Some Lithuanian Favorites

Lithuanians have some favorite dishes Lm they have been enjoying for centuries. They still prepare them the same old- fashioned way their grandparents and great-grandparents used to prepare long time ago. Here in America many of us are either not familiar with some of these dishes, or we just go to the supermarket and pick up a jar. Most of these recipes come from “Lithuanian Traditional Foods, ” a cookbook published in Lithuania. If you can’t find some of the ingredients, just improvise. They will turn out fine.

Rauginti  kopūstai

20 pounds cabbage
1 pound carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
6 oz. salt
1 cup caraway seed
3 oz. sugar
2 cups cranberries
Use wood, glass or enameled contain­ er, rinsed with boiling water. Place sev­eral cabbage leaves at the bottom of con­tainer. Chop cabbage and mix with car­ rots,  cranberries,  caraway seed, salt and sugar.  Add  in  layers  of  10  inches  and tamp down each layer so that no air pock­ets remain. Fill container to about 4 inch­ es from top, cover with linen cloth, place cover and weigh it down.  There has  to be  about  1  inch  of liquid  above  cover. Let ferment at 65°F. After 3  days,  take off cover and with a wooden stick poke holes  in  the  cabbage  to  let  escape  gas formed during fermentation.  Five days later, clean cover, weigh down again and move container to a cold place. Some  homeowners  will  place  small, whole cabbage at the bottom of contain­ er.  These fermented  cabbage heads  are used  in  salads  or  other  dishes.  Every homemaker  has  her  own  recipe  for sauerkraut,  the  choice  and  quantity  of seasonings  varies.  Most  homemakers desirous of perfect, crisp sauerkraut make sure that the moon is in the right phase when preparing sauerkraut.

Rauginti agurkai

20 pounds pickling size cucumbers
5 garlic cloves
10 horseradish leaves
7 stalks of mature dill, with seeds
10 blackcurrant leaves
20 cherry leaves
Use a crock or wide mouth glass jar, rinsed with boiling water.  Place a layer of seasonings in bottom of container, add a layer of cucumbers, continue layering until  container is full,  end with a layer of seasonings. Prepare brine solution. If pickles are for immediate consumption, 2  or  3  days  of fermentation,  place  1 V a cup salt in 40 cups of water. If for much later use, increase the amount of salt. Fill container with brine, weigh down with cover, keep in cool place.

Obuolių sūris
10 pounds apples, peeled and thinly sliced
3   pounds sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Mix apples with sugar and let rest 48 hours, until juice is formed. Pour off juice into a preserving pot, cook on low heat until half of the juice has evaporated in cooking,  and  remaining  juice  darkens and thickens. Add % of apple slices and cook stirring constantly until apple mass is quite thick and no juice remains, about 1  hour. Add remaining apple slices, cin­namon,  and cook until last addition of apples is soft and light color, giving the cheese a marbled effect. Pour apple mass into  a  damp  cheese  bag,  tie  and  place between two boards and weigh down for 2 days. Hand cheese in airy spot to dry. Store in a cool  but dry place.  This  is  a Lithuanian  delicacy  served  with  wine, coffee or tea.

Šaltiena – košeliena

1 1/2 pounds pork hocks
1/2 pound veal for stew or veal with bone
1/2 pound chicken drumsticks
1 large onion, sliced
3 carrots, halved
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
2 bay leaves
5 peppercorns
2 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 pkg. unflavored gelatin dissolved in
1/2 cup cold water
Place all meat and the remaining in­gredients, except for gelatin mixture, in a large stock pot;  cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer covered for I-V 2 hours. Add more water as necessary dur­ing cooking. Skim off the foam that col­lects  on  the  surface  during  cooking. Strain  stock  through  a  sieve;  set  meat and  carrots  aside;  discard  remainder. Remove bones and skins, discard. Trim and dice the meat; return diced meat to strained stock. Slice carrots and arrange the slices in a pattern on the bottom of a  greased  mold  or  loaf pan.  Set  aside. Pour gelatin mixture into the stock with meat  mixture  and  simmer  foe  5  min­utes.  Remove  from  heat;  cool  to  room temperature.  Dark  rye  bread  is  a  tasty accompaniment.  The dish is often  eat­ en with  a sprinkle of vinegar or lemon juice, or a spoonful of horseradish.