Post Tagged with: "russian"

Sharlotka

Sharlotka or Russian Apple Cake

Serves: 4-6

Time: 1 hr

Kid Friendly Tasks: Stirring

For the uninitiated, Sharlotka is Russian apple cake, named it is said, after the beloved daughter Charlotte of its creator. Basically, it is like a sponge cake (so no butter or oil) with apple slices mixed in. It’s very sweet I find (probably to make up for the lack of butter, oil etc.) so it’s best to use nice tart apples for a lovely contrast. The good news is that it’s much lighter than your average cake, very much a sponge cake in that regard. It doesn’t go as far as regular cake so make extra if you’re feeding a crowd. I would not ice this cake, but would cover it in powdered sugar if you feel it needs decoration. It goes without saying that the perfect accompaniment is a hot cup of tea on a fall day, preferably from your samovar if you have one…

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Lazy Cabbage Rolls

Lazy Cabbage Rolls

Serves: 4-6

Time: 2 hrs

Freezes: Yes

Reheats: Yes

Kid Friendly Tasks: Mixing

This past weekend was the first for cabbages at the market (mine are starting to head up at home as well, yea!) and they were two dollars for a massive cabbage. Also my favorite vendor had ground lamb for sale at last and I really prefer ground lamb to ground beef in a lot of recipes. (think karnyarik or musaka, both lamb and eggplant delights) I had to get both. Then I was faced with the challenge of what to make. I remembered again my Russian friends and their many recipes for “lazy” cabbage rolls and decided that was far and away the way to go. Instead of steaming off each individual leaf of the cabbage I used my mandolin to shred the cabbage head coarsely. Then I layered cabbage, filling, more cabbage and tomatoes. Excellent and so much faster to make. Also, because the cabbage was mixed in my children were forced to eat it vs their usual method of peeling off the cabbage and only eating filling. Damn I’m sneaky.

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Mousaka

Mousaka

Serves: 3-4

Time: 2 hrs

Freezes: Yes

Reheats: Yes

Kid Friendly Tasks: Eggplant Pressers

This is a complex dish. I’ll say that right off. However, I try to simplify by making extra filling and then freezing it so that you just need new eggplant and sauce. It’s totally worth it though and is my go to dish when company comes. You can make it in the morning and just put it together an hour or so before they arrive. Then it cooks, quietly waiting for you while you deal with other things and visit.

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Classic Borsch

Classic Borsch

Serves: 4-6

Time: 3 hr

Freezes: Yes

Reheats: Yes

Kid Friendly Tasks: Beet Coloring

I decided to resurrect their borsch and started digging on my favorite Russian cooking sites. These are always so fun to compare with ours because the writing style is almost a 180 from our own cooking blogs. Here everything is step-by-step with a ton of gorgeous pictures. There you get exactly one small picture and an approximation of ingredients. Russian women, it’s assumed, already know how to cook. Since that approach so often mirrors my own (note the total absence of step-by-step photos) their sites are an instant hit with me. Anyway, using about a dozen “standard” recipes I mashed them together into the new favorite below.

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Anka Torte

Lemon Anka Cake

Serves: 8-10

Time: 2hrs

Kid Friendly Tasks: Curd Spreader

This was a cake made regularly by the long suffering (in my opinion) wife of Leo Tolstoy. It is named Anke cake after the doctor friend of Sofia Andreevna’s family. The recipe was given to her mother and then on to her. It was so loved by the Tolstoy family that Leo himself said, “a holiday without Anka Cake is like Christmas without the Christmas tree or Easter without the colored eggs.” (true quote!)

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