Verivorst (Blood Sausage) (Appetizer)
- 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 Ham and Cheese Rolls (Appetizer)
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) milk
- 2 1/2 tbsp (45 g) unsalted butter
- 1/2 package active dry yeast
- 3/4 tbsp (9 g) sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk, well beaten
- 1/8 cup (30 ml) lukewarm water
- 1/3 tsp (1.5 g) salt
- 2 cups (240 g) flour
- 24 slices of ham, each 3 in (7.6 cm) square
- 1/4 cup (22 g) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 4 tbsp (60 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large egg yolks, beat with 1 tsp (5 ml) milk
- In a saucepan, combine milk and butter and bring to a boil, then remove from heat and allow to cool.
- In a bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and water. Stir until the mixture becomes foamy, for about 5 minutes.
- Add the milk mixture, beaten eggs, and salt to the bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon.
- Stir in the flour, 1 cup (120 g) at a time, stirring thoroughly after each. Transfer the dough to a flour-covered surface and knead it until it has become smooth and elastic. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary to prevent sticking.
- Place the dough in a buttered bowl and dot it with additional butter.
- Cover the dough with a cotton cloth and let it rise in a warm place for about 1–2 hours until it has about doubled in size. Then, punch it down and knead the dough a second time.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 24-3 inch (7.6 cm) squares.
- Assemble the rolls by placing one slice of ham on each dough square, followed by about 1/2 teaspoon (2.5g) grated Parmesan cheese. Drizzle each stack with butter before rolling each into a narrow cylindrical shape.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Grease two large baking sheets and arrange the rolls on them, spaced well apart. Brush the rolls with the egg and milk mixture and allow them to set for about 20 minutes. Bake for 30–40 minutes until golden brown.
Keel Hernestega (Spiced Beef Tongue) (Appetizer)
- 1 beef tongue
- 2 onions, halved
- 2 or 3 bay leaves
- 10 black peppercorns
- 5 blades of vürtspipart
- 1 tsp (5 g) salt
- Wash the tongue and place it in a pot. Pour in enough cold water to cover the tongue by about 2 inches (5 cm). Heat gently until the water is boiling, skimming off any resulting foam.
- When the water is boiling, add the halved onions, bay leaves, and spices. Simmer the tongue for 2–3 hours, until it becomes soft. Check with a sharp knife. When the tongue is done, rinse it under cold water and then remove the skin.
- Slice the tongue and serve it cool.
Suitsukala (Smoked Fish) (Appetizer)
- 2 large whitefish, gutted
- 2 tsp (10 g) salt
- 1/2 tsp (2.5 g) pepper
- 2 cups (480 g) straw, packed and slightly dampened
- Gut, remove bones, clean, and flatten out fish.
- Salt and cover. Allow fish to marinate in refrigerator for 24 hours.
- Prepare a medium fire to smoke fish.
- Spread lightly damp straw over a baking or dripping pan.
- Place fish over straw making sure fish doesn’t touch pan directly.
- Smoke fish to a light gold over the fire, about 25 minutes on each side.
Cabbage Cream Soup (Soup)
- 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.
Nõgesesupp (Nettle Soup) (Soup)
- 1 cup (100 g) young nettles
- 1–2 tbsp (15–30 ml) oil
- 1 onion
- 2–3 carrots
- 4–5 potatoes
- 6 cups (1.4 L) hot broth
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2–3 boiled eggs
- Fresh dill, chopped
- Using gloves, wash the nettle leaves in boiling water, letting them stand for several minutes to reduce their bitter flavor. Then shock the nettles under cold water and chop into small pieces.
- Chop the onions, carrots, and potatoes into small cubes. Heat the oil and sauté the onions and carrots for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt to taste.
- After 5 minutes, add the potatoes and stir. Add the hot broth and nettles and cook over low heat until the vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with chopped egg and dill.
Rosolje (Potato and Beet Salad) (Salad)
- 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.
Sült (Jellied Pork) (Main Course)
A traditional winter preserve in Estonia, jellied pork is made by boiling pork hooves and thighs with various seasonings. If sült is to be consumed immediately, the resulting liquid is poured into a bowl and allowed to solidify. It is common, however, for the jelly to be poured into a sterile jar, stored, and eaten when fresh meat is not available. Recipe Serving: Serves 4–6
- 2 pork legs (2 thighs, 2 hooves)
- 1 lb (450 g) beef
- 3 onions, unpeeled
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 12 black peppercorns
- Pickling spice to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt, to taste
- Wash meat. Boil in large pot, starting with cold water to cover.
- Skim any foam that floats to the top and keep the pot at a simmer.
- After an hour, add the onions, garlic, and carrots.
- Simmer 3–4 hours until meat is loose from the bones.
- Add salt and spices and boil 15 minutes more.
- Separate the meat from the bones.
- Chop the meat, return it to the cooking liquid, and heat to boiling point once more.
- Any meat and liquid for immediate use can be allowed to solidify in a bowl. Otherwise, pour meat with liquid into sterilized jars.
- Serve cold with horseradish and strong mustard with hot potatoes on the side.
Marineeritud Angerjas (Marinated Eel) (Main Course)
- 2 lbs (1 kg) eel, cut into pieces
- 3 cups (710 ml) water
- 1/2 tbsp (7.5 ml) sugar
- A few bay leaves
- 1 carrot
- 2 onions
- 8 black peppercorns
- A few grains of vürtspipart
- A pinch of ground nutmeg
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) vinegar
- 1 tbsp (15 g) salt
- In a large pot, combine the ingredients for the marinade. Add the carrot and onions whole. After bringing the mixture to a boil, add the eel and continue to boil until the eel skin becomes loose, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Serve the eel with marinade after it has cooled.
NotesIn Estonia, it is common to can this dish to preserve it for later use by placing the fish and marinade into clean, airtight jars immediately after preparation and then cooling the jars as quickly as possible.
Võrtsjärv Suitsukala (Meat and Vegetable Casserole) (Main Course)
- 2 tbsp (30 g) butter
- 2 cups (480 g) squash, chopped
- 2 cups (480 g) ground meat
- 1 tbsp (15 g) red onion, chopped
- 1 cup (240 ml) tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp (15 g) green herbs (basil, chives, green onion), chopped
- 1/2 tsp (2.5 g) salt
- 1/2 tsp (2.5 g) pepper
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (240 ml) milk
- 1/4 cup (60 g) pickled beets, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Grease a large casserole dish with butter.
- Layer on squash, then ground meat and onion.
- Mix tomato sauce with herbs, salt and pepper. Pour over squash and meat.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs, add milk and mix well.
- Pour into casserole, adding more milk if needed until squash is covered.
- Cover and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn off heat, and let casserole continue to cook without lifting off cover for 10 minutes .
- Garnish with pickled beets to serve.
Mulgikapsad (Sauerkraut with 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 with 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 Servings: 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.