Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fish from Neringa, Lithuania

Neringa lies on the Baltic Sea and is part of the Curonian Spit which is shared between Lithuania and Russia. It's natural beauty, unique ecology, and historical villages has earned this Baltic jewel a UNESCO world heritage site. To the west of Neringa lies the Baltic Sea and to its east is the fresh water Curonian Lagoon. Delicacies harvested from these waters are favorites for the many visitors who come year round. Pictured is one of my dinners: a smoked skumbre (mackerel), a popular Lithuanian pilsner Volfas Engelman, beet and pea salad, along with an arugula salad and homemade bread. YUMMY!!!
The catch-of-the-day was harvested from a hole in the icy Curonian Lagoon and delivered to the fish shops where they are smoked or sold fresh. Within the bucket is stinta (smelt) or commonly called cucumber fish because its smell is similar to freshly cut cucumbers. Pictured is it fresh, smoked, and fried. Its taste is very mild and melts in your mouth.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

His Daily Bread

Baking black rye bread is Egidijus's passion. He wants only the best food for his family and it took him a year of research and experimentation to make the ideal rye bread. In the course of 5 days under a heated environment, he makes his own yeast from rye flour and water. He understands the properties of his yeast. Rye flour is difficult to raise and takes 6 hours in a 40 degree C, compared to wheat flour which takes only 1+ hours to rise. Next, he kneads in honey and a little salt into the dough and than puts the dough into bread tins for several hours to allow to rise again. Baking time is 40 minutes. This bread is splendid!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Kugelis is a Lithuanian traditional dish made with potatoes. Common ingredients include onions, eggs, and meats, either beef, chicken, or pork. Berta and Adrea (pictured) prepared enough kugelis to serve of 6-8 persons. They pealed and pureed 30 medium sized potatoes and added 1 finely chopped onion, 1 egg, a 1/4 cup of boiled milk, 3 spoonfuls of flour, and salt and pepper. After removing the fat from the chicken, it was cut into bit size pieces and stirred into the potato mix. Next, the mix was put into a pan and baked for an hour and a half at 200-250 degrees. We only had a deep pot to bake it in, so it took longer than normal to cook the kugelis. A 3" pan it best where you have more surface area where a nice brown crust can form. Serve kugelis with sour cream or apple sauce. Beer is a nice beverage to embellish this hearty winter meal.