Rödkål

Rödkål

A Swedish way of cooking red cabbage. It is very similar to the German Rotkohl, except I found there are less recipes with green apple. I originally found Rödkål in “Swedish Touches”, and then looked for recipes in Swedish.

  1. Sautée shredded cabbage in butter or lard
  2. Add water and salt, then cover. Simmer until halfway done
  3. Add cloves, apple cider vinegar, and sugar. Finish cooking

Stuvad Potatis

Stuvad Potatis

A Swedish dish – potatoes and a cream sauce with dill. Originally found in “Swedish Touches” by David Wright and Martha Wiberg Thompson, and recipe confirmed by a website in Swedish; I adjusted the flour and butter to equal parts.

  • Potatoes – new or Yukon Gold
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup cream
  • Dill, fresh or dried
  1. Boil new potatoes or Yukon Golds cut in half, set aside
  2. Make a roux with equal flour and butter, 1/4 cup each.
  3. Cook the roux for at least 1 minute to get out flour taste. Then add the cream and cook until thickened to a gravy consistency
  4. Add dill and incorporate, then pour over potatoes

Peanut Butter Ball

I don’t think this has any cultural origin, but rather just a neat little snack. I was speaking with an elderly customer at my work who said her German grandmother used to prepare these, and then she herself prepared them for school time snacks due to them being filling.

  • Peanut butter
  • Honey
  • Dried Milk
  • Ratio of 1:1:2
  1. Mix, then roll into ball
  2. Roll ball into sugar, powdered sugar, oats, graham crackers, or anything of your choice
  3. Cool to firm

Agurkai su medumi

Agurkai su medumi

Cucumber & Honey

Found in Simon Bajada’s Baltic Cookbook. It can’t get simpler.

  • Cucumber
  • Honey
    Wash cucumber and leave skin on, or peel and slice.
    Put honey on top

This is a Lithuanian dish, and I’m surprised I’ve never heard of anyone doing this before.

Schnitzel

Schnitzel

Schnitzel is a general term to refer to tenderized pieces of meats that are pan fried. Schnitzel is used in German-speaking countries. The term “Wiener schnitzel” is strictly used for cuts of veal. Kotlets in Polish cuisine are very similarly to Schnitzel.

The Schnitzel can be breaded, or unbreaded. The main thing is to be fried in fat or oil.

  • Meat of choice – preferably pork chops, beef or veal cutlet
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Breadcrumbs
    Cut the pork chops in half if using, and tenderize the meat
    Salt and pepper the meat
    Get a pan with about 1/2 inch of lard, clarified butter, or cooking oil hot
    Get 3 plates with: flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs in each one
    Bread the meat, then fry
    Serve with your favorite sauce, potato salad, Rotkohl, or anything of your choosing.

Piena Darzenu Zupa

Piena Darzenu Zupa

This is a Latvian dish found in “Old and New Recipes – Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, Baltic” by Simon Bajada

The main ingredients are milk and seasonal vegetables, but it is generally served cold on a hot summer’s day, which is why it is called summer’s milk soup. Very easy and healthy.

Ingredients will vary depending on your region but the ingredients listed are

  • Milk
  • Potatoes, small
  • Carrots
  • Hipsi Cabbage (closest substitutes are savoy or sweetheart)
  • Green Beans
  • Asparagus
  • Peas
  • Dill, marjoram, or parsley to garnish
    Chop your vegetables into size of your choice
    The main thing is to have your milk hot in a separate pot to not instantly cool your other ingredients when you add the milk. Other than that, you just stagger adding your ingredients based on cooking time.
    Add cabbage, carrots and potatoes into a pot with enough water to barely cover them. Boil gently until potatoes are nearly done.
    Keep simmering, then add hot milk, asparagus, and green beans
    Wait a couple minutes then add peas
    Cook until potatoes are done, then season to taste.
    Can be eaten hot or cold. Garnish with dill or parsley

Ćevapi, or Ćevapčići

Ćevapi, or Ćevapčići

Like most of the time, I put the description at the bottom to be recipe user friendly.

The best combination plate I have made has the pita or lepinja (somun), ajvar, ćevapi, sliced raw onions, roasted or raw tomatoes, and cottage cheese.

Ajvar

  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Eggplant (traditional), zucchini (if you can’t find or stand eggplant)
  • Lemon Juice
  • Garlic, minced or roasted
  • Salt and Olive Oil
  1. 1:1 ratio of each vegetable by weight, though more peppers if anything. Start by roasting the bell peppers and the other vegetable in the oven on 375 until charred and peelable (zucchini gets soft but does not peel easy). It helps to wrap the vegetables in a towel after roasting for easier peel.
  2. Deseed the vegetables and then depending on your preference: chop finely, food process everything, or blend. I like blending.

Ćevapi – as with all recipes there are different variations but here are the main components

  • Ground meat: can use beef, pork, or lamb. Combine 2 or 3 if you choose.
  • Garlic cloves, pre-roasted in olive oil
  • S&P
  • Paprika
  • Spicy Spice (I prefer berber, cayenne, etc.)
  • No egg needed, though if used, go light so there is less liquid
    Roast garlic
    Mix ingredients, done. Just kidding. Let flavors absorb in meat for at least 30 minutes. They taste great on the barbecue and is common to cook there, but I prefer to catch all of the delicious juices for later.
    Cook in pan with hot olive oil on medium heat, and be sure to carefully rotate them until the outer layer is sturdy. I like to throw raw onion in the pan to get more flavor as well. Continue cooking meat until your liking.
    For extra deliciousness, after the meat is out, deglaze the pan with balsamic vinagar and add some butter, then let the pita soak in the juices.

Pita Bread or Lepinja

  • I don’t have a recipe or ideas on how to make them on my own, and I’m certainly no expert in breads, so my favorite one is from the NYT Cooking app. For breads, they have the best ratings and easy to follow, though I used a different website for these pictures below.
  • One tip I have for pita bread is to make the dough stickier than most breads. The pita does not need pockets, but it is how it is traditionally served, though it is tricky to get the consistency right.

The ćevapi or ćevapčići is a Balkan tradition, though it developed from the Ottoman’s kebabs during their occupation. It is the national dish of Bosnia & Herzegovina but it is shared greatly in the region. Serbia and Croatia are famous for the ćevapi as well, along with the other former Yugoslav states.

Culture side note – You will find that there is a common bond between these countries but there are cultural differences. Religion is a big one, and you are welcome to dive deeper into the conflict that occurred in the region, with tensions still high.

Back to the meal, ajvar is the most common side dish to ćevapi, and goes along with the pita, or lepinja (somun) bread. The main difference with those two is the lepinja (also known as somun) is risen 3x and is more region specific than the pita, which is used in far more countries outside the Balkans.

Geography side note – The Balkans defined by Britanica: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia.

  • These countries, though similar in geography, should not be grouped together as one country, just like you would not group Ireland and North Ireland, Sudan and South Sudan, or Israel and Palestine based on their geography alone.

Gołabki

Gołabki

More info about gołabki under recipe.

2 ways to go about it. You can make and cook your meat mixture formed to fit cabbage rolls or roll cabbage with raw meat then bake with tomato sauce on top. The meat mixture can fit your preference and since it is just a cabbage roll, you can do what you want with it.

  • 1 head Cabbage, boiled for 2 minutes, until leaves are soft

Meat mixture

  • Ground beef
  • Rice, cooked
  • Garlic cloves, minced
  • Paprika
  • S&P
  • Olive oil

Tomato sauce (I believe everyone should have their own personal sauce but canned is up to you, or follow my unmeasured recipe)

  • Tomatoes, quartered. For every 2lbs of fresh, I normally add a 16oz can with the juice.
  • Basil, big handful, chopped
  • Rosemary sprigs chopped fine
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • S & P
  • Olive oil
  1. Start your tomato sauce. I like roasting all of the ingredients on 375 then I peel the tomatoes after they are really soft. Then I crush them by hand and put on stove to reduce for at least 1 hour.
  2. Cook rice
  3. Boil cabbage and let it drain until ready to roll
  4. Then make your meat mixture and either preheat your oven to 375 for the gołabki, or cook the meat in the oven or on the stove.
  5. Roll the cabbage and top with sauce. If the meat is uncooked, it usually takes about 30 minutes, and if it is cooked, you just want the cabbage warm again.

Kapuśniak

Kapuśniak

A Polish sauerkraut and pork soup. The pork used can include: bacon, Kielbasa, pork ribs, ham hock, or a combination of them. The vegetables used are normally: carrots, celery, potatoes, and of course cabbage in the form of sauerkraut. Common spices used are: peppercorn, allspice, bay leaves, dill, paprika, marjoram, parsley, and salt.

Recipe. Meat 1/3 lb chopped bacon, 1 lb pork ribs cut into 1 rib pieces. Vegetables (all diced except sauerkraut) 1 medium onion, 2 carrots, 1 lb sauerkraut, 1 large or 2 medium peeled potato. Spices 64 ounces of chicken stock, 3 allspice, 3 peppercorn, 3 bay leaves, 1/2 tsp marjoram.

  1. To start: Heat 2 tbsp of butter in a large pot and then put in the bacon, onions, carrots, and ribs. Brown the ribs slightly and crisp the bacon.
  2. Add the stock and the spices. Bring to a simmer then cook ribs to about 165, until almost fall off the bone.
  3. Put drained sauerkraut in a separate pan with 2 tbsp of butter and 3 tbsp sugar; cook until brown.
  4. Add sauerkraut and potatoes to pot and finish cooking ribs, until about 190 or when ribs fall off bone.

Djuvec Rice

Djuvec Rice

Djuvec rice is both a Serbian and a Bosnian dish. Found in the Balkans, the rice is very easy to make and delicious.

The main ingredients to use are: paprika, red bell pepper, onion, carrots, tomatoes, and something green. I mix it between parsley and peas.

My recipe: Heavy Vegetables: 1 onion, 1 red 1 yellow bell pepper, 3 carrots. Light vegetables: 3 tomatoes, 4 garlic cloves Spices: 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp marjoram 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp of salt. Rice: 1 cup regular or Arborio rice/ with 1/2- 1 1/2 cup vegetable stock.

Instructions: Sauté heavy vegetables in oil or butter until semi-soft, then add tomatoes and garlic. Keep cooking for 2 minutes. Add rice, spices, and stock (start with 1/2 cup then add until rice is fully cooked).