Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cuisines of Europe and the Mediterranean: Austria, Hungry, Poland, Russia!

Let's celebrate the cuisines that have been feeding Walnofer, Wallnofer, and/or Walnoffer families for the past 6 centuries in the Tirol region of southern Austria and northern Italy.  And, in America for that matter.

Everyone has seen the famous Weinerschnitzel that put Austria on the culinary map, but rolled beef stuffed with dijon mustard and dill pickles is way more exciting. Roulades of Beef. Get 'em while they are hot!

Is it from Germany?  Maybe from Austria? But actually, Beef Stroganov is native orignially to Russia. I won't lie, I grew up eating the stuff cleverly crafted by Betty Crocker. It tastes a lot better when you substitute beef tenderloin for ground beef and when you reduce your onions and mushrooms in German Riesling instead of just adding boiling water.

Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage.  You guessed it, it is from Hungary. I never thought stuffed cabbage would make me hungary, but this one does. There is a lost art in the use of cabbage in our American cuisine. Except for that '80s diet fad that I remember my parents doing on a number of occasions

Speaking of soup, get out the root veg and let's make some Borshch Moskovsky soup from Russia. Raw beets gives this soup its delightful, some-what unappealing color. If you look closely in the ethnic foods aisle at your local Safeway, you can actually find the regular and reduced sodium version of this Russian delicacy on the bottom shelf.

Perogies are from Poland, but almost every culture has their version of these stuffed mini-pies. Stewed Cabbage, mashed potatoes, and cheese fill these bite size treats. Boil em, fry em, or bake em! Delicious any way.

Polish Baked Stuffed Carp. Carp is the fish of choice during the holiday season in Poland. Lore is that Poles carry their carp home alive from the market in buckets filled with water.  Then once in the home, the carp is stored in the family bathtub until it is time for the meal.  Wow! Freshness-guaranteed.

What do you do when your fish isn't fresh? Well, wrap it in pastry. This Salmon in Pastry concept hails from Russia but shares a striking resemblance to the cuisine of the Alaskan Eskimos. That Bering Land Bridge theory might just be true! What's left in Europe..............Scandanavia.

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