Veal Shish Kebab with Onions

October 9th, 2010 in Beef, Main Dish Recipes by Julia Volhina

Cookout when we had these veal shish kebabs was rather extreme: we went to the lake (about 50 miles away), fired up grill, skewered meat, set it on the grill and then… rain started.

And it appeared to be not the light summer rain which we hoped for when we first saw clouds, but the cloudburst with thunders, lightnings and a hail in between, the cold one.

I don’t know how we managed to keep that meat cooking, but it turned out good, maybe it even tasted better because we were guarding grill for half of hour with towel above it to keep it from getting wet.

By the way, to cook such shish kebab (“shashlik” or “shashlyk” how we call this dish in Russia) you will need skewers of some kind and of course grill (make it a charcoal one to get better taste) in additional to meat, onions, vinegar and spices. If you use wooden skewers, don’t forget to soak them in the water at least for 1 hour before skewer meat on.

Russian Beze Cookies (Meringues)

October 2nd, 2010 in Desserts by Julia Volhina

Beze cookies or meringues (probably more familiar name for you) are one of those desserts you can put together literally from almost nothing.

2 egg whites and a bit of sugar – that is all you need prepare a nice finishing for the romantic dinner or something to sweeten your life with when you need it.

Using of pastry bag, when you operate with sugary and bubbly “batter”, can be hard at the beginning, but it goes easier once you get used to it.

If you have choice – pick bigger bag so you have more room for maneuver when loading it with “batter”.

Salad Dnister (Cabbage, Peas and Sausage)

September 25th, 2010 in Salad Recipes by Julia Volhina

Salad Dnister (just like a river) is a popular in West Ukraine dish originated in Carpathian mountains region, and made its way to other places as it is easy, not expensive and fast to do and very tasty.

Main ingredient of this salad is shredded cabbage, so you can consider it to be a coleslaw with a sausage and peas dressed with mayonnaise.

A bit of a challenge here would be to find suitable sausage. The closest translation to the kind of sausage you need I could come up with is “half-smoked summer sausage”, however I am pretty sure that sounds weird in english, and if you know how to call it better – please let me know. Krakowska or Ternopil’ska sausage will work here, if you can find any of those in Ukrainian or European shop.

Mulled Wine (Glühwein)

September 18th, 2010 in Beverage Recipes, With Alcohol by Julia Volhina

I was unfortunate to catch a cold another day, and somewhere in between sneezing and sweating I reminded myself of mulled wine – probably the best drink to warm you up and clear your sinuses.

Mulled wine, or gluehwein (how it is called in Austria and Germany) or glintvein (how it is called in Russia) is a drink prepared by heating red dry wine with various spices and citruses.

This popular in Europe drink is often sold during cold season around Christmas time on open air markets and fairs – it really helps to warm up.

Glühwein is very easy to prepare, if you prefer – use whole spices instead of ground ones, that will make straining part much easier, however ground spices work just fine. Enjoy responsible!

Chicken Liver Pate

September 11th, 2010 in Appetizers & Snacks by Julia Volhina

I find dishes from any kind of liver not very popular on this side of the globe. However I can’t see anybody not liking this one: chicken liver pâté or “pashtet” like it is called in Russia.

Pate in russian cousine is prepared mostly from liver cooked, ground and mixed with butter and few additions to taste. For chicken liver pate I add onions, carrots, a dash of nutmeg and a spoon of cognac, see the instruction below.

Chicken liver pate can be served as appetizer or snack, on bread, toasts, crackers or flat breads. You can also exercise a pastry chief inner self and arrange pate flowers using pastry bag.

Meatballs with Carrot-Tomato Sauce

September 4th, 2010 in Beef, Main Dish Recipes by Julia Volhina

Russian meatballs (or “tefteli” how they are called in Russia) are prepared from ground beef and rice mix and cooked under some kind of sauce. They usually have big size (1 or 2 meatballs is enough for a serving).

This is a recipe for “tefteli” my mom uses: big meatballs, dipped into flour, then fried over in some oil and cooked with vegetable sauce (carrots, tomatoes, onions and dill) until ready.

I’ve modified recipe a bit to use freshly pureed tomatoes instead of tomato paste. However, if you don’t have fresh tomatoes under your hands, you can use canned tomatoes or tomato paste diluted with water.

Boiled potatoes or mashed potatoes are usually the first choice of side dish for tefteli for me, boiled buckwheat or pasta work good too.

Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi)

August 28th, 2010 in Main Dish Recipes, No-meat by Julia Volhina

Oladi, or thick pancakes prepared from kefir based batter, is traditional russian breakfast food. Batter is easy to assemble and whole dish doesn’t take much time to cook.

Kefir gives a distinguishing taste to oladi, but it probably can be replaced with buttermilk in case you are having troubles finding kefir.

Oladi can be served plain or with some kind of a topping: jam, syrop or honey, as well as fresh fruits. I love oladi with sour cream.