Time has flown by studying abroad here in Prague. As we quickly approach our last thirty days here in the Czech Republic, I'm already feeling nostalgic for Czech food.
Now, before I say any more, let me tell you that I know what you're thinking. Duck? Dumplings? Sauerkraut? Ordering mystery meat off of a menu that doesn't have an English translation? These thoughts terrified me before arriving in Prague, and I honestly thought I was going to hate Czech cuisine and live off of ramen noodles and crackers for four months.
Needless to say, I was sorely mistaken (and ramen noodles are essentially nowhere to be found in Prague, go figure). Czech food, while I'll admit can be little heavy from time to time, is the closest thing to my mom's home style cooking I've had in the last three months. True story. And boy is it filling...
So as if I haven't eaten enough goulash soup and dumplings lately to feed a family of six, I decided to participate in a Czech cooking workshop with my program and CEA study abroad to learn how to make the dishes on my own.
Dinner consisted of kuřecí řízek (chicken schnitzel), bramborová kaše (mashed potatoes), okurkový salát (cucumber salad), and smažený sýr (fried cheese).
Fried cheese. Are you kidding me? How can someone not like fried cheese!
So a few of my roommates and a couple other girls from my program grated cucumbers, tossed them in a little white vinegar with some sugar, and then let them marinate.
Next: the chicken. Once it was breaded, we put the chicken in the oven and then turned our attention to beating the mashed potatoes with some butter and salt.
While the chicken cooked and we waited for the cucumber to marinate, we began the process of making the cheese. Voila! You can bet that I'll be making this meal for my roommates when I return to University of San Diego in the spring.
Czech out this simple recipe below so you can learn how to make traditional Czech fried cheese too, and no doubt wow all your friends:
Smažený Sýr - the Czech Way
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
-6 TABLESPOONS FLOUR
-6 TABLESPOONS BREADCRUMBS
- Beat the eggs, put them in a bowl. Put the breadcrumbs in a bowl. Put the flour in a bowl.
- Slice the cheese into 1/4 inch strips. You can use pretty much any type of cheese that melts- I recommend mozzarella.
- Coat the mozzarella in the egg mixture, then the flour, and then the breadcrumbs. You want to make sure that the cheese is completely covered so that when you fry it, it doesn't ooze out.
- When you're ready, place the cheese in the oil and alternate sides until the cheese is golden brown.
- Serve with mashed potatoes, or any kind of meat to truly make the most out of your Czech meal. But if you'd rather dip them in marinara sauce, I won't tell.
Chelsea Brady is the Fall 2014 CEA MOJO in Prague, Czech Republic. She is currently a junior at the University of San Diego.
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