My Global Food Challenge

Latvia (3)

Frikadelu Zupa – Meatball Soup (Latvia)

“This is a traditional Latvian recipe for a classic soup of beef meatballs cooked in beef stock with potatoes and carrots and flavored with chives.”

Yield:  6 Servings


1 ½ lbs ground beef
150g breadcrumbs
2 medium eggs
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
3 medium potatoes, grated
5 medium carrots, chopped
35g chives, snipped
35g parsley, snipped
2.4l beef stock


Combine the beef, breadcrumbs and eggs in a bowl then season to taste with salt and black pepper. Meanwhile, combine the potatoes and stock in a large pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes then add the carrots and simmer for 10 minutes

Take the meat mixture and shape into small meatballs. Add these to the simmering stock and season with the chives.

Return to a simmer then cook for 30 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through. Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with the parsley and serve.

Link to My Post on Latvia:

Cuisine: Latvian

Main Ingredient: Ground Beef


Speķa Pīrāgi – Bacon Turnovers (Latvia)

“These small bacon and onion pies are a staple of Latvian festive tables. We prefer double-smoked bacon, but any thick cut bacon will do. This recipe appeared in the May 2011 issue of Saveur, with the article Riga Revisited.”

Yields: about 60


1¼ cups milk
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
⅓ cup plus 1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
2¼-oz. packages active dry yeast
5 cups flour
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 lb. double-smoked bacon, cut into ⅛” cubes
1 small yellow onion, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. heavy cream
1 egg yolk
1 egg white, lightly beaten


Make the dough: Heat milk, butter, ⅓ cup sugar, and salt in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves; set aside. Whisk together remaining sugar, yeast, and ¼ cup water heated to 115° in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Whisk in milk mixture, add flour, and mix on low speed until dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and knead until smooth, about 8 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; let sit until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Heat oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat, and add bacon; cook, stirring, until fat renders, about 6 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring, until onion is lightly caramelized but bacon is not crisp, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper. Let cool completely.

Heat oven to 400°. Whisk together cream and egg yolk in a small bowl; set egg wash aside. Transfer dough to a floured work surface and cut in half. Working with one half at a time, roll dough until 1/4″ thick. Using a 2½″ round cutter, cut out dough rounds. Place 1 heaping tsp. bacon filling in center of each round, and, using your fingers, moisten edges of round with egg white; fold over to enclose filling, and pinch edges together to seal. Transfer turnovers, seam side down, to parchment paper—lined baking sheets, spaced 3″ apart. Using a pastry brush, brush wash over each bun; bake until golden brown, 12–15 minutes.

Link to My Post on Latvia:

Cuisine: Latvian

Main Ingredient: Bacon


Quickly Salted Cucumbers – Mazsālīti gurķi (Latvia)

“This is a must have dish for the summer – a nice appetizer, a fresh bite as a side salad. The beauty of this dish is that it is so simple and so quick! You can start enjoying the cucumbers already in couple of hours but the best if you can wait some 5-6 hours.”


1kg small cucumbers
0.5l water
0.5 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
black pepper, dill, garlic
black currant leaves/ oak tree leaves/ horseradish leaves or root (for a crispy result)


Melt the sugar and salt in a boiling water, chill it afterwards. Cut off both ends of the cucumbers (this helps to speed up the salting process).

Arrange in a bowl spices and cucumbers in layers. Finally pour over the chilled marinade and put something heavy on the top, e.g. a stone.

Alternatively you can use a jar – just make sure that the cucumbers get staffed very tight.

Link to My Post on Latvia:

Cuisine: Latvian

Main Ingredient: Cucumber

File:Latvia in Europe (-rivers -mini map).svg

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