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Spring delights

LITHUANIAN BEEF BIRDS
Lietuviški riestiniai

3 lbs. tender beef
2 oz. butter
2 onions
1 cup black bread crumbs
4 dried mushrooms
1 egg
1 Tbsp. flour
1 carrot
½ cup sour cream
1½ cups broth
Salt, pepper to taste
Cut meat into thin square slices against the grain, being careful not to tear the meat. Rub with flour and pepper and set aside. To make stuffing, sauté finely chopped onion in butter, add cooked chopped mush- rooms, bread crumbs, salt and egg. Mix well and if the mixture is too thick, add some broth or sour cream. Sprinkle the meat with salt, spread with the stuffing, roll up the meat fastening the ends with toothpicks; brown in a frying pan in hot fat. Place the meat in a heavy pot, add grated carrot, pan drippings and broth and braise over low heat. When almost done, add black bread crumbs. When birds are tender, remove from pot and remove fastenings. Strain braising liquid for gravy, add flour, simmer, stir in sour cream and heat. Place birds on a serving dish and pour gravy over them. Serve with fried potatoes, noodles, or rice. Pickles, sauerkraut or marinated vegetables also work well with this dish. Serves 8.

BACON BUNS
Lasinėčiai

1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm milk
2 Tbsps. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 cups all purpose flour
3 egg yolks
10 Tbsps. unsalted butter, softened
1 lb. lean bacon, finely shredded
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 Tbsp. cream
Sprinkle yeast into ½ cup of lukewarm milk. Add sugar and salt; stir until thoroughly dissolved. Place mixture in draft-free place until mixture bubbles and doubles its volume. Pour flour into mixing bowl; make well in the center. Drop yeast mixture, egg yolks, remaining ½ cup milk and 8 tablespoons of butter. Slowly stir flour into liquid ingredients. Beat well until firm dough can be formed into a ball and leaves the sides of the bowl. Cover bowl with towel. Place in draft-free spot for an hour. Dough will double in bulk. Punch dough down; cover again and let rise another 45 minutes. Prepare filling – fry bacon and chopped onions in large frying pan. When bacon is crisp and onions are lightly golden, drain on absorbent paper towel. Discard fat; set bacon and onions aside. Coat two cookie sheets with 1 tablespoon of butter each. Cut dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out about 18 rounds of dough with a round cookie cutter. Place a teaspoon of bacon mixture in center of each; fold in sides of circle, making a neat egg-shaped package. Set buns, seam- side down, on a cookie sheet, 1 inch apart. Roll and fill remaining dough the same way. Place cookie sheets in draft-free spot for 20 to 30 minutes; buns will double in size. Bake in a preheated 375° oven for 10 minutes. Coat each bun with egg yolk and cream mixture. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Buns are best served hot, but still tasty after they have cooled.

STRAWBERRY-RHUBARB COMPOTE
Braškių-rubarbarų kompotas

2 cups rhubarb, diced
1/3 cup sugar
1½ cups strawberries, diced
Sugared strawberries, vanilla or strawberry ice cream for serving
Put rhubarb and sugar in small, heavy non-aluminum saucepan. Heat on medium-high heat, stirring often, until tender but not completely falling apart, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in strawberries. To serve, spoon chilled over berries or ice cream.

EGGS STUFFED WITH MUSHROOMS
Kiaušiniai ądaryti grybais

3 hard-boiled eggs
1 small onion, chopped fine
2 Tbsps. olive oil
1 cup fresh chopped mushrooms
Salt and pepper
6 mushroom caps for garnish
2 Tbsps butter, divided
3 small cucumbers, sliced
½ cup sour cream
Lemon juice
Chopped dill
Halve hard-boiled eggs lengthwise, and remove yolks. Set yolks aside. Sauté onion in oil, adding the chopped mushrooms after the onion has browned a little. Cool this mixture, and then add salt and pepper to taste. Stuff the egg halves with the mixture. Sauté the mushroom caps in 1 tablespoon of the butter and place them on top of each egg as garnish. Place sliced cucumbers in one row in the middle of a serving platter. Mix sour cream with lemon juice and additional salt and pepper to taste, and pour this sauce over the cucumbers. Sprinkle with chopped dill. Arrange stuffed egg halves around the cucumbers. Cream the remaining butter with the egg yolks, shape into little balls and place on cucumber slices.