Post Tagged with: "russian"

Uszka

Polish Mini Pierogis aka Uszka

Serves: 6-8

Time: 2 hrs

Freezes: Yes

Reheats: Yes

Kid Friendly Tasks: Stuffing

A lovely woman from Poland sent me the recipe below and said these were a favorite of hers. Several years having passed since the first pelmeni debacle I was willing to try them. Plus, they are served in the Polish version of borsch and I was already planning on making that over the weekend. Clearly, the stars had aligned. So why not I thought. I googled around to see a number of different uszka recipes and generally learn more about them. The recipe below is what I consolidated everything on. And this time it worked! Happy dance. These were AMAZING. Light, tasty and plain adorable. They look like the picture of every expertly made pelmeni that I’ve ever seen. I am totally making these again with different fillings. On a day when I have lots of time.

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Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Salad

Serves: 4

Time: 10 minutes +1 hour sitting

Kid Friendly Tasks: picking cucumbers

Summertime and the cucumbers are cheap, plentiful and fresh at the market. They make a lovely cooling, crisp summer salad. The salad below is one of my favorites to make each summer. It pulls together quickly although you absolutely have to remember to mix the cucumbers with the salt ahead of time. Otherwise they dilute the dressing too much once the salad has sat for a while and then you get soup. This salad keeps for about a day after it’s made. I like to serve it with shashlik or mousaka, but it would be lovely with anything.

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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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