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 Although they were originally made from pork, duck and goose have also become fairly common, and many other meats can be used.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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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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Peach-Raspberry Preserves

I’ve already posted peach preserves inspired by my trip to Kakheti, but I feel compelled to share the recipe for this peach and raspberry combination that I jarred months ago and opened last weekend. It is just delicious, and would probably make a great pie filling, too. The raspberry purée can either be purchased or made […]

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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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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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