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Beef stroganoff

9 Oct

Beef stroganoff

Beef stroganoff is one of my life-long favourite meals – I can remember choosing it for my special birthday dinner.  I recently unearthed a class cookbook from first grade, and there in all its faded mimeographed glory was “Beef Stroganoff, by Andrea”.

Stroganoff was where my love affair with rosemary began. So I was genuinely stunned that in a survey of numerous beef stroganoff recipes online, not one of them included rosemary.

To my mind, rosemary is an integral part of the dish – it simply wouldn’t be stroganoff without it. (The poppy seeds on the noodles are non-negotiable as well.) Continue reading

Borscht

24 Jun

Borscht

This is Mum’s borscht, which I grew up eating – she got the recipe from a Ukrainian neighbour who lived on our street.

I had a strong childhood aversion to beets. I didn’t like the sweetness of them, and remember hating how beet juice would seep into everything else on your plate.

Maybe that’s why I never minded borscht. For one thing, it was sour. Plus the seeping was a done deed, and everything stained a consistent shade of purply red. Continue reading

Herring under a fur coat (shuba)

20 Jun

Herring under a fur coat

Herring under a fur coat – now there’s an original name for a salad… Chopped herring is buried beneath layers of vegetables and cooked egg, as snug and warm as if it were under a fur coat.

Having looked at a number of recipes online, I chose this version because it seemed relatively light, with just a thin spread of mayonnaise on top, instead of each layer.

Some people make a large mound of salad and decorate it (similar to salata de boeuf), while others create individual portions using ring molds. I liked the idea of making it in a glass bowl so you could see the layers. Kind of like a herring trifle…;-) Continue reading

Mocha cream horns

29 Oct

Cream horns

Cream horns are delightful things – and were completely new to me when I saw them on the Great British Bake-off the other week.

The concept is a simple one. Thin strips of puff pastry are rolled around a conical mould. Once baked, the pastry cones are piped full of sweet cream.

Continue reading

Mushroom piroshki

19 Aug

Mushroom piroshki

My mum would make these little mushroom piroshki at Christmas, where they were a welcome counterpoint to all the sweet treats. I have no idea where this recipe came from originally – I found it on a handwritten card in mum’s recipe box when I was gathering recipes for Fern’s Food. Continue reading

Blini bar

11 Jul

blini

Dinner tonight was what we call a “blini bar” (a meal we usually eat over the Christmas holidays) to mark Russia’s presence in the World Cup. I fry up a batch of blini, which I serve with a range of toppings: smoked salmon, creme fraiche, mackerel paté, chopped egg, pantzarosalata, and maybe some lumpfish caviar (which weirdly, Lyra seems to love). If we get tired of savoury toppings, we eat the rest with jam. They also freeze well. Most blini recipes seem to have yeast in them, but I’ve always been happy with this recipe: Continue reading