Kootenay Doukhobor Borscht

This recipe is courtesy of Joan Stewart. Thanks!

I received this recipe in the ’60s from my friend Carol Zubick who was born, raised and still lives in Nelson BC. There are many variations to this recipe (some add celery, some shred everything), but this one is still my preferred texture and flavours.

Ingredients

  • 3 Liters water
  • 1 Tbsp. salt (less if you prefer)
  • 6-8 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1-2 medium beets, scrubbed clean and cut in half
  • 1 large onion diced (half for frying pan and half for pot)
  • 1 large head of cabbage – remove core. Slice cabbage very thin and then small dice/chop (half for frying pan and half for pot)
  • 1 cup small-diced carrots (half for frying pan and half for pot)
  • 1 green pepper, small-diced (half for frying pan and half for pot)
  • 1 can tomato juice (10 oz.)
  • 1 carton whipping cream (473 ML)
  • 3/4 cup butter  (half for frying pan, half for mashing potatoes)
  • 1 large can quality canned tomatoes (squish/break tomatoes with hands in bowl before adding)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • l/2 cup chopped fresh Dill weed –– pull the fronds from the stem and chop them – the more fresh dill the merrier – a whole cup if you have it
  • salt and pepper to taste

INTO LARGE POT

    add water, salt, half of the onion, beets and potatoes to pot – bring to simmer, partially cover and cook until potatoes are tender. Remove potatoes from pot with a straining spoon and place them in large bowl (leave pot on heat). Add a good grinding of pepper. Mash potatoes with half of butter and half of whipping cream and green onions. Set aside.

Heat a LARGE FRY PAN/SKILLET

Melt half the butter in the pan. When the butter has melted, add half of the onions, half of the carrots, half of the green pepper and half of the diced cabbage. Stir to coat all with butter. Simmer slowly on low heat until onions are transparent. Add small can of tomato juice, mix well and simmer until cabbage soft.

BACK TO POT

     Once potatoes are removed, add half of the cabbage, half of the carrots and crushed tomatoes to the pot (Add salt and pepper to taste.). Simmer until cabbage is almost tender.

BRING IT ALL TOGETHER

Remove and discard beets (The nutrients, flavour and color are now in broth.) Add the rest of green pepper and continue to simmer until cabbage is tender. Pour the mashed potatoes slowly back into the soup and mix until mashed potatoes are blended. Add mixture from fry pan to pot. Add remaining whipping cream. Add lots of fresh chopped dill. Simmer gently for a few minutes and then turn off heat. Scatter with green onion. Served with fresh baked bread and butter.

Oregon Black truffles in Olive Oil

Three Oregon Black Truffles ready to be diced up
Leucangia carthusiana or the Oregon Black Truffle is a rare fungus that grows along the west coast of the United States and Canada. North American Truffles are cheaper than their European cousins, but the taste is just as flavourful.

 

This recipe seems quite basic, but it is a clever way to keep your truffles delicious for just a little bit longer. The proper way to store a truffle is to loosely wrap it in paper towels and keep it in a mason jar in the fridge. Be aware, you must change the paper towel daily. Otherwise,  your truffle will dampen the towel and your truffle can spoil. Black Oregon truffles can be hard to find and it’s ok to use any truffles you can get your hands on.

This infused oil can be used in anything from pizzas to pastas. The small brunoise of truffle will impart a complex flavour into your olive oil. The oil is potent, so use it with caution. You can always add more, but once you add too much, there’s no turning back.

You will need:

  • 1 clean mason jar (I used a 500 ml Jar)
  • 6 medium Oregon Black Truffles, very small dice (Brunoise)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Enough to cover the truffles.)

Combine the oil and truffles in a mason jar. Let your mixture infuse in a refrigerator for at least a couple days. Don’t panic if the mixture solidifies in the fridge, it will liquefy when it comes back up to room temperature.

If you have any questions, leave a comment and I would be happy to help out

Austrian Cheesy Ham and Noodle Casserole.

    This is a traditional Austrian Recipe that was created for hard working farmers. The German name for this dish is Schinkenfleckerl.

This recipe will feed 4 hungry people.

Ingredients:

Gruyère Cheese (Grated) – 400 grams
Black Forest Ham (Cubed) – 400 grams
Rotini Noodles – 400 grams
Whipping Cream – 800 grams

Preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C). Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta to the water and cook for around 7 minutes. The pasta is done when it is tender, but not mushy. (This is called Al dente in Italian). Drain the pasta and rinse it in cold water to stop it from cooking any longer. Toss the pasta in a small amount of olive oil and set aside in to fridge.

Use a large bowl or a stand mixer to whip the cream to stiff peaks. Season the whip cream with salt and pepper and fold in the ham, cheese, and pasta. Don’t over-mix the ingredients at this stage, it’s important to keep the whip cream from losing too much volume.

Transfer ingredients into a greased casserole dish and bake at 400°F (204°C) for 30-45 minutes (Or until hot and golden brown.).

Let the casserole cool down for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!
As always, if you have any questions please leave a comment and I’ll clarify anything I miss.