Russian Season


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

Russian Blini with Beef or Mushrooms

Russian Blini (Pancakes)

Blini, or pancakes, are an essential feature of Russian cuisine. Served with melted butter, sour cream, berry jam, honey, or the most luxurious option - caviar, they are made and eaten in gigantic batches during the Maslenitsa week that precedes the Lent. But they are as well eaten all year round – sweet or savoury toppings and fillings change with the seasons. For me, Blini symbolize all the warmth and coziness of home, and I love to cook some pancakes filled with cottage cheese and vanilla for a late Sunday breakfast as a sort of morning meditation.

This time, Mom made Blini with two different fillings: beef and chanterelles. I didn’t take part in making these, so I’ll just write about her method. But be warned: this is quite a time-consuming recipe, as you have to boil the rice, and fry the mushrooms, and of course cook the pancakes. Making pancakes in two skillets at a time is a nice idea therefore.

Let me also remind you that every cook has their own recipe for pancakes. So we’re not calling this recipe anything like “True Russian Blini”, “The One and Only Recipe for Russian Blini” or anything like that – this is just one of dozens of possible options.

Please note that the recipe suggests a choice between beef and chanterelle filling for 12 pancakes, meaning you will need to make 24 pancakes to try both fillings. The more pancakes you make however, the easier it is to calculate the right amount of filling, especially rice. Alternatively, you might use some leftover boiled rice from another meal.

Russian Blini with filling

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Chanterelle and Spinach Omelette

Chanterelle and Spinach Omelette

This is just a quick and simple omelette we made the other night with leftover chanterelles. Actually we’ve been frying and freezing a lot of chanterelles to be able to make some soups or those lovely Chanterelle Turnovers after the season is over. I guess I’ve already mentioned that these mushrooms are one of my favourite ingredients – I’m sure I could stay on a chanterelle diet for weeks and weeks! Another ingredient I love is lemon and lemon zest. But a lemon zest diet would be more challenging, I suppose.

You might notice that we didn’t add any spice to this omelette. In fact, I don’t support the overuse of spice at all. Yes I love the warm and mild flavour of vanilla in sweet pastry, or the exotic flavour of curry in sautéed vegetables, or those balsamic, piny notes of fresh rosemary that are so perfect for roasted salmon. But, eggs should taste like eggs and spinach should taste like spinach, to my mind. That’s why this omelette does not contain any spice.

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Quick Chanterelle Soup

Chanterelle season in Latvia starts around early July, and we’ve been cooking a lot of them lately. The simplest way to cook these wonderful, aromatic mushrooms is just sauté them until golden brown, adding some finely chopped onions and seasoning with fresh dill. Or sauté them with a couple of tablespoons of sour cream, until they turn into a soft and mild sauce.

Chanterelle soup is not as rich in flavour as, say, porcini or even champignon soup. But it very summery, translucent and subtly infused with notes of fresh garlic. And it is quick and very easy!
Chanterelle Soup
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Are you curious to learn more about Eastern European cuisine? 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!
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Priyatnovo appetita! (Bon appetit!)

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