Ukrainian Roasted Vegetable Stack Recipe

When I was in Kiev a few years ago I went to eat at Khutorok, a paddle-boat steamer-come-restaurant.  The charming decor was accompanied by even more charming staff and food.  It was by far the best meal I had in Kiev.  I ordered veal, wild rice and roasted vegetables.  The presentation was faultless and the vegetables were impressively stacked.  I remember sitting there thinking that I’d never be able to re-create that but last weekend, as part of a meal I cooked for my family, I foolishly thought I’d give it a go! Although it was a hassle, it looked amazing and I was really pleased with my achievement!

Ingredients

1 aubergine

2 courgettes

Handful of fresh thyme and rosemary (use dried if you can’t get fresh)

3 garlic cloves

150ml rapeseed oil

4 red peppers, roasted, skins removed and sliced into discs

2 white onions, sliced quite thickly

Sprinkling of paprika for presentation purposes

Instructions

Slice aubergine and courgette and place in a dish

Blend the oil together with the garlic and herbs

Drizzle oil over the aubergine and courgettes and leave to marinate for at least 3 hours

Ukrainian Roasted Vegetables

Heat a griddle pan, when hot, place the aubergine, courgettes and sliced onion in pan using marinate as oil

(Add more oil to pan if needed)

Ukrainian Roasted Vegetables

When all vegetables have a nice charred colouring across them, set aside

Put aubergines, courgettes, onion and sliced red pepper into a dish and heat in oven for 15 minutes on 180°C

Arrange vegetables on top of each other

Sprinkle paprika over the plate to decorate and serve

Ukrainian Roasted Vegetable Stack

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Hungarian One-pot / Family Pork Porkolt Recipe

There is much more to Hungarian cooking than the stereotypical goulash, porkolt for one.  Porkolt is an easy, one-pot, family dish and can be made with cubes of pork shoulder or veal.  Just fry off the onion, add in the pork to seal the meat, add in the other ingredients, stir and leave to cook for a few hours on a low heat.  Just serve with gnocchi or polenta.  Super easy, super delicious!

Hungarian Pork Porkolt
Hungarian Pork Porkolt

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Borscht Recipe

Hot, cold, Ukrainian, Russian, there are so many arguments had over this dish it’s not even worth listing them.  Ultimately, every family has their own version and this is mine.  It doesn’t quite meet the standard I consumed at Chernobyl but it’s a pretty good effort.  Though be warned, it isn’t a quick dish to prepare.

Borscht

Ingredients

5 to 6 beetroots

2 carrots, grated

1 cabbage wedge, grated

3 potatoes, cut into chunks

2 white onions, grated

3 cloves garlic, crushed

15ml tomato puree

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 litre beef stock

300g boiled beef cut into chunks

3 tbsp rapeseed oil

Instructions

Put the beetroot in a saucepan

Cover with cold water

Heat until boiling and once come to temperature, lower to a simmer and leave for 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes

Borscht

Remove the beetroot from the pan and allow to cool

Borscht

Keep the liquid for later

Peel and grate the beetroot

Heat oil in a large saucepan

Add the onion, cabbage, garlic, beetroot, tomato puree and carrot to the saucepan

Borscht

Stir together and cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat

Add the potato to the saucepan

Cook for another 10 minutes

Add the stock and a ladle of the beetroot water

Borscht

Simmer for 30 minutes, add the lemon juice and serve

Can be served with a spoonful of smetana (sour cream), a sprinkling of dill and/or parsley and crusty bread

Borscht

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Lamb Meatball Soup with Vegetables

This family recipe combines flavours from the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Central Europe.  Variations of the recipe are popular in Romania, Bulgaria and in the East Adriatic region.  It can be made as a starter, or as I did, for as a hearty main course.  It is ideal for using up all your leftover vegetables.  It’s the ultimate in one pot cooking; serve it with some crusty bread and hey presto – a delicious meal!

Lamb Meatball Stew
Lamb Meatball Stew

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