Category: RECIPES

Legendary Dishes | Soðin Ýsa (poached haddock)

ICELAND

One of Iceland’s most popular dishes, the method has evolved. Traditionally the whole fish was gutted, the head was moved, the body was divided into large slices and the fish was boiled. Now the fish is filleted and cooked gently in seasoned water with a splash of vinegar or lemon juice.

1.6 kg (8) haddock fillets
40 g butter
5 black peppercorns
5 g salt
5 ml vinegar / lemon juice
1 bay leaf
Water, to cover fish

Arrange haddock in a large deep frying pan, season with a little salt, peppercorns and bay leaf, splash with a few drops of vinegar and sufficient water to cover the fish, and bring to the boil. Place a lid on the pan, remove from heat. After 10 minutes serve simply with a knob of butter melted onto each cooked fillet or with potatoes, boiled or mashed.

Text & Pix © Fricot Project 1998-2019

Condiments | Anchovy Sauce

The most famous anchovy sauce – Garum of the imperial Roman era and its modern variations Colatura di Alici and the Indo-Chinese sauces of Thailand and Vietnam – is an extract more than a sauce, whereas the Pissala / Pissalat of Nice is a contender for a genuine sauce, largely because it can be made in the home, unlike the filtered varieties.

The Italian caper and anchovy sauce – Salsa di Capperi e Acciughe – should qualify even if it is low on anchovies. The dressing known as Bagna Cauda in Italy and La Fondue Niçoise in France is too elaborate although it is high on anchovies. Not so the Anchoiade, a subtle blend of anchovy and oil!

Pissala / Pissalat

Used to season any number of traditional dishes in the Nice region, this anchovy sauce is associated with the flan and flatbread called pissaladiére.

  • 240 ml olive oil
  • 48 anchovy fillets
  • 10 g black pepper
  • 12 cloves, ground
  • 5 g salt
  • 12 sprigs of thyme
  • 8 bay leaves, ground

Mash the anchovies with a fork, place in a bowl with 45 millilitres of olive oil, a large pinch each of black pepper and salt plus the bay leaves, cloves and thyme. Beat into a sauce. Pour into a glass jar, store in the refrigerator.


Bagna Cauda / La Fondue Nicoise

Along from the Ligurian and Piedmont coast, in the azzure of the French Riviera, they call this dressing la fondue Niçoise, a little cheeky because the traditional ingredient is the salted anchovy of the Ligurian Sea! However, both the French and Italian versions are worth a try.

Whichever version this is a sauce used to dress sticks of celery and carrots, slices of artichokes, bulb fennel and fresh mushrooms, or pieces of any vegetable that demands a flavour shock!

The Italians suggest artichokes, cardons, carrots, endive, peppers and rape. Raw vegetables are preferred over cooked, albeit al dente, vegetables, except for new whole potatoes fully cooked.

The butter and milk can be omitted.

  • 300 ml olive oil
  • 150 g anchovy fillets / salted Ligurian Sea anchovy fillets
  • 90 ml milk (optional)
  • 60 g butter (optional)
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • Choice of vegetables, lightly cooked or raw
  • Bread, for collecting the drips

Milk Method

Soak garlic in the milk for about two hours, strain milk and dry garlic. Using a small pot, over a low heat, gently fry the garlic in the butter. Add the oil and the anchovies. Simmer for 10 minutes until the anchovies have melted into the butter-oil-garlic mixure, and it has the consistency of sauce.

Dip choice of vegetable into the sauce, holding a piece of bread under the stick, slice or piece to collect the drips.

Oil Method

Using a small pot, over a very low heat cook the garlic in the olive oil, about half an hour. Add the anchovies and allow to melt gradually. Whisk a little and keep warm.

Dip choice of vegetable into the sauce, holding a piece of bread under the stick, slice or piece to collect the drips.

La Fondue Nicoise

  • 125 ml olive oil
  • 8 anchovy fillets
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced

Cook the garlic gently in the oil over low heat until it begins to soften, add the anchovies and let them slowly bind the sauce.


Anchoiade

Sauce

  • 100 g anchovies in oil
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 15 ml red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • Salt, large pinch

Sauté anchovies over a low heat, add garlic, seasonings and vinegar. Cook until the mixture takes on a smooth consistency. Stir in the olive oil.

Vegetables

  • 1 cauliflower, florettes separated, sliced thin
  • 1 broccoli head, florettes separated, sliced thin
  • 4 small carrots, peeled, cut into thin strips
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced thin
  • 4 artichokes, sliced thin
  • 4 endive, sliced thin
  • 4 eggs, hard-boiled
  • 8 radishes, sliced thin

Place the vegetables in a large bowl, mix, pour anchovy mixture, serve with an egg for each diner.

Condiments | Chicken Jelly

  • 3 litres water
  • 1.5 kg chicken, roasted
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • Chicken giblets
  • 1 sour apple, quartered
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 pears
  • 60 g assorted berries
  • 2 cm cassia / cinnamon (optional)
  • 15 g assorted fresh herbs
  • 15 g assorted dried herbs
  • 5 g pomegranate seeds
  • 10 black peppercorns

For a rich jelly remove only the breast meat from the roasted chicken, place the bones, meat and skin in a large pot with the giblets, cover the chicken pieces with water and choice of berries, fruit, herbs, spices and vegetables. Bring to a low boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for three hours. Strain the liquid through muslin into a new pot, reduce until there is about 300 mililitres (20 tablespoons) remaining. Leave to cool, store in refrigerator.

Alternatively put a whole chicken with the giblets of two chickens in a large pot with vegetables, herbs and spices, cover with water, simmer for three hours, strain as above.

Legendary Dishes | Pečená Kachní Prsa (roast duck breasts)

CZECHIA

Bohemian dishes are defined by an unrequited love for crispy roast meats, delicious vegetables, fat dumplings and melt-in-the-mouth sauces.

Chance by the Czech Club Restaurant in London and you will smell the wild hog roast with creamy and cheesy sauce and dumplings; the beef roast in blended cream and vegetable sauce and dumplings; the goose roast, sauerkraut and dumplings; the pork roast with sauerkraut and dumplings; and not least the duck roast leg, boiled sauerkraut and dumplings.

Cold cuts of beef, chicken, duck, goose, lamb, salmon, trout, veal and wild hog perfectly roasted served with various salad choices, potato pancakes and potato dumplings treats to be savoured, butter and cream prominent in the cooking, this is Bohemian traditional food.

You get the idea. So did the Czechs. In 2009 a gastronomic festival was established in Karlovy Vary, the town with the big hotels, to push their food into the 21st century. In 2013 Grandhotel Pupp, Queen Latifah’s getaway in Last Holiday, won the prize. Their chefs took Bohemian cuisine onto another level.

They transformed that basic meat-veg-dumpling-sauce combination, producing new culinary masterpieces. One such dish was roast duck breasts, traditionally a simple pan-sealed slow baked plentiful meat served with vegetables, dumplings and sauce.

Pears replaced vegetables, cumin gave an oriental touch, light gnocchi was preferred to heavy dumplings and bacon was added to counter the sweetness with salt. The pear sauce complimented both duck and gnocchi.

  • 600 g duck breasts, skin scored
  • 600 g potatoes
  • 250 ml chicken / duck stock
  • 120 g bacon, cubed small
  • 100 ml double cream / yoghurt
  • 80 g spring onion
  • 40 g honey
  • 2 pears, halved, cored
  • 35 g butter
  • 20 ml oil
  • 20 ml pear juice
  • 10 g white flour
  • Cumin seeds, large pinch
  • Salt, large pinch

Marinade duck breasts in honey for 30 minutes, squeeze out liquid and rub with salt, thoroughly seal in hot oil, transfer to oven at 80°C for 90 minutes, 60 minutes if duck skin is thin.

Cook potatoes whole until tender. Make a creamy mash with butter and cream.

Brush all but one half pear with honey marinade and bake in oven for 45 minutes. Drain honey from pears.

With 15 minutes to go until the duck is done, heat three teaspoons of oil in frying pan. Incorporate two teaspoons of white flour into the oil until browned. Add chicken stock.

If the breasts are taken from a whole duck, make a stock with the bones and use instead.

Season with salt and crushed cumin seeds. Add honey liquid, pear juice and half pear cut into small pieces. Bring to boil, reduce. Strain.

Sauté bacon in butter and oil with chopped spring onions, pour in cream or yoghurt, keep warm on a low heat.

Slice duck breasts. Serve basted with pear sauce, potatoes or mash, gnocchi and bacon.

A simpler version is produced when the duck breasts are seasoned with salt and pepper, sealed with olive oil in a frying pan, splashed with a liqueur and allowed to simmer in ground cinnamon, chicken or duck stock for 20 minutes and served with ripe pears dressed with a squeeze of lemon juice, added to the stock after ten minutes.


Another version replaces the pears with plums, using whole plums, plum brandy or red wine and plum jam to make a rich sauce, served sliced with a potato purée, garnished with parsley. A cold version calls for the breasts to be marinated in lavish amounts of crushed pepper, sea salt and cane sugar in the fridge for two days, washed and dried, then pan-fried and left to cool. One large pear and a handful of walnuts are combined with a little oil over a medium heat, taken out and followed by onions, slowly caramelised. Iceberg is the preferred lettuce, the dressing white wine vinegar and olive oil.

Legendary Dishes | Dodine de Canard (boned stuffed duck and variations)

FRANCE

Version 1

In her Recipes of all Nations, Marcelle Morphy gives an adaptation of the ‘quaint original recipe in old French’ from the 14th century Le Grand Cuisinier de Toute Cuisine of this classic duck dish.

Alas all to no avail!

The more complicated boned version, triumphed by Prosper Montagne in his Larousse Gastronomique, has completely usurped the rustic version to the extent that it is now almost forgotten.

Here is an adaptation of Countess Morphy’s Dodine de Canard.

  • 2 kg duck, jointed in 8 pieces
  • 600 ml dry red wine
  • 250 g mushrooms, quartered
  • 100 ml brandy
  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • Parsley, handful
  • 15 g olive oil Salt Pepper

Marinade duck pieces with the brandy, onion and wine, and large pinches of salt and pepper. Leave for three hours.

Strain the marinade liquid, dry duck pieces.

Brown the duck pieces in oil over a high heat in a heavy based saucepan. Add marinade liquid, the herbs, garlic and mushrooms.

Turn heat down, simmer for 60 minutes.

Serve with cooking liquid, and a choice of vegetables.

Version 2

This is an adaptation of the boned, stuffed version.

  • 2 kg duck
  • 1 litre broth
  • 250 g fatty bacon / pork belly (half fat-half flesh), chopped small
  • 250 g pork tenderloin, chopped small
  • 250 g veal, chopped small
  • 250 g white mushrooms, chopped
  • Duck liver, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 45 g almonds, ground
  • 1 slice of fresh foie gras (optional)
  • 45 ml brandy / cognac
  • 15 g + 5 g salt
  • 15 g butter
  • 10 g ground mixed spices (from caraway, cinnamon, cloves, fennel)
  • 5 g + 5 g black pepper
  • 5 parsley stalks with leaves, chopped
  • 5 sage leaves, chopped

Starting at the back, debone the duck without damaging the skin. Remove all the flesh from the skin, cut the flesh into small pieces. Keep the breasts intact, remove the skin and fat, cut into strips, place in a bowl with brandy or cognac and half of the ground spices, refrigerate for 24 hours. Season the skin on both sides.

Sauté the duck liver in the butter for a few minutes, remove from heat and leave to cook. Combine the bacon or pork belly, pork loin, veal and the flesh from the duck. Season this mixture with remainder of spices, the black pepper and salt. Add the almonds, eggs, mushrooms, parsley and sage and, if using, the foie gras. Work this mixture with your hands for a few minutes.

Spread the mixture over the middle of the duck skin. Place the marinated breast strips on top. Bring the skin together, tie the neck and tail ends with string. Tie some string around the dodine to hold it together.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Place the dodine in a casserole dish, pour the broth and the liquid from the marinade, cook for arpound two hours. Baste with the cooking liquid from time to time. When the dodine is cooked remove from the oven. Leave to rest for a few minutes, then cut the string.

Put four tablespoons of the cooking liquid into a small saucepan, add half a glass of wine, reduce by half.

If a cold dodine is required, leave to cool in the liquid, then cut off the string. Spoon 500 ml of the cooking liquid into a pot, reduce until there is only about four tablespoons left, leave to cool. Cover the duck with the resulting jelly and place in the refrigerator. Retain the jelly and repeat a second time several hours later. Leave the dodine in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.

Serve cold, sliced with a salad

Version 3

This is a modern interpretation of the original recipe.

  • 3 x 350 g duck fillets, skinned
  • 250 g duck liver, sliced
  • 200 g pork loin, chopped
  • 200 g veal, chopped
  • 150 g fat bacon, chopped
  • 130 ml brandy
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 80 g 1-day old white bread roll
  • 45 ml milk
  • 45 g truffles, sliced (optional)
  • 20 g butter
  • 12 sage leaves, sliced
  • 1 tsp allspice, ground
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • Salt, large pinch
  • 1 pork caul

Cut duck fillets into 2cm thick slices, marinade in brandy and seasonings overnight.

Soak bread bun in milk for 20 minutes, squeeze to remove liquid.

Brown the liver in butter, leave to cool.

Combine the allspice, bacon, bread, duck, liver, pork, sage, seasonings and veal in marinade liquid.

Soak the caul in cold water.

Stuff caul with meat mixture, tie with string.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place caul in a baking tray.

Bake at 160°C for two hours.

When cold remove to fridge for 12 hours before serving.

Version 4

This version is cooked slowly in broth.

  • 2 litres broth
  • 1.5 kg duck
  • 500 g pork tenderloin, sliced
  • 250 g veal, sliced
  • Duck liver, sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 15 ml brandy
  • 10 g salt
  • 1 tsp allspice, ground
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Butter, for frying

Open the duck from the back, slowly stripping back the skin. Carefully remove the flesh from the skin and excess fat, taking each breast out whole. Debone.

Cut the breast into little slices, like aiguillettes.

Fry liver in butter for five minutes, leave to cool.

Slice the rest of the duck flesh and add to the liver, pork and veal in a large bowl. Season with allspice, pepper and salt, mix in the eggs and brandy.

Return to the spread-out duck, season liberally with pepper, and spoon the meat mixture over the central area. Salt the aiguillettes and lay them evenly over the mixture.

Being all the edges of the duck skin together and sew tightly. Wrap in muslin, tie both ends.

Put in a large pot with the broth, bring to a slow boil, then simmer for two hours.

Serve hot or cold.

BRÖTCHEN | DDR Brötchen GERMANY small bread rolls

Ostalgie, the nostalgic trend for the humdrum German Democratic Republic, has brought with it a yearning for the simple traditional food once served in the cafes and canteens of Berlin, Leipzig and other East German cities. These breakfast rolls were soft and salty, and were made more often than not with margarine and whey.

Pre-ferment

  • 250 g white wheat flour, t405 / t550, warmed
  • 250 ml milk, full-fat / whey, warmed to 38ºC
  • 20 g yeast

Dissolve yeast in a little of the milk or whey. In a large bowl stir remaining milk or whey into the flour with the yeast mixture. Rest overnight at room temperature.

Second Dough

250 g white wheat flour, t405 / t550
75 g sugar
25 g butter / lard / margarine
15 g salt
5 g barley / wheat malt
Milk, for brushing

Sieve flour into a large bowl, add salt and sugar, incorporate the butter, lard or margarine, then add the pre-ferment. Knead into a soft smooth dough, about 10 minutes. Cover and leave to rise until doubled in size, about an hour. Degas, leave for an hour, cut into 12 pieces (roughly 65 g each), shape into balls, arrange on baking trays. Cover. Preheat oven to 220°C. When they have risen, brush lightly with milk. Place a tray of hot water in the bottom of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes.

Legendary Dishes | Lübecker Ente (Lübeck stuffed duck with sauce)

GERMANY

Duck stuffed with apples and raisins is one of the traditional dishes of Lübeck in north-eastern Germany, where duck is an indigenous ingredient. A member of the Hanseatic League, Lübeck was known as the ‘Queen of the Hanse’ because of its attractive Gothic architecture, and especially because of its rustic cuisine.

Roast

  • 1.75 kg – 2 kg duck
  • 500 g sour apples, peeled, quartered, diced
  • 250 ml white wine
  • 100 g bread, cubed, toasted / breadcrumbs
  • 100 ml kirschwasser / liquer / rum
  • 100 g raisins
  • 3 tbsp white wine
  • 15 g duck fat
  • 5 sage leaves, sliced small
  • 10 g black pepper
  • 10 g salt
  • Cardamom, pinch
  • Cinnamon, pinch

Sauce

  • 15 g butter
  • 1 duck liver, thin sliced

Soak raisins overnight in choice of alcohol.

Heat duck fat in a large frying pan, steam the apple cubes in the fat, add bread cubes or breacrumbs, season with spices. Add raisins and sage, remove from heat.

Duck stuffed with apples and raisins

Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

Rub the cavity with salt and pepper. Add the stuffing, sew to close the gap or use toothpicks.

Roast the duck chest-side up for 45 minutes, then turn over and roast for another 45 minutes. Turn again and roast until the duck is cooked. Each time baste the duck with the juices in the cooking tray.

Remove from the tray and leave to rest covered with foil.

Meanwhile sauté the liver in butter until it turns brown, add the liquid from the tray. Usually the filling will burst through, so take some of this filling and stir it into the liver. Add the white wine and reduce.

Take stuffing from the duck, carve the duck. Serve with stuffing and sauce and dumplings.

Legendary Dishes | Botvigna / Botvinja / Botvinnik {Ботвинья / Ботвинник} (beef and beet soup / beet soup)

BELARUS BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA RUSSIA

In Russia this traditional dish is a chilled summer soup made largely with red beet, leaves and root, horseradish, mustard leaves, sorrel leaves, spinach, spring onions and wild greens, dandeloin, nettles, wild garlic with kvass and lemon juice. In Bosnia and Herzegovina it is made hot with celery, onions, red beets and beef. And back in Russia sometmes it is made hot with fish.

The name of the soup comes from the Russian word botva – leafy tops of root vegetables, usually beet and sorrel. Traditionally the beets are peeled and grated. After that the other ingredients are personal and regional, and will included every type of leaf and root vegetable. Kvass, the fermented bread-yeast drink, is generally added at the end of cooking to give the soup a sour flavour.

Hot Version

Soup
  • 1.5 litres water
  • 1 beet with tops
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 10 g sugar
  • 5 g salt
Garnish
  • 4 pickled cucumbers
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, chilled
  • 4 ham slices, thick, cubed
  • 8 spring onions, chopped
  • 4 tbsp sour cream
  • 4 tsp kvass
  • 2 tsp horseradish

Separate the tops (the stems and leaves) from the beetroots. Wash the beets and tops, peel the beets, coarse grate. Chop the stems and leaves.

Put the grated beets into boiling water. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the tops, salt, sugar and lemon juice. Cook for 5 minutes.

Garnish with choice of cooked meats, greens, pickles and spices.

We suggest the above ingredients. Cut the eggs in half, put two halves in each bowl, then pour the soup and arrange choice of garnish.

Beef and Beet Version

  • 3 litres water
  • 750 g (5) red beets, grated
  • 750 g beef, cubed small
  • 750 g potatoes, small whole (optional)
  • 500 g carrots, grated
  • 400 g (5) plums, de-seeded, sliced
  • 300 g celery, cubed small
  • 300 g green leeks, thin sliced
  • 300 g (3) onions, quartered
  • 300 ml sour cream (optional)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped small
  • 10 g capers
  • 5 g peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp celery leaves
  • 1 tbsp lovage leaves
  • 1 tbsp peppermint
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt, pinch
  • 1 tbsp chives, chopped, for garnish
  • 1 tbsp capers, chopped, for garnish

Cook the leeks in a litre of water for two hours. When the mixture is cool, blend with the cooking water, set aside. In two litres of water add the bay leaf, beef, capers, celery, onions dotted with cloves, peppercorns, plums and, if using, the potatoes. Cook over a low heat for two hours. At this stage add the grated beets, grated carrots, red pepper and the blended leeks. Cook for an hour. Taste for flavour and season with a small amount of salt. Add the leaves and mint, cook for 10 minutes. Serve garnished with capers and chives and, if using, a dollop of sour cream.

Legendary Dishes | Samosa (spicy meat, vegetable pastry)

EUROPE INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

There is huge appreciation for the countless chefs who make these innocuous pastries every day by those who know the elaborate process. Among the best Fricot have encountered over the years are the samosas in the Sanaam Restaurant in the south Manchester village of Rusholme. Revered for its sweet confectons, the Sanaam’s chefs are adept with the savory delights – bhaji, pakora, panipuri, paratha and the samosa. One of the secrets of a perfect samosa is the crust.

Garam Masala – spice mixture

  • ½ cm cinnamon
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • 1 green cardamom
  • 1 clove
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp pomegranate seeds
  • 1 tsp mango powder

Blend all ingredients except the mango powder into a coarse mixture, combine mango powder at the end.

Pastry

  • 400 g white wheat flour
  • 250 ml kefir / yoghurt
  • 75 g hazelnuts, ground
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp ajwain / lovage seeds
  • Salt, pinch

Combine flour, kefir or yoghurt, 2 tablespoons of oil, salt, form into a dough, add seeds. Coat dough in remaining oil, place in a bowl, cover with clingfilm. Rest dough in refrigerator for at least an hour.

Filling — Meat

  • 500 g meat, minced
  • 300 g onion, sliced thin
  • 45 g garam masala
  • 30 ml olive oil / rapeseed oil
  • 2 cm ginger, chopped small
  • 10 g black pepper
  • Salt, large pinch

Carmelise onions in oil over a low heat for 30 minutes, increase heat, add meat, brown. Season with spices, pepper and salt, leave to cool. Blend ginger with a little water into a paste. Work paste into meat mixture.

Vegetable Samosa

Filling — Vegetable

  • 350 g waxy potatoes, boiled, peeled, mashed
  • 150 g fresh green peas
  • 30 g garam masala
  • 2 cm ginger, chopped small
  • 1 green chilli, chopped small
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, whole
  • Asafoetida, pinch
  • Red chilli powder, pinch
  • Salt, pinch

Blend chilli and ginger with a little water into a paste. Work paste, asafoetida, chilli powder, cumin seeds, garam masala and salt into the mashed potatoes. Add peas.

Finish

Cut dough into 30 gram pieces, shape into balls, roll each into 12 cm rounds. Divide the vegetable filling into 25 gram oblongs and the meat filling into 20 gram balls, place in the centre of the rounds, fold over and seal using a fork to impress a pattern on the edge. Deep fry each samosa at 190ºC until golden brown, about 8 minutes.

Legendary Dishes | Eintopf mit Würstchen (pot-stew with sausages)

AUSTRIA GERMANY

There are legendary dishes and there is pot stew, the food in the fields dish with origins in the cauldron tradition and even further back in the first bronze pots of antiquity – the brunzin – a name still in existence in some food cultures to describe the dish.

Generally a pot stew contains meat, vegetables and aromatics in the form of herbs and spices. With the advent of the sausage tradition, the pot stew got a new definition, seen in those food cultures where sausages of all shapes and sizes define the method.

The sausages that go into an eintöpf are hard sausages – cold smoked or cured for a long time to produce a depth of flavour that will emerge in the medium of the stew. There are so many variations of eintöpf with würst it is impossible to say if there is a defintive version. This is our interpretation, based on the traditional pot stews of yesteryear.

  • 1 litre vegetable broth, lukewarm
  • 6 mettwürst (beef-pork sausages), sliced
  • 600 g potatoes, cubed small
  • 300 carrots, cubed small
  • 300 g fresh broad beans / fresh green beans
  • 250 g onion, chopped
  • 60 g tomato paste
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g salt
  • 1 tbsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped

Sauté garlic and onion over a medium heat in a large pot for 15 minutes. Add tomato paste, cook for a couple of minutes, then add the broth and seasonings. Add the beans, carrots, potatoes, sausages and herbs. Cover and cook over a low heat for 90 minutes.

Legendary Dishes | Bouneschlupp (bean and sausage soup)

BELGIUM FRANCE LUXEMBOURG GERMANY

The origins and contents of this enigmatic soup are disputed between Luxembourg and its neighbours in Gaume, Lorraine and Saarland who all claim it as one of their traditional dishes. What is not disputed is the method. Whether the ingredients include leeks or onions, mettwürst or smoked bacon, more or less green beans and cream or no cream, this is a slow soup. The use of mettwürst is not sacroscant, other regional sausages are also favoured. Like many of the traditional dishes of Luxembourg, this is a bean and sausage soup, simply made.

Mettwürst Version

  • 2 litres water
  • 500 g green beans, cut into small pieces
  • 500 g leeks / onions, sliced thin
  • 500 g potatoes, cubed small
  • 4 mettwürst / sausage
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 10 g black pepper
  • 5 g salt

In a large pot sweat the leeks or onions in the oil covered over a low heat for 15 minutes. Add the beans and potatoes and sausages whole, coat in the mixture, then add the water and seasonings. Cook over a low heat covered for 30 minutes, remove the sausages, leave to cool a little, then cut into thick slices. Remove some of the soup, blend and pour back into the pot with the sausage slices. Cook for an hour.

Smoked Bacon Version

  • 3 litres water
  • 800 g beans, cut into small pieces
  • 300 g potatoes, cubed small
  • 200 g onions, chopped
  • 200 g smoked bacon, cut into cubes
  • 150 ml cream
  • 120 g savory (optional)
  • 50 g butter
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g salt

In a large pot brown the bacon in the butter over a low heat, add the onions and sweat covered for 15 minutes. Add the savory and seasonings, sweat for 5 minutes, add the beans and water, cooked for 45 minutes. Add the potatoes, cook for 15 minutes, add the cream and check the seasonings.

Legendary Dishes | Fasolaki Yiahni (bean stew with feta cheese)

CYPRUS

This recipe is adapted from Tonia Filakia‘s Food from the Heart of Cyprus.

  • 1 kg fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1 kg tomatoes, skinned, chopped
  • 200 g dried butter beans, reconstituted in water overnight, cooked
  • 150 g onion, chopped
  • 90 g feta cheese, grated
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g cinnamon
  • 5 g salt
  • 5 g sugar

Heat the oil in a large pan, fry celery and onion over a gentle heat until the onion starts to take on some colour. Stir in the tomatoes, butter beans, green beans, parsley and seasoning. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken. Serve in bowls garnised with feta, bread on the side with assorted condiments.

Legendary Dishes | Tavče Gravče (baked beans)

NORTH MACEDONIA

This aromatic bean casserole from Macedonia is made throughout the Balkans, each home with its own variation of the tradition dish – white beans, onions, paprika, red peppers, vegetables and fried whole spices. The peppers and tomatoes should be dried. Everything else is optional, and usually is. Some cooks add bacon and sausage or smoked meats from
various cuts. Ground paprika, ground spices and vegeta bouillon are usual additions. Mint is a constant in some versions.

  • 500 g white beans, dried (soak in water overnight) / fresh
  • 250 g onion, chopped large
  • 200 g dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 150 g dried red peppers, chopped
  • 125 g bacon / sausages / smoked meat, cubed (optional)
  • 125 g sunflower oil
  • 60 ml bean liquid
  • 45 g walnuts, crushed
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 15 g paprika
  • 15 g vegeta boullion powder (optional)
  • 5 g mint / parsley, fresh, chopped
  • 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • Black pepper, large pinch, for garnish
  • Salt, pinch
  • Mint leaves, fresh, for garnish
  • 4 bay leaves

Bring the beans to a boil in a large pot of water, remove froth from surface, drain, keeping some of the cooking liquid. Put the beans back in the pot with the bay leaves and onions, cover with fresh water. If using, add meat at this stage. Cover and simmer until beans are tender, around 75 minutes for reconstituted beans, 45 minutes for fresh. Don‘t let the beans break up. Remove to a large bowl. Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok. When the oil starts to smoke remove from heat, add whole spices, then the garlic followed by the vegetables, herbs and seasonings. Stir thoroughly. Preheat oven to 250°C. Carefully fold the vegetable mixture into the beans, sprinkle with paprika. Add liquid, stir into beans. Sprinkle walnuts across the top. Spoon into a casserole dish, bake uncovered at 200°C for 30 minutes, until the beans have formed a crust.

Legendary Dishes | Cassoulet (country casserole)

FRANCE

Of all the regional casseroles made in France over the centuries it is the version from Languedoc that home cooks and professional chefs associate with the definition of the dish. The cassoulet epitomised traditional country produce and cooking, not just in France but across northern and western Europe.

  • 1.5 litres water
  • 500 g dried haricot beans, soaked
  • 375 g pork blade / rib bones
  • 250 g lamb shoulder, whole
  • 250 ml meat stock
  • 150 g pork fat
  • 2 legs preserved duck / goose
  • 100 g pork rind, whole
  • 100 g breadcrumbs
  • 100 g carrots, chopped
  • 100 g garlic sausage
  • 100 g goose fat, for frying
  • 100 g (1 whole) onion studded with cloves
  • 100 g onions, chopped
  • 50 ml tomato purée
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 10 g salt, pinch
  • 10 g black pepper, freshly ground
  • 3 g parsley (for bouquet garni in muslin bag) x 2
  • 3 g rosemary (for bouquet garni in muslin bag) x 2
  • 3 g sage (for bouquet garni in muslin bag) x 2
  • 3 g savory (for bouquet garni in muslin bag) x 2
  • 5 cloves (for bouquet garni in muslin bag) x 2
  • 1 sprig thyme (for bouquet garni in muslin bag) x 2
  • 2 bay leaves (for bouquet garni in muslin bag) x 2

Put beans in a large pot of water with carrot, pork fat, pork rind, onion studded with cloves, two cloves of garlic and first bouquet garni. Simmer for an hour, making sure beans do not break up.

Season lamb.

Brown lamb and pork bones in two tablespoons of goose fat.

Put meat and bones in a large pot with second bouquet garni, remaining garlic, onions, tomato purée and a ladle of meat stock. Cook covered over a low heat for an hour, adding a ladle of stock every 20 minutes to keep the lamb moist.

Add beans and pork rind to the lamb pot with duck / goose legs and garlic sausage, simmer for a further hour.

Remove all the meat from the lamb pot, cut into large cubes or slices. Cut rind into rectangles.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Line a casserole dish with rind rectangles, place beans on top followed by the meat and a final layer of beans, seasoning each layer. Place any left over rind on top.

Moisten top layer with meat stock.

Melt remaining goose fat.

Cover casserole with a heavy sprinkling of breadcrumbs followed by a drizzle of goose fat.

Bake for an hour, breaking crust several times after 30 minutes.

Legendary Dishes | Botifarra amb Mongetes (beans and sausages)

CATALONIA SPAIN

A rival to the broad bean is the white kidney bean and in the Iberian peninsula they can’t get enough of them. This is the stunningly simple sausage and beans of Catalonia. It is hard to know which is the star of this show, the Catalan sausage or the Iberian bean!

Made generally with lean pork from the thigh and shoulder, bacon, coarse ground black pepper and sea salt, the botifarra is characterised by subtle variation and specific additions. These include blood, eggs, foie gras, garlic, honey, liver, mushrooms, onions, parsley and rice singularly and in combinations, with each pork butcher coveting their own recipe.

  • 1 sausage per person
  • 500 g white kidney beans, soaked overnight, cooked
  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic, crushed
  • Parsley, chopped

Prick sausages, slow fry in their own fat, a little butter and olive oil. Remove sausages, keep warm. Add beans to the pan, fry gently for several minutes. Serve with the sausages, garnished with garlic and parsley.

Legendary Dishes | Bigilla (spicy bean paté)

MALTA

The shadow of the Pharaoh and the mark of the Nile‘s rich harvest will always characterise this timeless Egyptian breakfast. Ful medames (fava beans with garlic, lemon juice and olive oil) falls lightly on this Mediterranean version.

  • 500 g fava (brown) beans, dried, soaked overnight
  • 60 g garlic, crushed
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 5 g marjoram, finely chopped
  • 5 g mint, finely chopped
  • 2 green / red chillies, chopped / 1 tsp chilli sauce
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • Salt, large pinch

Boil beans in salted water until soft, drain, add garlic and mash with a wooden spoon. Mix with oil and press through a sieve, add herbs and spices.

Legendary Dishes | Bazzoffia (soup of love – bean and vegetable soup with bread and cheese)

ITALY

This summer vegetable soup from central Italy is celebrated in the Sezze recipe book where they describe it as the ‘soup of love’. Ideally it is made with all fresh produce from the field and garden. The addition of bread, eggs and cheese turn it into a meal.

The authors of Ti Racconto una Ricetta di Sezze (I’ll Tell You a Recipe of Sezze) describe the dish. ‘Bazzoffia is a spring soup typical of Sezze and Priverno, two villages of the Lepini Mountains that compete for the authorship of this dish. The bazzoffia, whose name recalls a certain heterogeneity of ingredients, is made with seasonal vegetables from the April season during which are the last artichokes, the first beans and new peas, as well as lettuce and chard. Today actually with availability all year round of ingredients it is possible to make it every day. The secret of the success of bazzoffia is the long but sweet cooking which leaves legumes and vegetables intact.’

  • 1.5 litres water
  • 300 g fresh peas
  • 300 g fresh broad beans
  • 250 g chard, chopped coarsely
  • 4 eggs
  • 12 artichoke hearts, cut into strips
  • 170 g stale bread, sliced in four
  • 120 g pecorino cheese, grated
  • 100 g onion, chopped small
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g salt

Pour the oil into a large pot over a gentle heat, add the onion, peas and broad beans, stir to embrace the oil, add the artichokes and chard. Pour in the water and add salt. Cook covered over a low heat for 90 minutes.

When all the vegetables are cooked, poach the eggs in the broth. Place a slice of bread in each bowl, put a poached egg on top, pour the soup and sprinkle with cheese. Season.

Legendary Dishes | Fave al Guanciale (beans with cured pork cheek)

ITALY

Dried fava beans are no substitute for the fresh beans, but you don’t have to visit the shores of the Mediterranean or arrive in Rome in the spring to appreciate this delicacy. Asian stores sell fresh fava beans and the dried beans are relatively easy to grow.

Tinned broad beans should be avoided. Cooked ham or pork are reliable options but the broad beans must be fresh.

The ratio of beans to bacon should be 2:1, beans to pork cheek 4:1. Some versions call for both bacon and pork.

  • 1 kg fresh young beans, blanched in boiling water, chilled
  • 250 g guanciale (cured pork cheek), sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 50 g olive oil
  • Black Pepper
  • Sea Salt
  • Water

Fry the onion in the oil until it takes on colour at the edges. Add the pork, coating it in the oil and onion and fry gently for three minutes. Turn the heat down and carefully incorporate the beans. Some chefs like to remove the husks for a sweeter flavour from the beans but it is not necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in enough water to half cover the mixture. Check the tenderness of the beans after ten minutes. They are ready when they are soft to the bite.

Legendary Dishes | Spas Սպաս (yoghurt soup)

ARMENIA

Traditionally this yoghurt soup was made with wheat berries, which were pre-cooked. It is also made with rice and semolina.

Semolina Version

  • 500 g manzoon
  • 250 ml water
  • 200 g semolina
  • 130 g onion, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 15 g butter
  • 15 g flour
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt

Whisk egg in a bowl, add flour and a third of the manzoon and the water. Pour into a saucepan, add remaining manzoon, semolina and salt. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, heat the mixture until the semolina is cooked. Add onions and butter, heat through, about three minutes.

Rice Version

  • 1 litre manzoon / yoghurt
  • 500 ml water
  • 150 g onion, chopped
  • 150 g rice, pre-cooked
  • 1 egg
  • 15 g butter
  • 15 g flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp fresh mint / 1 tbsp dried mint
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped

In a saucepan beat the egg into the flour, add yogurt and beat again. Bring slowly to the boil. Add the rice and onions, stir for a couple of minutes. Add mint, stir, cook for a moment. Add butter and salt, turn heat off, add remaining mint.

Legendary Dishes | Jalik (cucumbers and yoghurt)

ARMENIA TURKEY
  • 500 g cucumbers, peeled, cubed small
  • 500 g manzoon / yoghurt
  • 50 ml chilled water
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed and mashed
  • 1 tsp dried mint / 1 tbsp fresh mint (crushed / chopped)
  • Salt, large pinch

Beat yoghurt into a smooth consistency, loosen with water, add garlic and salt. Mix cucumber into yoghurt, chill for two hours. Serve with a garnish of fresh (or dried) mint.