“Borscht (English: /ˈbɔːrʃ, ˈbɔːrʃt/ ) is a sour soup commonly consumed in Eastern Europe. The variety most often associated with the name in English is of Ukrainian origin, and includes beetroots as one of the main ingredients, which gives the dish its distinctive red color. It shares the name, however, with a wide selection of sour-tasting soups without beetroots, such as sorrel-based green borscht, rye-based white borscht and cabbage borscht … Borscht derives from an ancient soup originally cooked from pickled stems, leaves and umbels of common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), a herbaceous plant growing in damp meadows, which lent the dish its Slavic name. With time, it evolved into a diverse array of tart soups, among which the beet-based red borscht has become the most popular. It is typically made by combining meat or bone stock with sautéed vegetables, which – as well as beetroots – usually include cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes and tomatoes. Depending on the recipe, borscht may include meat or fish, or be purely vegetarian; it may be served either hot or cold; and it may range from a hearty one-pot meal to a clear broth or a smooth drink.” [Wikipedia] And “those other sour soups” that are cousins to borscht may come from day Lithuania and Belarus, the Ashkenaz Jews, Romanian and Moldovan cuisines, Poland, Armenia and even Chinese cuisine, a soup known as luó sòng tāng, or “Russian soup”, is based on red cabbage and tomatoes, and lacks beetroots altogether; also known as “Chinese borscht”. Wow! There are many varieties of borscht.
But there is only one original or authentic borscht. Borscht derives from a soup originally made by the Slavs from common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium, also known as cow parsnip), which lent the dish its Slavic name. Growing commonly in damp meadows throughout the north temperate zone, hogweed was used not only as fodder (as its English names suggest), but also for human consumption – from Eastern Europe to Siberia, to northwestern North America.
And what is generally served with borscht? “Pirozhki, or baked dumplings with fillings as for uszka, are another common side for both thick and clear variants of borscht. Polish clear borscht may be also served with a croquette or paszteciki. A typical Polish croquette (krokiet) is made by wrapping a crêpe (thin pancake) around a filling and coating it in breadcrumbs before refrying; paszteciki (literally, ‘little pâtés’) are variously shaped filled hand-held pastries of yeast-raised or flaky dough. An even more exquisite way to serve borscht is with a coulibiac, or a large loaf-shaped pie. Possible fillings for croquettes, paszteciki and coulibiacs include mushrooms, sauerkraut and minced meat.” [The Book of Tasty and Healthy Food, Anastas Mikoyan]
So. What is borscht usually made of? What are the components? Ingredients? Borscht is seldom eaten by itself. Buckwheat groats or boiled potatoes, often topped with pork cracklings, are other simple possibilities, but a range of more involved sides exists as well.
In Ukraine, borscht is often accompanied with pampushky, or savory, puffy yeast-raised rolls glazed with oil and crushed garlic. In Russian cuisine, borscht may be served with any of assorted side dishes based on tvorog, or the East European variant of farmer cheese, such as vatrushki, syrniki or krupeniki. Vatrushki are baked round cheese-filled tarts; syrniki are small pancakes wherein the cheese is mixed into the batter; and a krupenikis a casserole of buckwheat groats baked with cheese.
But please note, your borscht may be different from your neighbors. There are cultural differences in the borscht. Ingredients may include,beet juice, beet root, veal, ham, crayfish, beef, pork, sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt, cucumbers, radishes, green onion, hard-boiled egg halves, dill weed, leafy vegetables, sorrel, spinach, chard, nettle, dandelion, cabbage, tomatoes, corn, squash, to name a few.So whatever inspired me to write this post? Well, we made a borscht and I posted a photo of it (the one pictured here actually) and I got comments. One of them in particular, from a Ukrainian lady, and she said,”That’s not real Russian Borsch (smiley face). It’s beet soup (smiley face). My mom makes the best, she is a Gourmet Chef for over 50yrs, and specializes in Jewish Cuisine.” [Mara Rizzio] I spoke to Mara – she makes awesome pirogies – and it was a good discussion. Thank-You Mara for “setting” me straight. Thus, this blog post. Cheers. And here is a recipe for Borscht that I found in the internet, from NPR, that includes various ingredients. Have fun! Borscht Recipe.
I have had several questions on what is the difference between the types of French bread. Here is a good graphic from Cooks Country. Hope it helps. Left-Click the graphic to see it enlarged.
And then why not have some of the bread with garlic and butter and a good Spaghetti Carbonaro.
Or actually with any of these dishes!
No. It’s not Christmas! It’s Spring. Time to eat what is in your garden. Edible flowers and the most popular are pansys and nasturtium. Here are two photos that I took – one of a potato salad and the other of crab cakes. You eat with your eyes first, so make an impression. But remember – Never Serve Anything on a Plate That You Cannot Eat! If you don’t know if it is edible, Do Not Serve It!
Edible flowers are flowers that can be consumed safely. Flowers may be eaten as vegetables as a main part of a meal, or may be used as herbs. Flowers are part of many regional cuisines, including Asian, European, and Middle Eastern cuisines … With their powerful and unique flavors, textures and colors, edible flowers have gained popularity as a creative and innovative ingredient for the culinary world; they are added to foods to provide flavor, aroma, and decoration. They can be eaten as part of a main dish and can be incorporated into salads. Flowers can be added to beverages as flavorings, or be used to make beverages such as tisanes and wines. They are added to spreads such as butter or fruit preserves, and to vinegar, marinades, and dressings.
Flowers are also consumed for subsistence. Many flowers that are technically edible can be far from palatable.
For best flavor, flowers should be fresh and harvested early in the day. Wilted and faded flowers, and the unopened buds of most species, can be distasteful, often bitter. The taste and color of nectar widely varies between different species of flower; consequently, honey may vary in color and taste depending of the species of flower. Many flowers can be eaten whole, but some have bitter parts, such as the stamens and stems. [Wikipedia, et al]
Arugula (Eruca sativa)
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica)
Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea)
Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium)
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum spp.)
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Dill (Anethum graveolens)
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Mint (Mentha spp.)
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)
Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans)
Red clover (Trifolium pratense)
Rose (Rosa spp.)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)
Squash (Cucurbita pepo)
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Violet (Viola odorata)
The weather outside right now is cloudy and 60 degrees! It’s Springtime in the Rockies. And with Spring, comes the Boise Far,ers Market. Here is the latest news from them.
Even though it’s winter, there is a lot going on in the world of local food and local sustainable farming!
The Babies are Growing Up at True Roots Organics!
Kaimana, the youngest farmer at True Roots Organics, and his side-kick Nala are checking the seedlings to make sure all is well.
These were planted in early January and are already sprouted, but we couldn’t pass up on this darling pic!
With biodynamic innovation and some large black barrels that absorb the heat of the sun, the inside temperature in the green house is 60 degrees plus. Perfect for spring seedlings.
We can hardly wait to enjoy the fresh produce from the True Roots Organics booth come April!
The Seed of the Week
Wrinkled Crinkled Crumpled Cress!
Brought to you by our friends at the Snake River Seed Cooperative.
They sell heirloom, non-gmo, open-pollinated seeds grown by 29 small, family farmers around the Intermountain West.
This variety is not easy to harvest commercially due to its small size, so it is perfect to grow for your home garden! In addition to offering a unique, lovely floral-spice flavor for salads and dishes, it can also be grown as an ornamental plant in your garden! The seed stalks are a beautiful filler in bouquets and can be dried for fall and winter wreaths.
This cress comes from well known plant breeder Frank Morton, located in Philomath, Oregon. Frank Morton has bred many varieties of delicious greens in the Willamette Valley of Western Oregon. We enjoy trialing these greens to see which grow well in our high altitude desert climate. Wrinkled Crinkled Crumpled Cress is one of those varieties that have been a success!
tHe FuNkY tAco!
Another BFM Vendor Gets a Storefront!
The Funky Taco is going brick-and-mortar! We’re sure you’ve seen the construction on the corner of 8th & Bannock. That’s Funky Taco’s new location!
Below is a short interview we did with co-owner, Sheri Archambo.
How long has the Funky Taco food truck been around?
We started in April of 2013 in step with the Boise Farmers Market.
What made you decide to create it?
We decided to create the food truck for a number of reasons. One of those being our passion to create interesting and delicious food that is sourced as locally as possible. We thought the food truck would be a great platform for us to develop our concept and provide us with valuable feedback that would allow us to establish a brick and mortar location in the future. Being part of the Boise Farmers market allowed us to develop relationships with local farmers who has provided us with education and product that you can’t get anywhere else.
Owning our own restaurant is a dream for us, we have taken the time to during this process to assure long term success. There have been numerous tipping points. We’ve had many repeat customers who have encouraged us to build a restaurant so they could enjoy our food more than just Saturday mornings at the Boise Farmers Market or special events around the valley. There have been several locations that were considered for the brick and mortar but nothing felt “right” until 8th and Bannock presented itself. We knew deep in our hearts this was the right decision.
Has the Boise Farmers Market had any role in your success?
Yes, of course! The Boise Farmers Market has allowed us to grow in may different areas of our business. We have developed personal and working relationships with our farmers and other speciality food vendors at the market. We’ve learned a lot from the vendors about farming, food, and our overall business. They’ve been valuable in shaping our concept and our mission as restauranteurs.
In addition, we have also developed a loyal repeat customer base who come back each week bringing their friends and family to share in “the food” and “the experience”. We will continue to develop our existing relationships with the Boise Farmer Market producers and wish to also forge new relationships as well. These relationships have been a big part of our success and we will count on them being a big part of our success in the future.
When will you be open for business?
We are hoping that the restaurant will be open at the end of February. We are thinking our hours will be from 11 – 9 Monday to Wednesday, 11am – 11pm Thursday Saturday, although that’s not final just yet.
What “insider” info can you give us?
The restaurant is going to be an exciting and comfortable place to enjoy creative and nutritious food. We have an elevated stage where we will have live music with a state of the art PA system. With such a great location in downtown we’ve made the space something that we know our customers and the Boise Farmers Market will be proud of.
tHe FuNkY tAco will be opening late February at 801 West Bannock in Downtown Boise. Locally sourced healthy taco-licious grub. We can hardly wait!
And I do like honey. The natural honey from Weiser, ID is really good. Idaho Honey Apiaries, 426 Krause Rd, Mathews Farms in Weiser, to be exact.
And those of you who read this blog and follow it, know that I use 99.9% Idaho products. Especially Idaho farm products – eggs, beef, lamb, chicken and all kinds of produce.
But there are some times when I defer to the 0.1% of the time when I leave the trend and go outside of Idaho. Honey. My favorite, hands down, is Tupelo Honey! (Tupelo, MS was named after the tupelo tree!) It is a fruity, floral and slightly tan. It is delicious! From healthywithhoney.com, “…The center of all tupelo honey producers is Apalachicola River, in the Florida Panhandle. Tupelo honey is produced wherever tupelo trees bloom, all over southeastern USA, but the purest and most expensive version (certified by pollen analysis) is produced in this valley.”
Tupelo honey is a high-grade honey produced in a small region in North Western Florida and Southern Georgia from White Ogeechee Tupelo trees. The honey color is light golden amber with a greenish cast. It has a mild floral and fruity taste. The aroma is cinnamon and floral. The honey is produced from the Ogeechee tupelo (southeastern United States) Nyssa ogeche, commonly referred to as Ogeechee tupelo, white tupelo, river lime, ogeechee lime tree, sour gum or wild lime is a deciduous tree.
Since Tupelo trees grow in swampy areas and beekeepers want the hives close to the trees, it is common to place the beehives on platforms to avoid flooding along side of the swamp. Some beekeepers still use boats to access their hives. In Florida, beekeepers keep beehives along the river swamps on platforms or floats during tupelo bloom to produce certified tupelo honey, which commands a high price on the market because of its flavor. Tupelo floral content can be as high as 95% although only 51% is required by the state to be labeled, “Tupelo Honey”… The tree, first discovered by William Bartram along the Ogeechee River in Georgia, it is also known as Swamp Gum, Sour Tupelo-Gum, Bee-Tupelo, Tupelo Gum and Ogeechee-Lime Tree. It produces 1.5-inch-long, showy red fruits that ripen in autumn. The juice can be used as a substitute for limes, hence its common name. The Tupelo Honey Festival in Wewahitchka, Florida, referred to as “Wewa” by locals, is celebrated annually on the 3rd Saturday of May at Lake Alice Park. Here is a link to more info for the Tupelo Honey Festival It is a great place to try to buy fresh Tupelo honey and talk to the beekeepers that have upheld the traditions that have made Tupelo honey famous.
The only place in Idaho that I know of that has Tupelo Honey on the shelf is the Boise Coop, in Boise. A 13.5 oz jar should run about $6.73. If you would rather, you can go directly to one source at Swanson Vitamins, and they do have the honey from YS Eco Farms, but only in season! Enjoy the honey. We do!
It seems as though everytime a holiday comes around, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter for instance, that those traditional family gatherings arrive with questions. Especially, questions from the kitchen. What shall I make for a special breakfast? Or, is there a different way to make mashed potatoes? Or, how do I brine a turkey?
All are good questions and I suppose there are many, many answers. After searching the web and aking questions from some Chef friends and venders at the Saturday Market, here are three suggestions. I’m going to try each one of these and I really believe that they will turn out really good. So here are the three recipes for “How To Brine A Turkey“, “Mashed Potatoes in a Slow Cooker” and “Salsa Ranchera” for Huevos Rancheros. Enjoy and if you use any of these, tell us how it came out. Cheers and Happy Holidays! Left-Click these photos to see them enlarged.
Makes 1 turkey
4 quarts water
1 cup coarse kosher salt, or 3/4 cup table salt
Aromatics: bay leaf, peppercorns, cloves, juniper berries, allspice berries, orange peels, lemon peels, etc.
1 large pot or bucket with a lid
Measuring cups and spoons
1) Find a pot and make fridge space: Find a pot or food-safe bucket large enough that you will be able to entirely submerge your turkey. Next, clear some fridge space and make sure your pot will fit.
2) Place the turkey in the pot: Unwrap your turkey and remove the giblets, then transfer it to your pot. Add any aromatics you’d like to use.
Mix the brine solution: Heat 1 quart of water in the microwave until warmed — it doesn’t need to come to a boil, just be warm enough to dissolve the salt. Add the salt and stir until the salt has dissolved. Let the liquid cool slightly; it’s fine if it’s still a touch warm.
Pour the brine solution over the turkey. Pour the remaining 3 quarts of water over the turkey: This dilutes the salt solution to the best ratio for brining and also helps further cool the solution.
2) Make sure the turkey is completely submerged: If necessary, prepare additional brine solution at a ratio of 1/4 cup per quart of water to completely submerge the turkey.
Cover and refrigerate: If the turkey floats, weigh it down with a dinner plate. Cover the pot and place it in the refrigerator.
3) Brine for 12 to 24 hours.
4) Rinse the turkey in cool water and pat dry. Clean your sink thoroughly after doing this step to avoid cross-contamination. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Dry for another 24 hours for crispier skin.
Optional: If you have time, let the turkey air-dry overnight in the fridge. Place it on a roasting rack set inside a roasting pan and cover loosely with plastic bags to avoid cross contamination. This drying step will give your turkey crispier skin.
5) Roast as usual, but check your turkey early: You can roast the turkey either immediately after brining or after air-drying. I’ve found that brined turkeys tend to cook a bit more quickly, so cook as usual, but start checking the turkey’s temperature an hour before the end of your estimated cooking time.
Serves: 8 to 10
Source: adapted from The Kitchn
5 lbs Russet Potatoes
3 to 4 cloves Garlic, optional
1 t Celtic Sea Salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground Tellicherry Black Pepper, to taste
3 to 3½ c Whole Milk, or a mixture of milk and cream
½ c unsalted Butter
Peel and chop the potatoes: Lightly grease the slow cooker insert with butter or cooking spray. Peel the potatoes and chop into small pieces about 1 inch to a side. The smaller the potatoes, the faster they will cook, obviously. Transfer the potatoes to the slow cooker.
Add the seasonings: Smash the garlic cloves, if using, and drop on top of the potatoes. Stir in the salt and a generous quantity of black pepper.
Pour in 1½ cups milk: Pour in 1½ cups milk and stir the potatoes once.
Cook until tender: Cover the slow cooker and cook 4 to 5 hours on HIGH or until the potatoes are very tender and soft. Turn the heat to WARM.
Melt the butter: When the potatoes are done, melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.
Warm the dairy: Stir 2 cups milk, or a mixture of milk and cream, into the melted butter and warm gently over low heat.
Mash the potatoes: If you used garlic but don’t want the potatoes super garlicky, remove the garlic cloves and discard. Use a spoon to scoop out and discard any browned bits on the sides of the pot. Use a potato masher or ricer to mash the potatoes right in the pot.
Slowly stir in the dairy: When the potatoes are as smooth as you like, slowly stir in the warmed dairy and butter. The potatoes will look soupy at first but the potatoes will quickly soak up the liquid. Add an additional ½ cup of milk or cream if you want them to be even creamier.
Taste and season: Taste and season with additional salt or pepper if desired.
Keep warm: To keep the potatoes warm, leave in the covered slow cooker on the WARM setting for up to 4 hours.
(Cómo preparar una Salsa Ranchera auténtica en tu casa)
[huevos rancheros—”rancher’s-style” eggs]
Source: adapted from mexgrocer
Preparation: 10 Cook Time: 1 Servings: 6
2 Roma Tomatoes, diced
½ white Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, diced
1 T Vegetable Oil
Serrano chile as desired
2 1/2 T Oregano
1 t Cumin
Juice of half a Lime
Celtic Sea Salt
Submerge the tomatoes in boiling water for a few seconds. Peel them, dice them and put them in what will be your salsa bowl. Chop up the onion, chili, and garlic and mix with the tomato. Add the oil and the lime juice and sprinkle with oregano.
An Easy Mexican Recipe
Source: adapted from mylatinatable.com/best-huevos-rancheros/
2 lg Eggs
2 Corn Tortillas
¼ Onion, chopped
BlackmRefried beans (homemade or store bought)
2 med Potatoes
Thick cut Ham, cut into cubes
Celtic Sea Salt, fresh ground Tellicherry Black Pepper to taste
Queso Fresco and Cilantro to garnish.
Sauté the potatoes, onion, and ham in a small amount of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Lightly fry the tortillas, and pat dry. Put on a plate. Warm up the refried beans, and spread onto the tortillas.
Fry an egg to your preferred level of doneness, and put on top of the tortilla and beans. Top with salsa ranchero, queso fresco, and fresh cilantro. Serve with the potato, onion, and ham mix.
So much fun in the past month or two. Fun in the kitchen. No particular recipe, just a game of “Chopped”. We have these items, now make something edible. Mostly I did.
Hopefully I found something from breakfast, lunch and dinner. To see any of these photos enlarged, Left-Click them. Lets start with Breakfast. I do hope this stimulates you to prepare something different. Good luck! Most of these ingredients, are available at the Boise Farmers Market at 10th and Grove.
How about some lunch?
And now, Dinner!
Note: Yakitori is mostly a form of skewered chicken. But if you take the sauce, called “… tare, a special sauce consisting of mirin, sake, Japanese soy sauce (Shoyu. Prefered dark but white is also fine), and sugar …” and add it to something like this salmon, you get something completely different and good. No need to skewer the salmon, just marinate it for about 30 minutes and then slowly cook it on top of the stove or bake it in the oven. I do like this sauce and usually have some on hand. Easy to make.
Ah yes! Life in the kitchen in one of the hottest July’s on record at The Captain’s Shack (The Shack). But so much fun to make and serve. Some of these dishes are “eye candy”, too. Some have recipes; Some don’t. (If you want a recipe, just let me know. I’ll see what I can do.) As with most photos on this blog, Left Click them and see them enlarged. Enjoy these photos and if you make any of the recipes, let us know how you liked them. Thanks and Cheers!
This was our first visit to Juniper Restaurant in Boise at 211 N 8th St, (208) 342-1142. Really very good food. It can get very noisy so go prepared. It was also great to have Kelsey join us there for brunch. It was great seeing her and talking to her. She has had some fantastic journeys. Come back soon, Kelsey.
The food is prepared fresh and from reading the menu, mostly from local or Idaho products. Everything was hot and had very good presentation. Look at their lunch and dinner Menu or their Brunch and Lunch Menus. Here is what we had. Enjoy! We did.