Pasta-Caviar Duo

Russian Pasta-Caviar Duo, Moscow-New York

It all begins about 20 years ago in Moscow. There aren’t that many noteworthy restaurants in the Russian capital yet. I don’t know if Pizzeria San Marco, on the Arbat, really counts as noteworthy (it just serves pizza and pasta), but hey, it’s near the small apartment where I’m staying, and in the middle of the economic […]

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Russian Food - Kefir

Kefir, the Probiotic Miracle from the Caucasus

Over the past decade or so, kefir, a kind of cultured milk sometimes described as a “tangy milk smoothie,” has gained popularity and conquered the shelves of American supermarkets. “Probiotic,” the labels proudly proclaim, as if that word — that word you’d never heard until that moment — should become your new mantra. After all, […]

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Blueberry-Chocolate Roll, Apple Sorbet, and Buckwheat Crème Anglaise

Blueberry-Chocolate Roll, Apple Sorbet, and Buckwheat Crème Anglaise

It all started with Irina Chadeyeva’s Vypechka po GOSTu, a compilation of Soviet era baking hits, from the Kiev cake to the kartoshka (each of which I’ve encountered here and here, respectively). Chadeyeva’s recipes, often named after cities from the four corners of the Empire, for reasons unknown, are backed up with nostalgic pictures of the […]

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Morel "Strudel" Shashlyk

Morel “Strudel” Kebabs and Vegetarian Plov

Here’s a recipe I’d like to share before morel season is well and truly over! Morels are among my favorite mushrooms, and even if some species are more flavorful than others, they rarely disappoint when they’re bought fresh and handled properly. And with two elements each calling for a generous amount of these delectable fungi, […]

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Beet-Cured Steelhead

Beet-Cured Salmon River Steelhead

As I wrote a couple years ago, fishing the Salmon River in autumn can be pretty hectic. Thousands of fishermen, many of them about as clueless as me, crowd the river bed, the shores, and the bridges, occupying every inch of public land available. At the same time, anybody in a 50 mile radius who […]

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Pike Roe

Pike, Buckwheat, and Green Apple Burger with Celery Root Gratin

The weather was bitterly cold that March morning, and whiteout conditions were looming. Only a handful of indomitable fishermen (us, obviously) had braved the elements and ventured out on the frozen lake, drilling holes through several feet of ice covered by about as much snow. The fishing was hard, but we persevered, and our efforts did […]

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Russian Food - Birch Pie

Siberian Birch Syrup Pie and Kefir Ice Cream

If you find yourself in Canada, you might try the impossibly sweet yet addictive maple syrup pies. In New York City, Momofuku Milk Bar has the infamous crack pie, which isn’t all that different, except it’s made with cane sugar and a funkier crust. As a birch syrup lover, I wanted to come up with a similar dish […]

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Signature Russian Amuse-Bouche: Potato Chip, King Crab, Brains, and Caviar

Signature Russian Amuse-Bouche: Potato Chip, King Crab, Brains, and Caviar

Here’s a bite-sized dish to kick-off the holiday season in style! This very Russian combination seamlessly mixes poor and rich man’s ingredients, with potato and brains on one hand, and king crab and sturgeon caviar on the other. It’s not the first time I’ve paired crab and caviar (see here), and I’ve also posted recipes for pork brains […]

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Grilling with Peat, Russian Pork Shashlyks and Potato Lyulya-Kebabs

I’ve been using natural wood for grilling shashlyks and other kebabs for quite a while now (I explained the process in my lyulya-kebab recipe post). The wood smoke certainly imparts some flavor, but the relatively short cooking time of a kebab means that the exposure, especially on an open grill, isn’t sufficient to achieve the same results as, say, […]

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