I had a pretty full list of things-to-do after I came from my trip and I started right away playing catch-up, yet I never really caught up. I wasn’t working on the things I really wanted to be working on, I was feeling guilty about not getting back to people, and I didn’t feel like the fact that I wasn’t making much progress. Plus I had a moderately busy calendar of social events for the last two weeks in May. Then I caught myself having a terrible thought – no more long vacations this year 😦
To beat my post-vacation blues I decided to make some dishes that we ate in Ukraine and France. One of them is Holodetz. This cold appetizer is traditionally served on Easter, Christmas and New Year and is one of those dishes that people in North America strongly dislike. This dish is eaten in Europe and known as “studen’ “ or “zalivnoye” in Russia, “galaretki” in Poland, “rǎcituri” in Romania, “aspik” in Germany, and “pitcha” to Ashkenazi Jews.
I believe the texture (jiggly) is the hardest thing to get past. Even though people do eat Jello-Os the meat jelly is not very appealing to them. I do think the dish is fairly healthy – fat is separated from the the meat and broth, all the ingredients are simple and healthy, and think of the protein! Give yourself a little pep talk you may actually like it!
2-3 pork or beef knee bones or feet
1 lb chicken thighs
- 1 large onion
- 2 large carrots
- 1/2 bunch parsley
- several bay leaves
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- salt to taste
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 sliced hard-boiled egg (for decoration)
- Ask your butcher to chop the pork or beef foot (is using) in several pieces; wash well.
- Place the meat in a deep pot, cover with 1 1/2 amount of water. Bring to a rapid boil and skim until clear.
- Tie the chopped onion, parsley, bay leaf, and peppercorns into a cheesecloth bag. Add the bag to the pot and cook on a very low heat for 4 hours or until meat has come off the bones.
- Remove the meat from the pot and let it cool.
- Discard the spice bag and strain the cooking liquid into a bowl. Add minced garlic, salt and pepper to the broth. Strain the liquid again and slightly cool in the fringe so you can scrape any solidified fat from the surface.
- Pick the meat from the bones and set it aside; discard the bones, gristle, and chicken skin.
- Lay chopped meat, cooked carrot slices, and egg slices and in several serving bowls, pour the broth over and refrigerate until set.
- Serve with grated horseradish with beets or vinegar.
As Ukrainians say “Smachogo!” ( Bon Appetit!) 🙂