If you have ever been to the Christmas markets of Central Europe you know that the best part of the season is the food. The delicious tube shaped trdelnik, roasted chestnuts, giant slabs of pork knee, all sorts of mulled spirits, langoš, and more! Down here in Malta, we were really missing the good ol' Christmas spirit of our home country, so instead of brooding we decided to make our own. Here's how you can make your very own European Christmas at home! No special ingredients needed.
Mulled Red Wine - Czech Republic & Slovakia
1.5 liters cheap red wine
1 orange + zest
1 lemon (optional)
- 1-2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
Caramelize sugar with some water before adding all the dry ingredients. Let simmer on low heat, but not burn for about 4 minutes. Next, add the red wine and increase to medium heat. Cook until the wine begins to boil. Add the orange slices and 2 tbsp of zest, plus lemon if you like your mulled wine a but more tangy. Cook the wine for another 7-10 minutes before serving hot.
Langoš - Hungary (8 servings)
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour (or fine flour) + some extra for kneading
1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk, lukewarm
1 packet (about 25g) of active yeast
Toppings: ketchup, garlic, white cheese
Mix together milk, sugar, and yeast. Cover with a paper towel or cloth and let sit for 5 minutes in a warm place. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt. Slowly add the yeast mix and combine using your hands. Continue to mix until all ingredients are well combined into a dough.
Roll the dough into a ball and leave to rest someplace warm for about 30 minutes. Once the dough has risen, cut your ball into 6-8 pieces. Knead out each piece as you go, creating disks, pizza style. They do not need to be even, in fact it is better if the edges are thicker. Holes are okay too.
Heat up the pan on medium heat and sprinkle with enough oil to leave a 1/2 cm deep puddle for your langoš. Fry each side for 20-30 seconds or until golden. Remove with tongs and set to cool on a pile of paper towels to soak up any extra oil. Serve hot.
Typical toppings: chopped garlic in water + shredded Eidam cheese + ketchup, tartar sauce, or marmalade.