Thursday, March 17, 2011

Celebrating Egyptian independence in Bohemia!

When we were shopping at Kaufland Supermarkets the other day we were so delighted to find sweet potatoes (batati in Czech), Ipomoea batatas. Then, when we saw that they were grown in Egypt and shipped here for our enjoyment, we's time to make something special to celebrate Egypt's new Bohemian style!

As Mark was chatting with a dear friend of ours on Facebook the other morning, she said something about Jacques Pépin and Julia Child. Neil instantly remembered a show the two of them did some years ago where Jacques was making Potato Galettes or Pommes de Terre Galette and we thought...why not make some Egyptian Sweet Potato Galettes with a Bohemian flair? Since we can't go to Egypt at this time, why not celebrate their independence with some of the great food that they raise? A perfect foodie opportunity.

Egyptian Sweet Potato Galettes à la Rosenberg Rose
Jacques' Potato Galettes were made as pieces of thinly cut potatoes arranged in a circular fashion and fried in a hot pan. We thought we'd modify this idea a bit and make a five-petaled, single-flowered rose, resembling the Rosenberg's famous Renaissance five-petaled rose (see previous postings throughout our blog on the Rzmberks), as that is a well known, historic South Bohemian insignia.
The year 2011 is also the Year of the Rosenbergs (Rožmberský rok 2011), in honor of the 500th anniversary of the death of Petr Vok...the last ruling monarch in the family (he died in the Rzmberk Castle, Trebon after selling the Ceske Krumlov Castle to King Rudolf II, The Holy Roman Emporer)!  Ceske Krumlov is having various Rosenberg celebrations this year, cf.

You can also join the five-petaled rose group on Facebook:
Slavnosti pětilisté růže (Five-Petalled Rose Celebrations)

Here another example of the Rosenberg Rose. This one is from the Hluboka Jewish Cemetery:

Egyptian Sweet Potato Galettes à la Rosenberg Rose
Start by peeling one large sweet potato grown in Egypt. Sweet potatoes, by the way, are tuberous roots rather than tubers like the classic potato (brambory), Solanum tuberosum.
Then thinly slice the entire tuberous root:

Arrange five slices into five-petaled roses on an oiled baking sheet (we're not going to fry these, we'll roast them in the oven instead). Since you'll have different sizes of 'petals', put similar sized ones together and you'll end up with varying rose flower sizes as well.
Lightly salt/pepper these, along with adding some crushed fresh or dried thyme and rosemary.
Place in an oven at 160C (~350F) and gently roast until they're tender with a fork. Don't turn them over!
They'll look like this when they're ready to come out of the oven...a little browned around the edges...just perfect!
While these have been roasting, quickly prepare some poached eggs and waffles!

Plate all of these up on hot plates (warmed in the oven):
2 poached eggs
Egyptian Sweet Potato Galettes à la Rosenberg Rose
2 small waffles, slathered first with a bit of maslo (butter)..shown here in our Czech crystal butter dish from Chlum u Trebone glassworks
and then drenched with a fruit syrup (we used our Elderberry Syrup we made last August after harvesting a few around Moravian Wineries).

Pour some fresh coffee and pineapple juice (served here in our Bohemian crystal goblets from the Chlum u Trebone glassworks (earlier posting)

We celebrate the new independence of Egypt!  Dubro hjut or Bon appetit!

Disclaimer: This blog is not an official University of Minnesota or Fulbright Program blog. The views expressed are my own and not those of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations, or the University of Minnesota.

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