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Estonian solstice food

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Recently I entertained an Estonian friend who comes every year to celebrate Solstice, as he has no family in the UK. We drink, burn a bonfire and I cook him some Estonian specialties.


What is always on the menu is Shashlik, which is a very traditional food this time of year. I had a disaster with a different recipe being WAY too salty last year, so this year I tried eGullet member Pille's recipe from her Nami-Nami blog. http://nami-nami.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/estonian-shashlik-recipe.html.  I didn't use as much salt and pepper as I was worried about the previous year's issues, and I think I could have used more vinegar than she recommends (or perhaps a stronger vinegar, I used white wine but maybe I should have gone with malt vinegar). Nevertheless, it was good. I cooked it on the Kamado Joe which worked well.


Ready for the 24 hours in the fridge to marinade

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Ready to grill

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Finished product:

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To go with, I made rosolje, a potato / apple / beet / dill pickle (!) / herring (!!) / pork sausage (!!!) salad that is often used for celebratory meals or on a buffet spread. I used this recipe as an initial inspiration http://estoniancooking.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/rosolje-beet-and-potato-salad.html. It sounds strange but eats very well. 



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Prepped rosolje before sour cream. I added some more dill from the garden because I didn't think the pickles were "dilly" enough. I also used small skin on waxy new potatoes. Floury potatoes disintegrate a bit and give a mealy texture which isn't nice (I learned this the hard way).

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Finished product, enough for a couple of meals. It keeps well for a few days.

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And here is a terrible photo of the final dish. Served with cider for him and Pimm's and lemonade for me. Happy summer! :)


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I also baked him some bread - the Estonian recipes took too much time so I ended up using the Guardian's recipe from here http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/nov/03/quick-rye-bread-recipe and a little bit of the not done starter. It seemed to bake well but I haven't had any feedback on how it tastes since he took the whole loaf home with him. have a picture of the starter :)


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Edited by Tere (log)
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Wow that meal looks great and amazing. I don't think I had ever eaten an Estonian meal. I am sure he feels lucky to have some really great friends that are so considerate. :)

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