Golden Beet Tartlets

Golden Beet Tartlets

I have a confession to make: I’m not very fond of beets. I can enjoy beet juice in cooking, and I’ve made the occasional beet risotto and beet pasta, but eating the vegetable whole tends to be too much for me.  Luckily, farmers’ markets have been providing less earthy alternatives to the common red variety, […]

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Shatili

Georgian Adventures, Part 3

True adventure in the Caucasus generally begins with trips to the mountainous regions. A combination of civil war, earthquake, rude climate and long neglect means that the roads are in dismal condition. Luckily, recent government efforts have taken the bandits out of the way and nowadays you can be confident that you will arrive at your destination alive and with […]

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Hungarian Cuisine - Ludlab Torta

Lúdláb Torta, or Death by Chocolate and Maraschino Cherries

There are a few famous Hungarian desserts (famous, that is, among those with an interest in Hungarian cuisine). The Dobos torta and its many layers. The Rigó Jancsi and its saccharine history. The Gundel palacsinta and its secret recipe. Less known is the lúdláb torta, a chocolate sponge cake with cherries and chocolate mousse or buttercream, covered with chocolate glaze. […]

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Croatian Food - Maraschino Cherries

Maraschino Cherries

Unbeknownst to most of us, maraschino cherries haven’t always been the overly sweet, rubbery, bright red mess we are accustomed to in our cocktails. You can read their fascinating history on Wikipedia, from their royal origin to their post-Prohibition descent into mediocrity: The name maraschino originates from the Marasca cherry of Croatian origin and the […]

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Sweetbread and Chanterelle Tartlets

One of the things that first got me interested in exploring Eastern European cooking was the great potential for what high-end Hungarian cuisine could be. To help illustrate this, I adapted a recipe from Le Camélia in Bougival, France. We start with a trio of Hungarian ingredients: wild mushrooms, offals and paprika. Of course one might object that […]

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Road to Sighnaghi - Buying Chacha

Georgian Adventures, Part 2

Our trip to Kakheti started with an abandoned mountain road that our questionable map had identified as the shortest path to Telavi, the administrative center of the region. Despite lack of road signs, the fences blocking access, and the police officers mounting guard, we had now crossed the Gombori Pass, and drove through the village […]

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Guinea Hen Satsivi

Satsivi is a thick Georgian sauce made with walnuts, onions and spices. There are many Georgian nut sauces, but this is the most famous. The sauce is served with poultry — especially turkey — or sometimes with fish. Although this is traditionally a cold dish (tsivi means cold in Georgian), I prefer to serve it warm. I choose guinea hen because […]

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Restaurant Review: Skovorodka

A note about my restaurant reviews: New York City counts many Eastern European restaurants scattered across the five boroughs, most of them ignored by restaurant critics and diners alike. I intend to visit as many as I can and report! First up, Skovorodka in Brighton Beach: Conveniently located by the B and Q trains, Skovorodka, which […]

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