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April 16, 2024

Culinary Inspiration at Vitalia Strongsville

Category: Culinary

Author: Stephen Stadnicar, Culinary Director

For numerous chefs, there exists a pivotal cookbook that served as the catalyst for their culinary journey. This single book ignited an idea, unlocking a passion for cooking they may not have realized they possessed. Cookbooks transcend mere collections of recipes; they serve as windows into cultures, histories, and personal narratives. With each page turn, a new adventure, tradition, or innovative technique unfolds.

Every recipe and cookbook, whether passed down through generations or reimagined, enriches our culinary culture at Vitalia Strongsville. Exploring culinary resources nurtures and evolves our love for food and cooking.

I own a collection of at least 30 cookbooks, and my favorite among them is “The Flavor Bible.” What sets this cookbook apart for me is the exceptional photography by the Andrews and its focus on flavor rather than just recipes.

What truly captivates me in a cookbook is the author’s passion, heartfelt recipes, and expertise shining through. I prefer cookbooks that aren’t simply filled with recipes to fill pages but rather reflect a genuine culinary journey.

My grandmother passed down her cherished recipes to me, and I’ve been in the kitchen with them since I was a child. Among my proudest creations is my Ragù alla Calabrese recipe.

This recipe holds a special place among my favorite dishes. 

Czech Bramborák

• 6 potatoes medium, raw, yellow
• ⅔ cup milk hot
• ½ cup all-purpose flour 
• 1 egg – 5 cloves garlic fresh, pressed
• 1 Tablespoon marjoram dried
• teaspoon salt
• pork lard/high-heat oil if you don’t have access to lard.

  1. Peel the raw potatoes and shred them finely with a box grater.

  2. Transfer the grated potatoes to a colander and squeeze out the excess liquid they released.

  3. Put the squeezed potatoes in a bowl, pour hot milk over them.

    Add an egg, flour, pressed garlic, dried marjoram, and salt. Stir. The potato batter should have a semi-fluid consistency.

  4. Take a non-stick frying pan, put the lard or vegetable oil in it (1-2 Tablespoons per pancake), and heat it up to medium heat.

    Always mix the potato batter evenly before frying, scoop one ladleful and carefully dump it into the middle of the preheated pan. Using a flat spoon, spread the dough into a 1/4 thick pancake about 8 inches in diameter.

  5. Fry each bramborak for about 2-3 minutes on both sides.

    Flip with a flat spatula once the edges start to turn golden.

  6. Often topped with smoked meat/fish, mushrooms, or replace a part of the mixture with grated cabbage or zucchini.

    Enjoy hot!

Generational recipes or new culinary creations can spark nostalgia and inspire our cooking journey. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home cook, we all have that one foolproof recipe. Don’t overlook the power of beloved cookbooks and their stories. Keep sharing and savoring the diverse flavors that await us.

VITALIA® Strongsville in Strongsville, OH offers independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near Southwest General Hospital with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Mallard Creek, Southpark Mall, Strongsville Historical Society, The Greens of Strongsville Shopping , and Don’s Pomeroy House.

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