Saturday, February 22, 2014

My Kitchen My World - Czech Republic

Our MKMW destination for February was the Czech Republic. I found a few recipes that intrigued me, but finally decided on these lovely deli sandwiches called Obložené Chlebíčky. I have no idea how that is actually pronounced! But basically these are open-faced sandwiches with flavorful and artfully-arranged toppings. So pretty, and so yummy.

My daughter recently asked if we could do a "sandwich meal" - different kinds of breads and spreads and sandwich fillings, and everyone makes their own special sandwiches just the way they want them. I thought that was a great idea, and the perfect time to do the Czech sandwiches.

We set this all up using some ingredients typical of the Czech deli sandwiches, and some typical of regular old American sandwiches, so everyone would have a good variety to choose from.

So here is my kitchen island, covered in the breads and some spreads and toppings:

Homemade french bread, hoagie rolls, and flat bread, all made using my favorite universal bread formula; mayo, mustard, oil and vinegar, sriracha, and relish

And here is the counter with all the meats, cheeses, veggies, and a couple other spreads:

Ham, turkey, salami, and pepperoni; provolone, swiss, muenster, and colby jack; tomatoes, red pepper, pickles, eggs, lettuce, and cucumber; potato salad and guacamole

 I was really the only one to make Obložené Chlebíčky sandwiches. But wow, I'm glad I did!

So beautiful! I do, however, admit to having to use toothpicks to keep my salami rolled like that...

The first sandwich is a slice of french bread spread with potato salad, and topped with hard salami, provolone cheese, sweet pickle, a slice of tomato, and a slice of boiled egg.

The second sandwich also started with french bread and potato salad, then was topped with ham, muenster cheese, sweet red pepper, a slice of boiled egg, and a dash of paprika.

Honestly, I have never before thought to put potato salad on a sandwich. It never even crossed my mind. But it was so delicious on these sandwiches! Also, I don't really even care for sweet pickles. But again, together with the other sandwich toppings, they somehow worked.

It would have been fun to experiment with some of the more fun and unique toppings typical of the
Obložené Chlebíčky, but our budget doesn't quite cover stuff like lobster spread, anchovy paste, caviar, capers, or camembert. Maybe someday. :)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

My Kitchen My World - Poland

January's country for My Kitchen My World was Poland. I enjoy cooking foods from European countries, they're almost familiar but different enough to make it fun.

Halushki is a Polish dish made of noodles, cabbage, and pork. This recipe makes a LOT - we were eating leftovers for quite a while. No complaints though, it tasted really good. But until our family has added a couple kids (not for a while!), I'll probably make this recipe in a smaller batch next time.

1 1/2 lb. pork chops
garlic powder to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, chopped
1 large head cabbage, cut into squares
1 lb. large egg noodles
1 tbsp. butter

Sprinkle pork chops with garlic powder, salt and pepper and place in a large greased sauce pan or deep skillet with chopped onion and fry until very brown and well cooked. It is ok if they stick a little, as the drippings are essential in this dish. When done, remove chops and set aside.

Add a little water to the saucepan or skillet and mix up the drippings a bit. Place cabbage into the pot, and allow to cook down completely.

In a separate large saucepan, boil the egg noodles in water until cooked. Drain noodles and mix in butter.

Cut up the pork chops to bite size pieces and set aside. When the cabbage has cooked down, add pork and cooked noodles and mix completely.