Varenyky, Ukrainian Ravioli

I’ve already posted a couple recipes for varenyky here and here, so I figured I’d come up with a third one — and write an entry with everything you’ll ever want to know about these Ukrainian ravioli.

Giant Pierogi - Glendon, Alberta

Picture courtesy of Fracture

But first, is it varenyky or vareniki? Well, it depends. The Russian word, вареники, should be transliterated as vareniki. But since this is in fact a Ukrainian dish, it makes sense to transliterate the Ukrainian word instead. And the Ukrainian word is… вареники. Even if you can’t read Cyrillic, you probably noticed the two are spelled the same. But they’re not pronounced the sameThe Ukrainian и is similar to the Russian ы, hence the transliteration with y’s. Big deal.

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Leg of Venison in Moscovite Sauce with Butternut Squash Varenyky

This recipe will probably remind you of my Venison Goulash and Potato Varenyky. And true, the dish follows the same structure — but with a radically different flavor profile:

  • The leg of venison, from the deer I killed last fall, is still here. I see no reason to change the marinade either, unless you want to replace the oxtail with venison bones.
  • The cooking time is somewhat different: I used a slightly hotter oven for a shorter duration. Both results were very tender and I’d really have to compare them side by side to pick my favorite (which I didn’t do, sorry). The challenge is that while maximum tenderness requires longer cooking times, maximum juiciness demands the opposite. Add in all the other elements of your recipe, and you get a problem with no clear solution. With the method I’m using here, and considering the fact that there are fewer elements to prepare than in my previous goulash, the recipe is slightly more approachable (read: it will take 3 days instead of 4).
  • The Moscovite sauce is something you would know by heart, had you studied your Escoffier like any self-respecting cook before the advent of nouvelle cuisine. This rather obscure sauce is a modified sauce poivrade particularly suited to accompany venison. I made some changes to streamline the preparation with the rest of this recipe. I haven’t found any good explanation that connects the ingredients to Moscow (neither Malaga nor the golden raisins scream Russia to me), but the name of the sauce itself more than justifies the presence of this post on my blog, right? RIGHT? Speaking of Malaga, it’s not always easy to find, so you can use Marsala instead — I guarantee you the result will be just as Muscovite :)
  • This time, the varenyky are filled with a butternut squash mixture. The filling is loosely inspired by the pumpkin manty I’ve eaten in Uzbekistan, but I figured the traditional manty shape would be too fragile for mixing the dumplings with the rest of the dish.

Russian Cuisine - Leg of Venison in Moscovite Sauce with Pumpkin Varenyky

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Venison Goulash and Potato Varenyky

With this recipe, I’m killing two old Eastern European birds with one stone. The combination isn’t just a gimmick, though; the two dishes actually work really well together!

The venison goulash uses one of the forelegs of the deer I killed last season. This is not a Hungarian gulyás, but rather the kind of winter goulash you would eat in Czech Republic or Austria — my recipe was inspired by something I found in Kurt Gutenbrunner’s Neue Cuisine. I recommend cooking it a day in advance, so that the flavors can blend overnight.

The unusual way the leg is marinated (by being plunged in boiling stock first) comes from Alain Senderens’ Canard Apicius 2010. Senderens claims that his method gets better results than sous-vide cooking. I had previously tried it on a roasted leg of deer and was really impressed, not to mention that I wouldn’t know how to cook a whole leg sous-vide in my home kitchen! Even if the long, gentle cooking of the goulash is likely to tenderize any tough joint of meat, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to use the Senderens method, especially since I planned to marinate the leg anyway. If you don’t have a whole deer leg, you can buy venison osso buco (here, for example), shorten the marinating time to one day, and scale the recipe accordingly.

Potato varenyky are Ukrainian dumplings similar to Polish pierogi but not fried. I found out they have a bit of a cult following, and several monuments have been erected to their glory. For this recipe, I am using the same rich filling as for my knishes. If you think of pierogi as a poorman’s dish made of potatoes, flour, and water, try these and have your mind changed. :) Of course, you could choose to make them without the goulash, and serve them with sour cream and fried onion as tradition dictates. If you do prepare together, the proportions below yield about four varenyky per plate, but you could decide to serve slightly fewer (or more).

Lazy Boris’ Corner:
Take a taxi to Korzo Haus. Sorry my recipe takes so long, but when you’ve spent 12 hours freezing in a tree stand to kill your deer, you’re not gonna rush the cooking!

Beef stock
Yields about 2 qt

1 1/2 lb oxtail
olive oil
4 oz peeled carrot, large dice
9 oz peeled onion, large dice
9 oz cored red pepper, large dice
1 garlic clove
16 oz red wine
3 cloves
3 peppercorns
1 juniper berry
1 cardamom pod
6 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
42 oz water

  • In a pressure cooker over high heat, sauté the oxtail in olive oil until brown on all sides. Add the carrot, onion, red pepper and garlic, and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add the red wine, cloves, peppercorns, juniper berry, cardamom, thyme and bay leaf, and simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the water, cover, bring to pressure, then cook under pressure for 1 hour. Let cool for 30 minutes and pass through a chinois.

Marinated deer leg
Yields about 6 servings

1 deer foreleg, about 4 lb
2 qt beef stock

  • Chop the deer leg in half at the joint.
  • In a pot large enough to contained the two pieces covered with beef stock, bring the stock to a boil. Add the deer leg and let sit for 3 minutes. Remove the leg from the stock, then let the stock cool.
  • Return the leg to the pot, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 days.

Venison goulash
Yields 6 servings

16 oz peeled onion
3 peeled garlic cloves
8 oz peeled celery root
8 oz peeled carrot
3 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp piment d’espelette
1 tsp ground anise
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground caraway
1 tsp ground allspice
marinated deer leg
salt
black pepper, ground
olive oil
2 tbsp tomato paste
40 oz marinade liquid
2 tsp thyme leaves
3 oz sour cream

  • Slice the onion and garlic very thinly using a mandoline.  Chop the celery root and carrot into a brunoise (the mandoline can also help you do half of this work).
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the paprika, piment d’espelette, anise, coriander, cumin, caraway and allspice for 3 minutes, shaking regularly. Reserve.
  • Chop the deer leg into a total of 6 pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in an oven-proof pot over high heat, then sauté the venison until brown on all sides and reserve.
  • In the same pot over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic until soft, then add the spices and stir for 2 minutes. Add the celery root, carrot and tomato paste, and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Return the meat to the pot, add the marinade and thyme, and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid slightly ajar, and cook in a 200 F oven for 6 to 8 hours, until very tender. Let rest for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the meat from the pot, and reduce the sauce over high heat by about 1/3.
  • Use a hand blender directly in the pot to blend some, but not all of the chunks — you want the sauce to have a thick, coarse texture. If you don’t have a hand blender, just transfer 1/3 to 1/2 of the sauce and chunks to a regular blender, process until smooth, and return to the pot.
  • Mix in the sour cream, return the meat to the pot, and reserve.

Pasta dough
Yields slightly over 6 servings (24 varenyky)

6 oz flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp olive oil

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fit with the paddle attachment, place half of the flour, plus the salt, egg, egg yolks and olive oil. Mix over low speed until homogeneous, scraping down the sides with a spatula. Add the rest of the flour and mix again until it forms a smooth paste.
  • Transfer to a floured surface, and knead with your hands for about 3 minutes. If necessary, add a little bit more flour until the dough doesn’t stick. Wrap in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes.

Potato purée
Yields slightly over 6 servings (24 varenyky)

8 oz peeled Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1″ slices
salt
1 oz sour cream
2.5 oz butter
1 pinch black pepper
1 pinch ground nutmeg

  • Bring a pot of unsalted water to 175 F. Add the potatoes, and cook for 30 minutes, maintaining the water temperature at 160 F (if you use a lot of water and cover the pot with a lid, the temperature should remain almost constant without you doing anything). Transfer the potatoes to a bowl of ice water, and let cool completely.
  • Bring the pot of water up to a boil and salt the water. Add the potatoes and simmer until cooked.
  • Pass through a food mill fit with the finest disk; if necessary, use some of the sour cream to get the grinding going. Mix the potatoes with the sour cream, butter, black pepper and nutmeg, then push the mixture through a sieve — you can either pass it through a conical sieve with a ladle, or rub it through a drum sieve with a spatula. Transfer to a plastic container, and refrigerate.

Potato varenyky
Yields slightly over 6 servings (24 varenyky)

pasta dough
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp water
potato purée
semolina
salt
1 oz butter

  • Using a pasta machine, roll the dough to the finest setting. I recommend proceeding in batches (cut the dough into 4 pieces) so that the pasta doesn’t dry out. Mix the egg yolk and water to make an egg wash.
  • Cut 24 discs (6 discs in each batch) using a 3 1/2″ cutter. Brush each disc with the egg wash, place a spoonful of potato purée in the center, then fold into a half-moon shape and seal the edges with your fingers. Each one should have a generous amount of potato, but not so much that it’s difficult to seal properly. Keep the varenyky on a sheet tray dusted with semolina.
  • Cook the varenyky in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, toss into a bowl with the butter, cover with plastic wrap and reserve.
  • If you plan to serve them on their own, however, cook until soft and serve immediately.

Caramelized onions
Yields 6 servings

1 oz butter
1 oz water
6 cipollini onions, peeled

  • Place the butter and water in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the onions, cover with a lid, and cook for 45 minutes, flipping the onions a couple times along the way.
  • Remove the lid and cook for another 10-15 minutes. If the liquid is completely reduced, add a little bit of water. Remove from the heat and reserve.

Assembly
Yields about 6 servings

potato varenyky
venison goulash
18 baby carrots of various colors, peeled
salt
caramelized onions
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • Add the potato varenyky to the venison goulash, cover, and reheat on low heat.
  • Blanch the carrots in a little bit of salted boiling water until almost cooked, then transfer to a small saucepan with the caramelized onions, and reheat on low heat.
  • Serve with a generous amount of sauce, and sprinkle with parsley.

Veal-Stuffed Lardo “Ravioli” with Chanterelles and Corn Purée

Here’s a recipe that perfectly illustrates Food Perestroika’s mission. Its Eastern European character is visible in the ingredients and the preparation: with the Mangalica lardo, the chanterelles, the corn, and the faux ravioli, we’re somewhere between Hungary and Ukraine. And yet these elements have been rearranged into a new, original dish.

The Mangalica breed of pig, the only kind with long, curly hair, is especially popular in Hungary. It is descended directly from wild boar, and is renowned for producing large and round animals well suited for making lard.  To form the ravioli, you will need to find either lardo that is wide enough, or very fatty bacon — I bought mine at Eataly.

Lazy Boris’ Corner:
If you replace the ground veal with more braised veal meat, the texture of the ravioli filling will be less interesting but still delicious.
In the corn purée (a recipe inspired by what we did at Danube), you can save an hour by substituting water for the corn stock.

Braised veal and stock
Yields about 6 servings plus some leftover meat

1 lb veal osso buco (shank)
salt
black pepper, ground
olive oil
2 oz peeled carrot, large dice
2 oz peeled celery root, large dice
4 oz peeled onion, large dice
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 thyme sprigs
1 clove
4 oz red wine
14 oz water

  • Season the veal with salt and pepper. Sauté with olive oil in a small oven-safe pot over high heat until brown on all sides, then set aside.
  • In the same pot, cook the carrot, celery root, onion, and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add the thyme, clove, and red wine, and simmer until reduced by half. Add the water and the meat, bring back to a simmer, and cover with a lid slightly ajar. Cook in a 200 F oven for 6 hours, until very tender. Let cool.
  • Take out the veal from the liquid, remove the bones, and reserve the meat with the bone marrow.
  • Pass the stock through a chinois and reserve.

Corn purée
Yields about 6 servings

2 ears of corn
12 oz water
1/2 oz butter
salt

  • Separate the kernels from the corn cobs, and reserve.
  • Cut the bare corn cobs in halves, and place into a small saucepan with the water. Cover with a lid, and boil over medium heat for one hour.
  • Pass the corn stock through a chinois and discard the cobs. At this point, you should have about 7.5 oz kernels and 5 oz stock — make sure you keep this ratio.
  • Place the kernels and the stock in the saucepan, cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to a blender, add the butter and salt, and process until smooth. Pass the purée through a chinois, and reserve.

Assembly
Yields about 6 servings

stock from braised veal
1 oz peeled scallion whites, thinly sliced
1/2 oz butter
3 oz ground veal
3 oz braised veal meat
paper-thin slices of Mangalica lardo or very fatty bacon (for amount, see below)
corn purée
5 oz cleaned chanterelles
1 tbsp extra-light olive oil
salt
2 tbsp thinly sliced scallion greens

  • In a saucepan over high heat, reduce the stock from the braised veal to 2 oz, and reserve.
  • In a small saucepan, saute the scallion whites in the butter over medium heat until transluscent. Add the ground veal, and cook until barely done, stirring regularly. Shred the braised veal meat into small pieces (for the mathematicians, that’s about 0.25″), stir into the saucepan with the reduced stock, and cook over low heat until  the liquid has evaporated but the mixture still looks very moist.
  • Cut the lardo or bacon slices into 1.5″ x 2″ rectangles. This is what determines how many slices you need for the recipe — you need to be able to cut 6 such rectangles per serving. You can cut some pieces slightly longer and use them for the top layers.
  • Reheat the corn purée in a saucepan.
  • Sauté the chanterelles in the olive oil in a pan over high heat, season with salt, and cook until soft. Sprinkle with the scallion greens.
  • Assemble the “ravioli” on warm plates: place one rectangle of lardo on the plate, top with some veal mixture, and cover with another rectangle (slightly larger if possible). Repeat for additional ravioli. Finish plating with the corn purée and the mushrooms.

Potato Knishes

The knish, a kind of stuffed bun, has an interesting history. It originated in Ukraine and Belarus, where it was known as knysh and was a kind of pirozhok usually filled with buckwheat, onions or bacon. However, it almost completely vanished from the culinary repertoire of these two countries, and it was instead brought to America by Jewish emigrants at the beginning of the 20th century. It became a Jewish staple as a round bun filled with either potato or buckwheat.

I thought it was time to transform the potato knish once again. My version is unorthodox, but delicious! For the potato filling, I adapted Heston Blumenthal’s recipe for potato purée, and the dough is a choux dough mixed with cheese, like the one used in gougères. The puffs are then partly hollowed out (you want to keep a bit of the pastry inside to make thinks more interesting) and the purée is piped into them. You can choose pretty much any melting cheese of your liking for the dough — I’ve had good results with Pecorino and various tomme-style cheeses. I eventually picked aged gouda for its nuttiness and because it’s somewhat similar to some cheeses made in Russia.


Potato purée

Yields 8 servings (8 knishes)

1 lb peeled Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1″ slices
salt
2 oz sour cream
5 oz butter
1 pinch black pepper
1 pinch ground nutmeg

  • Bring a pot of unsalted water to 175 F. Add the potatoes, and cook for 30 minutes, maintaining the water temperature at 160 F (if you use a lot of water and cover the pot with a lid, the temperature should remain almost constant without you doing anything). Transfer the potatoes to a bowl of ice water, and let cool completely.
  • Bring the pot of water up to a boil and salt the water. Add the potatoes and simmer until cooked.
  • Pass through a food mill fit with the finest disk; if necessary, use some of the sour cream to get the grinding going. Mix the potatoes with the sour cream, butter, black pepper and nutmeg, then push the mixture through a sieve — you can either pass it through a conical sieve with a ladle, or rub it through a drum sieve with a spatula. Reserve.

Gougères
Yields 8 gougères

4 oz water
1.5 oz butter
salt
2.5 oz flour
2 1/2 eggs
4 oz aged gouda, finely grated
1 pinch ground pepper
1 pinch ground nutmeg

  • In a saucepan, bring the water, butter and a pinch of salt to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the flour and mix well. Put back on medium heat, mix until the dough does not stick, then keep stirring for about a minute. Drying out the mixture enough is essential for the gougères to puff properly.
  • Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, and add the eggs one by one, mixing between each egg. Add the cheese, pepper and nutmeg and mix well.
  • Form small balls of dough on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper, and bake in a 350 F oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Assembly

Yields 8 knishes
gougères
potato purée
  • Make a hole at the bottom of each gougère using a pairing knife, and carve most of the dough (but not all) out of the puffs. Do your best, but don’t worry if you puncture the top of the gougère or end up with a large hole at the base, the result will still look and taste great.
  • Fill a pastry bag with the potato purée, and pipe into the gougères until they start plumping up.
  • Place on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper, and reheat in a 350 F oven for about 8 minutes. Serve immediately.

Crimean Fishcakes with Mussel Sabayon and Tomato Compote

Here’s another recipe made with seafood that can be found in Crimea: skate, shrimp and mussels. (See also my Crimean Seafood Orzo). Following Ukrainian cuisine’s propensity for all things ground, the fish and the shrimp are minced to form nice little round patties. The vibrantly yellow mussel sabayon packs a lot of bivalve flavor that complements the fishcakes perfectly.

I served the dish with a green bean puree in the pictures, but in retrospect I think that a mix of spring vegetables would be a better match.


Tomato Compote
Yields about 4 servings

24 oz very ripe tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 oz top-quality olive oil
1/2 tsp star anise
1 pinch nutmeg
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp ketchup
1 tsp basil, finely chopped

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Make cross marks in the tomatoes with a knife, blanch for 30 seconds, then shock in a bowl of ice water. Peel, core and seed the tomatoes. Roughly chop the flesh and reserve. Place the seeds and membranes with the salt into a conical sieve over a bowl, and leave for 30 minutes. Mash the contents of the sieve a few times, then discard. Reserve the tomato liquid.
  • Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the star anise and nutmeg. Add the tomato flesh, tomato liquid, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup, then cook over low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Stir in the basil, let cool and reserve.
  • Reheat in a small saucepan just before serving.

Mussel preparation
Yields about 4 servings and 3 oz leftover cooked mussels

1 lb mussels
shrimp shells (optional)
4 oz dry white wine
1 oz sliced onion
green stems from 2 spring onions
4 filaments saffron

  • Clean and rinse the mussels under cold water. Place the mussels and shrimp shells in a pot with the white wine, onion, spring onion stems and saffron. Cover with a lid and cook over high heat until all the mussels are open, shaking the pot regularly. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the mussels from their shells, let cool and refrigerate. Pass the cooking liquid through a chinois and reserve.

Fishcakes
Yields 4 servings

8 oz cleaned skate fillet
salt
1 1/2 oz butter
2 oz peeled spring onion, thinly sliced
8 oz peeled Yukon Gold potatoes
8 oz peeled shrimp
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp orange juice
1/2 tsp piment d’espelette

  • Season the skate with salt, and sauté in a hot pan with 1/3 of the butter until golden-brown on both sides. Let cool and reserve.
  • Sauté the spring onion with the rest of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, season with salt and cook until soft. Let cool and reserve.
  • Quarter the potatoes, place in a saucepan with cold water and salt, and cook over medium heat until tender. Pass though a food mill using the finest grate, let cool and reserve.
  • Chop the shrimp very finely and place into a bowl. Shred the skate into the bowl, then add the beaten egg and egg yolk followed by the orange juice, piment d’espelette, spring onion and potato purée. Mix with a rubber spatula just enough to blend all the ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Shape the mixture into 10 cakes. In a non-stick pan oven medium heat, sauté each cake with a small piece of butter until brown on both sides. Transfer the cakes to an oven-proof dish, cover with foil, and finish in a 350 F oven for about 10 minutes.

Mussel sabayon
Yields 4 servings

4 oz mussel juice
2 oz mussels
2 egg yolks
1 oz butter

  • Process the mussel juice and mussels in a blender until smooth, pass through a chinois and transfer to a double-boiler. Whisk in the egg yolks, and cook the mixture to a ribbon consistency, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from the heat, mix in the butter and serve immediately.


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 chunk of that coastline is located in Crimea, and the local markets and restaurants offer a decent, if not spectacular, selection of fish and shellfish. In beach resort towns like Yalta, vendors defy sanitary common sense and sell cooked mussels or shrimp on the street in the middle of summer, without refrigeration:

I wanted to make a dish that shows the potential of Crimean seafood, a recipe that would be to Ukrainian cuisine what Artic Char Vojvodina is to Serbian cuisine. The tomato-carrot sauce is inspired by Heston Blumenthal’s tomato compote. This is the longest part of the recipe, but it’s well worth the trouble. You could prepare a large batch in advance, keep some in the refrigerator for a few days and freeze the rest. The rest of the recipe can be completed in about 30 minutes.

Tomato-carrot sauce
Yields 4 servings

8 oz tomatoes
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 oz olive oil
2 oz onion, brunoise
3 oz carrot, brunoise
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground star anise
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 drop Tabasco sauce
1 /2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp ketchup
2 thyme sprigs, leaves only

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Make cross marks in the tomatoes with a knife, blanch for 30 seconds, then shock in a bowl of ice water. Peel, core and seed the tomatoes. Roughly chop the flesh and reserve. Place the seeds and membranes with the salt into a conical sieve over a bowl, and leave for 30 minutes. Push the contents of the sieve with a ladle a few times, then discard. Reserve the tomato liquid.
  • Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot, and cook for about 10 minutes until soft. Stir in the coriander, star anise and nutmeg. Add the tomato flesh, tomato liquid, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and thyme, then cook over low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Reserve.

Shrimp and mussel preparation
Yields 4 servings

1/2 lb large shrimp, shell-on
salt
1 tbsp olive oil
2 lb mussels
8 oz dry white wine
2 oz onion, sliced
4 chives

  • Peel the shrimp and reserve the shells. Keep 8 shrimp whole and cut the remaining ones in half. Season with salt and sauté in a hot pan with olive oil until brown on all sides. Remove from heat and reserve.
  • Place the shrimp shells, mussels, white wine, onion and chives in a pot. Cover with a lid and cook over high heat until all the mussels are open, stirring regularly. Let cool for 5 minutes. Keep 8 mussels whole, pick the others from their shells, and reserve. Pass the cooking liquid through a chinois and reserve.

Seafood orzo
Yields 4 servings

1 oz butter
5 oz orzo
mussel cooking liquid
3 oz green peas
cooked shrimp and mussels
1 tbsp chives and parsley, finely chopped

  • In a saucepan, melt half of the butter over medium heat, add the orzo, and stir for a minute. Add half of the mussel cooking liquid and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook over low heat until all the liquid is absorbed. Repeat with the rest of the liquid.
  • Add the green peas, the cooked shrimp and mussels, the rest of the butter, half of the chives and parsley, and enough water to finish cooking the orzo. Cook uncovered over low heat, stirring regularly.
  • Serve the orzo in a bowl, top with the whole shrimp on bamboo skewers, and sprinkle with the remaining chives and parsley.

Deruny, Ukrainian Potato Pancakes

Deruny are simple Ukrainian potato pancakes, also known as draniki in Russia and Belarus. Traditionally, potatoes are coarsely grated into a mixture of egg and flour, and the pancakes are served with sour cream. Onions can also be added in the batter or cooked and served on top. My version is slightly different — the milk I am adding produces a softer result — for a simple reason: until recently, I had never bothered looking for deruny in a cookbook, and just made up my own!

This is meant to be a quick recipe, and the resulting pancakes are more rustic than the potato blini I made here. Even the proportions are kept simple, so you can easily memorize them if you often make deruny on the go!

Deruny
Yields about 10 pancakes

2 oz flour
2 eggs
salt
black pepper, ground
2 oz milk
16 oz peeled Yukon Gold potatoes
butter

  • Place the flour, eggs, salt, pepper and milk in a bowl, and mix with a whisk until smooth. Let rest for a few minutes.
  • Grate the potatoes into the bowl and mix.
  • Heat a a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Melt a small piece of butter, then ladle in some batter. Cook until golden brown on both sides, transfer to an oven-proof dish and top with another small piece of butter. Repeat until you run out of batter.
  • Cover with foil and bake in 350 F oven for 10 minutes. Serve hot.