Ponchiki (Russian Doughnuts)

Every kid of the Soviet Union should remember the taste of golden and crunchy on the outside and fluffy and tender on the inside tvoroznye ponchiki. It’s a deep-fried piece of dough shaped into a small ball and covered with powdered sugar. They don’t just look delightful, they taste the same.

You don’t have to take a trip to Russia to get the real taste of ponchiki : I’ll be sharing my recipe with you today.

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Ponchiki (Russian Doughnuts)
If you couldn't find farmers cheese in your local grocery store, don't panic : use ricotta. This is a good substitute for farmers cheese. Very similar taste. But be sure to drain the water out of the ricotta.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, beat two eggs with sugar and salt, add baking soda and vanilla. Continue beating for 30 more seconds. Add two cups of farmers cheese and beat for 20 more seconds. Add flour and stir with a spatula. Dough will be sticky.
  2. Using a small ice cream scoop, or wet hands form dough into a small balls.
  3. In a large iron skillet, heat the oil until hot (350 degrees F). Add ponchiki, one at a time, and fry over medium heat until golden brown. Normally ponchiki roll over on their own, and you don't have to turn them over.
  4. Lift them with tongs, drain on paper towel. Toss ponchiki in powdered sugar while they are still hot. You can serve them right away.

Potato salad (Russian salad)

This is the most traditional Russian salad we make for any holiday, and New Year’s Eve is the biggest holiday of all, when “Olivie” would be on all tables. What makes it more special is “leftovers”… You can eat it the next day and joke that the salad is from last year.

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Potato salad (Russian salad)
Course Salads
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Course Salads
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Instructions
  1. Cook potatoes and carrots in a medium pot in their skins until tender. Do not overcook.
  2. Peel the vegetables and eggs.
  3. Cut the potatoes, carrots, bologna, eggs, pickles and onion into small 1/4 inch squares.
  4. Mix all the ingredients with mayonnaise, salt and black pepper. Chill salad before serving.
  5. For a fancier presentation, serve it in mini cups.

Lemon Rosemary Salmon

Tasty, simple and beautiful looking dish for everyday or special occasions.

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Lemon Rosemary Salmon
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Add 4 Tbsp of olive oil to baking dish. Place one slice of lemon and one rosemary spring under each salmon fillet.
  3. Add salt, pepper and paprika evenly over salmon and place one slice of lemon and one rosemary spring on top of salmon.
  4. Drizzle 4 Tbsp of olive oil over salmon.
  5. Bake 25 minutes until salmon is flaky.
  6. Place salmon on serving platter and enjoy.

Bread Kvass

A traditional Russian bread kvass is a fermented and carbonated beverage in which the main components are Rye bread, yeast, sugar, water and raisins. In Russia kvass is used in some cold recipes such as okroshka.

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Bread Kvass
Course Drinks
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Passive Time 14 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Drinks
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Passive Time 14 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Slice Rye bread.
  2. Position a rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat the broiler. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet. Broil the slices until dark brown, turning them over only once, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together active dry yeast, sugar and water. Place bread and raisins in 3 Mason jars and fill the jars with water.
  4. Cover the jars with lid or plastic wrap and let it stand on the countertop for 6-8 hours at room temperature, stir the mixture occasionally.
  5. Carefully remove the toasted bread and raisins and discard them. Using a strainer pour the kvass into empty jars or plastic containers and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  6. Serve chilled and ENJOY!

Potato Pancakes (Draniki)

One of my husband’s favorite food is draniki. Russian style potato pancakes. Perfect for breakfast or branch. I’ve seen draniki  recipes that use mashed potato also, but I personally prefer my potato to be coarsely  grated, because then you have more crispy ends. Traditionally draniki are served with sour cream, but you can also serve them with ketchup or cottage cheese.

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Potato Pancakes (Draniki)
You will need some extra olive oil, draniki absorb oil very fast.
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Peel and grate potatoes. Squeeze grated potatoes with hands, extracting as much liquid as possible.
  2. In a large bowl beet eggs, baking soda and buttermilk, add grated potatoes, salt, pepper and flour, mix well.
  3. In a large iron skillet heat the olive oil until hot. Place the tablespoons of batter in the pan and flatten with spoon.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the bottom is golden brown.Turn over and cook on the other side.
  5. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve them hot with sour cream.

Creamy Vanilla And Chocolate Jelly

Creamy Vanilla And Chocolate Jelly is a very light and airy dessert, with a touch of sweetness. Who wouldn’t love chocolate and vanilla goodness in a cup? I always try to limit myself. This dessert is so simple to make and a great way to end a special dinner. It can be done the day before.

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Creamy Vanilla And Chocolate Jelly
You can also make it in one big baking pan and cut it into small squares.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 5-6 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Vanilla layer
Chocolate layer
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 5-6 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Vanilla layer
Chocolate layer
Instructions
Vanilla layer
  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup of cold water. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring milk, heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract and sugar to a simmer, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add gelatin mixture and stir until dissolved. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Let it cool for 5 minutes, strain through a fine sieve.
  4. Divide the mixture between 12 small glasses and place them in the fridge until firm (2-3 hours).
Chocolate layer
  1. In a small saucepan, add milk and water. Sprinkle gelatin on top and set aside for 3 minutes. Add cacao powder and sugar, mix well.
  2. Place over medium heat and heat until barely boiling, stirring constantly.
  3. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Let the mix cool down.
  4. Remove the glasses from the refrigerator and pour the chocolate mixture on top of the vanilla jelly.
  5. Refrigerate for 2 more hours.

Beef Rice Pilaf With Dry Barberry Berries

This is very delicious and flavorful rice. Perfect for special dinner with friends or just for your family. It may seem a little time consuming, but it’s worth it.

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Beef Rice Pilaf With Dry Barberry Berries
It is very important to put the raw garlic on top of the rice before covering everything with water.
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Soak and rinse the rice, at least 2-3 times, then drain.
  2. Cut beef into 1 inch pieces.
  3. Peel and cut the carrots into thick matchsticks.
  4. Peel and dice onion.
  5. Heat the olive oil in an enameled cast iron dutch oven over a medium heat, add beef.
  6. Cook beef for one hour on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
  7. When the beef is fully cooked add onion and soften, stirring regularly for about 3 minutes.
  8. Add carrots, spices, salt, pepper, bay leaf and dry berries. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
  9. Layer the soaked rice over the top of the beef and vegetables. Peel some of the skin off the garlic head and slice the top off, exposing the garlic cloves. Put raw garlic head on top of the rice.
  10. Carefully pour hot water over wooden spoon to ensure even distribution over rice. Do not stir.
  11. Cover with lid. When it starts boiling, remove the lid to let the water almost evaporate.
  12. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the rice is tender and the rest of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  13. Mix the ingredients as you serve the pilaf on a platter. Garnish with garlic head.

Creamy Mushroom Pate

With a few simple tricks, you really can make this Creamy Mushroom Pate at home. Skip the store bought spreads and pates, making it yourself is so, so easy and will be way tastier than just about anything from the deli department.

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Mushroom Pate
Course Appetizers
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Appetizers
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Slice the mushrooms.
  2. Peel and cut onion into half moons.
  3. Peel and mince garlic.
  4. Place a large frying pan over a high medium heat. Add 5 Tbsp of olive oil and sauté mushrooms for 10 minutes. Constantly stirring. Remove from heat and let cool.
  5. Meanwhile, place a small frying pan over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil and onion, and cook until golden brown.
  6. Add minced garlic and sauté for one minute. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool.
  7. Put half of the mushrooms and onion with garlic into a food processor or blender and pulse several times to combine.
  8. Add the remaining mushrooms and cream cheese and puree.
  9. Add salt and pepper and mix it with wooden spoon.
  10. Serve on crostini, with green onion or any fresh herbs.

Lemon Cake

I’ve always had a sweet tooth. Whether it be a plain piece of dark chocolate or a decadent caramel cheesecake, I can’t remember the last time I turned down dessert. My mouth  waters every time I see or think of this Lemon Cake. Each time I’m at Starbucks, I know what I will be ordering. I can’t guarantee  this Lemon loaf tastes exactly like Starbucks, I personally think it’s better. You tell me. 🙂

Print Recipe
Lemon Cake
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Icing
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Icing
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
  2. Combine eggs and sugar.
  3. Add lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon extract.
  4. Add vegetable oil and mix.
  5. Gradually add greek yogurt and mix until combined.
  6. Stir in baking powder.
  7. Slowly add flour. Blend until smooth.
  8. Pour the batter into the baking pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and quickly cover the pan with aluminum foil, and return to the oven, for the last 10 minutes, to prevent excess browning.
  9. Cool the loaf in a pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan to wire racks to cool completely.
  10. Whisk confectioners' sugar with lemon juice until smooth. Spoon evenly over the loaf and let sit for about 30 minutes.

Pork Schnitzel

Schnitzel is the German word for “cutlet”, which is usually made with veal and is thinly pounded, breaded and fried in oil. I make my Schnitzel with pork and it tastes just amazing, soft inside and crispy outside.

Print Recipe
Pork Schnitzel
The trick to a tender, juicy schnitzel is not cutting the meat super thin, but rather using a meat tenderizer to pound the meat down to a 1/4 inch thickness.
Course Main Dish
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cut the meat into 6 equal pieces. Place each piece between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with the flat side of meat tenderizer, until about 1/4 inch thick.
  2. You will need four large dinner plates: In the first plate, combine together flour, salt and pepper. Whisk eggs and milk in the second plate. In your third plate stir together paprika with bread crumbs. And one empty plate.
  3. Dip each piece of meat one by one into the egg mixture.
  4. Then dip into flour.
  5. And again into egg mixture.
  6. Then into bread crumbs.
  7. Place your coated schnitzel on the plate number four.
  8. Pour oil into a large skillet about 1/2 inch. Heat the oil over medium heat.
  9. Once the oil is hot, carefully lay in each prepared schnitzel, cooking one at a time. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes. Turn it over to brown the other side.
  10. Transfer to paper towel. Repeat with remaining pork slices.
  11. Garnish with lemon slices and parsley.
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