Salmon fish cakes

salmon fish cakes

salmon fish cakes

 

Super quick and tasty salmon fish cakes that can be served as appetizer or main course with mashed potatoes or rice. These fish cakes are crunchy on the outside,juicy and tender on the inside. They taste amazing with a dip into creamy mustard aioli.

 

Ingredients:

1-1.25 pounds fresh salmon skinned and diced

1 egg

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1-2 crushed garlic cloves

1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used mexican blend from Trader Joes)

1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning (Trader Joes type)

1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill

2 teaspoons squeezed lemon juice

salt and black pepper

panko bread crumbs for coating

oil for frying

Aioli

4 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon good dijon mustard (preferably grained)

1 garlic clove crushed

1 teaspoon lemon juice

salt

black pepper

1 teaspoon capers

 

Direction:

In a medium bowl, combine salmon, egg, cheese, lemon juice, lemon pepper, dill, garlic, mayo, salt, and pepper.

Heat a frying pan with some oil on medium heat.

Take some fish mixture with your hands or use ice cream scooper and shape into small disk shape.

Dip both sides in panko crumbs.

Fry on both sides until golden brown.

 

Aioli:

Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl.

Serve fish cakes with aioli

Salmon fish cakes

Ingredients

  • 1-1.25 pounds fresh salmon skinned and diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1-2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used mexican blend from Trader Joes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning (Trader Joes type)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
  • 2 teaspoons squeezed lemon juice
  • salt and black pepper
  • panko bread crumbs for coating
  • oil for frying
  • Aioli
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon good dijon mustard (preferably grained)
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon capers

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine salmon, egg, cheese, lemon juice, lemon pepper, dill, garlic, mayo, salt, and pepper.
  2. Heat a frying pan with some oil on medium heat.
  3. Take some fish mixture with your hands or use ice cream scooper and shape into small disk shape.
  4. Dip both sides in panko crumbs.
  5. Fry on both sides until golden brown.
  6. Aioli:
  7. Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl.
  8. Serve fish cakes with aioli
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Smetanik Cake

smetanik cake

 

smetanik cake

 

Smetanik cake is a Russian sour cream cake with sour cream frosting. It’s not overly sweet and the cream feels really light and smooth. If you love moist cakes you can add sugar syrup to moisten it, if you’re more on the drier type cake then skip this step. You can also add raspberries (my fave..) or any other berries for a little sour sweetness. My family loves this cake, it’s one of our favorites.

 

Ingredients:

6 eggs

1 1/4 cup sugar

1 1/4 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon baking soda + 2 tablespoons vinegar(combined)

1 1/2 cup flour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

 

Cream/frosting:

8 ozs cream cheese

8 ozs condensed milk

1  1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Sugar syrup

1/2 cup cold boiling water with 1 tablespoon sugar for soaking

Optional-

raspberries,strawberries,blueberries,or bananas.

Direction:

Heat oven to 325 F degrees

Prepare two 9 inch cake pans lined with parchment paper and greased or sprayed with non-stick baking spray.

Beat eggs with sugar using electric mixer on high speed.

Add in sour cream,vanilla,and baking soda mixed with vinegar.

Continue to mix on medium-high speed until well incorporated.

Sift flour directly in the bowl with cake batter.

Mix gently using a whisk, always working one direction.

Divide mixture in half.

Add cocoa to one half,and mix it in with a whisk.

Pour cake batter into prepared cake pans. (1 for white cake,1 for chocolate cake)

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until when toothpick inserted and comes out clean.

Let cool.

Cream-

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese on high speed, scraping the sides when needed.

Bring down the speed to medium and gradually add condensed milk.

Add in powdered sugar, sour cream, and vanilla.

Bring the speed up to high and continue mixing for about another minute or so.

 

Assembling-

Slice really carefully both cakes in half.

Cut off tiny amount of cake from around the sides of the cake.Set aside, we will need it for later.

Starting with chocolate layer, spray or pour (using a spoon) some sugar syrup on the cutted side of the cake layer.

Add good amount of cream.  If adding any berries or bananas, arrange them on top of cream.

Place white cake layer on top of cream, and repeat the steps. If adding berries or bananas, Arrange them on every other layer.

Using a shredder, Shred cake pieces in to tiny crumbs.

Add the crumbs to the sides and top of the cake. Or you can use chocolate/vanilla wafers or chocolate wafer candy (shredded)

Decorate with berries or as desired.

Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

 

smetanik cake

 

 

 

 

Smetanik Cake

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda + 2 tablespoons vinegar(combined)
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • Cream/frosting:
  • 8 ozs cream cheese
  • 8 ozs condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Sugar syrup
  • 1/2 cup cold boiling water with 1 tablespoon sugar for soaking
  • Optional-
  • raspberries,strawberries,blueberries,or bananas.

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325 F degrees
  2. Prepare two 9 inch cake pans lined with parchment paper and greased or sprayed with non-stick baking spray.
  3. Beat eggs with sugar using electric mixer on high speed.
  4. Add in sour cream,vanilla,and baking soda mixed with vinegar.
  5. Continue to mix on medium-high speed until well incorporated.
  6. Sift flour directly in the bowl with cake batter.
  7. Mix gently using a whisk, always working one direction.
  8. Divide mixture in half.
  9. Add cocoa to one half,and mix it in with a whisk.
  10. Pour cake batter into prepared cake pans. (1 for white cake,1 for chocolate cake)
  11. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until when toothpick inserted and comes out clean.
  12. Let cool.
  13. Cream-
  14. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese on high speed, scraping the sides when needed.
  15. Bring down the speed to medium and gradually add condensed milk.
  16. Add in powdered sugar, sour cream, and vanilla.
  17. Bring the speed up to high and continue mixing for about another minute or so.
  18. Assembling-
  19. Slice really carefully both cakes in half.
  20. Cut off tiny amount of cake from around the sides of the cake.Set aside, we will need it for later.
  21. Starting with chocolate layer, spray or pour (using a spoon) some sugar syrup on the cutted side of the cake layer.
  22. Add good amount of cream. If adding any berries or bananas, arrange them on top of cream.
  23. Place white cake layer on top of cream, and repeat the steps. If adding berries or bananas, Arrange them on every other layer.
  24. Using a shredder, Shred cake pieces in to tiny crumbs.
  25. Add the crumbs to the sides and top of the cake. Or you can use chocolate/vanilla wafers or chocolate wafer candy (shredded)
  26. Decorate with berries or as desired.
  27. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
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Coconut Cake Raffaello

Coconut cake Raffaello-3

Coconut cake Raffaello-3 This coconut cake Raffaello will just melt in your mouth! A soft and moist cake with almonds,coconut,and white chocolate. Creamy frosting is very tasty and simple with just two ingredients. Overall this cake is super easy to make and divine as the Raffaello candy.

This recipe was inspired by my sister-in-law Galina with additions of few ingredients.

Ingredients:

Cake-

6 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup  all-purpose flour sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream/frosting-

16 ozs. Mascarpone cheese

1 can condensed milk

Filling and toppings-

1 can evaporated milk

2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur *

1 1/4 cup toasted sliced or slivered almonds

1/2 cup toasted shredded coconut flakes(unsweetened) + more for topping ( I toasted in the oven)

1/2 cup apricot jam/preserve heated and cooled (optional but good)

Shredded white chocolate

Raffaello candies for decoration

* you can sub in 1 teaspoon almond extract/essence

Directions:

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Line the bottom of 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper and grease the sides.

In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer,beat eggs,sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.

Gradually on low speed or using hands/spatula mix in flour. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool.

 

Coconut cake Raffaello

 

  Cream-

Whip mascarpone cream with condensed milk for not more then a minute. Just as well combined.

Soaking-

Combine evaporated milk with amaretto liqueur or almond extract/essence.

 

Assembling:

Slice cake in half. Using a spoon,pour half of evaporated milk mixture* on the bottom layer.

Spread jam if adding any,followed by good amount of cream.

Sprinkle almonds,coconut, and white chocolate(optional).

 

Coconut cake Raffaello-2

 

Moist the other half cake layer and place it on top.(sliced side down.)

Spread remaining cream all over the cake.

Add shredded coconut to the top and sides of the cake.

Sprinkle with white chocolate and top with Raffaello candies.

Refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours.

*If you like your cake to be on the sweeter side, add 2 tablespoons of condensed milk to evaporated milk. If you don’t like your cakes moist,you might want to reduce soaking mixture.

 

raffaello cake

 

 

Coconut Cake Raffaello

Ingredients

  • Cake-
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Cream/frosting-
  • 16 ozs. Mascarpone cheese
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • Filling and toppings-
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur *
  • 1 1/4 cup toasted sliced or slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup toasted shredded coconut + more for topping ( I toasted in the oven)
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam/preserve heated and cooled (optional but good)
  • Shredded white chocolate
  • Raffaello candies for decoration
  • * you can sub in 1 teaspoon almond extract/essence

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Line the bottom of 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper and grease the sides.
  3. In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer,beat eggs,sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  4. Gradually on low speed or using hands/spatula mix in flour.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool.
  6. Cream-
  7. Whip mascarpone cream with condensed milk for not more then a minute. Just as well combined.
  8. Soaking-
  9. Combine evaporated milk with amaretto liqueur or almond extract/essence.
  10. Assembling:
  11. Slice cake in half. Using a spoon,pour half of evaporated milk mixture* on the bottom layer.
  12. Spread jam if adding any,followed by good amount of cream.
  13. Sprinkle almonds,coconut, and white chocolate(optional)
  14. Moist the other half cake layer and place it on top.( sliced side down.)
  15. Spread remaining cream all over the cake.
  16. Add shredded coconut to the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle with white chocolate and top with Raffaello candies.
  17. Refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours.
  18. *If you like your cake to be on the sweeter side, add 2 tablespoons of condensed milk to evaporated milk.
  19. If you don't like your cakes moist,you might want to reduce soaking mixture.
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Tomato Cheese Appetizer

tomato cheese appetizer

tomato cheese appetizer

 

 

These tomato cheese appetizers are  delicious,quick and easy to make.My moms garden has been in abundance of ripe red tomatoes,so I’ve been using tomatoes in many different ways.This appetizer is very well known among Slavic people,I twisted a little by adding sliced hard boil egg.

 

Ingredients:

tomatoes sliced

mozzarella cheese shredded

mayonnaise

garlic cloves crushed

hard boiled eggs sliced

salt and black pepper if desired

dill for garnish

 

Directions:

Combine garlic and mayonnaise.

Spread mayo mixture on tomato slices.

Sprinkle with cheese.

Add a slice of hard boiled egg on top of the cheese.(optional)

Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

Garnish with dill.

tomato cheese appetizers

Tomato Cheese Appetizer

Ingredients

  • tomatoes sliced
  • mozzarella cheese shredded
  • mayonnaise
  • garlic cloves crushed
  • hard boiled eggs sliced
  • salt and black pepper if desired
  • dill for garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine garlic and mayonnaise.
  2. Spread mayo mixture on tomato slices.
  3. Sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Add a slice of hard boiled egg on top of the cheese.
  5. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
  6. Garnish with dill.
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Cabbage Salad

Cabbage salad


Cabbage salad

We eat salad of some kind everyday and never get tired of it.Cabbage salads are our favorite and can be made in different ways with variety of vegetables and different dressings.This crunchy and tasty cabbage salad with mix of other vegetables is very satisfying and absolutely delicious.It makes a perfect potluck salad or any special occasion event.

Ingredients:

1/2 head cabbage shredded

1/2 English cucumber sliced in quarters.

5-6 small dill pickles sliced in to small strips(european style)

1 small carrot grated.

1/2 cup frozen(thawed) or canned peas.

3/4 cup frozen(thawed) or canned corn.

3 green scallions chopped.

1 tablespoon fresh dill finely chopped.

2 tablespoon mayonnaise*

2 tablespoons sour cream*

salt and black pepper.

* you can do mayo only or sour cream only.

 

Directions:

In a small bowl,combine sour cream and mayo with salt and black pepper.

Combine all the vegetables with mayo and sour cream dressing.

Cabbage Salad

Cabbage Salad

Ingredients

  • Ingredients:
  • 1/2 head cabbage shredded
  • 1/2 English cucumber sliced in quarters.
  • 5-6 small dill pickles sliced in to small strips(european style)
  • 1 small carrot grated.
  • 1/2 cup frozen(thawed) or canned peas.
  • 3/4 cup frozen(thawed) or canned corn.
  • 3 green scallions chopped.
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill finely chopped.
  • 2 tablespoon mayonnaise*
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream*
  • salt and black pepper.
  • * you can do mayo only or sour cream only.

Instructions

  1. Directions:
  2. In a small bowl,combine sour cream and mayo with salt and black pepper.
  3. Combine all the vegetables with mayo and sour cream dressing.
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Eggplant Salad

Eggplant salad

Eggplant salad

Salads play major role in Russian and Ukrainian cuisine especially at holidays or any kind of celebration.At weddings tables are filled with delicious food and big variety of salads;Eggplant salad would be one of them.I love and adore Eggplant salads!

My mother in law is a wonderful cook with a heart full of love and care.She is also known as a praying woman. She always likes to surprise her grandchildren with goodies and tries to make something  special for her adult children. She shared this recipe with me and I would say that it’s my favorite eggplant salad so far.It’s healthy and surprisingly filling.This salad stores well for weeks in a jar or airtight container.

Marinade-

3 quarts tomato juice

2 cups oil

1 1/4 cup sugar

3-3 1/2 tablespoons salt

1/3 cup vinegar

Vegetables-

4-5 eggplants cut into short thick strip

3 red bell peppers

4 carrots peeled and thinly julienned

1 garlic head peeled and crushed

3/4 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional)

 

Direction:

Combine marinade ingredients in a pot.Bring to boil.

In batches,add eggplant to marinade and cook for 12-14 minutes.

Place colander on top of a bowl and transfer cooked eggplants to colander .

Cook bell peppers for about 7-8 minutes.Transfer to colander.

Cook carrots 5-7 minutes and transfer to colander with the rest of the vegetables.

Transfer vegetables from colander to a another bowl.Add herbs,garlic,and 1 cup of the marinade.Mix well to combine all the ingredients.

Eggplant Salad

Ingredients

  • Marinade-
  • 3 quarts tomato juice
  • 2 cups oil
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3-3 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • Vegetables-
  • 4-5 eggplants cut into short thick strip
  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 4 carrots peeled and thinly julienned
  • 1 garlic head peeled and crushed
  • 3/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional)

Instructions

  1. Direction:
  2. Combine marinade ingredients in a pot.Bring to boil.
  3. In batches,add eggplant to marinade and cook for 12-14 minutes.
  4. Place colander on top of a bowl and transfer cooked eggplants to colander .
  5. Cook bell peppers for about 7-8 minutes.Transfer to colander.
  6. Cook carrots 5-7 minutes and transfer to colander with the rest of the vegetables.
  7. Transfer vegetables from colander to a another bowl.Add herbs,garlic,and 1 cup of the marinade.Mix well to combine all the ingredients.
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Poppy seed Walnut Cake with Dulce de Leche

poppy seed walnut cake with dulce de leche frosting

If you’re a poppy seed lover like me,then this cake is for you.The cake is very scrumptious and consists of lots and lots of poppy seeds and walnuts.Dulce de leche frosting enhances the cake and makes it divine.I tried making this cake using different flours,and my best pick  considering the taste and health wise is spelt and almond flour( or spelt by itself).You can use regular white flour or whole wheat pastry flour also.

To make the process quicker,I like to bake meringue layer a day before Im baking the cake.

Ingredients:

6 eggs

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoon baking soda + 1 tablespoon vinegar combined

1 3/4 cups poppy seeds

1 cup walnuts

1 cup pastry whole wheat flour*

* you can substitute for all-purpose white flour or spelt flour

 

1  can dulce de leche

12 ozs. cream cheese (1 1/2 package cream cheese)

1 stick butter room temperature.

1 cup heavy whipping cream or 8 ozs cool whip ( I prefer heavy cream )

1 teaspoon vanilla

Syrup:

1/2 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons sugar

(mix together,let it cool)

Meringue:

3 egg whites

1 cup sugar

a pinch cream of tartar

Frosting:

 

Direction:

Meringue-

Prepare a lined 10 inch springform pan.

Heat oven to 200 degrees.

Beat egg whites with sugar and cream of tartar on high speed until the peeks are stiff and glossy.

Transfer to the cake pan. Spread meringue evenly. Bake for 3 1/2 -4 hours. leave it to cool and continue drying overnight in the oven ( best results)

 

Pre heat oven to 325 degrees.

In a mini blender,pulse and chop walnuts together with poppy seeds.

Beat eggs with sugar until fluffy and pale in color.

Sift flour and combine poppy seeds and baking soda with vinegar.

Gently mix in flour poppyseed walnut mix.

Line the bottom of the 10 inch pan with parchment paper.

Grease or spray the sides and bottom of the pan.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out dry and clean.Let cool.

Dulce de Leche frosting:

Beat cream cheese with butter.

Add dulce de leche and beat until well combined.

Gradually Pour in heavy whipping and vanilla, beat until cream thickens.**

**Or replace with cool whip

Assembling:

Slice the cake in half.

Moist (a little) the cake layer with syrup using spoon or spray.

Spread dulce de leche frosting.

Place the meringue layer on top. Add more cream and spread.

Moist ( a little) and place third layer on top of the meringue layer.

Spread frosting on sides and top of the cake.

Decorate as desired.

poppy seed walnut cake with dulce de leche frosting

 

DSC_4279

You can use this flour,regular white flour ,or spelt and almond flour.

Poppyseed Walnut Cake with Dulce de Leche

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda + 1 tablespoon vinegar combined
  • 1 3/4 cups poppy seeds
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup pastry whole wheat flour*
  • * you can substitute for all-purpose white flour or spelt flour
  • 1 can dulce de leche
  • 12 ozs. cream cheese (1 1/2 package cream cheese)
  • 1 stick butter room temperature.
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream or 8 ozs cool whip ( I prefer heavy cream )
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Syrup:
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • (mix together,let it cool)
  • Meringue:
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • a pinch cream of tartar

Instructions

  1. Direction:
  2. Meringue-
  3. Prepare a lined 10 inch springform pan.
  4. Heat oven to 200 degrees.
  5. Beat egg whites with sugar and cream of tartar on high speed until the peeks are stiff and glossy.
  6. Transfer to the cake pan. Spread meringue evenly. Bake for 3 1/2 -4 hours. leave it to cool and continue drying overnight in the oven ( best results)
  7. Pre heat oven to 325 degrees.
  8. In a mini blender,pulse and chop walnuts together with poppy seeds.
  9. Beat eggs with sugar until fluffy and pale in color.
  10. Sift flour and combine poppy seeds and baking soda with vinegar.
  11. Gently mix in flour poppy seed walnut mix.
  12. Line the bottom of the 10 inch pan with parchment paper.
  13. Grease or spray the sides and bottom of the pan.
  14. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out dry and clean.Let cool.
  15. Dulce de Leche frosting:
  16. Beat cream cheese with butter.
  17. Add dulce de leche and beat until well combined.
  18. Gradually Pour in heavy whipping and vanilla, beat until cream thickens.**
  19. **Or replace with cool whip
  20. Assembling:
  21. Slice the cake in half.
  22. Moist (a little) the cake layer with syrup using spoon or spray.
  23. Spread dulce de leche frosting.
  24. Place the meringue layer on top. Add more cream and spread.
  25. Moist ( a little) and place third layer on top of the meringue layer.
  26. Spread frosting on sides and top of the cake.
  27. Decorate as desired.
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Shurpa-Шурпа на костре

shurpa

 

shurpa

Shurpa is the most popular Uzbek soup that take special place in national culinary of Uzbek cuisine.Although there is many different recipes of shurpa, but the base ingredients are the same consisting of meat,potatoes and vegetables with various spices and aromatic herbs.Shurpa is a hearty soup that can be cooked on stove or on the fire.Cooking it on the fire is my families favorite,it adds a smoky flavor to the soup which makes it taste hundred times better.My mom and dad are pros on that.Dad is always in charge of controlling the fire and mixing the ingredients, and mom cooks the soup.It’s cooked in a large cast iron pot (kazan).Cooking it in regular pot will make a difference in taste and wont taste the same.This recipe serves a fairly big crowd, around 15-20 people and usually they’ll ask for seconds but you can cut all ingredients by half if you don’t need that much.This recipe came from my mom who always get requests to cook it for parties,special occasions and of course the family.The images are for shurpa on the fire, but the steps are the same to cook it on the stove.Just cut the ingredients by half.

DSC_3861

            Prepare the firepit.Place the pot on top.Heat it really well.Add oil.When the oil is hot, throw in the meat and mix.

DSC_3865

Continue to mix….

DSC_3866

until the meat is well browned.

DSC_3868

Add onions.Mix.Add carrots and continue to mix.

DSC_3870

Throw in bell pepper and continuing to mix.

DSC_3871

Add tomato sauce,salt,black pepper,paprika,cumin and red pepper flakes(optional) and continue to mix and cook for 3-5 min.

Add garlic,bay leaves,and water.Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

DSC_3874

Throw in potatoes….

DSC_3875

And add more water if needed to cover potatoes all the way.

Simmer for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are done.

DSC_3876

Throw in all the fresh herbs and mix.

Serve in a bowl with crusty bread or Uzbek lepeshka(flat bread).

For leftover shurpa,transfer to regular pot and refrigerate when cooled.

Shurpa-Шурпа на костре

Ingredients

  • 4-5 lbs. lamb and beef.(preferably ribbed lamb like chops,ribblets,small shanks and stew meat.For beef I use tri tip or chuck).
  • 7 medium russet potatoes peeled and cut in half*
  • 7 medium yellow or yukon potatoes peeled and cut in half*
  • 3 large onions chopped
  • 2-3 carrots peeled and cut in rounds.
  • 2 green bell peppers julienned
  • 2 red bell peppers julienned
  • 8 ozs.tomato sauce or tomato puree.(I use half of each)
  • 10-12 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup oil
  • About 7.5 quarts water +/-
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes(optional)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup chopped dill
  • 1 cup chopped basil**
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper(for salt I used 3 tablespoons of pink Himalayan salt)
  • * If potatoes are too big,slice in very thick rounds.
  • **You can use Thai basil also or half cup of each.

Instructions

  1. Prepare fire with wood or heat a cast iron pot on stove.Place the pot on top.
  2. Heat it really well and add oil.
  3. When the oil is hot, throw in the meat and mix.
  4. Continue to mix occasionally until the meat is well browned.
  5. Add onions.Mix.Add carrots and continue to mix.
  6. Throw in bell pepper and continuing to mix.
  7. Add tomato sauce,salt,black pepper,paprika,cumin and red pepper flakes(optional) and continue to mix and cook for 3-5 min.
  8. Add garlic,bay leaves,and water.Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  9. Throw in potatoes.
  10. Add more water if needed to cover potatoes all the way.
  11. Simmer for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are done.
  12. Throw in all the fresh herbs and mix.
  13. Serve in a bowl with crusty bread or Uzbek lepeshka(flat bread).
  14. For leftover shurpa,transfer to regular pot and refrigerate when cooled.
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Pan Fried Homestyle Potatoes

DSC_3839

DSC_3839

Pan fried homestyle potatoes (жареная картошка) is very popular and simple comfort food in Russian,Ukrainian, and Belorussian cuisines.You can almost call it national dish.My mom would always prepare it for us when we were growing up.It’s quick,its easy and most of all it’s delicious.You can have it for breakfast with fried eggs,lunch with fresh tomato salad,or dinner with russian style meat patties(Kotleti) or sautéed mushrooms.

Pan Fried Homestyle Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4-5 russet potatoes,peeled and thick julienned or sliced
  • 1/2 onion sliced
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt
  • optional herbs-
  • chopped green onions or chives
  • dill
  • parsley

Instructions

  1. Wash throughly and drain peeled and julienned potatoes.
  2. Season with salt.
  3. Heat a skillet on high heat.
  4. Add oil.
  5. Throw in potatoes.
  6. Stir occasionally.
  7. When potatoes are slightly browned,throw in sliced onions and butter.
  8. Continue to cook the potatoes until softened and evenly browned.*
  9. Transfer fried potatoes to a serving plate and garnish with desired herbs and ketchup.
  10. * If you prefer not really browned potatoes,you will need to cook it under the lid on medium-high heat.
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pan fried homestyle potatoes

 

Mashed Potato Pancakes with Chives and Cheese

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These potato pancakes are delicious! And with just few ingredients it’s really simple and easy to make.This recipe is perfect to use left over mashed potatoes or you can cook up fresh mashed potatoes.I like to make them with fresh chives and cheddar cheese, coated with breadcrumbs for crispiness,pan fried and served with a dollop of sour cream.

Mashed Potato Pancakes with Chives and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 4 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • (4 ozs.) or 1 cup cheddar or Colby jack cheese shredded
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chives chopped
  • breadcrumbs or flour.
  • oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Combine egg,flour,chives,and cheese with mashed potatoes.
  2. Shape the potato mixture in to patties.
  3. Dredge patties in breadcrumbs or flour.
  4. Heat a skillet.
  5. Add oil about 2-3 tablespoons.
  6. Fry potato pancakes on both sides for about 3-4 minute or until well browned and crispy.
  7. Fry in batches and add more oil as needed.
  8. Enjoy with dollop of sour cream.
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Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon with Lemon and Garlic

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This is one of my all time favorite recipe for plank grilled wild salmon.The fillet is so tender,moist,seasoned and infused with smoky aroma.If you haven’t tried plank grilling salmon,I highly recommend to try it and experience the difference from plain grilled salmon.This recipe is very simple and the taste is amazing.

Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon with Lemon and Garlic

Ingredients

  • 1 (3-4 lbs) whole filet of salmon
  • 1 lemon squeezed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6-8 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
  • salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. Soak cedar planks in water with a pot or bowl filled with water on top of the planks.Soak at least 2 hours.
  2. In a bowl,whisk oil,lemon juice,garlic,dill,black pepper and salt together.
  3. Place fish on a large tray and pour marinade over the fish.
  4. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  5. Prepare your grill with charcoal fire or gas.
  6. Place the plank on hot grill grate and cover with lid for about 5 minutes.
  7. Turn it over and place salmon fillet on the hot side of the plank.
  8. Cover the grill with lid and cook for about 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness.
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Lagman – Beef and noodle Soup

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DSC_3627Lagman is a beef (lamb) vegetable noodle dish. Its one of the several Uzbeks signature dishes along with plov,manty, samsa and kebobs.There are different varieties of lagman ranging from using different kind of vegetables, meats and noodles.It’s one of my favorite childhood dishes that passed on to my family.

Lagman – Beef and noodle Soup

Ingredients

  • 2lbs of beef(lamb) cut in very small cubes
  • 1 big or 2 small onions diced
  • 3 carrots diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • ½ red bell pepper diced
  • 2 potatoes cut in small cubes
  • ½ eggplant cut in small cubes
  • 15 oz. Tomato sauce
  • 3 Tbls. Cilantro
  • 3 Tbls parsley
  • 5 Tbls dill
  • 2 tablespoons basil chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1-2 bay leafs
  • 1 teasp. Cumin powder
  • ¼ teasp. Chilli powder (optional)
  • 12 cups water
  • ½ thinly sliced onion
  • Cooked spaghetti or Udon noodles
  • Optional; red pepper flakes or whole dry chilli pepper
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. In a heavy pot, heat oil on high heat.Add meat.Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook until meat is well browned.
  3. Add the onion, cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add peppers and carrots.
  5. When the veggies are softened, add potatoes cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add tomato sauce and bay leaf.stir and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Throw in eggplants,cumin,chilli pepper, salt and pepper.stir, cook for a minute.
  8. Add water and close the pot with a lid and bring to a boil.
  9. When boiling reduce heat to low and cook for 12-15 minutes.
  10. Throw in the fresh herbs and garlic.
  11. Close the lid and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before serving.
  12. How to serve lagman:
  13. Place spaghetti on the bottom of a bowl
  14. Add thinly sliced onions on top and pour the soup over the spaghetti and onions.
  15. Add a pinch of chilli powder or red pepper flakes if you like a little heat.
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Tomato and Eggplant salad

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DSC_3163Combination of tomatoes and eggplants is very popular in russian and Italian cuisine.They go perfectly together.This salad is delicious and simple to make consisting of  few ingredients.

Tomato and Eggplant salad

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant diced (large)
  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella or colby jack cheese
  • 4-5 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • salt
  • fresh dill chopped
  • oil for frying or baking

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle eggplants with salt and set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Fry or bake eggplants until you get a nice golden brown color.
  3. Let them completely cool down.
  4. In a bowl,combine eggplants,tomatoes,cheese,garlic and mayonnaise.
  5. Transfer to a salad bowl and sprinkle with dill.
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Russian Potato Piroshki

Russian Potato Piroshki with Moms famous dough recipe-Пирожки

Traditional potato Piroshki with caramelized onion and fresh dill are authentic Russian food that is still celebrated the most.Its a hand pie out of fluffy soft dough and potato,caramelized onion, and dill filling.

This soft and fluffy dough recipe for piroshki comes from my mom. When making food like piroshki,pelmeni,manti or vareniki, we like to get together with mom and sisters at her house and make them together and just talk and drink some tea or coffee. The time runs much faster especially with pelmeni and vareniki and it brings so much childhood memories when we always used to make them with mom when growing up.

Dough recipe:
2 cups warm milk
4 cups + 8 heaping tablespoons flour
2 eggs
2 tablespoon sour cream
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon yeast
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Directions:
In a medium bowl whisk together 1 cup warm milk,1/4 teaspoon salt,sugar,yeast, and 8 tablespoons flour.

Cover and set a side for about 10 minutes.It should rise and be foamy.

While it’s rising, In a large mixing bowl whisk or use a hand mixer to mix 1 cup warm milk,sour cream, oil, eggs,salt.
Add 2 1/2 cups flour and mix/whisk.
Add the foamy yeast mixture.

Mix/whisk and add the rest of the flour and mix carefully.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the warmest area. I like to cover it with a blanket on top to keep it warm and rise quicker. It should double in size.( about 1 hour)

Potato filling with mushroom:
5 potatoes peeled and cooked in salted water
1 med or 2 small onions chopped
1 stick butter (118 grams)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups dry shiitake mushrooms soaked in boiling water,drained and cut in pieces.
salt and black pepper
2 tablespoon finely chopped dill(optional)

Directions:
Heat a saute pan on med-high heat.
Add olive oil and butter.
When butter melts add onions.
Saute onions until they will have a caramel color.
Add mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
Add dill if desired.

* Omit mushrooms if you don’t like them.

Steps in making Piroshki:
Note: The dough will be sticky, I like to apply oil on my hands so the dough won’t stick to them.

Cut a piece of dough in size of tennis ball and place it on well floured board or surface.
Using your fingers stretch the dough a little.
Place about 1 1/2-2 tablespoons of filling.

Carefully pinch the sides together.

Place it on well floured board or baking pan seam side down. Continue with the rest of the dough.

Heat a frying pan with lots of oil on med-high heat.

Place piroshki seam side down and deep fry piroshki in batches turning them over once.
Line a large plate or a bowl with paper towel and place fried piroshki to drain.

If you like garlic then here is another step for you;
Melt about 2 tablespoons salted butter with 7-8 crushed garlic.
*You can also use olive oil or a combination of both.
And either dip your pirozhok in the garlic and butter or
mix piroshki in a bowl with garlic and butter.
I know it’s much more calories but it’s so good!

Russian Potato Piroshki with Moms famous dough recipe-Пирожки

Ingredients

  • Dough recipe:
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 4 cups + 8 heaping tablespoons flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Potato filling with mushroom:
  • 5 potatoes peeled and cooked in salted water
  • 1 med or 2 small onions chopped
  • 1 stick butter (118 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups dry shiitake mushrooms soaked in boiling water,drained and cut in pieces.
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped dill(optional)

Instructions

  1. Directions for dough:
  2. 1.In a medium bowl whisk together 1 cup warm milk,1/4 teaspoon salt,sugar,yeast, and 8 tablespoons flour.
  3. 2.Cover and set a side for about 10 minutes.It should rise and be foamy.
  4. 3.While it's rising, In a large mixing bowl whisk or use a hand mixer to mix 1 cup warm milk,sour cream, oil, eggs,salt.
  5. 4.Add 2 1/2 cups flour and mix/whisk.
  6. 5.Add the foamy yeast mixture.
  7. 6.Mix/whisk and add the rest of the flour and mix carefully.
  8. 7.Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the warmest area. I like to cover it with a blanket on top to keep it warm and rise quicker. It should double in size.( about 1 hour)
  9. Directions for Onions and mushrooms:
  10. 1.Heat a saute pan on med-high heat.
  11. 2.Add olive oil and butter.
  12. 3.When butter melts add onions.
  13. 4.Saute onions until they will have a caramel color.
  14. 5.Add mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  15. 6.Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
  16. 7.Add dill if desired.
  17. * Omit mushrooms if you don't like them.
  18. Steps in making Piroshki:
  19. Note: The dough will be sticky, I like to apply oil on my hands so the dough won't stick to them.
  20. 1.Cut a piece of dough in size of tennis ball and place it on well floured board or surface.
  21. 2.Using your fingers stretch the dough a little.
  22. 3.Place about 1 1/2-2 tablespoons of filling.
  23. 4.Carefully pinch the sides together.
  24. 5.Place it on well floured board or baking pan seam side down. Continue with the rest of the dough.
  25. 6.Heat a frying pan with lots of oil on med-high heat.
  26. 7.Place piroshki seam side down and deep fry piroshki in batches turning them over once.
  27. 8.Line a large plate or a bowl with paper towel and place fried piroshki to drain.
  28. If you like garlic then here is another step for you;
  29. Melt about 2 tablespoons salted butter with 7-8 crushed garlic.
  30. *You can also use olive oil or a combination of both.
  31. And either dip your pirozhok in the garlic and butter or
  32. mix piroshki in a bowl with garlic and butter.
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Pasta “Navy style” – макароны по-флотски

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This is very simple and delicious dish for everyday cooking. It got its pasta”Navy style” name from when they served this dish to seamen at marines. It does have a lot of variations, so you may add or omit anything that you like. I use a basic recipe, but if you like you can add more spices like cumin, cayenne or chili.Also you can add bell peppers,herbs and omit tomato sauce.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 onion chopped
8 0z. tomato sauce
16 0z. fusilli ( or any other pasta of your choice) cooked
1/3 cup oil
salt and pepper
bay leaf
1/2 cup water (or beef broth)

Directions:

Heat a large skillet or pan on medium-high heat.Add oil.
Add meat,season with salt and pepper and cook until all liquid is gone.
Add onions, stir and brown the meat.
Add tomato sauce and bay leaf.
Cook for about 5 minutes and add water or broth.
Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Transfer the cooked pasta in the skillet and mix well.
Turn off the heat and serve.

 

Crepes with Meat Filling

crepes with meat

crepes with meat

These are my favorite  type of crepes from childhood.They are so delicious and addicting. Crepes with meat filling are perfect  for breakfast and make ahead meals.I like to make them with cooked beef,but you can use chicken,turkey or pork. Meat is cooked and grinded,then sautéed until slightly browned with lots of onions.Then the crepes are gently fried in little butter on both sides to make it crunchy.

Ingredients for crepes:

2 cups flour
3 eggs
1 teaspoon sugar
2 pinches of salt
2 tablespoons oil
2 2/3 cup milk

Filling:

1 lb of beef ( I used tri-tip)
1 big onion plus one small for the stock
5 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper
beef stock (from the cooked meat)
2-3 bay leaves
about 8 cups water

2 hard boiled eggs diced (optional)

Directions:

Stock:

In a pot bring water to boil. Add meat, bay leaves, onion,salt and pepper. Cook with closed lid on low heat until meat is soft and tender.

Crepes:
In a bowl whisk together eggs,milk,salt,sugar,and oil. Gently add sifted flour .Whisk until no lumps are visible.
On medium heat, heat a nonstick skillet and brush little bit of butter or oil.Pour some batter in the skillet and swirl the pan around with your hands.Flip the crepes using a spatula and let the other side get golden a little.Same method as for pancakes just the batter is thinner and spreads all over the frying pan.

Filling directions:

Grind the meat from the stock using meat grinder.
Add butter and onions to a saute pan. Cook the onions on med-high until soft. Add the meat,salt and lots of fresh ground pepper. Add 1 cup of beef stock.Cook until meat is slightly browned stiring occasionally.Add eggs if desired.

Place about 1-2 tablespoons of the filling on the bottom edge of the crepe. Fold it into an envelope. Repeat with the rest of the crepes.

Heat a small frying pan on low heat .Melt about 2-3 tablespoons butter. Place the folded crepe and fry on low heat until golden in color.
Serve with  plain sour cream or sour cream dressing ( recipe below)
Mix together 3 tablespoons sour cream,1-2 garlic crushed,2 tablespoons finely chopped baby dill, pinch of salt and pepper.