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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Crimean Seafood Orzo

When thinking about Ukrainian food, seafood is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. We tend to forget that in addition to its countryside and its heaps of sausages and potato pancakes, its pierogi and beet soup, Ukraine boasts an important coastline on the Black Sea — 2,782 km, second only to Turkey. A good […]

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Adjaran Khachapuri, or Death by Cheese

Wherever you go in Georgia, you can be sure to eat khachapuri at least once a day. These national cheese breads come in various shapes. The Imeretian khachapuri is a round pie filled with cheese, by far the most common. The Mingrelian one is similar, but topped with more cheese. The cheese is usually whatever is produced locally, […]

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Arctic Char Vojvodina

Marina Polvay really has a fertile imagination. The woman who (kind of) brought us the Veal Dubrovnik strikes again with the Fish Vojvodina. The recipe supposedly originates from the northernmost province of Serbia and consists of freshwater fish, such as pike or perch, layered with mushrooms and cream, then baked. Needless to say, nobody seems […]

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Guinea Hen Rillettes

As promised, here is a version of my Wild Pheasant Rillettes with farmed poultry instead of game birds.  I have a preference for guinea hen, but chicken or farmed pheasant will work just as well. The most important changes from my other recipe reside in the use of smoked salt, and the browning of the skin […]

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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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Blueberry Jam

Blueberries are mostly found in North America, but their cousins, bilberries, are found all across Europe and are highly praised in berry-gathering, preserve-loving Russia. The Russian Wikipedia informs us that in 1964, Soviet Union issued a stamp representing bilberries, and the Great Soviet Encyclopedia mentions that bilberry juice can be used for the dubious purpose […]

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Wild Pheasant Rillettes

Rillettes are a spread made of salted meat slowly cooked in fat, first mentioned in 15th century cookbooks and more famously in Rabelais’ Pantagruel in the 16th century. Although they were originally made from pork, duck and goose have also become fairly common, and many other meats can be used. I chose wild pheasant today […]

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