Salata Od Hobotnice -Octopus Salad

This is a Croatian dish, specifically from the coastal region of Dalmatia. It starts with a simple dressing mix of:

  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • S+P
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Olives and/or capers
  • Vinegar (I used balsamic vinegar)
  • Lemon Juice

It then gets mixed with cooked octopus (I used the frozen cooked squid tentacles and threw in some mussels as well), and also boiled golden potatoes cut into chunks.

  • Octopus or squid (cooked)
  • Golden potatoes
  • Mussels not standard but optional

Not traditional, but I also topped it with:

  • Pimiento

Banana peppers may added as well, and again; mussels are not the standard

Other common ingredients include:

  • Bay leaf
  • Onions

Hakklihakaste

An Estonian simple meat sauce. “Kaste” in Estonian is a thinner sauce than a thickened cream sauce. Serve with potatoes, rice, barley, or other choice

  • Ground beef or pork
  • Onion and garlic, minced
  • Cream or whole mile
  • Sour Cream
  • Dill, thyme, chives (your choice)
  1. Render ground beef in butter or oil and then add onion, cook to soft
  2. Add cream or whole milk and let thicken a little
  3. Stir in sour cream and herbs if using

Lescó

Lescó is a Hungarian stew. The main ingredients are:

  • Bacon (smoked preferable)
  • Sausage (kielbasa or other high quality)
  • Tomatoes (beefsteak, heirloom, or similar)
  • Hot pepper (Hungarian wax pepper preferably, banana pepper if you cannot find wax pepper)
  • Onion, white, or yellow
  • S&P
  1. Render cubed bacon in a stew pot on medium heat. Add sliced sausage if using raw, or wait until you add tomatoes if smoked
  2. Chop onion then add to pot, let soften a little
  3. Slice peppers, then add, cook while you slice tomatoes
  4. Add tomatoes and smoked sausage if using
  5. Cook until tomatoes are stewed and season with S&P

If you have any memories about a variation in your Hungarian Lescó please let me know. I found ingredients to be the same from “Hungary Today”, and multiple websites in Hungarian.

Cotletta Alla Valdostana

This is a stuffed veal cutlet with prosciutto and fontina. It is basically an Italian cordon bleu.

  1. Pound out your veal cutlets if necessary.
  2. Place some fontina and prosciutto on one cutlet, then another layer of prosciutto and fontina if possible. Top with another cutlet. Pinch edges to seal
  3. Bread in flour, eggs, and your choice of breadcrumbs
  4. Serve with gnocchi, potatoes, or anything of your choice

Schnitzel

Schnitzel is a general term to refer to tenderized pieces of meats that are pan fried. Schnitzel is used in German-speaking countries. The term “Wiener schnitzel” is strictly used for cuts of veal. Kotlets in Polish cuisine are very similarly to Schnitzel.

The Schnitzel can be breaded, or unbreaded. The main thing is to be fried in fat or oil.

  • Meat of choice – preferably pork chops, beef or veal cutlet
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Breadcrumbs
    Cut the pork chops in half if using, and tenderize the meat
    Salt and pepper the meat
    Get a pan with about 1/2 inch of lard, clarified butter, or cooking oil hot
    Get 3 plates with: flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs in each one
    Bread the meat, then fry
    Serve with your favorite sauce, potato salad, Rotkohl, or anything of your choosing.

Arancini

More information about Arancini and possible variations is under recipe as always.

Classic Sicilian Arancini – Steps: Risotto, Meat Sauce, and Breading

Arancini is stuffed risotto, classically with a ragù sauce, then battered and deep or pan fried.

Risotto – make sure is it thick and the liquid is absorbed properly for shaping https://food-heritage-archives.com/2020/08/10/risotto/

Meat Sauce

  • Onion sautéed in oil
  • Ground Meat – your choice
  • Tomato Sauce and Paste
  • Peas
  • White or Red Wine
  1. Sautée onions in oil then brown the meat
  2. Deglaze with wine, then add peas, sauce, and paste to finish cooking meat
  3. You want the sauce to be the same consistency or thicker as the photo below as you will need to stuff the rice with this. If you think it is too thin, run the sauce through a sieve and add more tomato paste
  4. Put on a sheet pan to cool quicker

Breading – dip in flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs of choice.

  1. Put your risotto into one hand, flatten, and then add a heap of sauce. Cup hand to help shape into a ball, adding more risotto if needed to fill gaps. The size of a small lemon is perfect.
  2. Bread the arancini then let set in fridge for a good 1/2 hour at least. They are great to make ahead of time and then fry when you’re ready.

Frying

  • You oil should be in the the range of 350F if deep frying, but pan fry like any other food, rotating it as needed

Serving – It goes great with tomato sauce and some arugula. You can top with crispy bacon and mozzarella or try multiple cheeses to find your favorite.

More About Arancini, and variations

Arancini has been around for at least 1,000 years, so there have been many variations throughout the years, a very classic Italian way is this Sicilian style. Although most arancini you find in recipes or restaurants is strictly cheese-based, it traditionally has meat, and cheese is optional.

Good variations to do will be to actually add cheeses inside, such as half a small marinated mozzarella ball, or fontina.

A good option for the meat is pancetta or pork jowl, or, chicharrones or cracklings.

Kapuśniak

A Polish sauerkraut and pork soup. The pork used can include: bacon, Kielbasa, pork ribs, ham hock, or a combination of them. The vegetables used are normally: carrots, celery, potatoes, and of course cabbage in the form of sauerkraut. Common spices used are: peppercorn, allspice, bay leaves, dill, paprika, marjoram, parsley, and salt.

Recipe. Meat 1/3 lb chopped bacon, 1 lb pork ribs cut into 1 rib pieces. Vegetables (all diced except sauerkraut) 1 medium onion, 2 carrots, 1 lb sauerkraut, 1 large or 2 medium peeled potato. Spices 64 ounces of chicken stock, 3 allspice, 3 peppercorn, 3 bay leaves, 1/2 tsp marjoram.

  1. To start: Heat 2 tbsp of butter in a large pot and then put in the bacon, onions, carrots, and ribs. Brown the ribs slightly and crisp the bacon.
  2. Add the stock and the spices. Bring to a simmer then cook ribs to about 165, until almost fall off the bone.
  3. Put drained sauerkraut in a separate pan with 2 tbsp of butter and 3 tbsp sugar; cook until brown.
  4. Add sauerkraut and potatoes to pot and finish cooking ribs, until about 190 or when ribs fall off bone.