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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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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Blini and Oladi, Russian Pancakes

Blini and Oladi, Russian Pancakes

There are literally hundreds of Russian pancake recipes. The Bolshaya Kniga Domashney Kukhni by Svetlana and Lidia Lagutina alone counts more than 70! These recipes distinguish themselves by the type of flour or starch used (wheat, buckwheat, rye, semolina, potato), the raising agents or aerators present in the batter (yeast, baking soda, beaten egg whites, […]

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Kippered Salmon

The food markets of Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic states are filled with smoked fish of all kinds. Here’s a sample of the selection of hot-smoked items at the Riga Central Market, Europe’s largest, with salmon front and center: Kippered salmon is traditionally prepared using a hot-smoking process, resulting in a flaky, juicy piece of […]

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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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