Happy Holidays! It feels like Thanksgiving and its first round of holiday recipe recommendations was just yesterday, but as is now the tradition, I’d like to share with you my favorite recipes exclusively from this year’s posts, with a focus on the festive and/or decadent. This certainly doesn’t mean that I don’t like the other dishes I made in 2016, but would you really eat Bosnian Ćevapi or Bryndzové Halušky for Christmas? Nyet! So, how about these?:
- Get your party started with a Russian Plateau de Fruits de Mer, an excellent excuse to drink Champagne if you ever need one.
- Not Russian enough for you? Try my Buckwheat Blini with Trout and Chanterelles, Cabbage Sauce and Honey-Glazed Turnips, inspired by Day of the Oprichnik.
- If you’re more in the mood for soup, try the amazing Brodet, Croatian Fish Stew, the Potato Cream Soup with Poached Egg and Lake Trout Variations, or the Triple Steelhead Trout Broth with Gravlax and Pirozhki.
- Speaking of pirozhki, you’d do well to prepare a few batches of Piragi, Latvia’s National Dish.
- Besides many of the above first courses that could easily be served as mains, I also have a couple of favorite true mains, the Thousand Island Mallard Duck, Cabbage, Mushrooms 2+2+2 and the Stuffed Capon with Butternut Squash Paprikás and Chanterelles.
- For dessert, I would suggest the Somlói Galuska, Hungarian Dessert Dumplings. Or Food Perestroika’s Baklava which, albeit less wintry, is probably more addictive.
And now, for those who prefer following the masses, let’s take a look at this year’s most popular posts, and try to make some sense out of them:
- Once again, Qurutob, Tajikistan’s National Dish arrives first. Between this and the release of With Our Own Hands: A Celebration of Food and Life in the Pamir Mountains of Afghanistan and Tajikistan (one of Gourmand World Cookbook Awards‘ best cookbooks of 2016), I foresee that Tajik cuisine might even find its place at the table of the mainstream American family.
- Lángos, Hungarian Deep-Fried Flat Bread confirms the everlasting appeal of fried dough.
- Imeretian Khachapuri, or Simple Georgian Cheese Bread confirms the everlasting appeal of cheese bread.
- Plombir, Russian Ice Cream is a newcomer to this top 5, yay! Maybe it’s because science tells us that ice cream for breakfast makes you smarter (or not).
- Finally, Crème de Cassis and Black Currant Liqueur is still going strong — no small feat for such a highly seasonal recipe. Though I do wonder how many people have actually tried it!
I am looking forward to a year 2017 wherein my most popular posts won’t all be among my simplest and most traditional recipes, but will include some of my more elaborate creations instead. One can always dream…
(Photo credit for featured picture of Vlad: Russian President Vladimir Putin makes a toast during a New Year dinner in Khabarovsk, Russia’s Far East. Alexei Nikolsky / AP)