Category Archives: Russian

What to do with leftover hard-boiled eggs

Having thought that more than a dozen of dyed eggs is a great idea for Easter, I now have way more hard-boiled eggs than I would like to eat. So now I am stuffing them in all possible foods including sandwiches and puff pastry. This recipe is somewhat russian (we use the same minced meat filling in savory blinis and in Pirozhki) and it is very close to the Tuna Empanadas I made a few months ago. If anyone else has any ideas about what to do with the leftover eggs or a good recipe for a breakfast pizza, do let me know. I am losing all creativity.

Ingredients: 2 sheets of frozen puff pastry thawed, 4 hard-boiled eggs roughly chopped, 1 lb minced beef, 1 onion cubed, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 egg, salt and pepper to season

Preheat oven to 425. Begin by adding olive oil to a skillet on medium heat. Add the onions and saute for a few minutes.

Add the meat and saute until cooked through

Add the meat and onion to a bowl and top with the hard-boiled eggs. Add salt and pepper and mix together

On a butter cookie sheet, lay one sheet of puff pastry. Add the filling to it and top with a second sheet of puff pastry making sure to seal the edges all around. Lightly beat the egg and brush the puff pastry with the egg wash.

Make 3 slits in the puff pastry and cook in the oven until the pastry becomes golden for about 15 to 20 minutes.


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Filed under Meat, Pastry, Russian

Vareniki, pierogis and whatever else you want to call them

“You made what?” my mum had to ask again to make sure she heard me right. A chuckle followed my response. “So how long did that take you?” was the next question. “2 hours,” I responded still dusting the flour off my shirt. The laughter that followed my answer was probably heard by the 90-year-old couple that lives next door to us.

Yeah maybe I overestimated my cooking skills and the amount of time necessary when it comes to making authentic russian food. Ok, nana and mum you are both of the hook for not making enough homemade russian food when I was a kid. But, despite the amount of time and work it takes, homemade vareniki (also known as pierogis) taste amazing.

Ingredients: 2 cups of sifted flour, 2 egg yolks, 3/4 cup water, 3 medium gold potatoes, 8 oz mushrooms, 1 shallot, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ground pepper and salt to taste.

Start by working on the dough. Add flour to a big bowl followed by the egg yolks.

Add water to the flour and yolks and mix together until dough begins to form.  Wrap the dough in plastic.

Leave the dough in the fridge for an hour.

Cut potatoes in quarters and add to a pan filled with cold water. Let the potatos cook on medium heat for 30 minutes or until the potatoes start to easily break apart.

Drain and mash the potatoes once they are cooked.

Next chop the shallot and the mushrooms and saute in a skillet with olive oil until the mushrooms brown. Add mushrooms and shallot to the mashed potatoes.

Add salt and ground pepper and mix together.

Dust a clean surface with flour. Take the dough out the fridge and begin rolling out. This part might take a while. If the dough feels wet, keep on adding flour.

Using a cup or glass cut out circles.

Fill each circle with about 1/2 tablespoon of filling and seal.

Once all the vareniki are filled and sealed (which takes around an hour, not an easy life is it?) throw them in a freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Vareniki can and should be kept in the freezer (they can stay there for up to a month) until you decide to cook them. Just boil some water and add the vareniki. They need 5-7 minutes to cook through. Serve with sour cream (I also add dijon mustard) and enjoy.


Filed under Main Course, Russian

Buckwheat…Can you tell I am Russian?

“What’s with the bag of gravel?” Sean asked me when I pulled¬†buckwheat out of the kitchen cupboard.”Buckwheat,” I answered hesitantly. “You are so Russian,” was the reply I got back. Do I have to even mention that Sean would not be convinced to even try it?

Russian or not, buckwheat is delicious. It can be found in many international and organic stores and it can be used in a variety of ways. In Russia, we typically have buckwheat either for breakfast (instead of porridge or oatmeal) or as a side dish to go with a main course.

The first time I made buckwheat for Sean, I had to heavily disguise it with mushrooms, onions and creamy mustard sauce as he refused to try it otherwise. Well after the first few spoonfuls, I could not get him to share some with me.

Ingredients: 1 cup buckwheat, 8 oz mushrooms, 1/2 onion, 1/2-1 cup of light cream, 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper to season

To a boiling pot of water, add 1 cup (or 1 bag like in the picture) of buckwheat

Meanwhile the buckwheat is cooking, chop up the mushrooms and onion

Throw the onion and the mushrooms on a pan, with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, on medium heat and saute until the onions become golden.

Next drain the buckwheat and add to the onions and mushrooms. Add the cream.

Add 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to season. Cook for 5-7 minutes and serve.

And it doesn’t even look like gravel

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Filed under Russian, Side Dish

Mushroom “Julien” and a few updates

So recently I have been looking at a lot of blogs for my internship. This gave me a fabulous opportunity to find some pretty incredible blogs. The two things that I have noticed is that most good blogs are updated daily and have a certain style to them. The blogs that I really liked had a very rustic and vintage feel to them but since the style of my cooking food is quite modern I have realized that I will need to think of something else. With the help of my fabulous interior designer aka my roommate, in the next few weeks I will be trying to change a few things on my blog. I am hoping to buy some new fun dinnerware and just put more time and effort into the photos I take. Also I will be trying to update my blog at least three times a week (daily just seems a little too of an unrealistic promise for me). So come back to see some changes and hopefully a significant improvement.

As for the recipe, today I made a Mushroom “Julien”. This is a dish that I used to ask my mum to do all the time.I don’t know where this name came from or how to describe it another way (maybe mushroom casserole?Not really sure) but it is absolutely delicious. This can be served as either an appetizer or as a side dish.

Ingredients: 8 oz mushrooms,1/2 medium white onion,1 cup heavy cream,2 tablespoons butter,1/2 cup grated cheese (I use Gouda),1/2 tablespoon flour, salt and pepper to season.

In a skillet,on medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Chop the onion and add to the pan.Saute for 5 minutes. Next chop the mushrooms and also add to the pan.

Saute for about 10 minutes or until the mushrooms are nicely browned. Next add 1/2 tablespoon of flour. Stir everything together.

Next add 1 cup of heavy cream and stir.

Add salt and pepper. Let all cook for 5 minutes or until cream begins to boil. Next pour the mixture into ovenproof ramekins (I had 5).

Sprinkle with grated cheese the top of each.

Place the ramekins into the oven and let stand until the cheese melts. Enjoy!


Filed under Appetizer, Russian, Side Dish, Vegetarian

Russian Syrniki for Breakfast

This traditional Russian dish is served for breakfast or dessert. It is made with quark (tvorog in Russian) which is an Eastern European fresh cheese which can be found in many international food stores. If you are unable to find quark, you can substitute it with cottage cheese. It is usually served with sour cream.

Ingredients: 2 cups of quark or creamy cottage cheese, 2 tablespoons white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, 3 tablespoons of flour for dusting, 1 egg, canola oil or butter for frying.

Take a large bowl. Add 2 cups of quark. The quark that I used was in a pressed packaging. Usually I use loose quark but either one works well.Add 2 tablespoons of white sugar and 1 tablespoon of flour.

Add 1 egg and mix all together.

Shape the mixture into oval cakes and dust in flour on both sides.

Fry on both sides in butter or canola oil.

Serve with sour cream, jam or honey.

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Filed under Breakfast, Dessert, Russian, Vegetarian