Tag Archives: food and recipe

Russian red blini (pancakes)

  For many people St.Valentine Day is red roses, dinner in a restaurant, chocolate desserts and other heart-shape stuff. Does it seems boring only for me? I think, the best way to diversify this ‘red’ day is by trying something new, like eat non-chocolate dessert, or if you always go out this day stay in to cook a decadent dinner for two. Unleash your creativity! It can be flavorsome salmon steaks or roast quails, you can experiment with sauces.. A small change can have a huge effect! 😉Red blini (with heart)

 A perfect St.Valentine Day can be started by serving a late breakfast that will get both of you in the loving mood. Ready to leave an impression? Prepare these amazing Russian red blini (pancakes)!  Beets give pancakes stunning color and delicate sweetness. They are the perfect way to treat those you love! Russian blini

 Next week, starts from Monday, will be one of the brightest and entertaining of Russian holidays – Maslenitsa, or also knows as Butterweek or Pancake Week. It’s celebrated during the last week before Great Lent. It’s the festival with lots of fun, dance, songs and of course huge amount of blini, which is constantly cooked throughout the week. I’ll be posting more about Maslenitsa next week.

Russian red blini

IngredientsRussian blini
130-150g beet, cooked
200-230ml milk, full fat
200ml sparkling mineral water
2 eggs, medium size
a good pinch of salt
2 tsp white sugar, optional
2 tbsp sunflower oil
150-170g plain flour
some oil for frying, if needed
sour cream for garnish, if desired
  • Puree cooked beet with hand blender or in a food processor until smooth. Add milk, water and stir.
  • In a medium bowl, beat eggs with salt and sugar. Add it to the batter along with oil; stir.
  • Sift flour and add it to the batter. Stir to combine.
  • Let the batter rest for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat the frying pan and fry thin pancakes as usual. You can make any diameter you like.
  • Serve warm with sour cream or other garnish.
Sweet garnish: sour cream with honey and chopped pear; sweet cottage cheese; mix berries with sweeten condensed milk.
Savory garnish: cured salmon slices; cheese with herbs; ham.
Enjoy!
I’m bringing these lovely and tasty Russian blini to the Angie‘s Fiesta Friday party, co-hosts Suzanne and Sue and to all beautiful ladies! Hope you all have a wonderful St.Valentine day!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

 It’s my very first pumpkin cheesecake! 🙂 I do love both cheesecake and pumpkin, but never tried to combine them together until I baked too many pumpkin slices and already couldn’t eat them.
Cheesecake is enjoyed by millions around the world, and each person has its own take on the best way of making it. Truly a scrumptious dessert! I guess that the pumpkin cheesecake is the America’s favorite dessert. Moreover, I’ve heard about National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day, is that true? In Russia we eat pumpkin, too, but usually it’s sliced and simply baked with sugar, or whole pumpkin stuffed with grains (have a look at my recipe here).
I knew how to make a basic cheesecake, so I just added pumpkin puree and some spices. Oh, I’m so happy with the result! The only thing I was worried that it can be too wobbly, finally it set good, just cracked a little. The texture is perfect – creamy, deliciously smooth and not-very-sweet, everything how I like. Unfortunately, the cheesecake has some unwanted calories, thus for weight watchers I recommend to substitute cream cheese with low-fat cottage cheese or quark.Pumpkin cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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You need 18cm baking tin for this recipeSlice of pumpkin cheesecake
Ingredients should be at room temperature
Crust
150g graham crackers, finely crushed
80g butter, melted
Filling
350g cooked pumpkin, then pureed
220-250g cream cheese
30g brown sugar + 40g white caster sugar
2 tbsp double cream (35% fat)
2 whole eggs + 1 egg yolk
2 tbsp cornstarch (cornflour)
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger powder
small pinch of ground cloves, allspice and salt
Method
  1. To make crust. In a medium bowl, blend butter with graham crumbs. Press the mixture into the base of baking tin to create an even layer. Chill for 10 minutes in the fridge, then bake in preheated 160C oven for 5-7 minutes. Take the tin out and let it cool for 10 minutes.
  2. To make filling. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with sugar until smooth consistency. Add pumpkin and combine. Break one at a time, add egg yolk, mix to combine. Add double cream, cornstarch, flour and all spices. Beat until well combined. Pour the filling into crust, spread evenly and bake in preheated 180C oven for 45-50 minutes.
  3. Take the tin out of the oven, let it cool at room temperature. Cover the baking tin and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Remove cheesecake from the tin and slide onto a plate, slice and serve.
Enjoy!
[Click the photos for a closer look]

Siberian fish pie

This pie is called Siberian. Try to guess why? First of all, fish has always been a favourite food and often the main dish for people living by the sea or river. One of the famous Siberian dishes is “stroganina”, which is thin chips cut from fresh frozen fish (or it can be meat) and dipped into the mixture of salt and pepper. Also fish is used as a stuffing for large and small pies, for soups and stews. Also, it’s necessary to take into account the Siberian weather, during the winter the temperature is very low (or to be exact – the freezing cold), thus any fish can be easily frozen and kept outside for a long time.Delicious Siberian Fish Pie
 So, I used halibut for my Siberian pie, it’s a flatfish that live in the Sea of Okhotsk and Bering Sea (Russian North seas). Halibut is a valuable source of Omega-3 fat acids and vitamins-B, what makes the pie more healthy and tasty. You can substitute halibut with any other white-meat fish. Along with the fish I added cooked millet, it’s unusual cereal for the filling, but an interesting alternative to the common rice, it has a nice tender texture.
The pie is satisfying and makes a delicious weekend dinner!

Siberian fish pie

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate to difficult
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Rich Leavened Dough
500-600g all-purpose/plain flour (or 200g spelt/wholemeal flour+300g plain flour)
350-400ml full-fat milk, warm
11g instant yeast
1+1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
100g melted butter or 2.5 tbsp sunflower oil
  • To make a sourdough in a large mixing bowl, add warm milk, yeast, 1 tbsp sugar and mix well. Add around 100-120g sifted flour, stir throughly to get the consistency like for pancakes. Cover with a plate or wrap, and allow to ferment for 1 hour in a warm place.
  • In another small bowl lightly beat eggs (with hand whisker) with 1 tbsp sugar and salt.
  • Add the beaten eggs into a bowl with sourdough mixture. Sift the remaining flour, pour in butter or oil, mix to combine.
  • Now, knead the dough for about 20-30 minutes on a flat surface. Add more flour, if needed.
  • Place the dough in a large bowl, wrap it up and leave to rise for 1.5-2 hours in a warm place.
FillingFish Pie
550-600g halibut fillet, cut into small cubes
80-100g Tbsp millet
1 big onion
2-3 tbsp sunflower or any other veg.oil, for frying
50g butter, cut into small cubes
salt, pepper to taste
Glaze
1 egg+1 Tbsp milk
20-30g butter, melted, for brushing
Serving
50g butter, melted, optional
cold milk
  • First, you need to cook millet. Rinse it thoroughly under running water. After that, add millet and two parts boiling water in a small pan. After the water has return to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 18-20 minutes. Let it cool.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan, add onion and fry it on a medium heat until golden color. Mix fried onion with millet. Season to taste.
  • Divide the dough into two parts. Roll out the smallest dough part into oval shape (38x30cm/1cm thick) and arrange it on a lined baking tray. Spoon millet mixture, then spread the fish cubes. Dot with butter, season to taste.
  • Roll out the second part of the dough – large enough to cover the filling. Seal the edges. Decorate with trimmings. Cover the pie with tea-towel and let it rise for 20-30 minutes before baking.
  • Cut three or four slits in the top. Brush the pie with the glaze.
  • Bake the pie in preheated 180C oven for 35-40 minutes or until golden-brown.
  • Brush the pie with melted butter, cover with tea-towel and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
  • Cut the pie into slices. If the filling is dry for your taste, pour over some melted butter. Serve with a glass of milk.
  • Enjoy the Siberian pie!

Siberian Fish Pie with millet

Spiced Plum Cake with streusel

 What could be better than a moist and sweet cake that takes minutes to put together? I always like to explore different butter cake recipes; I’ve tried to use different types of flour, with milk or yogurt.. Actually, most of the recipes turned out good. But for the seasonal autumn recipe, I decided to add spices and crunchy streusel to make it more rich. Spiced plum cake with streusel toppingThe cake is warmly spiced, plus ripe plums make it more soft. It is so delicious and yet so easy. Perfect as a midday treat! It’s also good and tasty on the next day, in case if you got any leftovers, though it never lasts long. 🙂 It goes really well with a dollop of mascarpone. You can sprinkle the cake with icing sugar, or pour over a maple syrup, but for me the cake has enough sweetness.Aromatic Plum cake

Spiced Plum Cake with streusel

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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* In stead of store-bought almond powder, I suggest to buy whole almonds, dry-roast them and then blend into powder. Walnuts are also nice and can be used instead of almonds.
IngredientsSpiced cake with plums
7-8 plums, firm but ripe, pitted and cut into fourths or sixths (I used dark and yellow plums)
110g butter, at room temperature
70g brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
100g plain flour
20g cornflour
50g almond powder*
1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
1/2-1/3 tsp cardamom, finely ground
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg, finely ground
1/6 tsp cloves, finely ground
60g yogurt (I used lowfat, but full fat is ok too)
Streusel
40g wholewheat flour or fine oats
15g butter, soft
20-30g demerara or white sugar
1-2 Tbsp walnuts or pistachios, roughly chopped
For serving
mascarpone or whipped cream
maple syrup, if desired
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 18cm cake tin (you can use 10-15cm cake tin also, the cake will be higher; or 20cm round tin is ok too).
  2. Cream butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time (don’t over-beat, just stir to combine).
  3. Mix together flours, almond powder, salt and all spices. Add to the egg mixture a little bit at a time. Finally add yogurt.
  4. Spoon mixture into the cake tin. Individually place plums at an angle to make rings, using gentle pressure to push them slightly into batter. Leave about 2cm between each plum.
  5. For the streusel, mix the butter into flour. Add sugar, nuts and combine until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over the cake.
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Once baked remover from the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.
  7. Slice and serve with a dollop of mascarpone or whipped cream. If it’s not enough sweet, pour over the cake maple syrup.
Enjoy the cake with a nice cup of hot tea!

Cake with plums and spices

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