REAL CEPELINAS, PLEASE!

  • 2007-03-14
  • By Valdemaras Sadauskas, Editor – Lithuanian National Radio
The enclosed article ["Keeping traditional Lithuanian cuisine alive," Feb. 8-14, Vol. 10 #543, p. 9] that was published in your paper is tripe.

The author does not know what she is writing about, and the picture is not of a cepelinas but a cheburiek, which is an ethnic Tatar food, not Lithuanian. I have enclosed recipies for a real cepelinas and cold beet soup. Please note that the beet tops are optional. I request that you reprint a retraction of this travesty.


Potato "Zeppelins"

Potato meat dumplings
12 large potatos
3 or 4 boiled potatoes
salt to taste

Meat mixture:
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground veal
1/2 lb. ground pork (optional.
If not used, increase other
meats by this amount)
1 chopped onion
1/2 tsp. shortening (bacon
drippings are good)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 eggs

Topping or gravy:
1/2 lb. bacon
1 chopped onion
2 or 3 tbsps. sour cream
(optional)

Grate peeled and washed potatoes. Drain through cheese cloth, straining as dry as possible. Let the strained liquid stand until starch accuumulates in bottom of bowl. Pour off the liquid carefully and add the starch to grated potatoes. Grate or mash bioled potatoes and add to grated raw potatoes. Add salt to taste. Mix thoroughly.
In a frying pan saute the chopped onion in shortening. Add meat, salt and pepper and cook slowly for about half an hour, stirring occasionally. Cool slighltly. Add eggs, mixing thoroughly. Left-over ground meats can be used. Just add to sauteed onions and heat through.

Take about a cupful of the potato mixture, pat it flat on the palm of the hand, or on a slightly floured board, to about ? inch thickness. Place a heaping teaspoon of the meat mixture in the center. Fold potato mixture around meat, seal edges firmly. Pat into shape of large egg. Drop into pot of boiling water to which about a teaspoon of salt has been added. Make certain that water resumes boiling after adding each dumpling. Do not overcrowd dumplings in pot. Stir carefully occassionally. Boild about 25 minutes. Remove from water, drain and place on heated platter.

Dice bacon, fry with onion, pouring off some of the excess fat. Sprinkle over dumplings. For a richer gravy, stir sour cream carefully into bacon-onion after it has cooled a bit. Blend well, do not boil. Pour over dumplings.

Cold beet soup
2 qts. sour milk
4 tbsps. sour cream
2 boiled beets, peeled
6 stalks beet tops
2 small cucumbers
1/2 cup chopped green onion
3-4 blossoms fresh dill
4 hard-boiled eggs

Beat together milk, cream and finely grated beets.Add peeled, diced cucumbers, diced egg adn chopped dill. Chop beet-tops, boil in salted water. Cool, add to first mixture. Salt to taste. Chill thoroughly.
 

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