Monday, November 20, 2017

Get supper ready with mid-century Serbian cookery

Continuing with some long-overdue recipes this week, here is Serbian Cookery, a 143-page spiral-bound volume of recipes published in November 1955 by the Sisters of the Ravanica Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church in Detroit, Michigan. It was part of Mom's extensive and beloved collection of cookbooks.

First, here is an excerpt from the lengthy foreword by Vlaiko M. Lugonja:
"The Serbian people, who presently occupy the largest portion of Yugoslavia, settled centuries ago in the heart of the Balkans. This put them astride the great East-West historical highways, which stretch from the Alps and the Pannonian Plains of Central Europe, down the valleys of the Danube, Drina, Morava and Vardar Rivers, and along the Aegean Sea. As a result, the Serbians' cooking acquired many characteristics from other nations.

"At the start of this century, emigration to the New World brought women here from all parts of Serbia, each enhancing the customs of food preparation with her own contribution of rich and varied cooking traditions. And today, whenever Serbian women gather, the usual subject of discussion (other than the usual bits of gossip) is cooking. Out of such discussion came the realization that the younger generation of Serbian women in the United States felt a desire to preserve the traditional cooking arts of their parents and grandparents."
Here are some of the recipes from Serbian Cookery:

Jerinkitz Peppers
(Turshija od zutih paprika)

Use 1 peck yellow bell peppers. Remove seeds and cut peppers in half. Bring to a boil 6 qts. water, 3 qts. white vinegar, 8 T sugar, 6 T salt and 1-1/2 c oil. Drop peppers into liquid and boil a few minutes, but do not overcook. Pack in jars, pour boiling liquid over them and seal.
-- Celia Jerinkitz

Sauerkraut and Beans
(Kiseli kupus i grah)

  • 1 lb. Roman or cranberry beans
  • 1 large can sauerkraut, washed
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 T shortening
  • 1 heaping T flour, 1 T salt
Soak beans overnight. Throw water away. Cook beans in about 3 qts. fresh water until done, about 3 hours. Add sauerkraut, cook half hour together. Melt shortening, add flour, stir until brown, add onion and garlic, chopped fine, fry about 5 minutes, then mix with beans and sauerkraut. Add salt and cook together few minutes longer on slow fire. Smoked meat or sausage may be added and cooked with beans.
-- Anna Boryan

Roast Suckling Pig
(Peceno sisance)

The pig should weight about 16 lbs. Wash it thoroughly and drain. Salt it inside and outside generously. Cut slits under the shoulders and on the thighs. Put 1 t salt and a cut piece of garlic in each slit. Put 6 cloves of garlic and 1 T salt in a clean cloth. Pound this slightly with a hammer. Rub cloth over pig inside and outside. Put 1/2 loaf of unsliced bread inside of pig. In the largest roasting pan, place 2 short pieces of clean board (so the roast won't stick to the bottom of pan). Cover top of pig with foil of heavy parchment paper. Place shiny apple in mouth. Bake at 350 for 5 to 6 hrs., basting with oil once or twice. It is done when no pink juice runs when pierced with fork. Remove bread and dispose of it. Serve hot or cold. If apples become soft after baking, replace with a fresh one.
-- Draga Jocich

City Chicken
[Note from Chris: I just read an article about this!]
Cut 2 lbs. lean pork and veal in pieces 1-1/2 in. long and 1/4 in. thick. String pieces of veal alternately with the pork, about 8 or 9 pieces on a skewer. Salt the meat. Dip in flour, beaten egg and crumbs and fry in 2 in. of fat. Remove to a baking dish and pour a little fat in. Cover and cook half and hour or until tender. Delicious with scalloped potatoes.
-- Mrs. Walter Sigetich

Cheese Pancakes with Sour Cream
(Palacinke sa sirom i sa kiselim krimom)

Combine 3 beaten eggs with 1 c flour and 1-1/2 c. milk. Beat batter until smooth. Melt butter or shortening in a skillet until hot. Spread 3 T batter on and move pan so that pancake is very thin. Cook on both sides. Make a stack of pancakes and set aside. Mix together 1-1/2 lbs. cottage cheese, grated peel of half a lemon and 1 egg. Mix together and spread some over each pancake, rolling the pancake up and placing the filled pancakes side by side in a greased baking dish. When you have one layer, sprinkle with a mixture of 2 c sugar and 1 t cinnamon. As you complete each layer, sprinkle each one. When all pancakes are in pan, spread 4 c. sour cream over all and bake in hot oven at 400 for about 20 min. Serve immediately -- also good cold.
-- A Friend

Boiled Kisses
(Kuvane puslice)

Beat 3 egg whites until stiff, add 1/2 c. sugar, the grated peel of a lemon, 1 c walnuts cut in large pieces. Mix all together and cook over low heat until it comes to a boil and thickens. Grease a baking sheet and drop mixture by spoonfuls forming into kisses. Put one blanched almond into the top of each. Bake in a very slow oven at 200 until set and dry.
-- Mrs. Jelena Malbasa

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