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GEORGIA ON MY MIND…..

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Margi Cintrano View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 March 2018 at 15:02
Brook and  Ron, 

Definitely has touches of the  " Ancient Silk and Spice Route " and the Persians and perhaps The  Greeks, and / or the ancient Palestinians ..  Olive oil has been produced in Israel and Palestine for over 8,000 years and wine vinegars to my knowledge hail from the  Roman Empire ..  

These récipes sound wonderful and are relatively simple to prepare too ..  

Savoury ( summer and Winter ) are Mediterranean, if I recall ..  

Thank you so much for posting ..  Shall take my time to re - read and see which I shall prepare ..  


As we have a time difference and it is 23.00 and I must be up at 6am, I must say goodnight .. Have a lovely evening .. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 March 2018 at 04:29
Margi, if you read further up, I discuss Georgia's geographic locale, and its place in the ancient trade routes.

Savory is thought of as Mediterranean because it now grows (and is used) throughout the region. It originated in southeastern Europe. The winter variety is a perennial (as opposed to summer savory, which is an annual) and is much stronger in flavor.

It's a very popular herb in Georgia, where, along with other fresh herbs, is often eaten out of hand.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 March 2018 at 06:27
Historic Foodie Brook,

Thank you, yes I just realised .. 

Fascinating and ancient  food culture surely and wonderful récipes ..

All my best wishes for a lovely day ..

  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 March 2018 at 10:40
Brook - another very nice installment of recipes. My list keeps growing!

The mushrooms in sour cream and both of the stews immediately appeal to me, and the others look good as well. I'll see if we can give the green bean one a try and let you know what we think - but that darn cilantro might end up being cut significantly with parsley!

Thanks again for a great installment, my friend - you are rocking this Georgian thing very much!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 March 2018 at 08:03
Here is another diverse group of Georgian dishes:

IKHVI MAQVLIT
(Georgian Duck with Blackberry Sauce)


Normally made with chicken, Carla Capalbo adapted it to duck. It can also be made using pork tenderloin---which I’ve done---and is equally delicious. If using pork, adjust cooking time appropriately.

2 boneless duck breasts, skin on, or pork tenderloin, or chicken breasts

For marinade:     

2 garlic cloves, minced     
½ tsp coriander seed, crushed
½ tsp grated fresh ginger     
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes     
3 tbls blackberry juice

For sauce:     

2 cups blackberries     
¼ cup water
¼ tsp coriander seed, crushed     
¼ tsp ground fenugreek
2 tbls chopped cilantro     
1 tbls chopped fresh mint
¼ tsp salt     
2 tbls lemon juice
12 blackberries for garnish

Prepare marinade in a zipper bag. Score duck skin, add to marinade, and coat well. If cooking berries after this step, add juice when ready.

Cook the blackberries with the water in a small saucepan, covered, over low heat. Cook until the fruit is soft, ten minutes. Remove from heat and push berries and juice through a sieve, discarding the seeds. Add the spices, herbs and salt to the juice and mix well.

Have the duck at room temperature. Pan fry skin side down, over high heat, until golden, about 4 minutes. Turn, and cook 3 minutes more.

Remove duck from pan, discarding all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Reduce the heat to medium low. Pour in the lemon juice and ¾ cup of the berry sauce and stir to scrap up cooking juices and fond. Return duck to pan and spoon sauce over it. Cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes (for medium rare). Add the remaining berries for the last few minutes. Allow the duck to stand for ten minutes. Slice diagonally. Serve with the sauce and berries.

KOMBOSTOS RULETI NIGVZIT
(Georgian Stuffed Cabbage


Here we have two versions of what is, essentially, the same dish. Filling #1 will make quite a few rolls. Filling #2 is just enough to use with the alternative rolling method. Interestingly, the second method is called Abkhazian Roule.

     Small head cabbage     

Filling #1: 3 heaping cups walnuts     
     ¾ tsp coriander seed
     ¾ tsp ground marigold     
     Scant 1 ½ tsp salt
     4 small garlic cloves, chopped     
     3 sprigs cilantro
     Pinch cayenne     
     Pinch dried fenugreek
     1 tbls red wine vinegar     
     6 tbls mixed chopped herbs
     Pomegranate seeds

Filling #2: 1 cup walnuts     
     2 cloves garlic
     1 tsp dried coriander     
     1 tsp dried marigold
     ½ tsp khmeli-suneli     
     Salt & hot paprika to taste
     ¼ cup cilantro, chopped fine     
     ¼ cup basil, chopped fine
     ¼ cup parsley, chopped fine     
     Sm onion, chopped fine
     1-2 tsp vinegar     
     Mayo, pomegranate seeds, opal basil garnish

Grind walnuts until very fine. In a mortar with a pestle, pound into a paste the coriander seed, marigold, salt, garlic, cilantro, and a pinch each of cayenne and fenugreek. Stir into the walnuts, then add the vinegar. Stir in the mixed chopped herbs and mix well.

Boil cabbage until tender. Carefully separate leaves. Working one leaf at a time, cut out tough rib, then mound about 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of leaf and roll it up to make a packet. Repeat with rest of leaves.

Cut each roll in half diagonally to expose filling. Serve at room temperature.

Alternatively, on a kitchen towel lay out 6-7 leaves in a row, overlapping about an inch. Spread the filling, leaving ½” margin on three sides, and 1” margin at the far edge. Using the towel, roll the cabbage like a strudel, ending seam side down. Let rest ½ hour, then refrigerate. Cut roll into 1” slices and arrange on a platter, garnishing each with mayonnaise, a pomegranate seed, and opal basil.

LABDA
(Georgian Potato Pancake)


This was a favorite of Georgian Jews, particularly during Passover. My father used to make a similar pancake, using raw, grated potatoes and without the walnuts---sort of like an overgrown latke---so I was really drawn to this dish.

1 lb boiling potatoes     
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 tbls finely chopped parsley     
½ tsp salt
Black pepper to taste     
3 lg eggs, beaten
2 tbls butter     
2 tbls vegetable oil

Boil the potatoes until tender, peel, and mash them. Stir in the walnuts, parsley, salt, pepper, and eggs, mixing well.

In a ten-inch skillet with sloping sides, melt 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil. When hot, spoon pancake batter into the pan, pressing down with a spatula to form and even cake.

Cook over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes, or until the bottom of the pancake is brown and crusty. Slide the pancake onto a platter.
Melt the remaining butter and oil in the skillet, then invert the pancake into the skillet and fry the other side until brown, about 4 minutes more. Slide out onto a platter and serve, cut in wedges.

KUPATI
(Georgian Sausage)


This is a truly special dish, reflecting, in its mixture of flavorings, Georgia’s location on the old Spice Road. I’m not quite sure what the shaping instructions mean; I just left the sausages in links. If casings are unavailable, the prepared sausage meat may simply be shaped into patties before cooking.
     Although I have no documentation for it, this sausage works equally well with lamb.

1 lb pork butt     
½ lb hard fatback, or salt pork blanched for 15 minutes.
1 tsp dried summer savory     
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves     
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp salt     
¼ cup tkemali sauce

Grind together medium-fine the pork butt, fatback, and garlic. Thoroughly work in the spices with your hands, then stir in the tkemali sauce. Stuff the mixture into casings to make sausages about 1 ½ inches in diameter.

Tie the casings at 8-inch intervals, tying off each link twice so that they can be cut apart. Separate the links and shape into horseshoes or coils. Either grill or fry the kupati in a skillet.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 March 2018 at 17:48
My guess would be that it means make a sausage, tie a knot, leave a space, tie another knot, then make another sausage. Then if you have a string of sausages to keep throughout the winter, you can cut between knots to get one sausage without breaking open the one next to it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 March 2018 at 18:24
Thanks, Melissa.

First off, this is a fresh sausage, not a cured one designed to keep.

That aside, I understood the instructions for double tying. When I was taught sausage making, lo! these many years ago, that was standard practice.

What confuses me is the "shape into horseshoes or coils." I don't know how that can be done with an 8" sausage link. Coils are usually made using the whole casing---or a significant part of it---without separating the sausage into links. In fact, left to its own devices, the sausage will naturally form such a coil as it comes off the filling machine.

I've no idea what the horseshoe shape would be. I get a mental picture of an open U. But don't know how you would shape that, or why.

Perhaps some of our members who are into charcuterie can help.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 March 2018 at 11:40
Many of these dishes sound amazing and they have been put on my every growing list.  I may start with the Tkemali sour plum sauce.

Brook, have you prepared this sauce as written or did you buy a bottle online.  If you have made this sauce, did you use the dried "Turkish Prunes"  or did you use whatever was available to you fresh.  I suspect it would be fantastic either way.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 March 2018 at 14:04
G-man, I made it using dried Turkish Prunes, following the recipe as written. It came out beautifully.

I've got a recipe for making it from scratch, as well. But, to work, you have to use under ripe plums, so as to get the sourness. Even in season, it's problematical whether you can find plums at the right stage.

In Georgia they use a particular wild plum that, apparently, grows all over the place.

I'll be happy to post the recipe if you want it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 March 2018 at 14:32
I'm going to check if dried Turkish prunes are available locally before I go further with this.  There are no specific Middle Eastern markets nearby but there are Asian and Indian markets.  Many times one or both will carry whatever Middle Eastern products I'm looking for.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 March 2018 at 17:00
If not, Amazon has them at a pretty good price. I ordered two pounds the other day, which cut the shipping cost exponentially.

Amazon lists them as sour plums.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 March 2018 at 19:48
Thanks for the tip.  If I can't find them locally I will order the sour plums from Amazon.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 March 2018 at 08:16
With this group of recipes I’m ending my exploration of Georgian cuisine. Don’t get me wrong; I’m certainly going to continue my research into this fascinating, some would say unique, culinary culture. There’s more I want to learn about Georgian foodways. And, as a separate but related topic, there’s the incredible wine-making process that needs examination. As time goes by, I’ll share any new insights. But, for now, we’ve pretty much provided an overview of the Georgian approach to food and ingredients.

I sincerely hope some of you will try a few Georgian dishes. And, when you do, you’ll post your experiences on this thread, so others can benefit.

KUTAISURE SALATI
(Georgian Tomato & Cucumber Salad)


I can’t think of a culture that doesn’t have a riff on tomato/cucumber salad. What makes this one different is the inclusion of fresh coriander (cilantro).
     That said, variations of this salad are found all over Georgia, having in common only tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs. So variations are endless.


4 ripe tomatoes cut in wedges     
2 med cukes, peeled & sliced
1 red onion, halved & sliced     
2 garlic cloves, chopped
½ cup coarsely chopped basil     
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
¼ cup olive oil     
Salt & pepper to taste

Place all ingredients except the oil, salt, and pepper in a salad bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil. Add salt & pepper and toss.

Chill before serving.

SOKO TSITELI TSITSAKIT
(Georgian Mushrooms and Red Peppers)


This recipe requires a fairly large skillet---14-16 inches---to accommodate the volume. If you don’t have one, just cut the recipe in half.

1 ½ lbs mixed wild & domestic mushrooms
1 cup onion, chopped     
3 tbls cold-pressed oil
1 large red bell pepper in large dice     
¼ tsp dried summer savory
½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed     
½ tsp ground fenugreek
¼ tsp red pepper flakes     
1 cup canned tomatoes with juice, roughly choped
2 garlic cloves, chopped     
½ cup mixed, chopped fresh herbs (parsley, basil, cilantro)
1 tsp salt or Svanetian salt (preferred)     
Freshly ground black pepper

Clean mushrooms. Leave small ones whole, cut large ones in half. Mushroom pieces should be large for this dish.

In a large frying pan, sauté the onion in the oil until it starts to soften and becomes translucent, 5-6 minutes. Stir in the bell pepper, dry herbs, spices, and red pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes, add the mushrooms, and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until mushrooms start to brown and release some of their moisture, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, the garlic and fresh herbs. Mix well, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 10 minutes. Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled.

BUGHLAMA
(Georgian Lamb with Eggplant)


Here we have a stew that resembles the hot-pots of the upper Midwest, in that the ingredients are layered, rather than mixed all together.
     I suspect that chicken stock was included by the author because it’s more readily available in North America. I made it with lamb stock, instead.


2 large onions, sliced     
4-5 potatoes, quartered
1 lb leg of lamb, cut in small pieces
2 lbs tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped
2-3 Japanese eggplants, sliced
2 green peppers, seeded and sliced     
1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
2 garlic cloves, chopped     
¾ cup chicken stock
2 bay leaves     
Salt & pepper to taste

In a large Dutch oven, arrange a layer of onion, then layers of lamb, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, green pepper, and cilantro. While layering, place the garlic pieces and bay leaves in among the vegetables and meat. Add the chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Cover tightly and simmer for 2 hours. Do not open the lid or stir while cooking. Bring the Dutch oven directly to the tale and serve.

As with many other Georgian stews, bread is the best accompaniment. I chose Georgian Spice Bread (see above), which made a nice pairing.

SHEMTSVARI TSITSILA SUNELEBSHI
(Georgian Game Hens in Herb Sauce)


There’s no reason to not make this dish with regular chicken, if you prefer. If so, adjust the other ingredients to the weight of the bird.

2 game hens     
¾ cup mayonnaise
¾ cup sour cream     
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp powdered marigold     
1 tsp dried coriander
¼ tsp cinnamon     
¼ tsp black pepper
Salt to taste     
Cilantro for garnish

Preheat oven to 400F. Roast the game hens for 35-40 minutes, basting often. Cut into serving pieces. Prepare the sauce by mixing the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, spices and salt together. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water to thin the sauce if necessary.

Put the pieces of game hen (or chicken) into a shallow bowl and pour the herb sauce over it. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 March 2018 at 08:57
Originally posted by Brook Brook wrote:

What confuses me is the "shape into horseshoes or coils." I don't know how that can be done with an 8" sausage link. Coils are usually made using the whole casing---or a significant part of it---without separating the sausage into links. In fact, left to its own devices, the sausage will naturally form such a coil as it comes off the filling machine.

I've no idea what the horseshoe shape would be. I get a mental picture of an open U. But don't know how you would shape that, or why.


I am thinking - just a guess - that each "horseshoe" is composed of two links, each of 8 inches. If this is true, then the links are cut off two at a time and then shaped thusly.

I've seen this before, quite a few times, and it would seem to fit the description, unless I am missing something.

That sausage looks great, by the way - another one that I would have to add to my list.

Very good recipes all, Brook - The final recipe, Shemtsvari Tsitsila Sunelebshi, might find its way onto our menu this week, as we had been planning an herb-roasted chicken and this would fit in just as well - actually better! One question about ingredients for this: with no powdered marigold on had, I am thinking that I can substitute with Khmeli-Suneli. What say you?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 March 2018 at 11:24
Given the other spices, Ron, I would cut back the Khmeli-Suneli to only about a half teaspoon. Or just leave out the marigold altogether; it'll still be flavorfull.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 March 2018 at 11:39
Sounds like a plan, Brook - thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2018 at 08:26
Brook - for the Shemtsvari Tsitsila Sunelebshi: using a "regular-sized" chicken, would you recommend doubling the ingredients, or is that a bit much? I was thinking perhaps 1.5x the recipe, rather than doubling...but that might not be enough.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2018 at 11:18
No, I would double it, Ron. Figure even the larger sized game hens would still be only 1 1/2 lbs.

Don't know what regular sized actually means. Most store-bought chickens, nowadays, run roughly 3-5 lbs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2018 at 11:21
>>>Most store-bought chickens, nowadays, run roughly 3-5 lbs.<<<

Yep, and the one we have in the refrigerator runs right toward the higher end of that. I'd say; maybe 4.5.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 March 2018 at 11:11
Sooooo, maybe triple the sauce ingredients?
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