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Another Plate Delicious (well, 3 more)

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HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
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    Posted: 16 August 2014 at 16:07
When doing our Ukrainian themed meal (http://www.foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/a-plate-delicious_topic4149.html?SID=98701586af3z8z6eezze6a4d3daa88978125) there were too many great sounding recipes. So we just had to do a second take.

This isn’t intended as one of our monthly themed meals. It’s just another way of exploring my newly discovered roots. Here’s the meal we prepared:

TUSHKOVA KURKA Z TSYBULIANO-MEDOVOYU PIDLYVOYU
(Poached Chicken with onion-honey sauce)


Poached chicken is an important stand-by ingredient in Ukrainian cuisine. It’s used in many main dishes, such as this one, or simple tossed with mayo and/or mustard as part of a zakusky hour, or incorporated into soups, stews, and casseroles.

I’m sure we’ll be making this again in the fall, when pumpkins are available. This time we subbed butternut squash, which has just started to show-up at the farmers markets in this area.

2 chickens about 3 lbs each, quartered & skinned
4 tsp coarse salt     
Freshly ground black pepper
Sweet Hungarian paprika to taste     
Cucumber & tomato slices for garnish

For the sauce:

3 tbls oil     
2 sweet onions, quartered & thinly sliced
1 cup meat or vegetable broth
2 tbls honey     
2 tbls apple cider vinegar
Salt and black pepper to taste

Put chicken in a pot. Cover with cold water. Bring to barely a boil over high heat, skimming any foam. At the boiling add the salt, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about an hour until chicken is tender. Transfer chicken to a bowl and let cool.

Make the sauce. Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onions. Reduce heat to low and gently sauté onions until very soft and fragrant (not browned) about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the broth, increase heat to high, and cook until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the honey and vinegar, reduce to low heat, and cook another ten minutes. Balance seasoning with salt and pepper.

Strip the chicken from the bones in large pieces. Arrange chicken on a serving platter and sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Garnish with cucumber and tomato slices and serve with the sauce.

Paprykash Z Pertsiv
(Bell Pepper Paprikash)


While this recipe shows a distinctive Hungarian influence, Ukrainians have adopted it as their own. It’s so popular, in fact, that canned versions are available in markets throughout the country. After tasting it, we can understand why.

2 tbls oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
2 tbls finely chopped carrot
2 tbls finely chopped celery
6 large sweet bell peppers seeded and cut into thick strips
3 large plum tomatoes
2 tbls tomato paste
½ cup vegetable broth or water
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 tbls apple cider vinegar
1 tbls honey

Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the paprika, carrot, celery, and peppers and continue cooking another 5 minutes, adding a little more oil if necessary. Do not allow the vegetables to brown.

Peel, seed and chop the tomatoes and add to the skillet along with any juices. Stir in the tomato paste, broth, salt, and black pepper. Allow the mixture to come to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently for about 10 minutes, adding a little more broth if liquid evaporates.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vinegar and honey. Let rest a few minutes for the flavors to marry. Can be served warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Kasha Z Prasa Ta Z Barbuzom I Medom
(Millet Kasha with Pumpkin and Honey)


When I was growing up, “kasha” was used to describe roasted buckwheat groats. Ukrainians use “kasha” to describe any grains cooked like porridge. So, while buckwheat is the most popular, so too are wheat and rye berries, barley, and, as in this case, millet.

2 tbls unsalted butter
1 cup peeled fresh pumpkin cut into small cubes
3 cups milk
1 ½ cups millet
1 tsp salt
3 tbls honey
Melted butter and additional honey to serve (optional)

In a deep casserole over medium heat, melt the butter and add the pumpkin. Cover and sauté until fork-tender, 15-29 minutes.

Add the milk and bring to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Stir in the millet, salt, and honey. As soon as the honey is dissolved, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook about 20 minutes, or until the milk is absorbed but the millet is still moist. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F.

Place the covered casserole in the oven and bake for about 39 minutes, or until the millet is dry and the pumpkin soft and tender. Fluff with a fork and serve in the casserole with melted butter and additional honey if desired.
But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 August 2014 at 17:34
All three of those really sound good, Brook - as someone whose ancestors spent a few generations in Ukraine, I watch these posts with great interest.

Those peasant meals between summer and autumn, with fresh ingredients and a myriad of flavours, really hit the spot.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 August 2014 at 18:57
Great stuff.

Although I would suggest. There is no recipe. These people took whatever they had and made a meal out of it.
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HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 August 2014 at 02:51
I'm not quite sure what you mean, Darko.

Whenever discussing something like this it's important to specify three things: who, where, and when. Otherwise we wind up making vague comments that may or may not be true.

F'rinstance, to say there is no recipe is belied by a quick look at Amazon, which, alone, lists nearly three dozen Ukrainian cookbooks in English. That's a lot of recipes.

To put a point on it: A post-Russian occupation middle-class woman, living in a city, is not only likely to use recipes, she probably has several cookbooks. On the other hand, a 17th century serf would likely fit the mold you describe. But they are both Ukrainian, using more-or-less traditional recipes to feed their families.

Another aspect to consider. Here at FotW, without intending to, we tend to divide food into two classes; peasant and palace. But, for every cuisine, there is a whole culinary world lying between those two. A world that most certainly includes recipes (albeit, not always written-down ones).
But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 August 2014 at 16:46
You know what Brook? I'm not sure I know what I mean either!!! LOL. I was into the second bottle of wine at that point. I'm sure it made sense to me at the time, but alas it escapes me at the moment.

If I figure it out, I'll let you folks know.

Darko
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 August 2014 at 22:23
OK! I've figured out where I was coming from.
For better or worse, I have this idea in my head that  Eastern European food is just that... Food. Not a dish made from a recipe, but stuff thrown together because that was what was available.

My fault of course, but it is what I grew up with, Mom or Grandma making a meal of whatever was available.A bit of this, a bit of that. 

Over time, I've found that how my mom makes a dish is different to how my wife's mom made the same dish . It's different to how other people make the dish.  Same dish, same ingredients(give or take) same method of cooking.

But, it's different.

Cabbage rolls for example, I can eat the ones my mom made, but my mother in law's, I wouldn't feed them to my cats(not that they would eat them),. It isn't that they're bad, it's just that they are different...way different to what I think that cabbage rolls  should taste like.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 August 2014 at 14:10
I recently learned that my mom's Swedish Meatballs and Blitz Kuchen are totally different from most people's versions of those things, but I love them.
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