = Agata Potato | Agria Potato  | Bintje PotatoBryndza Cheese | Smoked Bacon | Soft Wheat

LEGENDARY DISHES


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European Comfort Food | Potato Pies

MeatandPotatoPie-lowres

Potatoes epitomise the rural relationship with food throughout northern and central Europe, but rarely are they combined with anything more than cheese, eggs, fish, meat and milk, especially in pies, which tend to be a marriage with meat and their juices or with the mountain cheese. So why wouldn’t you make a potato pie with the fruits of the forest or the fruits of the orchard?

In Terchová in Slovakia the potato pie is a cake that combines the savoury with the sweet, with berries and nuts. In the Wallis in Switzerland the potato pie contains apples and pears as well as cheese. In Lancashire in England the potato pie is a variation of the traditional Irish mutton stew encased in pastry.

 

Terchovej Zemiakový Koláč
SLOVAKIA
potato cake of Terchová

The Terchová region in Slovakia is reknown for its local produce. This potato cake makes use of indigenous ingredients, and the choice is personal. We have adapted a recipe from the 2003 book of old recipes by Cabadaj and Cross.

 

550 g flour 
400 g potatoes, boiled in skins
250 g blueberry / raspberry jamSlovakPotatoCake-lowres
150 g sugar
100 g almonds / walnuts, ground
100 g pork fat / sunflower oil
1 egg
30 g vanilla sugar
15 g yeast
Salt, large pinch
Butter, for greasing
Sugar, for finish
Water, for finish

 

Rub the potato and fat or oil into the flour. Beat the yeast into the egg, leave for 15 minutes, add to the mixture followed by the sugar and salt. Knead the dough, leave for an hour, degas, divide into two equal pieces. On a floured board roll each piece out to the size of a large round baking tin. Grease tin, place first piece of dough in the bottom, even out, and spread with jam. Sprinkle choice of ground nuts and vanilla sugar on top of jam, cover with the second piece of dough. Pierce surface of cake. Bake in a 180ºC oven for 45 minutes, until the cake is brown. Finish with water and a sprinkling of sugar. Leave to cool.

 

Zemiakový Koláč
SLOVAKIA
potato pie

This traditional cheese and potato pie has gone through so many variations it now resembles the quiche of eastern France and western Germany or the borek of the Balkans, made with the relevant cheeses. Traditionally this pie was filled with bryndza, the mountain cheese, encased in a milkly yeast dough. For a softer filling cream was used instead of butter.

 

Dough
550 g flour
300 ml milk, warmed
45 g pork fat
20 g yeast
5 g salt
5 g sugar
Pork fat / lard, for dressing
Filling
600 g potatoes, cooked, skinned, mashed
400 g bryndza, crumbled
30-60 g sour cream (45 g butter)
Black pepper, large pinch
Salt, pinch

 

Dissolve yeast in the warm milk and a teaspoon of sugar, whisk. Add salt to the flour and rub in the pork fat (or lard). Pour in the milk and yeast mixture. Knead into a smooth dough, leave to rise for an hour. Combine the cheee and potatoes with the cream or butter and seasonings. Divide dough into two equal pieces, roll out on a floured surface into thin sheet to fit choice of baking tray. Greased tray, fold in the first sheet, cover with filling, top with remaining dough sheet. Melt a tablespoon of fat or lard and brush surface of dough. Pierce surface with fork. Bake at 180°C for 45 minutes.

 

Cholera
SWITZERLAND
apple, cheese, pear, potato pie

The 1830s were difficult for the people of the hidden Swiss valleys. Cholera swept across the land, confining people to their homes, where they relied on the stable foods of the land. Out of adversity a traditional dish emerged and survives today.

 

500 g puff pastry
400 g potatoes, boiled whole, peeled, sliced 
400 g raclette cheese, sliced
250 g Gala apples, sliced
250 g Bosc pears, sliced
150 g leeks, halved, sliced, braised in butter 
Egg for glaze
Seasonings
Nutmeg, grated

 

Preheat oven to 215°C.

Cover the base and sides of a cake tin with pastry.

Prick the base lightly with a fork. Layer evenly with apple followed by the potato, leeks and onions.

Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Lay cheese on top, then a pastry lid, press edges of pastry together, prick lightly with a fork in several places.

Brush with egg and bake for an hour.

The traditional Gommer Cholera contained equal amounts of apple, cabbage and potato, half the amount of cheese, and was baked using a plain pastry dough.

 

Meat and Potato Pie with Peppered Hot Pastry Crust
ENGLAND

Meat and potato pies are a traditional dish of northern England, especially the counties of Cheshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire, where the combination has always formed the basis for a hearty meal. Packed in a pastry it becomes portable.

These pies have never been a home-baked product, largely because they have always been ubiquitous in the cafe and chip shop culture of north-west England, Holland’s version being the most popular of the mass-produced brands.

Made with beef, potato and yeast extract in a shortcrust pastry, Holland’s meat and potato pies are also synonymous with sporting events.

Meat and potato pies, as they are known today, began as a workhouse product, are probably related to Irish mutton pies, and were hardly known as a recipe in cookbooks.

 

Filling
1 kg potatoes, peeled, quartered
750 g lamb, cut into 2 cubes
750 g onions, chopped
30 g black pepper, freshly ground
25 g salt
Water

 

This is essentially an Irish stew recipe. The quantity is much more than you will need for the filling.

Arrange lamb in the bottom of a large pot, turn heat to medium and allow fat to run out of the bones.

Stack potatoes on top of the lamb, then the onions and seasoning, more pepper than salt.

Fill the pot with water, three-quarters up to the level of the onions, bring to the boil.

Cover, turn heat to lowest setting and cook for three hours.

The result should be a thick meat and potato stew, with the onions completely melted.

 

Dough
450 g strong white flour
150 ml water
125 g lard
10 g pepper
10 g salt
5 g icing sugar

 

Bring the lard and water to the boil.

Sieve flour and salt into a large bowl, add pepper and sugar.

Pour the hot liquid into a well in the centre of the flour, and using a sturdy wooden spoon quickly form into a soft dough.

Divide dough into eight equal pieces (approximately 90 g each), cut again – two thirds for the base, one third for the lid.

Push the dough into the bottom and sides of small deep pie tins, diameter 8 cms.

Preheat oven to 220°C.

Pack the tins with the filling, roll the remaining dough out, place over the top of the filling, crimping the edges. Pierce a hole in the centre of the lid.

Reduce oven temperature to 180°C, bake for 90 minutes.

 

Fish and Potato Pie
ENGLAND SCOTLAND

Always thought of as a fish pie rather than a potato pie, this traditional dish combined ingredients that have always come together. Baking the fish in a cheese sauce topped with mashed potato and grated cheese made this dish a meal instead of a snack.

 

1 kg assorted smoked and unsmoked fish fillets, 
fresh or frozen, cut into bite sized pieces
1 kg potatoes, cooked, riced
600 ml milk
200 g mature melting cheese, grated
40 g butter
40 g flour
25 g parsley, chopped
15 g black pepper, freshly ground

 

Make a light roux. Remove pan from heat, whisk milk a little at a time into the mixture. Back on the heat bring to the boil stirring constantly. Turn heat to low, stir in half the cheese.

Add parsley and pepper, allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Arrange fish in ovenproof dish, pour sauce over fish and finish with potato and remaining cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes until crisp and golden, and piping hot in the middle.

Culinary Connections | France Italy Lithuania Slovakia

Dumplings
To egg or not is the question good cooks ignore when making perfect potato gnocchi.
The addition of eggs is associated with Alsace and Piedmont where the technique aids the kneading process, but produces harder gnocchi.
The Alsace version calls for larger pieces, shaped between two spoons. A ratio of 2:1 raw grated potatoes to cooked puréed potatoes is mixed with two eggs and sufficient flour to make a smooth paste. These gnocchi are seasoned with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
In Veneto expert gnocchi makers select potatoes that will not absorb too much flour and hold their shape while cooking. A 4:1 ratio of boiling potatoes to white flour should produce the light fluffy effect demanded by gnocchi aficionados but beware, there are some difficulties.
Marcella Hazan gives one of the best descriptions for shaping Veneto gnocchi using the prongs of a fork. She recommends small gnocchi, 2.5 x 2 cm pieces, which are pressed against the inside prongs and flipped toward the handle of the fork.
‘When gnocchi are shaped in this manner, the middle section is thinner and becomes more tender in cooking, while the ridges become grooves for the sauce to cling to.’
In Slovakia, where they marry old potatoes to a tangy sheep’s cheese called bryndza, the debate is also a matter of preference.
The traditional method for making bryndzové halušky is without eggs and a high potato to flour ratio of 5 to 1.
Then try eating bryndzové halušky with a 3 to 1 ratio made with egg, coated with grated cheese and sour cream, and served with more cream!

Bryndzové Halušky

500 g potatoes, peeled, grated to a purée
300 g Bryndza/sheep's cheese, grated
250 g smoked bacon, cubed
200 ml smetana/sour cream (optional)
100 g flour
1 egg (optional)
Salt, large pinch
Water, for boiling

In a large bowl work potatoes, flour and salt (and if using the egg) into a light dough until it comes away from the edges of the bowl.

Rub or cut into small dumplings.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, add the dumplings, cook until they rise to the surface, about ten minutes. Drain, retaining the cooking liquid.

Spoon 100 ml of the liquid into a bowl with the cheese, fork and whisk into a thin sauce.

If desired mix half of the sour cream into the cheese sauce.

Fry the bacon until the fat runs, drain the fat and crisp for three minutes, turning constantly.

Arrange the halušky in a bowl, cover with the bryndza sauce, top with the bacon.

Serve with remaining sour cream.

Maneghi

300 g sweet potatoes, peeled, boiled, mashed
200 g flour
100 g butter
1 egg, beaten
30 g caster sugar
30 g Grana Padano, grated
10 g cinnamon, ground
Water, for boiling

Combine the potatoes with the egg and flour, form into large gnocchi.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, add the dumplings, cook until they rise to the surface, about 20 minutes.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, fry the cinnamon for ten seconds, add sugar and grana.

Toss maneghi in the spicy-sweet butter.

Gnocchi – 1

Gnocchi are not always dumplings, sometimes they are made like polenta.
600 ml milk 
120 g flour
1 egg, beaten
Butter, for greasing and spreading
Hard cheese, for sprinkling

Boil milk, add salt and flour in small amounts. Cook for ten minutes, until the mixture thickens. Add the egg, stirring constantly to prevent it cooking.

Pour the mixture onto a clean surface and allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Cut into squares 4 cm x 4 cm.

Grease a small baking tray, arrange a layer of squares, dotted with pieces of butter and sprinkled with cheese.

Repeat until the squares are used up, finish with butter and cheese.

Bake until a brown crust forms.

Gnocchi – 2

This is the sweet version.
250 ml milk
30 g sugar
30 g vanilla sugar
2 egg yolks
15 g potato starch
Butter, for spreading

Combine ingredients in a heavy based saucepan, and bring the hear up slowly, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.

Pour the mixture onto a clean surface and allow to cool. Preheat oven to 180°C. Cut into squares 4 cm x 4 cm.

Grease a small baking tray, arrange a layer of squares, dotted with pieces of butter.

Repeat until the squares are used up, finish with butter.

Bake until a brown crust forms.

Gnocchi – 3

Every Italian will tell you quietly that the secret to gnocchi is hidden in the choice of potato.

These would be the varieties of Agate, Agria, Amber, Arizona, Chopin, Finka, Marabel, Monalisa, Universa and Vivaldi grown in Viterbo, between Umbria and Tuscany.

The moderate Lake Bolsena climate and potassium-rich volcanic soils produce potatoes with a pasty consistency, ideal for preparing gnocchi.

That secret is out.

Since 1977 an annual Gnocchi Festival has been held in St. Lorenzo Nuovo.

900 g Patata dell'Alto Viterbese potatoes, 
boiled whole in skins, cooled
250 g flour
10 g salt
Water, for boiling
Parmigiano/pecorino, grated fine, for dressing

Pass potatoes through a fine colander or potato masher.

Add half the salt salt.

On a clean surface combine potatoes with flour into a pasty dough.

Roll into a sausage 5 cm thick, cut into 2 cm slices.

Press each piece with the handle of a knife, to form a cup shape.

Bring a large saucepan with water and remaining salt to a rolling boil.

Add gnocchi in batches.

When they rise to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon.

Serve with a dressing of cheese.

Gnocchi di Castagne al Pesto

Also sweet but rich.
700 g potatoes, baked, mashed
100 g strong white flour
100 g chestnut flour
1 egg
Salt, pinch
White pepper, pinch
Pesto
100 g basil leaves
100 ml olive oil
40 g Parmigiano
40 g pecorino
30 g pine nuts
1 clove garlic
Salt, pinch

Combine potatoes, the two flours, egg and salt in a large bowl.

On a floured surface roll into a sausage 5 cm thick, cut into 2 cm slices.

Bring a large saucepan with salt and water to a rolling boil.

Add gnocchi in batches.

When they rise to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon into a bowl.

Toss in the pesto.

Passatelli en Brodo

1.5 litres meat broth (below)
4 eggs
150 g breadcrumbs 
150 g Parmigiano
50 g  flour  
Black pepper, freshly ground, large pinch
Nutmeg, large pinch
Salt, pinch

Mix breadcrumbs, flour, eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper and 100 g of cheese in a large bowl.

Boil the broth in a large saucepan.

Using a potato masher push the passatelli into the broth, cutting it off at ten centimetres as it falls.

Cook for five minutes.

Serve hot sprinkled with remaining cheese.

Italian Meat Broth
2 litres water 
1 kg bones with marrow
1 kg meat
250 g tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, large, chopped
2 carrots, large, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
Water

Put bones and meat into a large pot filled almost to the top with water, bring to the boil, skim off surface scum.

Add vegetables, bring back to the boil.

Reduce heat to lowest setting, cover and simmer for three hours.

Kepti Varškėčiai

400 g cottage cheese
240 g flour
2 eggs
30 g sugar
Salt
Oil, for deep frying

Combine the eggs with the sugar, crumble in the cheese with the flour and salt.

Fold out onto a clean floured surface, roll into a 5 cm thick sausage.

Cut into 2 cm thick pieces.

Deep fry in oil heated to 190°C, until the varškėčiai rise to the surface and are golden brown.

Serve with sour cream.


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Culinary Connections | Russia Lithuania Slovakia

Potato Pancakes

Kartofel’nyy Blin

This is the standard Russian version of the potato pancake, more like a fritter than a pancake.
500g floury potatoes, peeled, grated small, drained
150g onions, chopped small
2 eggs
45g flour
45ml kefir
Salt, large pinch
Oil, for frying.
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, mixing thoroughly.
Using an oiled tablespoon transfer onto hot oil in a frying pan, cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes, turn once.

Bulvinių Blynų/Bulviniai Blynai

This traditional Lithuanian version generally omits the flour and kefir, and uses less egg.
500 g floury potatoes, peeled, grated small, 
drained
150 g onions, chopped small
1 egg
Salt, pinch
Black pepper, freshly ground, pinch
Oil, for frying
Combine potatoes, onions, egg and seasonings in a large bowl, mix thoroughly.
Fry a heaped tablespoon of the mixture over a high heat, about a minute.
Turn, fry for a minute, reduce heat to low.
Fry over a low heat, five minutes each side.
Serve with sour cream.

Kėdainių Blynai

Named after the Lithuanian town on the Nevėžis river, this meat-filled potato pancake is a very old recipe, and still a popular dish.
1 kg floury potatoes, peeled, grated small, 
drained
300 g pork mince
150 g onion, chopped small
2 eggs
Black pepper, freshly ground, large pinch
Salt, pinch
Oil, for frying
Mix potatoes and onions with eggs and salt in a large bowl, set aside.
In a separate bowl combine meat and seasonings.
Begin to fry five heaped tablespoons of potato mixture in oil in a large frying pan over a high heat.
Top each potato pile with a level tablespoon of meat mixture.
Turn heat to medium.
Finish with another heaped tablespoon of potato mixture on top of the meat mixture, press down with a spatula.
Turn heat high, carefully turn pancakes, fry for two minutes, reduce heat to low.
Transfer to a tray, bake in a 140°C oven for ten minutes.
Serve with mushroom and sour cream sauce.

Zemiakové Placky

This is the aromatic Slovakian version.
1 kg floury potatoes, peeled, grated small, 
drained
180 g flour
60 ml milk
1 egg
5 cloves garlic, crushed
15 g salt
10 g marjoram
Black pepper, freshly ground, large pinch
Oil, for frying
Mix potatoes and garlic with egg and salt  in a large bowl, work in flour and milk, season with marjoram and pepper, set aside.

Fry in small batches over medium heat until golden brown, about 15 minutes, turning once.


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Euro Snacks | Bratislava

Bratislavské Rožky

 

Recently given the stamp of approval by the European Union despite opposition from Austria, Germany and Hungary, the Bratislava sourdough-poppy seed/walnut paste crescent deserves recognition.

30 ml milk, lukewarm
20 g yeast
15 g sugar
15 g flour
_____________________
500 g flour
150 g butter
2 eggs
45 ml oil
1 tsp salt
_____________________
400 g poppy seeds, ground/walnuts, minced
200 ml water/milk
200 g sugar
25 g vanilla sugar
1 lemon, zest
Breadcrumbs (optional)
Cinnamon, pinch
Rum, splash
100 g icing sugar

Dissolve yeast in milk and sugar in a small bowl, stir in flour, cover and leave overnight.

Cut butter into small cubes and cream into the flour, add the salt, yeast mixture, eggs and sufficient oil to make a soft dough.

Knead for ten minutes, rest for an hour.

Cut into 25g pieces, shape into balls and leave to double in size, about an hour.

For the poppy filling, dissolve the sugar slowly in the water. Stir in poppy seeds, bringing the heat up. Incorporate vanilla sugar, then and lemon zest. Leave to cool.

For the walnut filling, dissolve the sugar slowly in the milk, bring to a gentle boil, add walnuts, then the vanilla sugar, cinnamon and rum.

Thicken with breadcrumbs if the paste is loose.

Roll the balls into thin ovals, place two teaspoons of filling in the central area, shape into a tube. Roll and twist into crescents.

Leave to rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with icing sugar.


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