Khrustyky Pastry (Hvorost)

March 26th, 2011 in Desserts by Julia Volhina

This pastry is very popular in countries of ex-USSR. The shape is what gave them their russian name – “hvorost” – which means “dry wood used to make a fire”. Ukrainian name – “khrustyky” – describes texture – which it very crisp.

I had troubles trying to figure out what english name to use for this dish. Even if there is an equivalent of it in cuisine of some english speaking country, I don’t know about it.

So, feel free to let me know if you have some ideas in this regard :)

Lazy Cabbage Rolls

March 19th, 2011 in Beef, Main Dishes by Julia Volhina

Lazy cabbage rolls, or “lenyvi golubtsi” how this dish is called in ukrainian, is an easier version of ukrainian cabbage rolls.

Since it doesn’t require assembling of rolls it is much easier to prepare, and taste is very similar to cabbage rolls.

Lazy cabbage rolls taste great when seasoned with a bit of chopped garlic and a bit of mayo.

Ukrainian Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream Dressing

March 12th, 2011 in Salads by Julia Volhina

This simple salad with tomatoes and cucumbers is very popular in Ukraine, and I don’t see any reasons why it wouldn’t be liked in any other country which grows tomatoes, cucumbers, dill and sour cream with onions and garlic.

As opposite to summer salad with tomato and cucumbers with vegetable oil based dressing, this one uses sour cream and mayonnaise.

If you are trying to cut on calories – use mix of sour cream and low calorie yoghurt, or just yoghurt as a base for dressing, but, believe me, this salad tastes the best with real sour cream.

Duck Stewed with Potato and Eggplants

March 5th, 2011 in Duck, Main Dishes by Julia Volhina

I love duck meat. And other day we were lucky to find a couple of duck breasts in Market District opened recently near by (nice store by the way).

So, I got them, also eggplant and some potatoes, and cooked this nice dinner.

Any duck meat will work just fine for this stew, I was just lazy to remove bones.

Spicy Guacamole Dip

February 26th, 2011 in Sauces & Dips & Spreads by Julia Volhina

First time I tried this green dip, it was served as a side dish to something very spicy in mexican restaurant, and it didn’t impress me. Probably, that was about color: I never seen avocados before and their bright green color seem almost artificial.

Nevertheless, I tried it and since then these unusual and very nutritious fruits are very important part of my diet: amusingly they have more potassium than bananas, have high fiber content and rich on vitamins E, B and K.

This variant of guacamole is a bit spicy. If you want to make it mild: either increase amount of avocados or reduce amount of serrano peppers and onion; adding sour cream can help reduce hotness as well.

Russian Lenten Mushroom Soup

February 19th, 2011 in Hot Soups, Soup Recipes by Julia Volhina

This soup doesn’t include any meat, it is based on mushrooms and have vegetables (carrot, parsley and celery roots, potato) as well as pearl barley.

Such kind of mushroom soup is very popular in Russia. Various kind of mushrooms can be used in this recipe, but I must say fresh or frozen porcini are the best tasting ones, if you can find them, of course.

If you are not trying to follow Great Lent rules – my advise is don’t skip on sour cream, 1 tablespoon of sour cream to the bowl of mushroom soup not only adds nutrients, but also gives the soup its unique rich taste.

Cheese Balls Appetizer

February 12th, 2011 in Appetizers & Snacks by Julia Volhina

Cheese, clove of garlic, a bit of mayo, shredded coconut and about 20 mins of time it is all you need to prepare cheese balls appetizer.

Cheese goes great with wine. So cheese balls are great for wine tasting or wine party.

Cheese balls are finger food and can be served as is or on crackers.