What’s cooking in the Czech Republic?
Cottage cheese Strawberry dumplings and Eggs with Dill Sauce
Hana is originally from the Czech Republic. She moved to Switzerland in 2014 with her family. Since then she has kept a nice blog (Our Swiss Experience) which has turned into a nice local travel guide. Since Hana and her husband have 3 children, she focuses on family-friendly activities (hiking trails and indoor activities) in the Bern/Solothurn area. She also tries to give her readers a glimpse into the everyday life in this beautiful Alpine country (things you don´t find in travel guides, like funny stories and intercultural differences). Hana hopes her blog can help other families with small children who like to set off for adventure, explore new things and help them to settle down in Switzerland.
What Hana says on the Czech cuisine
Although the Czech cuisine is not very healthy in terms of rational nutrition, it is really delicious. You can find unique dishes, that you cannot find anywhere else in the world: cream sauces and Czech dumplings.
Czech cuisine is a specific type of Central European cuisine. Since the Czech lands were in the past part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, they were influenced by Austrian and Hungarian cuisine. At the same time, however, the elements of Czech cuisine can be found in these cuisines.
The basis of Czech cuisine are the ingredients that were grown at home (potatoes, legumes, cereals and meat).
In terms of rational nutrition, Czech cuisine is not very healthy, but one cannot deny it conjures up wonderful tastes from seemingly simple ingredients.
The Czech menu usually consists of two or more courses. The first is traditionally soup. The most common are broths (poultry / beef with noodles), vegetable and legume soups. Sometimes they are so dense that they are served with bread as a main course (goulash soup, bean soup …).
The second course is the main meal. This is dominated by meat dishes, mainly pork, beef and poultry. Traditional dishes are pork schnitzel, pork loin, roasted pork, various goulash, fried carp or roasted mincemeat.
Meat is often served with sauces, which is a phenomenon of Czech cuisine and plays an irreplaceable role in Czech gastronomy. Often, they are very dense – their base is broth, white flour and cream.
As a side dish to meat, potatoes, rice or pasta are served in Czech cuisine. Czech dumplings are a unique side dish. These are most often prepared from white flour with the addition of chopped bread roll (bread dumplings) or boiled potatoes (potato dumplings), flour and semolina.
Additional courses are dessert, compote or vegetable salad. Many types of cakes and pastries that are popular in Central Europe come from Czech cuisine. Czech specialties are also sweet meals. What others would consider as a dessert, we eat as a main course 🙂
Hana shares two recipes from the Czech Republic with us:
Sweet cottage cheese dumplings with strawberries
Cooking time: 45 minutes
- 350g (flour)
- 250g Cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- Pinch of salt
Mix the cheese with the egg and gradually add the flour with a pinch of salt. Make a smooth dough, then roll it. Cut the squares, place a strawberry in the middle and wrap. Put in a boiling water for ca 8 minutes. Serve with grated gingerbread or butter-fried crumb with sugar.
Butter-fried sugar is just a mixture of butter, sugar and breadcrumbs in a pan, and tastes really good 😊
Dill cream sauce with boiled eggs
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 1/3 cup fresh chopped dill (without stems) or dried
- 1/4 cup of butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 4 1/2 cups milk (Hana adds a bit of cream to the milk as well)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 8 hard boiled eggs or beef (side)
- boiled potatoes or slices of bread on the side (side)
How to proceed:
- put the butter in a pan and add the flour, put it on medium heat and stir
- add the milk and keep stirring
- make sure you keep stirring so it does not burn
- add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar
- it needs to boil gently to make the sauce thicker
- lower the temperature
- add the dill
- keep stirring for 2 more minutes
- let it cool off a bit and add 1 teaspoon of vinegar
- cook your hard boiled eggs, and serve with bread or potatoes
We have tried both Hana’s recipes and they were delicious!
If you would like to know more about family friendly activities in the Bern region of Switzerland, have a look at Hana’s blog ‘Our Swiss Experience’.