Sunday in Transylvania: apple soup and Brasov pancakes

For today, a wonderful culinary expedition: very close, geographically, from home, but on completely new tastes grounds. The two dishes from Brasov county, which I have never tasted before, are indeed a Sunday treat, surprising and friendly, but most of all very tasty. I recommend them whole-heartedly!

Apple “Zoup”

Radu Anton Roman notes that the apple soup was made, for the past thousand years, only between Brasov, Sibiu and Sighisoara, where the Saxons, Cistercians and Teuton knights lay foot. Nowadays, it is prepared throughout Transylvania.

  • 400 g pork or beef (preferably with a little more fat)
  • 500 g apples (3 medium sized apples)
  • vegetables: 1 carrot, 1 parsnip, 1 celery root
  • 50 ml cream
  • parsley

Cut up the meat and the vegetables in nice small cubes, and boil in 2 liters of water. Peel and de-seed the apples, and cut in thin slices. When the meat and the vegetables are boiled, take them out and put the slices of apples to boil for 10-15 minutes. When the apples are soft, add the meat and the vegetables. Mix the double cream with some boiling stew, and then add the mixture to the soup (you first mix the cream with the hot stre so that when you add it to the soup it will not separate). Add the finely chopped parsley.

“Eat and liberate yourselves of al linguistic complexes, as no one could tell me when theĀ  sour soup starts an the sweet soup ends, when it’s creamy and no longer a thick stew. But all know that it is good, when it is good, and that’s what is important” (RAR) -and indeed, this soup is very good, light and tasty in a way in which we’re not used to, slightly sour and sweet in the same time. And as easy is it to make it, i’s a shame not to try it at least once!

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Brasov pancakes

“This is a very special dish, tasty and solid. Among the few peasant dishes, a Romanian-Saxon mix, which made it to the menus of some (more or less) elegant taverns” (RAR). I don’t know in which elegant taverns you could find this dish, I haven’t seen it, but surely it would instantly become a start among polentas, that’s how pretty this pancakes are! They are certainly worth the time and the patience it takes to make them.

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Pancake pastry:

  • 300 g flour; 3 eggs; 500 ml milk

Filling:

  • 1 onion
  • 500 g mushrooms
  • 500 g chicken breast (or chicken liver, port filet, etc)
  • 1 glass of milk
  • 1 tb flour
  • 2 eggs
  • some tarragon leaves
  • 1 bundle of dill
  • some dried thyme

Crust:

  • 3 eggs
  • 200 g breadcrumbs

Sauce:

  • 2 cups tomatoe juice
  • 1 glass of wine (or asI replaced it with balsamic vinegar and lemon juice)
  • 1 tbsp sugar, pepper, 2 bay leaves

Filling: prep the mushrooms and the meat, cut in small pieces, and chop the onion. Fry the onion and the meat. When golden, add the mushrooms and continue frying until the juices are reduced. Mix the flour in cold milk, and add in the battered eggs. Finely chop the tarragon. When the onion, meat and onions are cooked, ad the milk and egg sauce, the tarragon and the thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and leave on heat for several more minutes until the mixture thickens.

Pancakes: the Brasov pancakes are thicker and larger than normal pancakes (crepes), such that they are big enough for the filling.

Rolling: fill ad roll the pancakes with the meat and mushroom filling, and tuck in the ends of the pancakes (making them look like large spring rolls)

Crust -coating and frying: Batter the eggs. Heat enough oil in a large pan. Dip the pancake rolls in the battered eggs, then roll them in breadcrumbles, and fry on high heat until they get a nice brown crust (this is done very quickly). Place them on kitchen towels to absorb the excess oil.

Sauce: make a sauce of all the ingredients :). Put the sauce near the Brasov pancakes only at serving, so they don’t get soggy.

 

Absolutely delicious!!

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