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.)