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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: 16 March 2019 at 13:28


Gracoman,

Extraordinarily wonderful .. 

Congratulations.  
Volamos a Mediterraneo, un paraiso que conquista su gente u su cocina.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 March 2019 at 06:38
Originally posted by Wannabebwana Wannabebwana wrote:

Honestly not trying to hijack this thread but I remembered that I had taken a pic of the English language menu at the Georgian restaurant.    I’m sure you’ll recongnize some dishes here. FYI, a Ukrainian Ghrivna is about 26:1 US$, so the prices were very reasonable.


I'd love to be sitting in front of a menu like that one


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 March 2019 at 07:17
+1 on that sentiment!

Note the names of the Khinkali: Village Khionkali and City Khinkali.  Hmmmmm? Is that like the diference between Country Ham and City Ham?Confused

I'm guessing that "fried Khinkali" has no filling.  

Still and all, I want one of everything. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wannabebwana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 March 2019 at 08:44
A note on the Imeretian (fresh cow's milk) cheese.  I think it's the "Farmer's Cheese" we discussed up-thread.  

While in Ukraine I visited the local farmer's market.  They had this cheese in huge truckles, as well as a similar type made with fresh colostrum milk.  It was very yellow as compared to the regular product.  Also distinctly sweet.

The Ukrainian product is called Molozyvo: https://warriorshack.com/colostrum/

I don't know if the Georgian's do similar cheese, but it is done in India.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 March 2019 at 09:10


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 March 2019 at 11:58
Nice find, G-man.

My concern: While she doesn't specify, will pasturized milk work for this? My feeling is that, like most cheeses of this natutre, it's made with raw milk. And, alas, that's unavailable 'round heah. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 March 2019 at 18:59
I'm sure American pasteurized, homogenized whole milk will be fine.  I did take note when making the yogurt, pasteurized whole milk was encouraged because raw milk has its own bacterial culture that would likely overwhelm the Matsoni culture that is artificially introduced.  The writer also mentions whole milk in US gallons.  This may, or may not, be a clue.

I'm no cheese making expert but the only difference I see between Farmers cheese and Imeretian cheese is the coagulant used.  I suspect, in the end, that doesn't make a difference.  Farmers cheese uses vinegar or lemon juice as the coagulant and the recipe I posted for Imeretian cheese uses rennet.

Rennet will make a sweeter finished product (because that's what rennet does) but which coagulant do you suppose rural Georgians use? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 March 2019 at 08:05
Good question, G-man.  

Nowadays most Georgians are more likely to purchase the cheese, rather than make their own. Heck, truth is they're just as likely to buy the finished bread.

Back in the day? While "vinegar" is the knee-jerk reaction, aren't there natural rennets that could have been used? I seem to remember that many fruits--particularly the skins---contain it.  Or is that pectin I'm thinking of? Could be I'm misremembering.  Wouldn't be the first time. Nor, I reckon, the last.

When I was young, back when there were wolves in Wales and snakes in Ireland, I had a teacher who taught us how to make cream cheese.  The curds were formed with no additives. Instead, the milk was allowed to stand at room temperature until it fermented, and separated.

That doesn't work so well with modern milks. They take two days longer than forever to "spoil." So vinegar is used to achieve that purpose.  

Could be a similar situation?

I notice in the recipe that she specifies liquid rennet.  Any reason you can think of that powdered wouldn't work just as well?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 March 2019 at 08:13
Brook - I believe you are thinking of pectin; however, there is a plant-based rennet that comes from cardoon thistle, artichokes, or nettles.

As I recall, animal-based rennet comes from the inner stomach linings of young animals such as cows, sheep and goats; indeed, the first cheeses may have been made accidentally by shepherds carrying their daily milk using a calf's or kid's stomach as a carrying bag.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wannabebwana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 March 2019 at 08:31
Recipes like this seem to just involve natural fermentation.

https://natashaskitchen.com/farmers-cheese-recipe-%D0%B4%D0%BE%D0%BC%D0%B0%D1%88%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%B9-%D1%81%D1%8B%D1%80/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 March 2019 at 10:15
"Tvorog" goes by several names, depending on geography. I would really like to give this a try, sometime. I have no reason not to - I just never get around to it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2019 at 06:55
Mtsvadi - The Dish Of Kings

"Properly made mtsvadi is an extraordinary dish. Preparing it is an entire ritual. Mtsvadi made outdoors, on an open fire is very special and completely different from that made at home using a frying pan or an electric cooker. This is in Georgian genes. We’ve enjoyed it since ancient times and mtsvadi is subconsciously bound to our distant ancestors’ ritual of roasting meat over a fire after a hunt. By the way, it is known that Erekle ll, one of Georgia’s greatest kings, was especially fond of eating mtsvadi in the mountains.
Mtsvadi can be made with pork, mutton or veal. Beef should be used only if all other options are unavailable. Marinating the meat in pomegranate juice before roasting makes it especially tender, juicy and delicious."
--From Georgian Cuisine

This "meat on a stick" (I used chunked pork butt) was marinated in a mix of 3 cups pomegranate juice, a boatload of sliced red onion (2 large) and 3 T of the spice mix Khmeli Suneli for two days before skewering and slow roasting. The marinated pork was based frequently with red wine (red wine and salt is called for but I left out the salt) as it slowly grilled over lump. Traditionally, this is grilled over grape vine but I used lump with apple smoke wood. Best I could do.

Skewered marinated pork butt chunks waiting for the fire

Kebabs on the fire


Green Tkemali - wonderful stuff

The dome of my ceramic cooker easily closes over the 27" long 1/2" wide flat skewers preventing flareups.  Turning them is a breeze.


Slow cooking. Pic shown basting wine.

Finished mtsvadi plated with sliced red onion (don't be shy with the onion), pomegranate seeds, red ajika and green tkemali.

A little closer

Extraordinary, wonderful, remarkable.  Yes, we liked it.

I had originally planned on serving this with shoti puri, Georgian bread, but I didn't have time to make that so I substituted Naan flat bread which is available at my local market.  One can wrap shoti around finished skewers and pull the meat off causing juices to run into the bread but I took the citified approach.  Maybe next time.  And there will be a next time. 

We spread red ajika on the naan bread, added the meat, onion and pomegranate seeds, and spooned tkemeli over the top.  Then we spooned more tkemeli over the top. 

I began by reconstituting pre packaged dried red ajika but that stuff is basically flavored salt.  I won't use it again as a relish.  The jarred hot gourmet ajika I bought from the online Russian store was immensely flavorful, spicy (but not to spicy) and made a wonderful addition to these flatbread sandwiches.

Mtsvadi alone was worth this exploration.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wannabebwana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2019 at 07:06
Awesome!  I managed to source some of those heavy-duty skewers at the East European market.  

The Ukrainian version of this is called Shash-lik and is made very much the same way - long marinade, then grilled over charcoal.

The Ajika is a fabulous addition.  I have a jar in my fridge, too.  The thick texture lends itself so well to dabbing food, unlike the runny, vinegary hot sauces we use here.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2019 at 10:23
Well - that truly looks delicious....

I've got half a pork butt in the freezer, and the weekend should be nice enough to light up the Weber Kettle....

I might be missing one or two of the components, but I'd really like to give the basic idea a try, even if it is improvised a bit ~
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2019 at 15:33
My copy of "Supra" has arrived, and I'm more than impressed. It's everything I expected and more.

I'll definitely be making some of the dishes in it, particularly those not found in my other references.

I especially enjoy the author's stories in which he recounts memories of those dishes served by his grandmother.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2019 at 18:41
Yes, I agree.  Supra is a great book.  Glad you ordered it.

Interestingly enough, the recipe that struck me the hardest, right between the eyes,  out of this recipe filled book, was the prune cake.  Deda's Shavi Kliavis Namzxvari.   C'mon, really? Prune cake? 

Its going to happen sooner or later cause I won't know if I don't go so I'm in.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2019 at 16:11
I saw that, and reacted similarly.  Although I wasn't surprised. Coming from a central European background, prunes are a component in several pastries.)

Among the sweets, one that attracted us is the Cottage Cheese Cake with Apricot (Khajos Namzxvari).  Problem is, even in season, apricots, the last few years, have been on the iffy side. At least in our markets. Our new Whole Foods seems to do a better job with fruits and produce, so I'm hoping. 

One that hit me is the Crispy Fish with Mayonnaise and Walnut Sauce (Teysi Maionezis Sausit).  I've got some nice haddock fillets defrosting in the fridge.  Wanna guess what's on the menu for tomorrow?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 March 2019 at 15:48


Gracoman, 

Extraordinary photography !

_____________________________________________________________________

Lamb Rennet: 

Lamb Rennet is still used on the Island of Sardinia in the historical Barbaggia Mountains to make Pecorino Sardo ( Sardinian Aged Sheep Cheese ) ..  Was there a couple of years ago.  

The Dairy Farmers are:  The De Torre Family and one can find the Pecorino Sardo in Ferrara´s in Little Italy, Manhattan.  The 3 gentlemen´s  father used to import it to Ferrara´s ..  Do not know if they still do, as I live in Spain and have not been across the blue pond in years .. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 March 2019 at 18:11
So, we had the Crispy Fish, and it was delicious.  The double breading makes a very nice crust, and the sauce elevated it to something really special.  In fact, I can see the sauce with other things; cold cuts, for instance, even as a salad dressing.

One thing about Supra: being a chef-written book many of the recipes are modernized. For instance, i rather doubt that Panco breadcrumbs are a traditional ingredient.  But the proof of the pudding, as they say......

There's no question we'll be making more dishes from this book in future. 




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Percebes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 March 2019 at 21:51
Made the Imeretian today and will cure it a few days and make the Sulguni.
I skipped the rennet and was surprised I got a great curd set with just Calcium Chloride that I habitually use with pasteurized milk .
Found a Red Tkemali substitute at my regular grocery today-Spicy Plum and Pomegranate sauce from Israel
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