Facebook

Tumblr

Twitter @AHOFtweet

Slovak and Yugoslav Recipes





Subscribe to my Newsletter

Pascha or Paska Bread 

This bread was made with Mom and Grandma's recipe only for holidays such as Easter, Christmas, and usually Thanksgiving in our household. I have made the bread into a simplified Kitchen Aid Mixer version (click the link to go to the recipe); still delightfully rich; still great for sandwiches. The recipe is actually found elsewhere, but I made a loaf with the "crown of thorns" on top to show here.

This bread may have raisins added in, if desired. If so, add in about a cup of raisins at the beginning of the recipe, when flour goes in. The crown of thorns can be made in many different ways. Divide the dough into 3 or 4 sections. Three sections makes much larger loaves. Pinch off a small amount from one of the sections and set aside. Make the larger portion into a smooth ball and place on a greased baking sheet. Out of the smaller portion make either two long ropes, or three even longer ropes and either twice (if two) or braid (if three) and coil around the top perimeter of the round loaf. (Repeat with the other loaves, or bake them in loaf pans). Allow to rise until about doubled in bulk.

Very carefully, use an egg wash of one egg yolk and a tablespoon of water to paint the loaves before baking, which gives them the beautiful dark brown, shiny exterior. Do not allow the egg wash to run into crevices, as this will glue them and not allow for proper rising in the oven.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.


Pascha or Paska Bread
Pascha or Paska Bread
Return to Slovak Foods page
Return to main
Recipes page
Return to
Welcome page
Visit: A Harmony of Flavors Marketplace

 
 

Beets with Horseradish 

This combination has been a favored condiment to go with Easter ham (or for me, any time we have ham). It was traditional from my Serbian grandmother, and has remained so with me. I have seen it possibly called Hren, Ren, Chrin and many other things, I do not recall ever hearing it called anything but Beets with Horseradish in our household. This was served as a condiment in my family, to be eaten next to the ham, Sirets, and kielbasa with the Pascha bread. Alternatively, we put it on the ham in a sandwich, which is my favorite usage.

Amount is flexible, make as much as desired

1 (1-lb) can or jar beets, well drained
1 small jar horseradish, start with 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon sugar

Using a rotary grater or hand grater with small holes, shred the beets into a bowl. Add in horseradish, to taste. Use one teaspoon, one tablespoon, or however much to make is as hot as you will enjoy. Add in the sugar, to taste. Pack into jars for use over Easter with the ham.

NOTES: If the beets are pickled, meaning they already have sugar added, the added sugar is not necessary in this recipe.



Beets with Horseradish
Beets with Horseradish

Return to Slovak Foods page
Return to main
Recipes page
Return to
Welcome page
Visit: A Harmony of Flavors Marketplace





Subscribe to my Newsletter

Sirets or Hrudka 

This Egg Cheese ball is typically an Easter food. Some make a sweet version. Our family made the savory version. The recipe is very simple. My Serbian Grandma told it to me ln her very strong accent: "You just take a quart of milk and a dozen eggs. Mix them together in a pot and cook until it separates. Put in some sugar and salt and strain it in cheesecloth." My Grandma called this sirets, though I have seen it called hrudka, cirets and various other things.

Makes 1 large, or 2 smaller round balls of "cheese"

1 quart whole milk
1 dozen eggs
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
large piece of cheesecloth
strainer

In a large pot, whisk together all ingredients, then place pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally at first. Once milk and eggs begin to heat, stir with a wooden spoon until the "curds" separate and the rest is thin liquid.

Set a large strainer in the sink and line it with several layers of cheesecloth or a kitchen towel (not terrycloth). Pour all the contents of the pot into the cheesecloth. Allow it to drain briefly, then gather the ends of the cheesecloth and tie the top together, compressing the contents into a ball. Hang this ball so that it continues to drain
(my Grandma hung it from her kitchen faucet). Once well drained and cooled, wrap and place in refrigerator overnight to completely firm up. To serve, slice and set out for eating alongside ham and other Easter foods.

Sirets or Hrudka
Sirets or Hrudka (Pascha Bread in basket behind)
photos courtesy of
www.doghillkitchen.blogspot.com
Making Sirets or Hrudka
top left: the ingredients mixed in pan
lower left: beginning to separate
right: sirets ready to pour into cheesecloth

Return to Slovak Foods page
Return to main
Recipes page
Return to
Welcome page
Visit: A Harmony of Flavors Marketplace




Subscribe to my Newsletter

Nut Torta & Icing 

My Serbian Grandma most often made pastries of many varieties, but sometimes she made a cake
, rich with nuts, that she called torta. Most often she used black walnuts for this torta, but also regular walnuts or pecans at times. The icing she used is very soft and not too sweet. Many of her desserts, while very rich in nuts, eggs and lard, were not high in sugar.
This recipe was contributed by my sister Michele, who had Grandma's recipe in her files.

TORTA
10 eggs, separated
10 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped nuts; walnuts, pecans, black walnuts
3 tablespoons cracker meal
dash of salt

Grandma's NUT TORTA ICING 
1½ cups milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1½ cups granulated sugar
1½ cups white shortening


TORTA DIRECTIONS:

Beat the egg yolks until thick and creamy, adding 7 tablespoons of the sugar gradually. Add cracker meal, nuts, baking powder and salt, stirring by hand.

Nut Torta and Icing
Nut Torta and Icing
Beat egg whites until stiff, gradually adding the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar. Gently fold meringue into egg yolk mixture until combined. Pour batter into 4 lightly greased and floured 8-inch cake pans. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. The cakes will puff up, then deflate to about a third of the pan when cooling. The final cake is spongy and dense.

ICING DIRECTIONS:
Combine the milk and cornstarch in a small saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium heat until thick. Let cool.

Cream together the shortening and granulated sugar, then gradually pour in the cooled milk mixture until combined, then whip thoroughly. This icing does not harden.

NOTES on GLUTEN-FREE: While this recipe calls for cracker meal, I feel that using about 2 tablespoons of psyllium husks would work perfectly to give a small amount of stability to the batter, making this entire cake and icing gluten-free.

Return to Slovak Foods page
Return to main
Recipes page
Return to
Welcome page
Visit: A Harmony of Flavors Marketplace




Subscribe to my Newsletter

Nut Pita 

From my Serbian Grandmother, this not-too-sweet pastry is rich and delicious. She always cut them into diamond shapes for serving.

Makes two 9 x 13 inch pans


Dough:
4 cups flour
1 package dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
½ pound unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 cup cream, (evaporated milk will work)

Filling:
12 large eggs, separated
4 cups ground walnuts
2 cups sugar
¼ cup whiskey
Vanilla for brushing
Powdered Sugar for dusting

Nut Pita
Nut Pita


Mix the yeast into warm water to soften. Mix together and blend well (by hand or machine) all ingredients for dough and then divide dough into four parts. Roll out one part and line a 13 x 9" pan. 

Make the filling by beating together all of the egg yolks plus 2 of the whites, the sugar, whiskey and nuts. I
n a separate bowl, beat the rest of the egg whites and fold this into the yolk mixture. Pour half of this mixture into the dough-lined pan. 

Now roll out the second part of the dough and lay it atop the filling. Repeat with the other portions of dough and filling in a second pan. Slash tops of dough with a knife or prick with a fork and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until done. When done, sprinkle the top with vanilla, or use a pastry brush. Slice into diamond shapes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

NOTE: If you want to try this, but 2 (9 x 13-inch) pans seem too much, I split the recipe in half, using these measurements:
DOUGH: 2 cups flour,1¼ teaspoons instant yeast, 2 tablespoons water, 1 stick unsalted butter and ½ cup cream or evaporated milk. Divide dough into only 2 parts.
FILLING: 6 large eggs, separated, 2 cups ground walnuts, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons whiskey. Follow the same directions as above, using one of the whites with all the yolks, then beating the rest of the whites for the meringue. 

Return to Slovak Foods page
Return to main
Recipes page
Return to
Welcome page
Visit: A Harmony of Flavors Marketplace




Subscribe to my Newsletter

Kolach Rolls 

(Nut and Poppy Seed Rolls)

The recipe for these rolls comes straight frommy Aunt Mary, written in her own hand. In more recent years I have ground the poppy seed myself and used her recipe for the filling, rather than use the poppy seed filling sold in a can, which always leaked out while baking. These are a favorite childhood memory.

Makes 6 rolls

DOUGH
1 cup milk
2 packets yeast
1 cup unsalted butter
7 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
½ pint sour cream (1 cup)

FILLINGS: (1-2 Cups Per Roll)

NUT FILLING:  6 cups walnuts, ground (about 1½ lbs)
1/3 cup melted butter
1½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
milk, just enough to dampen

POPPYSEED FILLING:
1 pound poppyseed, ground fine
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (up to 2 tsp)
milk, enough to moisten
raisins (optional)













MAKE DOUGH:

Scald milk; cool to lukewarm. Sprinkle in the packetsof yeast and let stand until bubbly. Cut the butter into the flour, as for pie dough. Add the sugar, salt, eggs, sour cream and the yeast mixture.  Knead till smooth and elastic. Wrap in plastic wrap and put into a plastic bag and  REFRIGERATE OVERNIGHT.

Next day, cut the dough into 6 equal parts.  Roll out about 1/8-inch thick on a floured board (about 12 x 12 inch square).  Brush dough with melted butter. Spread with filling of choice. Roll up, place on greased baking sheet, seam side down.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour.  Brush with milk.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

MAKE FILLINGS:

For Nut Filling, combine all ingredients and use just enough milk to moisten the filling to dampness. Makes enough for 3 rolls.

For Poppy Seed Filling do the same.  If using raisins in the poppyseed filling, rinse them in hot water, drain, and sprinkle over the filling once spread on the dough. Makes enough for 3 rolls.

Poppyseed and Nut Kolach
Poppy Seed and Nut Kolach Rolls, above
Rolling Poppy Seed Kolach, below

Rolling Poppyseed Kolach

Return to Slovak Foods page
Return to main
Recipes page
Return to
Welcome page
Visit: A Harmony of Flavors Marketplace




Subscribe to my Newsletter

Grandma's Anise Cookies

 


Sadly, this recipe is not directly from Grandma, though it is the same cookie. These cookies must rest for 18 hours before baking, so plan ahead. The bake to a cookie base with a puffed meringue-like top.  Grandma always topped these with the little hard colored sprinkles.

1 cup sugar
3 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1½ tablespoons crushed anise seeds




Beat the 3 eggs until very light colored.  Add the sugar gradually.  Beat at least 3 to 5 minutes on medium speed with an electric mixer, then add in the vanilla.  Sift the flour before measuring, then resift with the baking powder.  Add the anise seeds.  Add the dry ingredients to the beaten egg mixture and once incorporated, beat the batter for another 5 minutes.
Drop the batter, ½ teaspoon at a time, well apart, onto a cookie sheet lined with foil.  The ½ teaspoon should spread to a 1-inch round, but not more.  If it does spread more, add a little more flour to the batter. 
Permit the batter to dry at room temperature for 18 hours.  Bake the cookies in a preheated 325 degree oven, until they begin to color, about 12 minutes.  When done, they should have a puffed meringue-like top on a soft cookie base.
Return to Slovak Foods page
Return to main
Recipes page
Return to
Welcome page
Visit: A Harmony of Flavors Marketplace





Subscribe to my Newsletter

Bobalky 

From the Yugoslav / Serbian side of the family, this traditional Christmas dessert recipe was a delight every single year. Traditionally, the only ingredients Grandma used were the bread dough, pre-ground poppyseed and honey. This is a recipe completely from scratch, but can be modified using store bought bread dough and Solo poppyseed filling. Longing for Bobalky when in Guatemala, Mom typed out the recipe and mailed it to me, so I could make it down there. If you like poppyseed, you will love this recipe!  It is easily doubled or tripled!

10 ounces of bread dough (or ½ of one loaf of my Kitchen Aid Mixer Bread)
¼ cup ground poppyseed (¾ ounce)
1/3 to ½ cup honey

Bobalky
Bobalky, traditional Christmas dessert


If you are fortunate enough to live in the Slovak area of Pennsylvania, you may buy pre-ground poppyseed. If not, you will need a poppyseed grinder, as this recipe will not work with whole poppyseeds. 

Make or buy bread dough. If making my Kitchen Aid Mixer Bread, which yields 4 loaves, use half of one loaf to make Bobalky, or use the whole loaf worth of dough and double the recipe.

Half inch dough balls to bake
Half-inch dough balls to bake

Soaking with hot water
Soaking with hot water

Adding the honey
Adding the honey

Mixing Ingredients together
Mixing ingredients together

Take the dough and roll into a half-inch thick rope. Cut half-inch bits off and set them about an inch apart on a greased baking sheet. Allow to rise briefly, until nearly doubled in size. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden.

Immediately turn the little balls into a large colander and set the colander into a large bowl. Run hot water over the balls, tossing repeatedly with hands or a silicone spatula. Very gently, squeeze the balls just until you can feel the air starting to leave them. This ensures they will absorb enough water. They should be very soft. Dump the wet bread balls into a bowl and add in the ground poppyseed and the honey, to taste. Toss until combined. Enjoy!

Return to Slovak Foods page
Return to main
Recipes page
Return to
Welcome page
Visit: A Harmony of Flavors Marketplace



Chicken Paprikas

 


A Slovak recipe, pronounced "Paprikash", though I know the "h" is not actually on the end of the word in the Slovak language.  This recipe is a great one to be able to stretch to feed more than it would seem.  I have no formal "recipe", but only what Mom told me, as Grandma told her.  I will approximate as best I can, and hope someone out there will give it a try, because it is really delicious.


Makes at least 6 - 8 servings

1 whole chicken, cut up
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 - 4 cloves garlic, sliced or smashed

4  tablespoons sweet Hungarian Paprika
2½ cups water
1½ teaspoon salt
Pepper, to taste
½ cup flour for thickening
1 cups milk

Chicken Paprikas over Rice
Chicken Paprikas served over rice, above
Making Paprikas, below

Making Paprikas
Making Paprikas




Cut up the chicken into the usual pieces; wing, breast, thigh, leg. Slice the onion thinly, and then cut the slices into quarter rounds.

Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch Oven; add the onions and saute till softened. Add chicken pieces and brown slightly on one side. Turn chicken pieces over and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the paprika onto the browned side of the chicken. Make sure that all the exposed surface of the chicken is fairly well covered. Once the second side of the chicken is browned, turn over once again and repeat with 1 more tablespoon paprika till this surface is also fairly well covered. Push these chicken pieces to one side, piling to keep out of the way and add in the rest of the chicken, repeating the browning process, and sprinkling with another tablespoon of paprika per side.

Add water to the pot till the chicken is nearly covered. Add salt and some pepper, if desired; bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover and cook until the chicken is done and will easily be pulled off the bones, about 1 to 1½ hours.  Remove chicken pieces from the pot and set aside to cool slightly, reserving the broth in the pot. If there is too much fat floating on the top of the soup, use paper towels to skim off some of it. Whisk together the milk with the flour till fairly lump free. Place a strainer over the remaining pot of simmering broth, and pour the milk/flour slurry into the strainer, at the same time whisking the simmering liquid briskly, to thicken without lumps forming. This may take a little juggling if your strainer isn't long enough to hang across the pot!  If so, pour some of the milk/ flour mixture into the strainer, whisk until incorporated, and pour in a little more and whisk some more.  The goal is to have thickened the "soup" in the pot to a gravy. Mix until the milk/flour has been cooked in. Taste. Add salt if needed.  t this point the mixture should be a lovely pinkish color from all the paprika. If not, add more paprika!  Maintain a low simmer.

Remove all the skin and bones from the chicken pieces. Tear the chicken into medium shreds. Add the chicken back into the pot and reheat. Serve over mashed potatoes or white rice.

NOTES: This dish must be made with whole chicken, on the bone. This is what makes the dish so flavorful. In the interest of a healthier outcome, I have tried using just boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The final product had no flavor at all. As a thought, possibly using chicken stock rather than water to cook it might help, but I strongly recommend using a whole cut up chicken.

In every other recipe for "Chicken Paprikash" I have ever seen, the step with the milk and flour added to thicken is conspicuously missing, yet there is always the addition of heavy cream or sour cream to the dish at the end. I have to wonder if Grandma, having made this through Depression times, had no cream or sour cream at hand, and substituted thickening it with the milk and flour?  No way to be sure at this point in time.
Out of curiosity though, I have added some sour cream at the end of making the dish Mom and Grandma's way, and Yum, it is good!

Mom always, always served this with cranberry sauce. The flavors are so ingrained in my mind together.

Mom also, very occasionally, would substitute veal stew meat for the chicken in this recipe, and then it was called "Veal Paprikas."

Mom never cooked with fresh garlic, but I learned to use and love it.  I add in a couple of cloves of garlic, minced just before adding the water to the browned chicken to cook.

Return to Slovak Foods page
Return to main
Recipes page
Return to
Welcome page
Visit: A Harmony of Flavors Marketplace




Subscribe to my Newsletter

Dad's "Chicken Paprikas" 

My Dad, of Yugoslav parents, also made what he called "Chicken Paprikas", but this was an entirely different recipe.  Dad's was more a chunky soup.  The chicken pieces remain whole, and the addition of other vegetables makes this another delightful dish.

Serves 6 to 8

1 whole chicken, cut into about 12 pieces
2 tablespoons butter
3 - 4 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1 large onion, cut in 1-inch chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
3 - 4 carrots, peeled, sliced
3 - 4 medium potatoes, peeled, cut into 1½-inch chunks
1½ teaspoons salt
Pepper, freshly ground, to taste
4 cups water

Dads Chicken Paprikas
Dad's Chicken Paprikas, aka Chicken Stew

Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven, and begin browning the chicken pieces; when browned, remove to a plate and brown the rest. Sprinkle paprika over both sides of all the pieces and return to the pot with the onion, garlic and green peppers.  Toss to begin softening for about 5 minutes. Add in the water, salt, pepper and potatoes. This part should take about ½ hour. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, put a lid on the pot and allow to stew for about 1½ hours, or until the meat is beginning to fall off the bones. Check for seasoning. Serve in soup bowls.


Return to Slovak Foods page
Return to main 
Recipes page
Return to 
Welcome page
Visit: A Harmony of Flavors Marketplace





Subscribe to my Newsletter

Holupki  
(Stuffed Cabbage Rolls) 

Called many things in different countries (Halubki, Golumpki, etc), these Cabbage Rolls are a common theme in eastern European cooking.  These were served regularly throughout my childhood, and bring back all kinds of memories.  I taught my daughter Jennifer (whose husband is Polish, and longing for Golabki ) to make these just recently.  We made a huge batch for family coming to visit, but I will pare down the ingredients to a more normal size here.

Makes approximately 12, depending on size

1 large cabbage
2 pounds hamburger meat 
   (or substitute ½ pound of the meat with ground pork)
1 medium onion, chopped and lightly sauteed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper, or to taste


Holupki | Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Holupki, or Stuffed Cabbage Rolls


Holupki ready to cook
Holupki, ready to cook

2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1 cup rice, uncooked
1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
½ teaspoon sugar (to round out the flavor)
½ teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
2 or more sprigs fresh thyme
water, as needed to cook




Directions: Bring a large pot of water to boil. Remove some of the outer cabbage leaves, as whole as possible. Place into the boiling water until they are soft, then remove and set aside. When the leaves on the remaining cabbage become too entangled to separate, place the rest of the whole head into the pot and allow the leaves to soften. Remove periodically to trim off leaves at the core end. You will need at least 12 or so viable cabbage leaves for rolling the meat. Take the remaining cabbage and chop roughly. Place half the chopped cabbage into the bottom of a large pot or Dutch oven.  Set aside the remaining chopped cabbage.

In a large bowl, mix together the meat(s), onion, garlic, egg, salt, pepper, paprika and rice. Do not over mix. Trim off the thickest parts of one cabbage leaf, then take one portion of meat mixture (approximately 2/3 to 3/4 cup worth) and set on one end of the leaf. Roll, burrito-style, folding in ends and tucking as necessary. Repeat, until all the meat is rolled into cabbage leaves. Place the rolls into the pot, on top of the chopped cabbage. Top with the remaining chopped cabbage. Tuck the bay leaves down between the rolls, and place the thyme sprig(s) on top. 

Combine the tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes. Add in more salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the tomato mixture over the cabbage rolls. The rolls should not be submerged, but nearly covered. If the tomato mixture is not quite high enough, add water until just the tops of the rolls are visible.

Set over high heat to bring to boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 1½ - 2 hours. Best served with mashed potatoes.

Return to Slovak Foods page
Return to main
Recipes page
Return to
Welcome page
Visit: A Harmony of Flavors Marketplace



 


Subscribe to my Newsletter

Kifli 

So far I have posted 3 Slovak recipes, so here is one from the Yugoslav / Serbian side of the family. These are flaky little dessert pastries that melt in your mouth. They are really best if the fillings are made from scratch (such as my Apricot Filling or Prune Filling), as they won't run when baking, but Solo Poppyseed Filling, Apricot Jam or Prune Lekvar will do.

1½ tsp instant dry yeast (½ pkt)
3 cups flour
¼ pound lard
¼ pound unsalted butter
1 egg, whisked
¼ cup whipping cream, or heavy whipping cream
¼ cup evaporated milk 
½ cup solo dessert filling, poppyseed or prune “Lekvar" are common
confectioners' Sugar, for rolling and sprinkling

Kifli - Ready to Bake   kifli
Kifli, Ready to Bake                 |                             Kifli, served

Mix instant dried yeast into flour. Work in the lard and butter as for pie dough. Add egg and cream and work with hands until the dough pulls from sides of the bowl. Do not over mix.

Sprinkle your work area with powdered sugar and roll out a portion of the dough.  Cut dough into 3-inch squares.

Fill these small squares or circles by placing ¾ teaspoon of filling of your choice in the center. Bring up opposing corners, dampen the edge with milk or cream and pinch together, then fold the pinched piece over. Bake on parchment lined cookie sheets for 15 to 18 minutes at 375 degrees. Bottoms will be golden and tops will just start to become golden color. Remove from oven, place on a rack to cool and sprinkle with more confectioners' sugar.                                          

Makes about 100

Return to Slovak Foods page
Return to main
Recipes page
Return to
Welcome page
Visit: A Harmony of Flavors Marketplace