Tefteli – Slavic Meatballs Simmered in Tomato Sauce

Almost every culture has its version of meatballs. In Ukraine, Russia, and many other Slavic countries, we call them tefteli. Tefteli (tefteli - plural, teftel' - singular) are made with a mixture of ground meat, onion, and rice and simmered in tomato or sour cream sauce. They are great with creamy mashed potato, kasha (cooked grains), or mamalyga (Slavic polenta). I always find myself craving tefteli when the weather is getting colder, and my body needs something comforting to warm up. The ... Continue Reading

Perfectly Golden Pork Schnitzel

Perfectly Cooked Pork Schnitzel with a crispy golden crust is one of my favorite fall dishes. It always reminds me of the cheerful Octoberfest celebration with lots of German beer, creamy potato salad, and sauerkraut. Pork Schnitzel certainly doesn't look very sophisticated, but it certainly has a ton of flavor and fantastic texture. If cooked right, this comforting meal will bring you so much joy and can easily become a star of the feast. I recommend pairing crispy Pork Schnitzel with ... Continue Reading

Vegetarian Russian Potato Salad aka Olivier

There is something very comforting and even nostalgic about Russian Potato Salad. Although it's better known as Olivier, by the last name of its creator, Belgium chef Lucien Olivier. Chef Olivier created it while working in Hermitage, one of Moscow's most sophisticated restaurants at that time. The dish became an instant hit, bringing fame and glory to its creator. The modern version of Olivier salad certainly came a long way from an elaborate meal full of exotic ingredients such as ... Continue Reading

Buckwheat Crepes with Cured Salmon

Buckwheat Crepes with Cured Salmon Ingredients:For the salmon:4 oz kosher salt4 oz granulated sugar1 lb salmon sashimi-grade (skin on, bones removed)For the crepes:whole milk - 2 cupswater - ¼ cuplarge eggs - 3all-purpose flour - 1 cup (sifted)buckwheat flour - ½ cupsugar - 2 tablespoonssalt - 1/2 teaspoonmelted butter - 3 tablespoonsOil for fryingSour cream and a small bunch of herbs (dill, parsley, tarragon for serving) Instructions:To make cured salmon you will ... Continue Reading

Coulibiac-inspired Salmon Baked in Puff Pastry

Coulibiac-inspired Salmon Baked in Puff Pastry Ingredients:2 sheets puff pastry (thawed)3 tablespoons unsalted butter1 small yellow onion (finely chopped)8 oz cremini mushrooms (thinly sliced)½ lb green chard or spinach (roughly sliced)1/4 cup chopped dill1 cup cooked white rice (you can use leftover rice)1 piece skinless salmon (about 1 lb, seasoned with salt)1 large hard-boiled egg (sliced ¼ inch thick)1 large raw eggSalt and pepperCaraway seeds or ... Continue Reading

Baked Apples with Tvorog Cheese

Baked Apples with Cheese Ingredients:4 medium Granny Smith apples, or other crisp hard apples1/2 cups Tvorog cheese (you can substitute with ricotta or fromage blanc)1 tablespoon raisins1 tablespoon honey1 tablespoon pine nuts1/4 teaspoon cinnamon1 oz fresh red currant (optional) Method:Preheat the oven to 350F. Using a paring knife, slice off the top of each apple and carve out the center and seeds, be careful to not cut all the way through the bottom. You want them ... Continue Reading

Yavorivs’kiy Pie – Savory Ukrainian Potato and Buckwheat Pie

This rustic savory potato and buckwheat pie is native to Western Ukraine and called Yavorivs'kiy Pie. Traditionally it has been served during big religious holidays like Christmas and Easter. It’s filled with silky mashed potato, fried onion, and boiled buckwheat. Serve it with a side of fried wild mushrooms in autumn, and a glass of cold kefir in summer.  Yavorivs'kiy Pie For the dough:1 cup lukewarm milk1 tablespoon sugar1 teaspoon active dry yeast2 egg yolks1 ... Continue Reading

Salmon Gravlax with Horseradish Creme

What is the only rock that humans eat? It’s the one surrounded by tons of mysterious and ambiguous theories – table salt! This unique mineral is used in virtually every dish – from appetizers to desserts. Being the most famous flavor enhancer on earth, salt is also dangerous. Dangerous to your reputation as a cook, especially if you overuse it. Some people even claim to have the superpower of figuring out how much salt is in the respective cooked dish by merely smelling it. I’m not ... Continue Reading

Pan-Roasted Sturgeon with Black Caviar Lentil

The dining experience most of the time is very pleasant. Fine dining is even more enjoyable. But what if getting an elegant restaurant-quality dish could be as easily obtainable as cooking your first sunny-side-up? Yes, we've all been there: first culinary attempts are often a mess. But I assure you, with this Pan-Roasted Sturgeon with Black Caviar Lentil recipe you'll learn how to master a royal-class dish in a blink of an eye and a splash of a fishtail. First, meet the sturgeon, the fish ... Continue Reading

Lamb Mantije with Cilantro Chimichuri

Dumplings make a difference. Almost every culture in the world can boast a handful of tasty recipes wrapped in dough: Chinese wontons, Italian ravioli, Polish pierogi, Russian pelmeni, Nepali, and Tibetan momos, Japanese gyozas … The list is endless! And I'm adding my Lamb Mantije with Cilantro Chimichuri to these lovely dumpling family. It feels like exploring a dumpling-shaped galaxy, hopping from one deliciously filled planet to another. Steam it, fry it, or boil it – dumplings ... Continue Reading