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.

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.

Beer Battered Alaskan Black Cod

    This English classic is tried and true. The British have been battering and frying fish since the 16th century.  This recipe is simple and quick to make, but it’s always important to exercise caution around hot oil.

Cod is the best fish to use, but halibut would work just as well. It’s not so much the type of fish you use, but the freshness of the fish that’s important.
Black cod is a sustainable fish that we can use for our recipe. Black Cod, as of 2016 is considered a sustainable fish by Sea Choice. It can be caught in Alaska, as well as off the west coast of Canada.
(Black cod can also be found under the name of Sablefish.)

This recipe is plenty for 4 people.

Ingredients:
700 grams (24 Oz) – Black Cod
250 grams (2 cups) – All-Purpose Flour
8 grams (1 Tbsp) – Baking Powder
13 grams (1/2 Tbsp)-Salt
3 grams (A reasonable pinch)-Pepper
15ml (1Tbsp)-Apple Cider Vinegar
500 ml (2 Cups)- Dark Beer, or Ale
2 (Large)-Eggs

Sunflower Oil is a healthier alternative to other oils when deep frying foods because it is high in unsaturated fats. Canola is a cheaper alternative and will work just as well.

Cut the fish into any size that you want. Pat the fish dry with paper towel. This will help the batter adhere to the black cod. Cover the fish and set it aside in the fridge while you make the beer batter. Fill a sturdy pot 2/3 full of oil. Heat the oil on medium high heat to a temperature of 177°c (350°f). Do this on a back burner, so your pot is well away from children and animals. Now would also be a good time to lay down some paper towel on a plate. This is where your cooked fish will drain extra its oil off.

Combine all of your dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together two eggs. Add the beer and vinegar to the eggs and slowly whisk your liquid ingredients into your dry ingredients. Don’t over mix the batter, just bring everything together.

    This next step is important to do quickly, while the vinegar is still reacting with the the baking soda.

Season your fish with salt and pepper and dip the fish in the batter. Carefully place the battered fish into the oil. The oil may spit a little at you, so it’s advisable to use a slotted spoon to protect your hands from burns. Cook the fish until the batter is golden and the internal temperature of the fish is at least 63°c (145°f).

(Here’s the Sea Choice Website if you want to check the current status of the Black Cod. )