When I think of beets, the first thing that pops into my head is:
Did you say "Dwight Schrute?" Yeah, me too. If you didn't say "Dwight Schrute," you need to go watch a few episodes of The Office. It's in syndication.
- A healthy super-food
- Those purple things at the salad bar that I usually try to avoid
- Dwight Schrute
Anyway, as you may have guessed, this week's menu features beets. I have never actually cooked beets before, because why would I. They grow in cans, don't they? They don't??
|Not one of my better photos, no.|
Before we get into that let's talk about our destination: Estonia.
|Sibulakula, Tallinn, Estonia. Photo Credit: Mariusz Kluzniak.|
For this entry I relied entirely on a single blog, the fabulous NAMI-NAMI, written by Estonian blogger Pille. Her blog is full of really tasty looking Estonian recipes, and it was hard to narrow them down. When I finally did, I came up with this menu:
Sealihast Ahjustrooganov Majoneesiga
(Oven-baked pork stroganoff with mayonnaise)
- 1 lb lean pork, cut into thin strips
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
9 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced (white, button or cremini)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- Finely chopped chives
(Layered Smoked Salmon and Vegetable Salad)
- 7 oz smoked salmon
- 2 medium potatoes
- 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 large beets, steamed or boiled (I steamed mine)
- 3 medium carrots, unpeeled
- 1 1/2 cups good-quality mayonnaise
- 2 eggs
(Estonian Soda Bread)
- 7 oz ricotta cheese
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 3/4 cup + 4 1/2 tsp milk
- 1 egg
- 1 1/8 cup barley flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
(Dried fruit soup)
- 18 oz mixed dried fruit
- 6 1/3 cup water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 whole cloves
- 1/3 cup caster (baker's) sugar
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 to 3 tbsp cornstarch
- Cold water
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Mix the ricotta cheese and sour cream with the milk, egg, salt and sugar.
First preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a medium-sized casserole dish.
Heat the oil over a medium flame and lightly brown the pork strips on both sides. Add salt and pepper and transfer to the casserole dish.
Boil the carrots and potatoes until just soft. Don't over boil them! Drain and cool, then peel and set aside.
Meanwhile, boil the eggs. Cool and peel.
Roughly chop the smoked salmon and then scatter over the bottom of a large glass serving bowl. Grate the potatoes over the salmon, and then scatter the onion over that.
Rinse the dried fruit and roughly chop. Transfer to a large saucepan and soak for two or three hours.
Put the pot on the stove and add the cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the fruit is soft. Now add the sugar and lemon juice to taste.
Now the soda bread I wasn't too crazy about (neither were the kids). It couldn't have been because of the ricotta, so I guess I'll have to blame that on the barley flour. It just made the bread taste a little bit too bitter for me.
We really liked the fruit soup, too. It's always great to find a dessert that isn't also full of fat. Three year old Henry was actually the biggest fan of the fruit soup—I think he had thirds. He asked me to make it again, too.
I bookmarked NAMI-NAMI and I'm pretty sure I'm going to go back there for more recipes, especially when winter comes back around. There's a lot of comfort-type food there and I can't wait to try some more of it. Thanks Pille!
Next week: Ethiopia
For printable versions of this week's recipes: