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… I’d have to let you slap me. ūüôā It’s kind of wrong for me to even think it.

Anyway I haven’t posted about any of the fun foods we’ve been eating and creating. I was keeping up with it semi-regularly on the Journey before my computer crashed. My fingers are still crossed that the Time Capsule did it’s job and my information is saved in that little packet of information I can see via my PC but cannot open.

“Yada. Yada. Yada.”

vegetarian_classics_Celia_Brooks_BrownAnyway, Birgit my sister-friend got me this great book for my birthday back in August, World Vegetarian Classics. As the subtitle says it’s filled with “Over 200 essential international recipes for the modern kitchen”.

Notice me looking back over my shoulder at my “modern kitchen”…. HEY! At least I finally have some new pots and pans. *ahem*

Any-who-who I’ve tried out a few for B and me and I’ve got to say that they really are great food combinations! Here are two that I particularly enjoyed, note that on the second recipe I switched it up a bit from printed directions…

Trator Yogurt and Cucumber Soup with Walnuts (Bulgaria)
(Pg. 77, “Northern European and Russia” section)

*S: Super soup. I love Yogurt and cucumbers. We ate this up for dinner and I saved the rest for breakfast. LOVED it. Directions from the book are included.

Ingredients: 2 cups chilled Greek or thick and creamy Yogurt; 1 cup chilled water; 1 garlic clove, de-germed; Course sea salt and ground black pepper; 2 medium cucumbers, chilled, peeled, de-seeded and finely diced; handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped (I used Lemon Balm because I did not have mint).

Garnish: Virgin sunflower, olive or grape seed oil.

Whisk Yogurt and water together in a bowl until smooth. Pound the garlic with a large pinch of course sea salt in a mortar until smooth. Alternatively, use a garlic press. Stir the garlic into the yogurt mixture. Add the cucumber and mint and season with salt and pepper to taste. (Watch the salt). Leave to chill in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

Pour into bowls and garnish with a drizzle of oil and chopped walnuts.

This went together with the next recipe perfectly, the way we switched up the base.

Houby paprikas Mushroom Paprika (Hungary)
(Pg. 78, “Northern European and Russia” section)

The design of this mushroom recipe was intended to be served over rice, pasta or Spätzle but I decided to pull an old favorite: 1/2 Pasta, hot over 1/2 salad which blanches the salad a bit. I then poured the mushroom mixture over the top.

… go ahead, you can drool, it was good …

Ingredients: 2 tbsp butter (I subbed that with grape seed oil); 1 medium onion chopped; 1 lb of mixed mushrooms (I went Agaricus, Crimini and Shiitake); Sea salt and ground black pepper; 1 tbsp (add a bit more if you prefer a bit more of that subtle spice of paprika); Generous pinch of cayenne pepper; 1 cup sour cream or Cr√®me fra√ģche; 3 tbsp chopped fresh dill; Rice, pasta or Sp√§tzle. Again I did the 1/2 pasta, 1/2 salad which was a mixed greens.

Heat a large saucepan over a low heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the onion and cook until soft and translucent.

Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper to taste, then increase the heat and stir. When the moisture from the  mushrooms has been released, allow it to evaporate, concentrating the flavour. This might happen quickly or slowly, depending entirely on the type of mushrooms used.

Add the paprika and cayenne and dry for a few moments longer, until the paprika turns a shade darker. Finally, add the sour cream or Cr√®me fra√ģche and dill, and allow it to bubble for a further 5 minutes or so.

Serve over the rice, or pasta (+or pasta+salad  mix).

I gotta say, so far so good Celia Brooks Brown. We’re loving these flavor combinations and the break down of the sections by region and cuisine is fun and interesting as well.

Happy eating.

Scott K Smith

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