Pork Brains Telavi

Unlike some of my previous dishes questionably named after Eastern European cities, this recipe truly was inspired by something I ate in Telavi, Georgia. Against all odds, the deserted restaurant in the town center featured brains on its menu, and they were delicious! The whole dish has a very mild flavor and melts in your mouth, […]

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Vladimir Poutine

Vladimir Poutine

Poutine is a dish from Quebec consisting of French fries and cheese curds topped with gravy. Not very Eastern European, you may say. I could argue that there’s nothing more Russian than a recipe containing both potatoes and cheese, but that’s not the point. Poutine is also the French spelling of Vladimir Putin‘s last name, […]

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Chicken Tabaka

Chicken tabaka is a Georgian dish prepared in a special pan with a lid, called the tapaka. A small bird (usually a poussin) is flattened and fried whole until brown and crispy on all sides. You can get some very good pictures of the process here (the site is in Russian, but Google Translate does a […]

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Veal Dubrovnik

This dish is inspired by a recipe called “Veal Escalops Dubrovnik Style” that I found in All Along the Danube, by Marina Polvay — someone who has managed to both present a food show called Cooking with Elegance and pen The Dracula Cookbook. Her veal recipe distinguishes itself by an unusual technique: after preparing a sort of mushroom risotto, […]

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Wild Boar Filet Mignon and Smoked Lentils

Wild boar is eaten all across Eastern Europe, from eastern Germany to Russia. It is a common charge in heraldry, displayed on the coat of arms of Ebersbach in Saxony. Boar hunting was also one of Brezhnev’s favorite pastimes. Filet mignon, the tenderloin, is one of the only cuts of wild boar that is best enjoyed rare or […]

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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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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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Partridge Breast and Dumplings in Tokaji Sauce

Up until the first world war, Hungary and Bohemia boasted several great estates for partridge shooting. Thousand of gray partridges were then exported to North America, making them one of the principal game birds here to this day. Although the only American partridges you will find in stores are farmed, a curious loophole allows the […]

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Catskills Mountains - Deer Hunting

Roasted Rack of Venison in Cider Sauce… and the Failed Deer Hunt

As I reported in a previous post, I went deer hunting earlier this month. While somebody who actually knows what he’s doing was driving the hunt, I was hiding in tree stands or blinds like this one, observing my little patch of forest. Believe me, after 4 hours spent sitting in a tent without moving, […]

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