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  1. Watermelon Gazpacho – Summer Cold Soup

    August 25, 2017 by Varga László

     

    Ingredients:

    • 1 kg tomatoes
    • 1 kg watermelon
    • 1 cucumber peeled and cut into large chunks
    • 4 garlic cloves
    • 1 lime
    • 1 red pepper
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 100 g shelled pistachios
    • 1 small red onion

    Preparation method:

    1. Cut the tomatoes into large cubes.
    2. Peel the cucumber and cut into cubes.
    3. Deseed the watermelon and cut into pieces.
      Keep a few wedges with their _skins_ for garnishing.
    4. Slice the red pepper.
    5. Add the cubed tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, watermelon, garlic and the juice of a half lime to a bowl.
    6. With a hand blender turn all into a smooth paste, season with salt and freshly ground pepper according to your taste.

    7. Refrigerate it for a few hours before serving.
    8. Serve the soup chilled into smaller bowls, sprinkle on top some pistachios and _slices_ of red onions.
    9. Stick a wedge of watermelon and a slice lemon in the edge of the bowls.

  2. Šaltibarščiai – Lithuanian Pink Cold Beet Soup

    August 14, 2017 by Varga László

    Šaltibarščiai is one of the defining Lithuanian dishes, but also for the neighboring Latvians who call it Aukstā zupa.
    It means literally cold borscht, made with kefir, if you cannot find kefir you can replace it with buttermilk.
    As most Lithuanian dishes, this too is accompanied by potatoes.
    First I ate it when Latvian guests prepared this delicacy for an evening with friends.
    Second time I have tasted when traveling in the Baltic countries last year, in Klaipeda, yumminess in a saucer, great for hot summer days.
    Last days I had some guests, of which Indre, Lithuanian girl from Vilnius. Both with her and her boyfriend, Markus, we had a great time and from one thing to another, we ended up preparing this amazing cold soup, under her supervision 😀.
    Below is her recipe:

    Ingredients ( 6 servings):

    • 500 g potatoes
    • 500 g beetroots
    • 2 l kefir
    • 1 bunch of green onions (about 5)
    • 1 bunch of parsley leaves
    • 1 bunch of dill
    • 3-4 large cucumbers
    • 6 eggs
    • salt to taste

    Preparation method:

    1. Boil the potatoes with skins on. After they are boiled skin them and cut each of them in 4.
    2. Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise, then each one again twice lengthwise. Cut all of these quartered cucumbers in 2 mm slices.
    3. Chop the parsley leaves and dill.
    4. Cut the green parts of green onions into 1 cm pieces.
    5. Pour the kefir in a large pot to hold all ingredients.
    6. Grate the beetroots directly into the kefir pot, stir from time to time to check if you reached the desired pinkish colour.
    7. Boil the eggs hard.
    8. Add the chopped greens – dill, parsley, cucumbers and green onions, and stir them gently into the soup. Add salt to taste.
    9. Add the soup to the fridge to cool down for at least half an hour.
    10. Serve the soup in bowls, on top cut the hard boiled eggs into smaller pieces and sprinkle some extra chopped green leaves.
      On a separate small plate beside serve some of the boiled potatoes.

  3. Greek Octopus Cooked in Wine with Potatoes

    August 6, 2017 by Varga László

     

    A week ago I went home to my grandparents house to escape the heat wave we had in the city. Although there was also incredibly hot, the garden and the trees gave some shelter.
    As always when I’m going home I cook Sunday lunch’ main course. I wanted to cook some fish but I couldn’t find fresh fish to my liking so I bought some octopus.
    I remembered a dish I ate in the Greek island of Lefkada: octopus with potatoes in red wine, so I concocted a recipe similar to that:

    Ingredients (3-4 servings)

    • 1 kg octopus, cleaned

    • 3 tablespoons wine vinegar
    • 100 ml dry white wine
    • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 3 cloves of garlic
    • 4 bay leaves
    • salt and paste to taste
    • 500 g potatoes

    Preparation method:

    1. Boil in advance the potatoes as a whole.
    2. Wash and clean the octopus. Cut them into smaller pieces.

    3. Add the octopus pieces into a pot, garlic and bay leaves, pour over the wine, vinegar and 100 ml water.

       

    4. Cover and cook for about an hour, on medium heat.
    5. After about 40 minute of cooking add the halved/sliced boiled potatoes and the tomato paste and continue to simmer for another 15-20 minutes.
    6. Serve while still hot