Slovak and Czech Christmas recipes

Christmas is just around the corner and if you are still thinking what to cook or bake, we would like to share two traditional Christmas recipes with you. In Slovakia, Kapustnica (Sauerkraut soup) is served as a first course on Christmas Eve. In both countries, Slovak and Czech Republic, Xmas are without Linzer (Linecke) cookies. 

Our chefs both Barbora and Barbora 🙂 taught us how to prepare their traditional meals/cookies at our cooking class, which is a part of the Multicultural Community Kitchen Program. https://welcomewhistler.com/programs-services/programs/multicultural-community-kitchen/

Kapustnica‘s main ingredients are sauerkraut, pork, sausages and mushrooms. The soup is prepared slightly differently in each country’s region. Some people add plums, apples or ham. On Christmas Eve, soup is then followed by schnitzel or fish with potato salad and then by cookies. 

Ingredients: (serves 4-6ppl)

• 500 g (3.5 cups) sauerkraut

• 500 g (2.25 cups) diced pork

• handful of dried mushrooms

• 1 sausage (Hungarian sausage is a good choice)

• 2 onions

• 2 cloves garlic

• 1 cup sour Cream

• 2 bay leaves

• pinch of nutmeg, caraway, black pepper, paprika, salt

Method:

1. Rinse sauerkraut under cold water, drain and put into a large pot with 2.5litres water

2. Turn 2 cloves of garlic into a paste and add to sauerkraut

3. Add black pepper, caraway seeds, nutmeg, dried mushrooms (previously soaked in water), bay leaves and sliced onions

4. Cut pork into smaller pieces and add them to the pot

5. Add paprika and salt, cover the pot and simmer for approximately 60 minutes. Slice sausage and add to the soup 15 minutes before finishing. The longer you cook the soup, the better it tastes. I usually let it cook for 90 minutes to achieve a great taste.

6. Typically, the soup is served with sour cream,but it is up to you, how you like it. It makes the soup more creamy and thicker.

Czech Barbora said about the Linzer cookies: ” These cookies are super popular around the Christmas tree with the family, and everyone has different opinion about how to make them right – different jam, different shapes, everyone thinks their cookies are the best…We make Linzer cookies every Christmas and my mum even makes special jam in summer to be ready for Christmas time.” ( quoted from Whistler’s Multicultural Cookbook 2017). https://welcomewhistler.com/our-cookbook/

Ingredients for Linzer cookies :(makes about 4 dozen small cookies)

2 cups (250 g) all purpose flour

1cup (125 g) icing sugar

1lemon for zest

3 egg yolks

1 stick and 6 tbsp (200 g) butter –cubed & at room temperature

Jam/jelly of your choice

Method:

1.Sift the flour and sugar onto a clean surface (use the biggest one you have). Make a well in the middle, add in the egg yolks, lemon zest and butter cubes. Knead the dough until soft, smooth and elastic. It takes around 10-15 minutes.

2.Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours (I leave in the fridge overnight).

3. Cut dough into 4 pieces. Roll out each piece on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inchthickness. Cut dough with desired cookie cutter shape. Make a large hole in thecenter of half of your cookie shapes. Place 1inchapart on a cookie sheet (I use baking paper instead of greasing the cookiesheets).

4. Bake at 355 °F for 7 to 10 minutes until edges are light golden brown.

5.When cool, spread each solid cookie with strawberry jam, put the cookie  with the hole in the middle on top, and sprinkle with sugar.