Turkish Spice Mix
Make a big batch of this Turkish spice mix to have on hand when you need to whip up a quick vegetable dip or flavorful, easy salad dressing. Or try it as a rub for grilled or roasted meat or vegetables. The spice mix is also perfect to give as a hostess gift along with a recipe card for turning it into a dip or vinaigrette (see Tips, below). For the freshest, most economical spices, head to a store that has a large, well-stocked bulk spice department.
Here's a way to make better-than-store-bought pickles in under an hour. The secret is pouring the hot vinegar mixture over slices of cold, crisp cucumber. These pickles have the perfect balance of sour and sweet--though closer to a “bread and butter” taste, they still satisfy the vinegar-loving pickle crowd. In our humble opinion, there's no reason to ever buy another jar of pickles.
Hungarian Beef Goulash
This streamlined goulash skips the step of browning the beef, and instead coats it in a spice crust to give it a rich mahogany hue. This saucy dish is a natural served over whole-wheat egg noodles. Or, for something different, try prepared potato gnocchi or spaetzle.
Hungarian Apple Soup
This savory apple soup for two gets body from Yukon Gold potatoes and a touch of heat from paprika. Float some cocktail shrimp or a mound of lump crabmeat in each bowl to make it a main course.
Sweet & Sour Beef-Cabbage Soup
This wholesome sweet-and-sour soup combines beef, caraway seeds, sweet paprika and cabbage--ingredients that star in a number of German dishes. It is particularly nice served with crusty rye bread. For an even heartier soup, add diced cooked potatoes along with the cabbage. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Borscht is a simple beet soup typically made with beef broth and garnished with sour cream. We give it a kick with horseradish. For a vegetarian soup, use vegetable broth instead.
Yogurt replaces sour cream in a sauce recipe that pays tribute to Alaska's Russian heritage. Serve with fish or chicken, or set out as a dip with crackers and vegetables.
These tangy hard-boiled eggs are a snap to make. Sliced in half, the fuchsia “white” surrounding the bright yellow yolk is dazzling. Wrap some egg slices and onions in a flatbread for an impromptu snack.
Creamy Hungarian Mushroom Soup
Mushroom-soup lovers, this soup is for you! Russet potatoes make it hearty, and dill and paprika add plenty of flavor. We skip the generous amount of full-fat sour cream and butter typically used in creamy mushroom soups. Serve with a green salad and warm pumpernickel bread.
Circassian Chicken (Çerkez Tavugu)
Circassian cooking is from the North Caucasus, which was at different times part of the Ottoman and Persian empires. This chicken stew recipe is made with a creamy walnut sauce and was originally served as a main dish, but became a mezze somewhere along the way. Serve at room temp along with some bread for dipping.
Borscht with Beef
Even people who think they don't like beets love this vibrantly colored, vegetable-packed borscht soup recipe, inspired by the legendary borscht soup served at New York's Russian Tea Room. Plenty of mushrooms, cabbage and carrots along with a judicious amount of beef make this healthy borscht recipe special.
Serbian Chicken & Eggplant Soup
This healthy eggplant and chicken soup recipe, inspired by traditional Serbian cuisine, is seasoned with lemon, herbs, turmeric and two types of paprika. It's packed with vegetables, so the only side you'll need is crusty bread to sop up the delicious broth.