Georgian Adventures, Part 6

In our last Georgian adventures, we were being jolted about on the roads of Svaneti.  One flat tire and many overflowing streams later, we reached the coveted Zagar Pass.  From there, it wasn’t long until we got to Ushguli, the climax of our trip. At 2,200 meters (7,200 feet), this is the highest permanently inhabited settlement […]

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Deruny, Ukrainian Potato Pancakes

Deruny, Ukrainian Potato Pancakes

Most Eastern European countries have their version of potato pancakes, with small variations in the way you grate and bind the potatoes. In Ukraine, they’re called deruny, and in Belarus, it’s draniki, but the two are very similar. And they’re serious business! A Minsk native once explained to me that potatoes are the national specialty, and Belarusian cookbooks typically […]

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King Crab Ravioli, Caviar and Vodka Cream

King crab, caviar and vodka: are there any ingredients that better exemplify haute Russian cuisine? I served this dish as a first course on New Year’s Eve. Enjoy with champagne (just not necessarily the Soviet kind)! For the pasta dough, I am using a modified version of Gordon Ramsay’s dough recipe. Stay away from dough recipes that […]

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Ice Fishing, and Quick Seared Trout with Smoked Trout Rillettes

Ice Fishing, and Quick Seared Trout with Smoked Trout Rillettes

During a family trip to the Adirondacks earlier this month, I decided to continue my exploration of the great outdoors with a half-day of ice fishing and a day of hare hunting. While the hunting was, like last time, a failure that I will save for another post, the fishing was pretty successful. Forget the […]

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Brussels Sprout Gratin

Brussels sprouts are the best example of vegetables that we unfairly vilify because we had traumatic experiences of boiled, greyish globes filling our plates as kids. But if you’re willing to prepare this wild cabbage cultivar with a little bit more care, you can enjoy a bright green, nutty vegetable through the fall and winter. […]

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Wild Boar Bouchées

A bouchée is an individual basket of puff pastry, like a small vol-au-vent. The first bouchée was supposedly invented by Marie Leszczyńska, the Polish princess wife of Louis XV. The original bouchée à la reine is filled with mushrooms, chicken, veal quenelles and sweetbreads in a cream sauce. This iteration was inspired by a dish […]

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Restaurant Review: Karczma

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! Karczma, which means inn in Polish, is a nice little restaurant that opened in 2007 and […]

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Almond, Raisin and Chocolate Yule Log

This year was the first in nearly a decade that I remained home for the holidays, and I decided to make up for all that lost time by making an abundance of holiday-themed dishes. Some might say an overabundance, but is there really such a thing?! The Yule log was originally a large wooden log […]

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Braised Lamb Tongues

Like many parts of the animal not normally used in modern Western restaurants, lamb tongues are common in the Caucasus. You can find boiled tongues on the menu at Apsheron in Sheepshead Bay. This small and somewhat scarce meat cut owes its relative popularity to its pronounced lamb flavor and its unique texture that melts […]

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