This is a nostalgic recipe for me: borscht, a soup from the former Soviet Union. Probably the reason why there are still fights who can call it a national dish. Whereas Russia has declared the dumplings called pelmeni its national dish, Ukraine claimed borscht, the soup with red beet, a national treasure. However, quite a few of the former states of the union serve a variety of this famous soup. The main ingredients are usually red beet and cabbage. In the Ukraine typically it will be served with sour cream, dill, and vinegar. Since I got used to the version from my grandma, who was born in Odessa, Ukraine, it probably comes as no surprise that I will introduce the Ukrainian version here.
I would like to start off 2024 with a stew from the north of Spain. The two main ingredients are potatoes and chorizo sausage. Normally the stew is seasoned with either the paprika paste called “pimiento choricero” and/or with the smoked paprika powder “pimentón de la vera”. Here in Germany you will find smoked paprika powder, so that is why I went with that. However, feel free to order the “real” ingredients online. I got to learn about this dish in the north of Spain. It comes from the region La Rioja. Quite a few of the relatives of my husband live there. I love this stew in winter, it is hearty, warming, and it is pretty easy to prepare. We are fortunate enough to receive a parcel with chorizo and such every Christmas, so we don’t have to improvise or replace ingredients. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Everybody talks about sustainability and I am doing my best not to waste resources. Today I decided to put this into practice by using leftovers from Christmas and make something delicious with it. In my opinion a pie is the secret to any leftovers. As soon as you sandwich leftovers between pie dough, it makes it so much better. And to make it even more convenient, you can freeze the unbaked pie, so you can enjoy it at a completely different time and don’t have to eat the same thing for a week. Plus, even something like gravy can be hidden in this pie. The pictures show a pie that contains leftover cranberry sauce. Another version I made was with some apple and raisins. Both were extremely delicious.
Arroz con pollo can be translated as “rice with chicken”. This is a one-pot meal popular in all of Latin America. Each country has their secret ingredient, each one swears their version is the best. Below version is popular in Colombia aka is the recipe from my mom-in-law. Yes, it contains the three main components, rice, chicken, and vegetables. But my mother-in-law likes to spice it up using some sausages in addition. She also swears by preparing each component separately to keep the rice moist. It is only at the end that she combines all the three. So this is not the traditional way of preparing this meal, but I have to say, I like her version a lot. Otherwise you may end up with a pretty dry dish.
Yes, I am introducing empanadas again, these are dumplings or turnovers popular in all of Latin America. Today I am going to introduce you to the ones famous in Mendoza, Argentina. These are traditionally filled with beef, olives, and hard-boiled eggs. They are similar to the empanadas from Uruguay. Uruguayan empanadas are also filled with beef and also contain hard-boiled eggs. However, there are slight differences such as no olives and the meat being prepared with tomatoes. You will also realize that the dough has one different ingredient, instead of water this dough is prepared with warm milk, making it extra easy to work with. If you want to check out further empanada recipes, check out this blog post.
Today I am going to introduce you to my favorite chicken soup, which was invented by my hubby. I am often asked how we do in the kitchen, and my answer always is, he cooks, I bake. There is a reason my blog is called “Jenny is baking”, I enjoy doing things step by step, measuring ingredients. Being exact is more my thing. I find it amazing that you can make so many different creations with flour, butter, sugar, and eggs. But let’s get back to the topic at hand: chicken soup. This soup is the perfect soul food. It contains delicious chicken shreds, creamy potatoes, carrots and peas as vegetables and is made with broth from scratch. I have been fortunate enough to eat this soup when I was sick and it did warm my soul.
Pelmeni or pelemeni are dumplings from the former Soviet Union. Today they are considered the national dish of Russia and are eaten among a lot of Slavic countries. Traditionally they are filled with meat, I took a mix of beef and pork. My dough contains butter, which makes is easier to work with. We will first “burn” the flour, which may sound a bit crazy, but bear with me, I tell you, even beginners managed to make the most beautiful pelmeni. Pelmeni require a lot of work as they are small and are prepared by hand, often an entire family will sit together and form these. But I promise, they are worth the effort.
Onion tart (Zwiebelkuchen) with a loooot of onions nestled into a thin pastry dough and covered with a cream and eggs mixture. This is exactly how I like it. It may be something savory, it may be sweet, but I always want more filling than dough, that is for sure. That’s why I created this recipe. This onion tart is traditionally served in September with the first wine of the season. This wine is called “federweißer”, it is only partially fermented and is pretty sweet. When I lived in Dresden, I was sure to visit the wine festivals (the wine from Radebeul is pretty popular) and eat my share of Zwiebelkuchen. It is divine! The version below contains caramelized onions mixed with some bacon, a dough similar to pie pastry and is then topped off with an egg and cream mixture. I am telling you, this is sooo delicious!
Tomatoe tart or tarte tatin with tomatoes, pizza margherita with puff pastry dough, I don’t really know how you want to call this beauty, but you will find tomatoes simmered in caramel, baked with the dough on top and then turned upside down. Sprinkle with additional mozzarella, pine nuts and basil, and you can dig into this summery dish. I had the audacity of eating the entire thing in one go, approved of it and therefore decided to put it on the blog.
Guys, these gluten-free arepas with plantain are a dream come true! Try to think of a flatbread with a touch of sweetness from the plantain, which is filled with mozzarella. I tell you, of all the arepas I have eaten, this is by far my favorite. Since I am married to a Colombian, I have had my share of arepas. Just as bread is extremely important in German culture, arepas are a staple in Colombia. Of course I posted the basic arepa recipe, some from the region Boyaca, which are slightly sweet, and arepas with cheese filling, which have become popular after the movie Encanto. In Venezuela arepas are commonly filled and stuffed, I introdcued arepas with chicken filling and today, finally, let me introduce arepas made with mashed plantains.