Ukrainian RecipesA Meal Fit For an Oligarch
In a word, Ukrainian food is rich. Rich in ingredients, rich in flavor, and rich in tradition. Despite the caloric meals, restaurants throughout L’viv celebrate the cuisine without holding back or tampering with its authenticity. People enjoy sitting down to a plate of potato pancakes with sour cream or feasting on those famous pastries. And why not? This issue of Cooling Your Jets applauds the no-holds-barred approach to dining, with a Ukrainian dinner menu fit for the rich at heart.
Fresh beets give this classic Ukrainian soup a deep ruby hue, making it almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
In a large sauce pot, sauté beets, onion and carrots in olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes. In a separate pot bring the vegetable stock to the boil. When the vegetables are tender, add the stock and shredded cabbage and simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with parsley and a dollop of sour cream.
Cabbage is a staple in the Ukrainian diet and the leaves are often used as a vehicle for tasty stuffing.
Melt butter in a skillet and sauté onion until tender. Set aside to cool. When the onion is cool, mix with the ground pork, bread crumbs, egg, salt, and pepper until completely incorporated.
Core the cabbage and gently remove the leaves. Trim off any thick ribs at the stem. Place the leaves in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes, or until the leaves become translucent and tender.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Lay the cabbage leaves on a large work surface and place a heaping tablespoon of the pork mixture at the base of each leaf. Roll each leaf tightly from the bottom to the top (like a burrito), tucking in the sides as you go. Repeat until all the filling is gone. Place any extra leaves on the bottom of the baking dish and arrange the stuffed leaves on top. Pour the chicken stock so it just covers the rolls. Place any extra leaves on top to assist with steaming. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.
Remove the rolls from the dish and drain off the remaining broth into a small saucepan. Whisk together the flour and sour cream and gradually add to the broth. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce becomes thick.
Arrange cabbage rolls on a platter, cover with sauce and sprinkle with fresh dill.
It doesn’t get more Ukrainian than with a dish named after the country’s capital.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutesInactive Time: 1 hour
In a small bowl, mix butter, parsley, chives, and lemon juice and refrigerate.
To flatten the chicken breasts, place one breast between two pieces of wax paper and pound lightly until about 1/8-inch thick. Lay the breasts on a large workspace and season each side generously with salt and pepper.
Remove the butter from the refrigerator and divide into 6 equal portions. Place one portion in the center of each breast. Fold the sides of the breast in and roll up from the bottom to the top, securing each breast with a toothpick.
Coat each breast with bread crumbs, dip in egg, then into bread crumbs again. Chill breasts for one hour.
Heat oil in a deep fryer or large heavy-bottom pot to 365 degrees. Lower breasts into the hot oil two at a time and fry for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and serve immediately.
Poppy seeds seem to make it into many Ukrainian desserts. This simple, moist cake is often served during Easter celebrations.
Serves 6 to 8
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time : 40 minutes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 10-inch Bundt pan.
Place poppy seeds and milk in a small saucepan and heat until small bubbles begin to form around the edges. Remove and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Beat the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until a lemony yellow. Add the eggs one at a time. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, followed by the milk. Stir just enough to blend. Add the vanilla, 3 teaspoons of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest. Pour batter into the pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting.
Syrnyky means “fried cheese.” We think your kids will agree that no two words are more perfectly paired.
Serves 4 to 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Squeeze out any excess water from the cottage cheese through a cheese cloth. Mix together with eggs and sugar. Stir in semolina and all-purpose flour, working until a soft dough forms. Dust hands with extra all-purpose flour and form dough into 8 rounds.
Heat about 2 inches of oil in a deep skillet and fry the Syrnyky until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with honey, syrup or your favorite fruit preserve.