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Russian, Eastern European and international cuisine brought to you by a mother and a daughter

Anchovy Stuffed Eggs

Anchovy Stuffed Eggs

Eggs stuffed with cream of anchovies is a dish my Grandmother always makes for her birthday. This year she also made these for Russian Christmas, although I’d certainly relate this dish to Soviet traditions. Personally I don’t like boiled eggs, but I took step-by-step notes and photos as Granny prepared the eggs today. I thought that those of you who eat hard-boiled eggs, might like the combination of spicy anchovies, egg yolk, onions, and mustard on an egg. Besides, this is one of the key dishes in the Soviet cuisine, so in case you’re interested in cooking traditions of the former USSR, here’s the recipe!

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Cabbage&Egg Pirozhki for Russian Christmas

Cabbage&Egg Pirozhki

In our family, we celebrate Russian Orthodox Christmas, which always falls on 6th/7th January. This quiet family holiday concludes the chain of season’s holidays. Yet the Christmas tree stays until 14th January – thus symbolizing the old-style New Year’s Eve which followed Christmas just as New Year follows Catholic/Protestant Christmas nowadays.

Look at our wonderful Ded Moroz (Russian Father Frost) and his granddaughter Snegurochka (Snow Maiden)! Aren’t their outfits beautiful?

Ded Moroz

Ded Moroz

Snegurochka

For Christmas dinner Mom baked her specialty – super-fluffy, super-moist cabbage&egg Pirozhki (say Peeroshkee). They are perfect in their simplicity: there’s just that soft dough with a warming filling of boiled cabbage and eggs inside. Sometimes we sprinkle a couple of cilantro seeds on top. That’s it. This recipe doesn’t require anything else – just good mood, a few spare hours (because this is a time-consuming process), and fresh products.

Russian Pirozhki are always made in big batches – the minimum amount of flour for a top-quality, fluffy dough is 1kg. The recipe you’ll find below yields 32 pieces. Pirozhki can be easily microwaved or reheated in the oven (sprinkle them with water before reheating). They are great with chicken broth or vegetable soups as well as a standalone dish.

I strongly recommend not using a food processor at any stage of cooking Pirozhki. There’s that magical warmth in human hands that makes food special! Read the rest of this entry »

Carrot, Cheese and Garlic Tartlets

Carrot, Cheese and Garlic Tartlets

After the New Year’s bustle was over, we agreed that we were not going to make anything sweet until weekend. Tired of cooking, sated with our multi-layer cake, Austrian chocolate maroons and sweet sparkling wine, I spent the New Year’s morning fishing in the large can for lovely pickled baby cucumbers, reading and watching the lights twinkle on our Christmas tree.

This time-saving recipe has lived a long life in our family. I call it time-saving because we use store-bought tartlet shells. They are made of savoury pastry with a hint of Cheddar-like cheese and paprika. Of course you can make your own tartlet shells by your favourite recipe, or use our pastry for Cheese&Rosemary Halfmoons. Then fill your tartlets with the mix of sweet carrots, mild-flavoured cheese, and tangy garlic. Decorate with black olive rings, fresh herbs, or slices of pickles.

One more thing before we go to the recipe itself: we have launched a Slovak version of our blog! Please meet Stano (see picture on index page), who joined our “editor team” a few months ago and translated all of the posts from my questionable English to correct Slovak.

Carrot, Cheese and Garlic Tartlets

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New Year’s Walnut Meringue & Chocolate Mousse Cake with Drunken Plums

Walnut meringue cake

First of all, I would like to wish everyone a very happy year 2010. Hope you had a lovely Christmas and an exciting New Year’s party! With lots of delish food and drink, of course :)

I’ve spent ten marvellous days in Slovakia, where I’ve been eating so much that I was about to buy myself that T-shirt with the slogan “Please don’t feed me; I want to be a model” written across the chest. But I’d be lying to myself if I did so: those home-made Slovak foods were irresistible!

Krater in Slovakia

And this large and festive cake we made for our New Year’s party in Riga. We wrote the recipe from scratch. Actually we have baked a heavier version of this cake (with 4 layers of sponge cake instead of 2, as you will see from the pictures) because we wanted a really huge one, for 12 persons or so. But even in its lighter variation (as posted below), this is definitely a cake for special occasions. The preparations are quite time-consuming too. But we’re sure your guests will appreciate the result!

A walnut sponge cake serves as a base for this cake; it is topped with chocolate butter mousse and crispy walnut meringues; then comes a thick layer of whipped cream sprinkled with toasted walnuts and dried plums soaked in cognac - pleasantly sharp and fruity. And finally, another walnut sponge cake and a thin layer of glossy chocolate icing. Happy New Year!!

Walnut meringue cake

We both agreed however that the chocolate icing we used was a big mistake. Much as I like Dansukker, their chocolate icing turned out below average. Manufacturer’s instructions on the package were lame and they said nothing about the icing never freezing or being soft and sticky forever! There was too much sugar and too much starch in it. Next time we’ll choose another brand or simply melt a bar of dark chocolate!
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Are you curious to learn more about Eastern European cuisine?
RussianSeason.net is a food blog run by two Russian-speaking women - a mother (Natalia) and a daughter (Alina) - living in Latvia. Natalia is a professional artist and Alina is the co-owner of a web directory of Russian-speaking businesses in Europe. We both cook and Alina writes posts and takes photos.
In our blog you'll find a range of (mostly tweaked&adapted) recipes from Russia, Eastern Europe, the Baltics, and former USSR. But we can't restrain ourselves from experimenting with other cuisines too :)
Stano is the guy behind the Slovak version of this blog. He is currently living and working in Latvia and is also known as the Man Who Makes Alina Eat A Lot Of Cakes, because he hardly ever eats cakes or pies she bakes. He doesn't have a sweet tooth, you see. Stano also provides us with traditional Slovak recipes - such as Halušky that he's been promising to make for 7 months now :) Just be patient - we're sure he will eventually do it!
Ivanka is the largest cross-cultural project Alina and Stano have been ever involved in:) We hope she will be a foodie too when she grows up!
Our email address is: russianseason@gmail.com

Priyatnovo appetita! (Bon appetit!)

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