Monday, 21 May 2012

ITTP Prague TEFL: Nakladany Syr

(Click on image to enlarge)
Nakladany Syr is a staple among Czech pubs and bars which sell Czech beer snacks. Nakladany Syr literally translates as 'pickled cheese'. The cheese which is used is your run of the mill Czech Hermelin, which can be bought in any shop in the Czech Republic - it is a soft cheese with an edible rind which is almost exactly the same as French Camembert cheese. 

Ingredients (the official recipe version):

5 Hermelin 'wheels' of cheese
4 Onions (sliced)
6 Cloves of garlic (3 sliced, 3 left whole)
4 Bay leaves
12 whole pieces of new spices (12 kulicek noveho koreni)
4 tablespoons of ground paprika
8 Pickled hot peppers
Sunflower oil
Salt and pepper for seasoning


Cut each of your Hermelin's in half (horizontally).
Rub some of the paprika into each inside half of the cheese, add some pieces of the chopped garlic and chopped onion.
Place all 5 pieces of cheese into a large jar.
Add the bay leaves and the remaining onions, garlic and parprika.
Also add to the jar the pickled hot peppers, the new spice pieces, and season with salt and pepper.
Pour oil in the jar, seal jar.
Store the jar at room temperature (or in the fridge if it is summer) and serve after 1-2 weeks of maturity.

Preparation tip:

I prepared mine at the family cottage and I added some of the herbs and plants growing wild in our garden, which included vine leaves. If you don't have access to herbs then you can easily buy fresh rosemary and thyme from major supermarkets.
I didn't add the pickled hot peppers because I think these lower the sophistication of the dish - they tend to flood the cheese with hot flavors and juice. Instead, I added a few teaspoons of ground red hot chili pepper to the jar for a subtle heat injection.
As well as the garden herbs, I also added a half handful of whole black peppercorns.
For extra taste, my oil mixture was 50% sunflower oil, 25% olive oil, 25% virgin olive oil.
Try to leave room at the top of the jar so when you reach your hand in to pull out a piece of cheese you won't (like me) find excess oil streaming over the sides of your jar :-)

Hermelin pickling jar (Click on image to enlarge)

Pimp it up:

I think my preparation tips were sufficient pimping but 1 extra note is that you don't want to be serving everyday bread with this. I actually bought a remarkable loaf of rustic bread from the local LIDL supermarket. It was a whole grain loaf and matched the consistency of the cheese perfectly.
I additionally pimped up the meal experience with a masskrug of 12 degree beer (from a local producer), which reminds me of a Bavarian beer drinking chant:

Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
   Der Gem├╝tlichkeit.
   Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
   Der Gem├╝tlichkeit.

   Oans, zwoa, drei, g'suffa!

1.5 liter Masskrug (Click on image to enlarge)

Hope it helps!

Dobrou chut!/Bon appetit!

Neville :-)