Monday, April 19, 2010

Lithuania - Cold Beet Soup and Meat Dumplings

Lithuania borders Belarus, Poland and Latvia and is the largest of the three Baltic republics. It gained independence with the Soviet Union just over a decade ago and once shared an empire with Poland. Now it’s said to be Europe’s best-kept secret and the capital, Vilnius, is referred to as the ‘New Prague.’ It sure seems to have come a long way.

Even so, I read they are still superstitious; even numbered flowers in a bouquet are for the dead, and it is bad luck to shake hands with someone across a doorway.

Cold Beet Soup ( Cold Borscht)

1 lb red beets
4 cups water
2 cucumbers, chopped into small cubes
2 scallions or chives, chopped
2 hard-boiled eggs,, peel, separate white from the yolks and chop white finely
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups buttermilk
Fresh dill

Clean and peel the beets, cover with water and boil until tender.

Mash the scallions with the egg yolks and 1/4 tsp slat to release the onion flavor.

When the beets have finished boiling, remove them from the water and reserve the liquid

Clean, trim and peel beets, cover with water and boil until tender. Cool the beets under cold running water. When beets have cooked, grate them coarsely.

In a large mixing bowl, add buttermilk to the beet water and blend in sour cream; then add beets, cucumbers, egg whites, egg yolks and onions. Stir until well blended.

Place in refrigerator to chill. Serve with chopped dill as garnish.

Meat Dumplings


3 eggs
2 TBSP water
3 cups flour


1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 eggs
1/2 cup finely chopped onion

Beat eggs, then add salt and pepper, chopped onion and ground beef.

Then prepare the dough. Beat eggs. Add salt, water and flour to make a soft dough. Roll the dough out and cut ut circles with a large glass, each circle about 3 inces in diameter. Fill each dough circle with a Tablespoon of filling. Seal the edges and twist over the ends.

Bring three quarts of salted water to a boil. Drop in the dumplings and return water to a boil. Dumplings are done when they float to the top.

Serve with hot gravy.

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