Not to start another competition of sorts (the Cold War is not that far behind us), but Russian oladyi (aka pancakes) get me far more excited than their American cousins. Somehow, mysteriously, they manage to feel lighter, and their diminutive size, topped with briny salmon roe and sour cream, or jam and sour cream, makes them so much more fun to eat. It doesn’t hurt that they look all festive and decorated — just what the season ordered.
Continue Reading Russian Quick Buttermilk Oladyi (Buttermilk Pancakes)
Mushrooms and cream go way back in Russian cooking. In my family, we often cooked chanterelles (which were dirt cheap in Russia, can you believe it?) with onions, herbs and sour cream to mix with pasta for a deliriously glorious dish.
Here in America, chanterelles are a bit too pricey for most of us and aren’t the easiest mushroom to locate. But cremini mushrooms are widely available in most supermarkets, so I decided to try my hand at substituting those instead. With some white wine and a dash of heavy cream blended with sour cream (it’s Russian, so of course there’s sour cream), my mushrooms turned out to be quite heavenly. I stood in my kitchen, licking my spoon and contemplating the mushrooms’ future fate. With so many holiday parties around the corner, they would make an excellent topping for a cracker or, better yet, some buttered, toasted pieces of brioche.
Continue Reading Creamy Mushrooms on Toast
I’m kicking off my Cooking Channel blog series with quite possibly the most everyday cake in Russian culinary repertoire; every, and I mean every, Russian household makes this cake. The famed, quotidian Sharlotka is nothing more than a bit of flour bound together by eggs, sugar and a dash of leavening with some apples. Every time someone in Russia would drop in unexpectedly, my mother would disappear in the kitchen for a few minutes and, an hour later, we had a gorgeous apple cake waiting for us all to enjoy. Judging by how busy everyone is these days and how the holiday season only exacerbates our time deficit, this is a good cake to have in your arsenal of dishes.
Continue Reading Spiced Sharlotka, Or Everyday Apple Cake