Secrets to the Best Fried Pork Cutlet/Schnitzel (Smažený řízek)

Fried breaded meat cutlets (or schnitzels) are extremely popular throughout Central Europe. Actually, pretty much throughout the world. You can find these on pub (hospoda) menus throughout Czech Republic. Pork cutlets are a go-to meat choice, but chicken is also popularly used. Veal is not as common, as it is in Vienna (Wien), Austria. My picture above shows a pork cutlet. So you may ask why I post a recipe that so many people already make. My answer?

Here are valuable secrets for the best schnitzels ever!

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Czech Hopl Popl (Ham, Sauerkraut and Dumpling Mish Mash)

Hopl popl is basically the equivalent of the English words “Mish Mash” and is one of many Czech comfort food meals. Here I used potato gnocchi, but leftover Czech bread or potato dumplings (cubed) can also be used. They are combined with sauerkraut, browned onion, caraway seeds, and whatever flavorful pork product you have on hand. Some sour cream on the top is optional, but tasty. It’s definitely a low cost meal that fills you up. Though it may look quite unhealthful, remember that sauerkraut is a powerhouse of vitamins.

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Szeged Style Sauerkraut Goulash (Segedínský guláš)

Winter is a great time to enjoy Central European goulash. Previously, I posted a recipe for a beef goulash famous in the Czech city of Znojmo (with pickles). Find it by clicking here. Below, I share a pork goulash inspired by one made famous in Szeged, Hungary (with sauerkraut). Truth is, there are many types of goulash served throughout Central Europe, including Czech Republic. Perhaps I’ll post about one of these others in the future.

Czechs love their sauerkraut, and in addition to it just tasting so good, it is full of nutrients.

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Leftover poppy seed or walnut filling muffins

What can I do with leftover poppy seed filling or nut filling? These muffins may be your answer! They are quick and easy to make and even freeze well. I had some of both of these fillings leftover after making filled Czech Christmas cookies. Other recipes that may leave such leftovers include Czech kolache (koláče), filled sweet yeast-based buns (buchty), or even strudel (závin).

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Psaníčka, Šátečky a Koláčky (Envelopes, Scarves & Koláčky Cookies)

Left to right: Koláčky, Envelopes, Scarves, & Triangles with various fillings

These filled cookies are another recipe including farmer cheese (tvaroh). The individual names only refer to the styles of folding the dough around their fillings – their shapes. The dough is the same for all. You can choose the filling(s) and mix and match between different folds/shapes. The main sweetness for the cookies comes from the traditional Czech fillings and later confectioner’s sugar dusting.

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Marzipan Stuffed Dates with Candied Fruit (Plněné datle)

Dates are popular treats at Christmas time throughout the world. It’s definitely the case in Czech Republic, where I’ve seen beautiful ones in holiday baking sections at grocery stores. Here they are stuffed with marzipan that has a bit of orange essence, and then top with candied fruit, another ingredient you see a lot of in Czech stores around the holidays. Though any candied or dried fruit works well, I particularly love to use the combination of candied orange peel and halved dried cranberries on top. If you have the marzipan ready and handy, these are quick to make.

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Marzipan Cookies with Nuts (Marcipánové cukroví s ořechy)

These no bake “cookies” have a marzipan base, simply topped with a nut and chocolate. Walnuts on top are particularly lovely and hide the small bit of chocolate used to paste it on top. However, other nuts, including whole large almonds, could be used. The marzipan itself can be further flavored, as desired, or left “as is”. The cookie shape is often like a flower, but any semi-round shape will work. The recipe below makes about 30 to 35 small cookies.

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Masarykovo Cukroví (Masaryk’s Cookies)

No, I didn’t eat all of those cookies in one sitting. LOL! Just a couple.

These simple shortbread type cookies are sort of the Czech equivalent of Pecan Sandies in the US. The main difference is the use of whole hazelnuts/filberts, instead of pecans. Hazelnuts (called “lískové oříšky” in Czech) are quite popular in Czech desserts. They also add unique circles in each cookie slice. Beyond the time it takes for the dough to chill and cookies to bake, the preparation process is quick and and very easy.

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Plněné Ořechy (Stuffed “Nut” Cookies)

Would you like a nut…cookie?

Christmas cookie making gone nuts? Well, I guess you could say, “Yes!” These Plněné Ořechy (stuffed nut-shaped cookies) are usually reserved for more ambitious Christmas cookie making, but it’s quite a pleasure when they appear on the cookie tray. They are meant to look like a nut (most often walnut) and to celebrate their wonderful flavor. A final decoration with either chocolate on the ends, or simply a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, is optional. “Stuffings” can vary according to taste or nut shape. Here I continue the nut flavor, but with a touch of rum.

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History of Vánočka (Czech Christmas Bread)

“Vánočka” is a very large semi-sweet braided Czech Christmas bread that is the symbol of Christmas in Czech Republic. It’s a treat you can see in nearly every Czech household, just prior to and/or during the Christmas holidays. Its name derives from the very word for Christmas in Czech, which is “vánoce”.

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