Thank you for kind words, everyone. Now, I am taking a break from cabbages and beets (though I have plenty of cabbages and beets up my sleeve!)
Bulgarian Lecho (Really, it is likely to remind you of the antipasti, but that’s what it’s called in the Byzantium part of the Roman Empire)
2 large (regular) or 3 medium (Japanese) or ~ 2 lbs of small round Eggplants
2 ‘meaty’ red bell peppers
1 small jalapeño pepper (don’t use in conjunction with cayenne!)
3-4 garlic cloves
2 medium carrots or 8 -10 baby carrots, diced into ~ ½-1/4 inch pieces
1 large onion
~ 2 cups of diced or plum tomatoes or 3 to 4 large beefsteak tomatoes
Spices: black peppercorns (~ ½ teaspoon), coriander seeds (~ ½ teaspoon), cumin (1/4 teaspoon), cayenne pepper (1/4 teaspoon or to taste), mild paprika (~ ½ tbsp)
Coconut oil (as needed, up to ¼ cup, normally)
Preheat the broiler. Get a couple of large baking sheets and line them with foil. Put ~ 2 tbsp of coconut oil into micro and let it melt into liquid. It takes about 30-40 sec for my micro, but you know yours! Take a brush and brush the foil on the sheets.
Cut the bell peppers in half, clean them out, press to flatten on the foiled sheet. Chop onion into large pieces (think stir-fry). Cut eggplants into long stripes about ½ inch thick and 3-4 inches long (I like that more than rounds, you can fit more on the sheet that way). If using fresh tomatoes, cut them in half. Arrange on the foiled sheets in the artistic fashion. Or non-artistic fashion. The main thing it all should fit. Brush with coconut oil. Set under the broiler until peppers’ skin blackens.
Get the peppers out. If the rest of the veggies look like they need more tan, slip them back in. Wrap the peppers in the Cyrano or throw into a plastic bag squeezing out excess air. Let them dream pepper dreams for a while.
Meanwhile, toast the spices, and give them a whirl in the grinder, just to break them up (woo-hoo, fragrance!)
Now, get a really BIG pan. Throw in coconut oil, the broiled eggplants and the onions, and the carrots (but reserve the broiled tomatoes, if using). Dump spices on top of it, crush the garlic cloves (alternatively, you could have rolled garlic in foil and let it bake with other veggies, then you’d squeeze it in), and braise on low, mixing it once in a while.
Meanwhile, peel the blackened skins off the peppers and slice them. Add bell peppers in, stir. When it looks too dry, dump the can of tomatoes in, breaking up the plum or broiled tomatoes as you go, diced will go as is. If it looks too dry, add more tomatoes.
Cover up and simmer on low till it looks and smells good and before it turns to mush (Eggplant caviar recipe comes latter! That's when you want mush).
Store in the containers of your choice (I love glass jars), in the fridge and serve cold as a side to meats. It works great hot as well if you throw in ground beef or stir-fried beef.
Thanks a lot for this thread and the recipes - lush! I had forgotten about "lecho" - will have tomake it one day. A similar favourite of mine is Balkan "Ajvar".
I am originally from Latvia (and a very Russian part of it) and our everyday cuisine is not too far off North-East Slavic cuisine but I haven't really tried to adapt much of it to Primal, except what has been already mentioned - golupci, borsht, holodnik. It's a shame pelmeni or blini can't be adapted quite as successfully. I love grechka too. Oh well
I do indulge into dryaniki (potato pancakes) from time to time - they work well without any flour. Tried them with sweet potato but it's really too far from the real stuff.
How about what is often called "shaslik" - marinated, grilled lamb or pork? (ok, that's Caucasian, not really Russian) Strogonoff? Dressed Herring under Fur? (that relies heavily on tubers but at least potato can be left out). Do you like (and can you get it) tvorog/cottage cheese? I like using that in "pastry", like little cakes with raisins, pancakes etc.
Home-made sausage? I plan to try that some time soon but have to find some good casing. With some sauerkraut (I make it at home and now I am trying to convert my "Western" BF to eat it, home made sausage would probably help)?
One more thing is different cold meats you get over there - like "rulet" - that would fit Paleo well, since different types of meat/fat are used.
Last edited by inesenite; 09-11-2012 at 02:22 AM.
Heya, Inesenite! I make my own quark (tvorog) from home-made kefir, one of the posts covers it. I tried to use cottage cheese in place of tvorog, but it was all wrong. Ricotta is the closest, but far too sweet. So, I just make my own.
On that note, I am going to go dairy free (again, lol), so I am making the whole fresh batch of tvorog into Syrniks tonight for my folks, which will give me a chance to get that recipe straight, so it will be the next one posted. Wee! To bad I am not gonna be eating it
Bigos and Golabki
Was wondering if you had a favorite version of Bigos, which is also know as Hunters Stew. Since cooler days are coming soon, I am starting to think of these types of dishes. I know you said it was time for a break from cabbage recipes, but the other recipe I am wondering about is Stuffed Cabbage or Golabki. My dad is Polish so I grew up eating lots of Golabki. I learned about Bigos from a Polish restaurant in London.
I have made several different versions of Bigos and love to learn how others spice the foods and the slightly different variations of components and then serving ideas, like whether to use sour cream or not. Also, recipe variations like types and amounts of paprika (smoked, hungarian, etc), different vegetables (fennel maybe???), meat prep (whether to sear before adding), etc, etc.
Thanks for your previous posts - very inspiring.
Hi Msojka, I have never made Bigos, though read about it a LOT in Ioanna Chmelevskaya books. But! I have a Russian recipe for Solyanka, a cabbage and sausage stew that is Primal with no modifications required.
I have a great recipe for Golubtzy/Golabki/Cabbage Rolls. Actually, I have three - Lazy Moscovite, Traditional Rolls and as appetizer version of mini-rolls.
I will make a huge post on Goluntzy after Syrniks, since a lot of folks like them
Hi Leida! I've really been enjoying your thread so far Really looking forward to your take on Golabki and, hopefully Solyanka!
I thought I would share my great grandmother's recipe for Bigos, which I just made a big batch of, despite it being really warm outside here! I make it every year with my dad for Christmas.
Cook up half a pound of bacon, chopped. Remove the bacon, then sweat 2 chopped onions in the rendered grease.
Drain 3 jars of good, fermented sauerkraut and rinse with one jar full of water.
Throw kraut, bacon and onions, 1 lb smoked kielbasa (sliced), 2 packages dried and reconstituted polish mushrooms (we soak ours in wine), 4 bay leaves, and a 2 lb pork roast into a giant pot. Cover all with good, tasty beef broth (Babcia called for water and 8 cubes of bullion). Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 hours, covered and stirring occasionally.
Remove the roast and shred it; return it to the pot.
Stir in 2 small cans of tomato paste and season with salt and pepper, then fit bigos into a sizable baking dish. Bake for half an hour at 350 degrees.
Stir in about a cup of red wine.
Put the bigos back into the pot (or a smaller one, having eaten a bit), and chuck it into the snow (or the fridge) to wait for tomorrow. Reheat on the stove each day, tasting copiously each time.
I think this recipe is pretty simple to many I have seen. I think caraway seeds would be a great addition, especially without rye bread on the side! Smacznego!
Thank you, Lindsay. Solyanka will be a bit different, but different is good. I will have to try this stew one of these days. I second caraway seed as great spice to try with it
Syrniks are Faleo food, as it uses a fair bit of non-glutenous flours (rice, potato and tapioca). You will be saving them for a carb-heavy day. Syrniks can be served with anything you’d serve pancakes with, like sour cream, Kisel (I loved that combo as a kid!), hot fruit sauce, or berries and whipped cream or honey. They are best served hot out of the oven, but could be reheated on a steam bath next day: Simply throw them into a dish with a tight lid, cover them with a paper towel soaked in water and microwave of heat in the oven. For the stovetop, pour some boiling water in the frying pan with a tight lid, throw syrniks over it, and let the syrniks re-absorb the moisture and the heat).
This recipe makes enough to feed 4 to 6 people depending on their appetites and what you serve as the sides.
Quark (tvorog) – 2 cups
1 large egg
Flour Mix (recipe below) – up to 2 cups
Butter – 2-3 tbsp
Vanilla Extract – 1 tbsp (optional)
The Syrnik’s recipe may take a bit more or a bit less flour mix, depending on how moist your quark is. Mine is pretty moist, so it takes both cups of flour, plus I use rice flour for dusting my hands, and to keep the dough to the right consistency.
Preheat oven to 365 degrees F (if you are using oven-finishing method). For stove-top method, don’t preheat the stove (unless it’s cold in the kitchen or something).
Step 1: Prepare the flour mix (2 cups)
1 and 1/2 cup Rice flour, ¼ + 2 tbsp cup potato starch, 2 tbsp tapioca starch
1 tbsp sugar (optional) – I am reluctant to let go of it, since it helps give syrniks golden color. You could omit it though, if you are into pale syrniks. I don’t think it will be wise to sub it for honey or whatever other sweetener, since it will add to liquids, and you would be adding more flour to compensate.
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
Mix the flours together in a medium bowl and set aside.
Throw your egg in a bowl that can hold about 4-5 cups of anything. Notice how I am not saying the BIG bowl. Beat the egg with the whisk, enough to make the yolk come together with the white, but you don’t need to achieve any sort of frothiness or foaminess. Add vanilla extract, if using (I do, it smells divine). Add 2 cups of quark and mix it all with the whisk till combined.
Start incorporating the evilness of the flour mix into the quark and egg goodness. You are aiming to mix just enough flour in to create a lovely soft light dough that just stopped sticking to everything. Once this mission is accomplished, proceed to Step 3.
Now it’s time to get a really big frying pan out and start melting a nice amount of butter in it over the medium heat.
Meanwhile, take plate, and a 2 tbsp scoop (scoop is optional, ¼ cup scoop is too much). If using, dust the scoop with flour, if not, you only get to dust your hands and the plate.
Step 5: Scoop out the golf-ball sized pieces of dough. Eye-ball it or use the precise measure – at any rate for the prettiest presentation and cooking time you want them as even as you can manage. Flatten each ball into a patty, but don’t go overboard with flattening. This is syrnik, not a pancake.
Step 6: I am almost positive that your frying pan is not large enough to fit all the syrniks in so place the first batch of syrniks about half an inch apart into the bubbling butter. These babies raise nicely, so to avoid problems with flipping them over, do leave that space in between! Fry syrniks on one sides, just enough to give them a golden shine, and for the patties to become definitely solid, and dry up top. Flip over and let the other side feel the heat.
Now, here you make the choice. You can either collect your batches of syrniks into a REALLY BIG lasagna dish (I have that scary size Jumbo one), cover with foil and let them finish off in the oven for 30 min @ 365 degrees. The goal is to bake the middle, so test one.
Alternatively, reduce your heat, and cover your frying pan with a matching lid to achieve the same effect, letting them steam and be happy. You will have to either use two pans or enjoy the first batch while the second one is cooking.
The Many Ways to Roll The Cabbage
The first thing about making the cabbage rolls is to muster the cabbage. Cabbage selection is an art. I prefer tight, light and flatter cabbages to the round, green and loose ones. So did my grandma. Must be hereditary.
For two of the 3 variations on Golubtzy (or Cabbage Rolls) you will need to learn to undress the cabbage. Do not expect to be able to go from the outer shell to the very core. Getting 15 leaves is great, a dozen is about average from a garden variety cabbage. I remove the outer cabbage leaves, steam them for a few minutes till they soften, immerse in the ice-cold water in the sink, drain in a colander, let drip dry on a paper towel, then cut off the back of the thick portion of the leaf. For mini-rolls the leaves can be broken, so you could keep stripping more than the premium outer leaves.
Now, if you do not want to deal with the cabbage stripping, the first recipe is for you. Well, that is if you are comfortable with chopping the cabbage.
The First Way: Lazy Golubtzy.
My mom was working full-time, so she was not into stripping cabbage leaves and rolling cabbage rolls. But she loved Golubtzy. So, she made what most of us lazy Russians make instead – Lazy Golubtzy. (It's like the Japanese making scattered sushi, while the rest of the world rolls 'em up.) My mom loved it (Lazy Golubtzy, not sushi), I loved it, grandma lived with it, and my littl’ parrot went crazy over it nose diving into our plates and plucking pieces out from between our fingers that desperately covered the plates (true story). You do need a really big electric pan (wow, that comes as a surprise I wager!)
1 lb of cabbage, shredded
4-6 large carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
A mix of ground meats, beef, pork, lamb, turkey or anything else to come up to 1 to 1&1/2 lbs (you can use all the same meat, but it’s boring!)
6 hard-boiled eggs*
4-5 cloves of garlic (or to taste if you aren’t into garlic)
1 tbsp of butter or other fat of choice
1-2 cups of broth (I prefer beef broth, but tastes differ)
Optional: cream or sour cream (Full Fat, please), bacon, whole dry chilies, parsley root
Spices: caraway seed (1/2 tsp), celery seed (1/2 tsp), black pepper (1 tsp), coriander seed (1 tsp), fennel seed (1 tsp), paprika (1/2 tbsp), salt to taste, 4 to 5 bay leaves, toasted
Herbs: lots of parsley (Italian Flat leaf. The curly one is good for flower arrangements)
*Hard boiled eggs is the OMG, PRIMALIZATION! If you are acceptant of rice, add a cup of dry rice and 4 cups of broth when you are adding meat and broth in. My mom was so lazy that she wasn’t even browning the meat (Oh, how I suffered....), just dumping everything raw in the pan and letting it do its thing, with the meat converting into broth and cooked meat simultaneously. I believe that it would work better with rice than with the primal version.
Step 1: Mix your meats together. Brown in batches till they are brown and quite crisp. Drain, and rinse under hot water if desired.
Step 2: Grind all spices together except the bay leaves.
Step 3: Either use the drippings from the meat or melt the fat of choice or turn the fatty bacon into bacon grease. Toss in chopped onions and carrots (and parsley root if using; most people do not have it on hand, so yeah, it is very optional). Let it sweat till translucent. Add crashed or sliced garlic and the ground spices, mix and add the cabbage and the ground beef. Once the mix becomes to dry out, add a cup of broth, the bay leaves (and whole dry chilies of using) and cover with a lid. Let simmer until the cabbage is tender, adding more broth if necessary to keep it moist, but not drowning in liquid.
Step 4: Mush the boiled eggs with a potato musher. Mix them into the lazy Golubtzy. Let simmer while you are chopping a mountain of fresh parsley. Mix in sour cream or cream, enough to keep everything in an awesome state of sleazy togetherness. Adjust seasoning (well, okay, add salt & freshly ground pepper if it doesn’t feel just right!), mix in the chopped parsley and put the pan on a wooden board in the middle of the table for everyone to dig in. Don’t forget the additional dish of the sour cream for extra authenticity.
You may or may not remove the bay leaves before plunking the pan on the table. The custom in Russia was to treat those and whole peppercorns as ‘surprises’ and the one who found it in his bowl was called ‘a commanding officer’ for the duration of the supper. Mercifully, when the lazy cabbage is served for supper, that duration is rather short.
Last edited by Leida; 09-14-2012 at 08:08 AM.
what a great thread. My Paternal grandfather was from Ukraine, my grandmother from Austria. She cooked all sorts of family foods and taught my Mother. My absolute favorite she called perogi but I have not seen it made the way she did. It actually, looks like a blintz.
You make a flour batter which is fried into 6" crepes, the cooked crepes are then filled with a mixture of "friendship farms' farmers cheese" the only farmers cheese that works as the other type is a hard cheese. Any way farmers cheese, an egg or two, parsley, salt. Mix that up, put some on a crepe, roll, fry in butter and serve with sour cream. Oh my yum! My absolute favorite food in the entire world. Unfortunately, I am lactose intolerant and don't eat grain, but for this I would eat the grain. In fact I have farmers cheese in my fridge and freezer right now as I buy it when I see it for sale as it is usually not carried locally. I hope it won't make me sick as it is cultured. However, I am afraid to try it. The last time I had dairy by mistake I couldn't move for 24 hours.
Did I mention this is my favorite food?
Has anyone heard of this way of making perogi or is this a dish with another name? with the mention of quark earlier it made me think that perhaps quark would have been the original cheese for this but if quark was not available to my mother perhaps the farmers cheese was a substitute. If I could find some sheep's milk perhaps I could make sheep's milk quark? If you are familiar with quark do you think it would work in this type of recipe.