Verivorst (Blood Sausage) (Appetizer)
Verivorst is a traditional Estonian blood and barley sausage favored as a Christmas dish. It is customarily served as a first course with cranberry sauce, red berry jam, mulgikapsad (Estonian sauerkraut), and browned potatoes. Some enjoy it with butter or sour cream. Verivorst is very similar to the Finnish recipe for mustamakkara. Recipe Serving: Serves 6
- 2 3/4 lb (1.25 kg) barley groats, washed
- 1 1/2 lb (675 g) pork
- 7 oz (200 g) onions, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Marjoram, oregano, caraway to taste
- 1/2 qt (1/2 l) blood
- About 10 yd (10 m) of pig intestine, cleaned for use
- In hot salted water, boil groats until half-soft.
- Cut meat in small pieces and sauté it with sliced onion until browned.
- Add to the groats and their liquid and boil until the mixture is soft. Remove from heat and cool.
- Add blood and season as desired.
- Fill the intestines, being careful not to overfill, as the stuffing will swell when cooked.
- Knot the sausage ends with soft string.
- Place sausages in lukewarm water and simmer slowly, about 30 minutes.
- Cool the sausages quickly and store in a cold place.
- To serve, soak sausages in warm water, and then bake or fry until heated through.
Estonian Cabbage Cream Soup (Soup)
Estonian cuisine generally revolves around meat dishes, and therefore meat-free soups are not common. This cabbage cream soup, however, is one of the popular few. The recipe below features cabbage and carrots, though any available vegetables can be added. The soup uses flour as a thickener, and three cups of heavy cream account for the “cream” in the name of the soup. The soup is served hot and traditionally topped with butter. Recipe Serving: Serves 3–4
- 3 cups (720 ml) heavy cream
- 1 cup (240 ml) water
- 1 cabbage, chopped
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) flour
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) dried dill
- 1 parsley root, chopped
- Butter for taste
- Boil cabbage and carrots until partly soft.
- Add salt to taste, parsley root, and dried dill.
- Separately, beat flour with cream.
- Slowly pour cream into the simmering soup, stirring constantly.
- Serve hot and top with butter.
Rosolje (Potato & Beet Salad) (Salad)
A popular party food in Estonia, rosolje is a potato and beet salad that is an eye-catching purple. All the ingredients in this salad are typical of Estonian cuisine, including the cream-based dressing, which is distinct from the West European tradition of mayonnaise-based dressings. For traditional rosolje, the addition of herring is a must. Many modern recipes, however, omit herring—as well as any cold meats—for a completely vegetarian salad. Recipe Serving: Serves 4
- 2 cups (480 ml) cold meat (parisa, beef roast, or ham), cubed
- 3 fillets salted herring, soaked overnight, rinsed, and chopped
- 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- 6 potatoes, boiled, peeled, and cubed
- 4 dill pickles, chopped
- 2 onions, minced
- 2 apples, chopped
- 3 beets, boiled, peeled, and cubed
- 1 cup (240 ml) sour cream
- 1 tsp (5 ml) mustard
- 1/2 tsp (2 ml) sugar
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all the salad ingredients.
- Separately, whisk together dressing ingredients.
- Mix dressing well with salad ingredients and serve.
Mulgikapsad (Sauerkraut w/ Pork and Barley) (Side Dish)
A traditional dish hailing from southern Estonia, mulgikapsad is an enriched version of sauerkraut that combines sauerkraut with barley and pork or bacon. It uses inexpensive, locally-available ingredients and is traditionally eaten as a side, served alongside grilled meat and boiled potatoes. A hearty dish in cold weather, mulgikapsad is popular wintertime fare.? Recipe Serving: Serves 5
- 2 lb (900 g) sauerkraut
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) barley groats
- 1 lb (450 g) bacon
- 2 onions, chopped
- Salt and sugar to taste
- Water as needed
- Put sauerkraut, barley, and meat in a saucepan with water to cover.
- Cover the pan and cook slowly, checking periodically to see that the water does not boil off.
- Add salt and sugar to taste as the mixture reaches the boiling point.
- The dish is cooked when the barley groats are soft.
- Separately, fry the onions.
- Add onions just before serving.
Karask (Barley Bread w/ Cranberry Cream Sauce) (Side Dish)
Believed to have originated centuries ago, karask is a traditional barley bread that can be eaten as a side or—as in this recipe—topped with a cranberry cream sauce and enjoyed for dessert. The use of barley flour gives the bread a nutty flavor that complements many traditional Estonian dishes. The dessert version of the bread often uses carrot for added flavor.? Recipe Serving: Serves 10–12
- 5 oz (150 g) carrot, finely grated
- 4 tsp (20 ml) butter, for sautéing
- 1 lb (450 g) sour cream
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) sugar
- 4 tbsp (60 ml) butter, melted
- 3 1/2 oz (100 g) whole wheat flour
- 7 oz (200 g) barley flour
- 1/2 tsp (2 ml) baking soda
- 7 oz (200 ml) plain yogurt
- 1 1/2 oz (45 ml) sugar
- 3 oz (90 ml) cranberries
- 5 oz (150 ml) whipping cream
Cranberry cream sauce:
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Butter a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) pan.
- Sauté grated carrot in butter, and let cool.
- Sift baking soda and flours together.
- Beat eggs, and add sour cream, sugar, and salt.
- Fold in the flour mixture.
- Fold the carrots into the flour mixture.
- Finally, add melted butter and carrots, and mix very well with the other ingredients.
- Pour the batter into prepared dish, and bake 35–40 minutes, until done in the middle.
- While the cake is baking, dissolve sugar in yogurt.
- Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold into yogurt
- Mash cranberries, and fold into the cream.
- Serve karask hot with cranberry cream sauce.
Kissel (Cranberry Soup) (Dessert)
A thin pudding or dessert soup, kissel is common throughout Eastern Europe. It can even be served as a sweet drink. The thickness of the kissel comes from the inclusion of cornstarch, arrowroot powder, or—as in the recipe that follows—potato starch, and the thickness is adjusted depending on how kissel is to be consumed. The thinnest kissel is often drunk straight from the serving dish. Somewhat thicker kissel may be used as a topping or syrup for other desserts or dishes. The thickest variety of kissel is eaten as a standalone dessert.? Recipe Serving: Serves 5
- 2 cups (480 ml) cranberries
- 1 1/2 qt (1.5 l) water
- 1 1/4 cup (300 ml) sugar
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) potato starch
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) cold water
- Bring water to boil in a non-reactive saucepan, add berries and cook about 5 minutes, until softened.
- Drain, reserving the liquid, and press fruit through a sieve. Return to saucepan.
- Add sugar and simmer 5 minutes.
- Separately mix potato starch with cold water.
- Remove pan from the heat and pour starch mixture slowly into the cranberry liquid, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
- Return the pan to burner over very low heat. Bring just to the simmering point, but do not boil.
- Remove from heat and pour into small bowls.
- Sprinkle some sugar on top to keep a skin from forming.
- Chill before serving.