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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nash Holos recipe: Beetniks

At this time of year, with the vegetables growing in the garden, the beet leaves are ready to use in this wonderful traditional treat.

Bread rolls wrapped in beet-leaves are a delectable traditional treat. In the old days, we used to call them beet leaf holubtsi. But more recently they have come to be known as beetniks. (Not to be confused with those long-haired guys from the 60s that used to hang out in dingy bars and read poetry!)

Beetniks are quite easy to make, especially if you use frozen bread dough or make the dough in your breadmaker. Serve beetniks warm with salted sweet or sour cream mixed with finely chopped onion and fresh dill. Yum!

For beetniks you will need:

2 lbs bread dough – enough for two loaves or a package of 24 frozen yeast buns.
3 dozen beet leaves, medium to large
½ cup melted butter
Salt to taste

Generously butter a large casserole dish or a medium size roaster. Wash beet leaves and trim any tough stems. Soften the leaves by putting the leaves in a pan of boiling water… just swish them for a few seconds through the water, and lay them on a towel to dry.

Take a piece of dough the size of a walnut, roll into a ball and wrap it loosely in a beet leaf, like you would a cabbage roll.

Arrange the rolls in layers. Brush each layer with melted butter and sprinkle with salt.

Fill the roaster to half full only, as they need room to rise. Top with a layer of leaves, brush with melted butter. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk.

Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 350ºF oven for one hour. Makes about 2 dozen.

Here’s a little tip if you’re using frozen buns or bread dough. Make sure to wrap it in the leaves while it is still cold and before it starts to rise.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Peperivka (Spiced Whiskey)

An interesting and long-standing tradition in Ukraine is spicing whiskey.

Some say it’s because spicing masked the poor quality of homemade brew (samohonka in Ukrainian).

It may be more likely, however, that it’s because the fierce bite of peppers added to an alcoholic drink makes it even more potent!

Traditionally, however, spiced whiskey would have been called pertsivka, derived from peretz, the Ukrainian word for pepper. Peperivka comes from the English word for pepper, reflecting the growing influence of English on the Ukrainian language spoken in Canada.

Here is what you will need to make Pepervika:

Eight large dry cayenne pepper pods. Two cups whiskey, rye bourbon or scotch.

Place peppers in a clean, dry one quart crock. Add whiskey. Cork and let steep about one week. Makes two cups of spiced whiskey.

It’s great for the summer with tomato juice, add your favorite pop or have it on ice.

Дай Боже!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fun on the Dnipro

Now this is a cruise I'd love to take!

The boating season on the Dnipro River is short. But many options are now available, from one-hour jaunts on the spectacular waterway to long excursions that end at the Black Sea.

The Dnipro River made it on the top 10 list of European river cruises by Reuters news agency. It’s hard to argue with the honor.

The ancient waterway has marvelous landscapes along its banks, with Pechersk Lavra and other churches rising majestically ...

“We have the following routes: Kyiv – Zaporizhya – Kherson – Sevastopol – Odesa and return,” said Lesya Bohuslavska, sales director of the company. “If becomes a 12-day route then Kaniv and Kremenchuk are added.”

In every port, the ship stops for at least seven hours. Large cities like Sevastopol and Odesa have two-day stops. An average 600-800 euro tour includes three meals a day, excursions around cities and lectures on Ukrainian culture, history, language and dress. Passengers also learn to sing Ukrainian songs and to make the national dish varenyky.

“Eighty percent of the tourists are foreigners and they are interested in everything connected with Ukraine,” Bohuslavska explains. This year, however, they have fewer people from the United States and Canada. ...

Full article here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sour Cream Cucumber Salad

One of the staples of Ukrainian cooking is sour cream. This combination of sour cream and cucumbers makes a very tasty salad. You can enjoy it year-around, but it’s at its best in the summer with cucumbers fresh from the garden. No Ukrainian home is complete without this salad being served at least three times a week during during the summer!

Here is what you'll need to make this fantastic salad: a huge garden over flowing with flowering cucumbers, dill swaying in the light breezes and onions standing tall along side all waiting for the picking.

OK. If that’s not in the picture for you, head to the nearest market garden for some cukes, green onion and baby dill, then try this:

Peel 3 medium cucumbers and slice thinly. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Let stand 15 minutes. Drain liquid. Add ½ cup finely chopped green onions, 1/2 cup fresh chopped dill, 1 tablespoon white vinegar and a dash of white pepper. Toss lightly with ¼ cup sour cream. (You can add more depending on your taste and the size of the cucumbers.)

Смачного! (But beware... you’re gonna think you died and went to heaven!)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Recipe: Prawn Salad

Although not indigenous to Ukraine, prawns are just as popular there as they are here in North America. Served with fresh rye bread, this hearty prawn salad makes a wonderful light meal.

Prawns and shrimps belong to the same family as crabs and lobsters and are similar in a number of ways. They are decapod crustaceans, which means that they have 10 legs and a hard shell covering their body, although the shell that covers prawns and shrimps is much thinner than and not as hard as the shell of most other crustaceans.

As with crabs and lobsters, shrimps and prawns must shed their shells in order to grow bigger. One of the main differences between prawns and shrimps and their relatives, the crabs and lobsters, is that prawns and shrimps primarily swim about, as opposed to crabs and lobsters that crawl. (Did you know that prawns and shrimps also start their 4-year existence as males and then change into females for their final year of life? Way to go girl!)

Prawns and shrimps are an extremely good source of protein, yet are very low in fat and calories, making them a very healthy choice of food. Shrimps and prawns contain a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent against heart disease, circulatory diseases and many other types of illnesses.

Here is what you will need to make this wonderful salad:

2 lbs of prawns, cooked
1 large lemon, juiced
4 large russet potatoes, cooked and diced
4 large hard cooked eggs, chopped
1 cup green peas, cooked
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
Sprinkle prawns with lemon juice.

Mix potatoes, chopped eggs and peas with prawns.

Season with mayonnaise and salt.

Set on a bed of salad greens, sprinkle with chopped dill, chill for one hour. For a more elegant dish, replace prawns with crab or lobster.

This recipe serves 6-8.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Recipe: Olivier Salad

Olivier Salad is a Ukrainian potato salad with Lyoner sausage.

Judy first experienced this salad in Ukraine in 2002 at her cousin Nadia's. Yes, from the name, Oliver, you’d think it was a French recipe. It’s not clear just how it came to be a Ukrainian favorite, but the women of Ukraine have claimed it as their own and keep it close to their hearts.

The main ingredient in this salad is Lyoner sausage. It is easily purchased in Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe. Here in Canada, Lyoner sausage can be purchased at any supermarket, deli, or your favorite meat shop.

Lyoner sausage originated in Lyon, France and has come to refer to almost any higher-quality bologna. It is 2-inch diameter, (approximately) 18-inch long sausage that has been tied together at the ends to form a ring. (Which explains why it is also called ring bologna.)

The European Union has applied restrictions to the preparation and labelling of Lyoner sausage. Among other restrictions, only potato flour may be used as a binding agent, and the amount of meat may not fall short of 40%.

Olivier salad is perfect for special occasions, like birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, funerals, and family visiting from afar. Although it’s been said that Ukrainians love to throw a good party just to enjoy great food!

Olivier Salad

3 medium potatoes
3 medium carrots, cut into halves
6 eggs
300 gr. Lyoner sausage
1 can peas (14-oz), drained well
1 large onion, red or white, finely chopped
3-4 sour pickles, finely chopped
1 cup mayonnaise (or other dressing)

Boil potatoes and carrots in the same pot, until soft (about 12 mins).

At the same time, boil the eggs. Cool and peel.

Cut the potatoes, carrots, and eggs into small cubes (about the size of your baby finger) and place in a large bowl.

Cut Lyoner sausage into the same size cubes.

Add onion, pickles and peas (Do not use frozen peas. It just does not taste the same.)

Lightly toss ingredients together with mayonnaise or dressing of your choice (use fat free if you are counting calories) until well coated. Salt & pepper to taste.

Let sit for at least one hour before serving. This makes about 10 servings.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Quick & easy homemade Ukrainian sausage

Just ask any Ukrainian where to find a good ring of kovbasa (garlic sausage)! Whether they’re from Toronto to Winnipeg, Wadena Saskatchewan or Mundare Alberta, they will proudly point you in the direction of their favourite Ukrainian butcher where you can buy it fresh!

You can also buy it in the supermarket, and some vacuum packed varieties are reasonably good. But you just can’t beat the home-made stuff. And it can be surprisingly easy to make.

This simple recipe makes 6 servings of Ukrainian kovbasa. The meat mixture can be prepared days in advance. The prep time for this recipe is just 15 minutes and cooking time is 20 minutes. These sausages can be grilled, broiled or roasted as well as fried.

1 pound ground pork
1/2 pound lean ground beef
2 large eggs, beaten
1 small head garlic, minced, chopped or crushed
2 teaspoons peperivka (spiced whiskey)
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium carrot, grated (optional)

Combine ground pork and beef with beaten eggs, garlic, salt allspice and grated carrot. If you have peperivka, or spiced whiskey on hand, add a splash or two!

Check seasonings by frying a small amount and tasting. Adjust seasonings if necessary.

Form meat mixture into six sausages. Add a tbsp of canola oil to a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, carefully add sausages, cooking in batches if necessary, 7 to 10 minutes per side until nicely browned.

Garnish with parsley and serve hot with mashed potatoes, perogies, cabbage rolls, or kasha.

For a delicious snack, serve it cold with a slice of bread and homemade dill pickles!


Monday, June 08, 2009

Vancouver audio archives updated to June 07, 2009

The Nash Holos audio archives are updated to June 07, 2009.

Judy shares a quick and easy recipe for a delicious prawn salad that she experienced in Ukraine recently.

On A Spiritual Moment, Fr. Ihor Kutash joins us (courtesy Ukrainian Time in Montreal) with reflections on Pentecost.

As well, our Ukrainian proverb of the week, upcoming events, messages from our sponsors, and plenty of great Ukrainian music! Musical theme is Jazz & Blues - Ukrainian style. Featured artists: The Luna Band, Olya Fryz, Vasyl Popadiuk, Rosemarie Todaschuk, Burya, Shoom, Dinah Shore, ShockolaD, Charivna, Braty Hadiukiny, Migrena and the Kubasonics.


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