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

Pozharskie Kotlety (Pozharsky Cutlets)

Pozharsky's Cutlet

While I still eat chicken… I should post as many chicken recipes as possible :) I plan to breastfeed until Ivanka turns 1 year old, so I still have 6 months ahead to test and post chicken recipes. What’s the connection between breastfeeding and eating chicken? As I already wrote here, I have been eating poultry in order to maintain my animal protein balance since I got pregnant. And I’m planning to quit eating poultry as soon as I stop to breastfeed.

This time I would like to tell you about Pozharsky Cutlets. My Mom made these for me the other day, when I visited my parents to take pictures of something beautiful… something I’ll show you later.

There are two versions of the story behind this old Russian recipe. The first version suggests that Prince Dmitry Pozharsky, whose home chef was famous for his veal cutlets, once wanted to make them for the Great Prince of Moscow, but the chef had run out of veal and, instead, made analogous cutlets with chicken. The high guest liked the chicken cutlets so much that he asked for the recipe, and soon Pozharsky’s chicken cutlets became a hit among the Russian nobility.

Another version says that this recipe was invented by an inn owner Pozharsky’s wife. This legend says that Russian Tzar Alexander the First once stayed in the inn and ordered veal cutlets. The inn’s owner was shocked to realize that there was no veal at hand, and so his wife Darya suggested that he made similar cutlets of chicken fillets with plenty of white bread and butter, coated them in breadcrumbs and served as veal cutlets. Just as in the previous story, the trick worked so well that the cutlets became a popular dish on Tzar’s menu and beyond.

Yet another legend says that Darya Pozharsky learned this recipe from a French man who didn’t have money to pay for lodging and “paid” with this great recipe.

You see how many legends there are behind these simple cutlets? I’m quite sure there might be even more. Whichever version you prefer, I can tell you for sure that thanks to a perfect proportion of meat and other ingredients, these cutlets are extraordinarily juicy, buttery, and tender. Well, I find it morally unacceptable to eat veal, so I have never even tried it and I can’t compare, but I’m absolutely content with these chicken cutlets. My Mom used chicken breasts, so her cutlets were snow-white inside - a quality that makes a cutlet much more visually appealing! And of course the golden-brown breadcrumb coating is irresistible. If you eat chicken meat, go try these now - highly recommended! Read the rest of this entry »

Cheese&Onion Chicken Rolls with Vegetable&Dried Plum Salad

Cheese&Onion Chicken Rolls with Vegetable and Dried Plum Salad

I haven’t eaten meat or poultry for many years now, and even when I HAD to try some chicken recently (I really HAD to), I was surprised how different the taste and the texture were from what I had in my memory… Perhaps I had some idealistic impression about chicken meat in my mind, which didn’t match my current sensation. So I’m not going to become a carnivore in the nearest future… expect for fish, which I can’t resist. But, there’re things you can know and feel even if you can’t try them. I’m talking about these chicken rolls now. Stuffed with mild cheese and golden-brown onions, they’re so simple and appetizing – even to me. Like most chicken dishes, they’re quick to prepare and attractive. This recipe has been one of our family favourites for many years now. Mom also used to make similar rolls of beef, but nowadays my parents prefer poultry. Besides, thanks to that golden crust chicken rolls look much much more attractive than meat rolls.

While the rolls were cooking, we quickly made some a salad with fresh vegetables, apples, and dried plums. Who doesn’t love dried fruit in a salad? I’m convinced that adding a handful of chopped dried plums, dried cranberries or even figs is the easiest way to add some special twist to a mix of fresh vegetables and greens. I also love some pine nuts in this salad, but we didn’t have any at hand this time.

And hey, we have first strawberries from Spain here already. They taste almost like local summer strawberries. First strawberries are such a delicacy that you don’t even want to cook anything with them, they’re perfect alone. Weeks pass before you start thinking of some strawberry parfaits or shortcakes or crumbles… and then there’re endless possibilities… I can’t wait to cook with strawberries this summer!

Cheese&Onion Chicken Rolls with Vegetable and Dried Plum Salad

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Dietary chicken broth with dumplings

In a winter like this…

Winter

Blackbird

…can there be anything more soothing and comforting than a bowl of warm soup? For me, those creamy blended vegetable soups are the best; but if you like poultry – what about some translucent chicken broth with petite dumplings and tender carrots? To make the broth as clear and healthy as possible, we quickly boiled chicken in some water first and poured off that water.

Make this soup immediately before meals and do not leave it overnight: flour from dumplings would diffuse into broth and make it cloudy.

(Below you will also find some more winter pictures that Mom took from the window today. We always feed sparrows in wintertime, and only when it gets really cold, the cautious blackbirds visit us too).

Chicken broth with dumplings

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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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