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  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Spring Greek Salad

    July 31, 2017 by Varga László

    Ingredients (2 servings):

    • 2 cornichon (smaller spring) cucumbers
    • 200 g cherry tomatoes
    • 2 green onions
    • 1 green garlic
    • 250 g halloumi cheese
    • 1-2 tablespoons dried oregano
    • 3-4 tablespoons Olive oil

     

    Preparation method:

    1. Wash thoroughly the cucumbers and slice them
    2. Cut the cherry tomatoes in halves
    3. Slice the green onions and green garlic
    4. Slice the halloumi cheese into around half centimeter slices.
    5. Add the halved cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, sliced green onions and ​garlic, the olive​ oil, oregano and a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
    6. Shake them gently together to homogenize.
    7. Heat the (flat top) grill and drizzle a bit of olive oil.
    8. Place the halloumi slices and fry them over medium heat for about 2 minutes until golden brown. Turn them and fry them for another minute.
    9. Serve the salad onto plates and place the grilled halloumi on top.