Sunday, June 06, 2010
I may come back some day--who knows? In the meantime, feel free to e-mail me (yulinkacooks at yahoo dot com) with any questions about recipes on this blog.
Sunday, May 02, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Being exceptionally generous, I'm willing to share my starter. Anyone interested? Oh, please, tell me you are. I feel guilty tossing perfectly good starter, but I can't possibly tend to four batches of bread.
Saturday, April 03, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
I'm pretty agnostic when it comes to restaurant brunches, but I do like brunching at home. Brunch is often part of my routine on Tuesday mornings, the day when I work afternoons and evenings. It's also a good time to catch up on blogs, Twitter, e-mail and so on.
My favorite brunch food is pretty simple: spinach sautéed with some bacon and mushrooms, and topped with a poached egg and maybe a bit of cheese. Sometimes I'll toss in leftovers like roasted potatoes. Poaching eggs seems to cause such anxiety for cooks (think Julie Powell's near-breakdown in the movie Julie & Julia), but I've never had much trouble. Maybe I'm doing something wrong?
I bring a few cups of water to a boil in a saucepan, add a splash of vinegar (to prevent the egg white from separating) and then turn the heat to the lowest setting. I break an egg or two into a saucer and slide them into the water. I like my eggs runny, so I fish them out after three minutes.
For the beverage, I go for my recession latte--coffee made in a French press with a splash of hot milk.
Tuesday Morning Brunch for one:
Heat up a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet. Add a slice or two of bacon, chopped up, and sauté for a minute. Add a handful of chopped mushrooms, and cook until the mushrooms are done, 4-6 minutes. Toss in two big handfuls of spinach (or half a package of frozen spinach, defrosted), and cook until wilted, 3-5 minutes. Add salt and black pepper to taste, and top with some cheese if you like. In the meantime, poach eggs as described above and make coffee.
My favorite side these days is a warmed up tortilla with cream cheese, but if you have more time, homemade yogurt scones are a close runner-up.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
This is the second installment of my long-ago promised series on Russian candy (part one is here). You can buy mishkas at most Russian and Eastern-European grocery stores in Milwaukee; go here for locations. Yulinka Cooks endorses Spartak in Whitefish Bay, Wis.
Monday, February 22, 2010
I’m also a bit overwhelmed by all the great content these bloggers are cranking out. Oh, to be a new blogger, cooking your heart out and writing about it every day. I, too, posted four to five times a week back when I started in ’06. (Exhaustion and burnout will set in soon enough, bwa ha ha!). Anyway, check them out, and let me know of anyone I may be forgetting.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Unfortunately there aren’t too many zapekanka recipes out there—this one, by a Russian-born food blogger, is probably the closest to what I’m looking for. I’ve always thought of zapekanka as a breakfast food or a light dinner, not dessert, however. Anyway, I had some leftover curd cheese last week, and I improvised this recipe:
1.5 cups curd cheese mixed with a bit less than ¼ cup sugar, ½ tsp. vanilla extract, 3 tbs. flour, ½ tsp. baking powder and an egg yolk. The egg white was beaten until peaks formed and added to the rest of the ingredients. I also tossed in some raisins (any kind of dried fruit works well in a zapekanka). I baked the whole thing in a buttered, 9-inch pan at 370 degrees for about 45 minutes. The final product was beautifully golden and airy, although it quickly sank once it left the oven. It was also a bit soggy and too sweet, just like two previous attempts.
So, readers, any advice for making a successful zapekanka? Recipes in Russian are welcome. (I don't usually search online in Russian because I can't read it as fast as English--blame first language attrition.)
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
*By the way, in Russian, the word “hren” and its variants are a milder version of the equivalent to the f-bomb. It’s sort of like saying “freakin’” instead of the real thing in English.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
A few weeks ago I made draniki, Belarusian potato pancakes. These are a lot like latkes, but without the onion. You shred about 5 or 6 small peeled potatoes in a food processor; then add 2 tablespoons of flour, a beaten egg, salt and pepper. Be sure to salt the batter generously, or your pancakes will be bland.
Heat a glug of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan, and ladle ¼-cup scoops of batter into the pan. The pancakes should be 3 to 4 inches long, about 2 inches wide, and ¼-inch thin. When frying, you really have to generous with the oil, or the pancakes start burning. Fry for about 30 to 50 seconds, then flip and fry for another 30 seconds; repeat until both sides are golden-brown, about 2 minutes. These are pretty good with sour cream. Tip: Don’t make them on a weeknight when you really don’t feel like cleaning oil splatters off the stove, okay?
I tried these spinach-stuffed mushrooms at a New Year’s party, and have made them about four or five times since then. This is a Paula Deen recipe, and it’s really quite delicious. Unlike most of Deen’s repertoire, it doesn’t even call for five pounds of butter. I did make some tweaks to the original directions. Be sure to sauté the mushrooms caps for about 5 to 7 minutes before stuffing them, otherwise they don’t cook through. For the spinach filling, I subbed some homemade farmer's cheese for the feta. Ricotta would work, too.
Monday, January 04, 2010
By the way, the recipe, from Anne Volokh's The Art of Russian Cuisine, is very similar to this Deb Perelman recipe, which also turned out unbearably salty when I tried it a few years ago. (Perelman is behind the usually foolproof Smitten Kitchen blog.)