One of the great things about living in Bulgaria, is being a member of the IWC, which organizes monthly events and this month all events revolved around the Czech Republic and Slovakia, so naturally I was excited for the cooking demo. Having never been to Prague or Bratislava, I was a little dense about what exactly were the national cuisines, but in my mind, I imagined goulash!
When we walked in there was a large table full of pastry and other treats, plus a huge mound of breaded chicken cutlets called “rezeň”… my mouth was watering. They also provided us with a print out of the recipes for the food that was prepared, but one recipe was missing… Haluski!
These were simply delicious!
Ingredients – basic recipe
-6 big potatoes /better boil them unpeeled 1 day before/
-1 small knob celery /boil in a slightly salted and vinegar soured water/
-2 boiled carrots
-3 boiled root parsley
-1 can of green pea
-sweet and sour canned cucumber /according to your taste/
-1 glass of mayonnaise /lighter variation is to mix ½ yogurt or sour cream and ½ mayonnaise/
- Boil potatoes and vegetables, peel them and cut everything into small cubes. You can sprinkle the diced potatoes with the sour cucumber brine.
- Mix together well with salted/peppered mayonnaise. Let it stand for several hours in a cool place. It tastes better on the second day!
Although they looks sinfully sweet they were perfect!
The highlight of the event was the Slovakian Ambassador H.E. Mr. Karol MISTRÍK, preparing a gnocchi like dish called Haluski. The recipe was not included on our sheet, but he described the ingredients and method, keeping the exact proportions a secret. He is from a region in Slovakia that is known for their Haluski, so he was holding some details close to the chest.
All mixed up!
Ready to serve… mmm bacon!
I Googled Haluski and found a recipe that sounded similar to the one the Ambassador described, minus the cheese and sauerkraut… click here. The taste is unique. It is definitely not a light dish, but quite delicious. It is kind of like a gnocci risotto if you can imagine such a thing.
We also had a chance to decorate traditional ginger cookies, which is quite a popular art form. One of the lovely Slovak ladies Petra demonstrated some of her skills. Then the rest of us got to give it a whirl. Overall it was a great demo! Thanks to all the organizers!
Petra doing her thing!
Shaolin’s Taiwanese inspired designs!
-650 g of all purpose flower
-200g sugar powder
– 50 g butter
– 3 eggs
– 3 tablespoons of honey
– a bit of cacao
– Rum (if desirable, for a nice aroma)
– 1 package of baking powder – specialized for gingerbread
- Mix dry ingredients
- Add eggs and honey
- Add melted butter
- Make a mixture and let it cool for some hours in the fridge (best overnight)
- Roll the gingerbread dough 2-3 mm thick and cut out the shapes you like (hearts, bears, bells act.)
- Bake on wax paper for 5-7 min, check for the golden color
White decorating mixture
1 egg white (without yolk)
140 g sifted sugar powder
¼ of teaspoon lemon juice