As you may have gathered, one of my true passions is sampling cuisines from faraway lands. I may not be able to tour the world (or even Europe) at the moment, but foods from around the globe truly fascinate me, and I jump at any opportunity to get a taste of it here in the UK. I’ve promised myself that some day when the kids have flown the nest, we will visit all of these places and have fun digging out the most authentic of local dishes.
My good friend Agne comes from Lithuania. I enjoy our chats very much and hearing her stories about growing up in her homeland. I always make a point of asking her about the foods she ate as a child, and continues to cook now. Her partner is Polish, so she often creates meals that have influences from both countries. There is a lot of crossover between the two.
Today, over coffee she whipped out some Balandeliai that she had cooked up for dinner last night (the kind soul she is, she had saved some for both me and the family). This was completely new to me, but in essence its a cabbage roll that can be made with a variety of savoury fillings. These particular ones were packed with a combination of pork mince and rice, served in a tomato based sauce and alongside some boiled potatoes.
My friend explained that they have a similar recipe in Poland, but they present theirs with a rich tomato sauce poured over the top, rather than making a sauce out of the cooking juices, stock and tomato puree. It was very tasty indeed, and I happily cleared my plate. Meaty treats that are good for you…what’s not to like?! Not only that, but I found it very filling (no lunch for me today). If you’re ever over that way, do look them up. Highly recommended.