Slovakia is located in the continent of Europe. It has Poland to the north, Ukraine to the northeast and east, Romania to the southeast, Hungary to the south, Austria to the southwest and west, and the Czech Republic to the northwest.
The capital is Bratislava.
The official language is Slovak.
The climate is more of a continental climate. It is mountainous. In July, temperatures are about 68F, and are about 23F in January.
The staples are pork, poultry, cabbage, wheat & potato flour, cheese, potatoes, onions, garlic, beans, corn on the cob, lentils, parsley, carrots, apples, plums, apricots, peaches, plums and cherries with much, much more (http://www.slovakiasite.com/slovak-cuisine.php).
CESNAKOVA POLIEVKA (Slovak Garlic Soup) (https://paulinescookbook.wordpress.com/2010/08/12/cesnakova-polievka-slovak-garlic%c2%a0soup%c2%a0/):
- 3 C of chicken stock
- 3 C water (you can use 6 cups if you don’t have stock on hand)
- 1 head of garlic
- ¼ C oil
- ¼ C chopped green onions
- 1 egg per serving (optional)
- Dash of sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Few leaves of parsley
- 1 C cubed crusty day-old bread
- Heat the chicken stock with 2-1/2 C water to a gentle boil.
- Blend the garlic in a food processor, and slowly add the oil, a few drips at a time.
- Add ½ C water to the food processor at high speed, a tiny bit at a time.
- Blend until thickened.
- Pour the garlic mixture into the heated chicken stock.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Chop the parsley and/or onion finely, and sprinkle into the soup just before serving.
- Toss the cubes of bread with 2 TBSP of olive oil and toast in frying pan.
- Place a few toasted bread cubes in the bottom of a bowl.
- Pour the soup over top of the bread cubes.
- If desired, crack an egg not the bowl too, and gently swirl around.
ZEMIAKOVÉ PLACKY (Bramborák) (https://www.196flavors.com/slovakia-zemiakove-placky-bramborak/):
- 3 lbs. white potatoes, peeled and grated
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 eggs
- 4 TBSP flour
- 2 TBSP marjoram
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Peel the potatoes and grate them immediately with a medium grater.
- Pour them into a strainer and let them drain well by placing a weight on top.
- In a large salad bowl, combine the grated potatoes with garlic, eggs, flour, salt, pepper and marjoram. Mix well.
- Divide the dough into 15 balls of the same size and flatten them.
- Cook them in a hot oil bath, gently turning them occasionally, until golden brown.
- Place them on a plate lined with paper towel and serve immediately after frying.
- This is good to eat as a side dish to soup, or all alone.
BRATISLAVSKÝ ROŽOK (https://petragregorova.com/articles/bratislava-crescents/):
- 4-3/4 C bread flour
- 1 C + 2 TBSP butter, softened
- ½ C sugar
- 1 C warm milk (stick it in the microwave for about 15 seconds)
- 5 tsp yeast
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 eggs yolks
- ½ C walnuts, chopped
- ½ C powdered sugar
- 1 TBSP dark rum
- 1 packet vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- Hot milk, as needed
Poppy Seed Filling:
- ¾ C ground poppy seeds
- ¾ C powdered sugar
- 1 packet of vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- Lemon zest
- Hot water, as needed
- Warm up milk and mix in the yeast and honey until fully dissolved. Let it sit for 10-20 minutes.
- Using either a food processor, blender like Vitamix or a Kitchen Aid mixer, mix all dry ingredients and softened butter, until you get a very coarse consistency.
- Add yeast mixture and if using a Kitchen Aid, mix with the hook attachment, knead the dough until it is no longer sticky.
- Let your dough rise for about an hour. I like to put boiling water in a pan on a lower rack in my oven and place the dough with a clean towel over it and place it on a top rack. It’s a nice trick as it makes the rising process way more effective where your dough will at least double or triple in size.
- While your dough is rising, take this time to prepare your filling. Its consistency should be very thick, so during baking you won’t have your filling run out in case your dough cracks.
- Depending on how much dough you have, take part of it onto a floured surface to roll it out into a large rectangle. You may find your dough very sticky, so use more flour as needed. It will become very elastic and stretchy.
- Cut your rolled dough into about 3.5” wide strips and line them with your filling alongside one edge.
- Roll up the dough into long rolls. Don’t be afraid to pull the dough over your filling while rolling it up, as it should be quite stretchy.
- Cut your roll into about 3.5” long pieces. Pinch dough on each end to close the openings, if you can and roll them out into about twice their length while shaping them into a “C”, filled with walnuts and poppy seeds.
- Brush your crescent with egg yolks mixed with a little bit of milk and sugar. For each yolk, add 1 TBSP of milk and 1 tsp of sugar.
- To achieve nice marbling effect on your crescents, move them to a drafty place for about 20 minutes until the egg wash dries and then move them back to a warm place for another 30 minutes to rise.
- When I made mini crescents, about 3.5” long, they took about 12 minutes to bake. While doubling their size, their baking time increased to about 20 minutes at 400F.