čtvrtek 18. června 2009

Marinated pikeperch with cherry tomatoes

My father in law is a passionate fisherman and he goes on fishing trips quiet often. Several months ago he and his friends made a trip to Rio Ebro in Spain. This river is well known for its huge population of pikeperch and my dad in law caught some of them, froze them and brought about 8 fishes home. Pikeperch is considered to be the best fresh water fish, it's also the most expensive one. It's meat is very delicate and is best when prepared in a simple way. I found this recipe on this website - http://mlsnakocka.blog.cz/. Another Czech food blog I enjoy. Thanks for the recipe Pavlina! The combination of the fish, tomatoes, bacon and crusty bread is delicious!

Pike perch
Olive oil
5 -6 slices of bacon
Cherry tomatoes
Filet the fish and cut into portions. Make cuts on the skin, but don't cut through, we do this to prevent the fish from twisting when heated. Chop up the garlic and the marjoram, add some olive oil, add salt and marinate the fish in this mixture. Let stand in the fridge overnight.
Heat up a pan. Don't add oil, there is already oil in the marinade. Fry the fish skin down first, then turn and add the bacon.
In the mean time heat up another, smaller pan with some oil. Make cross like cuts on the cherry tomatoes and put on the pan, sautee until soft and sweet. Put some bread in the pan along with the tomatoes.

středa 17. června 2009

Stromovka and the new "fur cut"

We had our dog taken to the groomer today and he now has a new summer style "fur cut" or what do we call it???
Doesn't he look cool??? I bet he doesn't care about his looks though, as long as he gets his piškoty :))
We also met a duck and her ducklings...nature in the city
Afterwards we went to Stromovka for a walk and stopped by a fairly new place called Vozovna.
We have been there once before and liked the beer and the concept, the food was so so but pricewise it was ok. The same happened this time...We weren't hungry at all so we ordered a grilled paprika with smoked mozarella (pečená paprika s uzenou mozarellou) and one párek v rohlíku (hotdog).

We ordered the hot dog simply because we were intrigued by the description in the menu. It wasn't spectacular but better than most. The grilled paprika with smoked mozarella wasn't bad either. The mozarella had a chewy brown crust and was fine when it was warm. We finishend it off before it got cold, but i bet it's not so good when cold. The prices are unbeatable however, very acceptable. The service is incredibly slow here, but not because the servers are lazy, but because there are too little of them. They are very friendly though! I guess they didn't expect such a big demand when they were opening the place. Bet how long we waited for our párek v rohlíku and pečená paprika! It was about 40 minutes :) I hope they get themselves together, but i don't know if that's of any use because the place is full all the time anyway.

Still, my P7 favourite in the Vystaviste/Strossmayerovo namesti area is and probably will be Bohemia Bagel, they don't have a garden but they've got wi-fi ;-)

Pesto ala Genovese

It's rich, it's intensive, it takes 5 minutes to prepare and no cooking, it looks great and is very nutritive and healthy. Plus you can keep it in the fridge for about a month and always have it ready for a quick lunch.


2 bunches of good quality fresh basil (about 80-10 leaves)

100 gr roasted pine nuts

100 gr parmesan cheese

2 cloves if garlic


olive oil


The best was to do it is grind it up in a mortar, but if you don't have one use your electric chopper. Blend it all well together and add enough olive oil to make it a smooth but thick paste.


Use walnuts instead of pine nuts. Use sundried tomatoes with half of the basil to make red pesto. Use parsley or ruccola instead of basil.


Toss some pesto with freshly cooked good quality pasta. Add it to your salads, especially good on a Caprese salad. Smear it on Italian style sandwiches, you may want to grill them afterwards. Pizza. Use it as a dip for vegetables, crackers, meat or fish. You may add it to bread or foccaccia dough. Coat potatoes with pesto and bake or add to other warm baked dishes. It is very versatile and yummy!

úterý 16. června 2009

New book

I bought a really cool book today! It's called Ingredients and is currently sold for only 199 krowns in the Levne Knihy shops.
It has pictures and brief descriptions of any edible ingredient you may think of. Dairy products, dozens of cheese types, meat, fish and seafood, fruits, vegetables, spices, condiments, drinks...everything! It's like a food encyclopedia.
I especially liked this photo...lamb eyeballs featured in the offal section :))

pondělí 15. června 2009

A simple appetizer

Bliny (Russian pancakes) with sour cream and salmon caviar. The bliny dough contained yeast and buckwheat flour, which is a very old fashioned way to make traditional bliny.

Lamb shank with rosemary potatoes and grilled vegetables

I cooked this as the main course for dinner on my birthday. The Husband wanted me to cook these lamb shanks for a long time already and now we had the occasion. Lamb shanks are not easy to find in Prague, I bought these frozen in Makro and they came from New Zealand. Shanks are the less expensive pieces of lamb but they are very juicy and tender when cooked properly and they look very impressive on the plate. Serve one shank per person, they are about 300-400gr each including the bone.

Ingredients for 5 people:
5 lamb shanks
150gr of each, diced roughly - carrots, celery, parsley, onions
1 tbl spoon of honey or cranberry jam or apricot jam (I prefer apricot jam, but you can use anything that's sweet and sticky except sugar)
olive oil
herbs - optional
1 whole garlic bulb
salt pepper
1.5 kg potatoes
2 tbl spoons of fresh rosemary leaves
3 peppers
3 pieces zuchinni
balsamic vinegar
Skrape the skin and tissue from the upper end of the shank bone, this will make the bone stick out when cooked. Drizzle generously with salt and pepper, leave to marinate for a couple of hours.
Heat up some olive oil in the pot/dutch oven that you will use for baking the shanks. Roast the root vegetables on medium heat until they become soft, turn up the heat and add the jam or honey, let caramelise until the vegetables are slightly brown. Place the shanks along with the whole garlic bulb and herbs onto vegetables, pour some more olive oil on top, add more salt and pepper if needed, cover and place in the oven. Cook for 2.5-3 hours. Remove lid, turn up the grill onto highest temperature and let a crust form (optional).
In the mean time wash some potatoes, wash them well as we will not peel them, and cut them into same size pieces, place in a baking dish. Remove some liquid/fat/juice from the pot in which the lamb is cooking, 5-6 tablespoons is enough, pour over potatoes. Add fresh rosemary leaves and salt, toss, cover with alfoil and place in the oven along with the lamb one hour prior serving time.
Cut the peppers and zucchini into same size squares and fry in some olive oil on high heat until soft but still with a crunch. Add salt, pepper and finish off with some honey and balsamico to balance out the taste.
Serve the lamb and the potatoes hot and the vegetables cold. We like it like this, but the vegetables are just as good when served warm. The root vegetables that were cooked along with the lamb should not be served, they have already given all they had to the meat and moreover they don't look good.
This makes a very filling main course, so if you are serving many appetizers then some diners will may want to split one shank between themselves. Between 5 people we had 2 whole pieces left untouched because there were many appetizers.
The recipe comes from the Chef Gurman magazine.

Vietnamese style glass noodle salad

A very light and refreshing salad, best served chilled.

Ingredients for salad:

Cooked shrimp - I used about 300gr of shrimps that were cut in half along the spine

Glass noodles (soaked in hot water and drained)

Bean sprouts or snow peas or any other springy vegetable

Ingredients for dressing:

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 of a chilli, chopped

2 tablespoons of minced ginger

2 tablespoons of sesame oil, fish sauce, canola or sunflower oil, water

Chopped cilantro (coriander)

juice of 1/2 lime

1 tablespoon of brown sugar or honey


1. Mix together the dressing ingredients. Season to taste. It should be sweet, salty, hot, sour and garlicky at the same time.

2. Combine shrimp and noodles and toss with the dressing

Lesvos holiday 2

Again grilled sardines and greek salad, sardeles pastes already eaten (hence the empty plate). Lamb kleftiko in the clay pot. It's usually baked in a parcel made of baking paper, but in Lesvos they serve it in pots for some reason.

Husband jumping into the water.

The harbour of Molyvos.

Me and the flag.

There are turtles living in many ponds across Lesvos.

This is the village/resort town we lived in. It's called Anaxos. Next time we go to Lesvos we will stay in another town, either Molyvos or Skala Erressos. Anaxos is a new village and is too touristy for my liking, but the beach there is one of the best on the island.

There is one interesting thing about Anaxos and that is that there are several restaurants, not hotels, with big swimming pools. If you have a breakfast/lunch/dinner or drink there you are free to use the pool. I have never seen that anywhere before.
For more info about the island visit http://www.lesvos.com/. Mr. Barret did a great deal of work to present the island to us, it was the biggest source of information for me!
We are going on our this years's summer holiday in 2 weeks. We are going to Cambrils in Spain. It's a small resort located on the Costa Dorada in Catalonia. Barcelona is a 1 hour drive away and I hope we will visit this amazing city at least a couple of times. So in two weeks it's paella, tapas, sangria and seafood time for us :)

Lesvos holiday

I'd like to share some pics from our last year's holiday. We visited Lesvos, a Greek island located closer to Turkey than to Greece actually. It's a very beautiful place, not too spoiled by tourists yet and so still has an authentic feel to it. Lesvos is presumingly the birthplace of the poet Sappho. To tell the truth there is not much to do there, although the island is very big. So we spent our time swimming, riding a moped all over the island and eating...
We enjoyed this holiday a lot!
First, meet some locals :) They probably belong to the restaurant owner, or just live by the restaurant. The dog was amazing, when it got hot outside he dug himself a hole in the cooler soil and slept there.

This a speciality of Lesvos called sardeles pastes and it may well be my favourite food in the world. They are sardines that have been gutted and cleaned and put into salt. Apparently they are caught in the morning, salted and served in the evening or the next day. Never later than that. Sardeles pastes are very delicate and very tasty. And of course a Greek salad.

This is simply a grilled sea bream. Very fresh and well grilled...what more would you want from fish? Great!

Grilled sardines. Lesvos is famous for it's sardines and olive oil (I brought home 4 litres of olive oil). Again, very fresh and well grilled. Sardines actually cost half the price of the other fish (4 euro pro the portion you see), but are just as good although a little messy to eat.

The shrimp were not good, they were frozen. While in Greece or Cyprus carefully study the menu because they have a law that tells them to indicate food prepared from frozen ingridients. You will be amazed at how much some restaurants use frozen stuff like seafood. A restaurant located virtually by the beach and port uses shrimp imported from Vietnam. Weird IMHO. This mainly applies to "touristy places" though. Most fried calamari rings are frozen, most shrimp too. I read that there is some kind of local lobster or langoustine sometimes available in Lesvos restaurants, but haven't seen any.

neděle 14. června 2009


An easy to make dessert, one of my favourites. Pannacotta means boiled cream and is basically a cream jelly, but a very smooth and delicate one.

200ml of 12% cream

300 ml of whipping cream (smetana na šlehání)

6gr of powdered gelatine (1/3 of a Dr. Oetker package)

1/2 vanilla pod

Sugar to taste

Cut open the vanilla pod and scrape out the insides, add to the cream. Heat cream and sugar in a small pot. When almost boiling add gelatine and take the skillet off the burner. Mix very well until the gelatine dissolves. Come back in a couple of minutes and mix again. If the gelatine is not dissolved try heating the mixture again, but not too much. Pour mixture into a serving bowl/bowls and let it cool it the fridge.

Pannacotta should be served with a fruity sauce like coulis. To make coulis just puree/blend any very ripe berries or fruits. If they are not ripe enough add sugar to taste.


My mom planted some strawberries in the garden of our weekend house...
The harvest

The weekend house

We have a weekend house (chata, дача) in Southern Bohemia, near the beautiful town of Pisek. We don't go there as often as I would wish to, but we did this weekend!
After we took care of the overgrown lawn we settled for a traditional Russian style dacha/weekend house/chata meal called Shashlyki. Shashlyk is basically something grilled on a scewer. It can be meat, fish, vegetables etc. The word does not only resemble a dish but is also used to describe a favourite pastime of all people living in the former Soviet republics. "Let's make some shashlyki this weekend" usually means "Let's go out of town, light a fire, eat, drink, have fun". A mangal is something like a grill or barbeque, but not quite. It's shape is fitted to grill food on scewers.

So we had a small fire in our small mangal/grill...

We threw some eggplants, tomatoes and peppers onto the mangal

The vegetables were grilled until totally charred on the outside (but well cooked and juicy on the inside), the charred skins were removed. Then the still hot vegetables were mashed up in a bowl, salt, pepper and butter were added.The result is a heavenly tasting dip/salad. The recipe has a presumingly Georgian/Armenian origin.

Then we grilled some shashlyki and some sausages and bbq wings.

Our shashlyk is pork neck marinated with salt, pepper and onions. Lamb would make a better shashlyk, but good lamb is difficult to find in Prague and it's expensive. When we want some good lamb we go to some Arabian Halal store. Many people marinate their shashlyk with wine, vinegar, lemon juice or some other acidic liquid. This is barbaric in my opinion, it destroys the meat texture and flavour. A classic shashlyk should be made of meat that has some fat on it and should not be marinated too long because we are trying not to overpower the flavour of the meat itself. Onion, salt and pepper are the classic ingredients. The only acidic ingridient I ever (but rarely) use is yoghurt or kefir.

This is what we got at the end of the process.

The start!

This is my first ever blog post :)
I am a 27 year old Ukrainian girl living in Prague since childhood. I could blog in either Russian, Czech or English, but chose the latter because it's the most universal language.
I will blog mostly about food , as the name suggests. But there may be also some posts about life in Prague in general, traveling etc.
I am not a very good photographer, but I hope to improve in the future!
Some info about me - My name is Lidia. I came to the Czech Republic with my parents in 1994 and I love it here. I am married, no children yet. We have a dog that takes up a lot of our time. I love to cook and eat and I am generally interested in everything concerning food.
So...let's start :)