Friday, June 14, 2013

Kotleti (Chicken Cutlets)

No other image makes me think of home cooking as much as this picture of a greasy towel stacked with chicken cutlets fresh out of the frying pan. Growing up with a busy, successful, working Russian mother who still was able to make dinner every single night, these were a staple at our table at least two nights a week. The simple and savory flavor coupled with minimal labor makes cutlete an ideal dinner option. Served with rice or pasta, dinner is quickly served. Don't forget the pickle!

There is no other way to mix these ingredients other than by just rolling up your sleeves and diving your hands deep into the bowl. Mush and blend...and maybe enjoy the sensation of all the squishing between your fingers a little bit.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Blinchiki S' Tvarog (Cheese blintzes)

This recipe was a childhood favorite of mine. No, scratch that- it was not. I do not know exactly how it came to be, but my Aunt Faina thought that I loved these blintzes so much, she would squeal in delight whenever I came over and she had them prepared. "Milachka! Guess what I made for you!?" In turn, I would force myself to widen my eyes and fake excitement and respond "blinchiki!" in a high pitched five-year old voice. 

I have not revealed to Faina that I have no idea why she thought I loved them so much that one time that she would insist to make them for me again and again. However, I have since matured my palate and realized that I would have to be crazy not to enjoy every cheesy, berry-popping, sweet bite. So thank you Faina for always making these for me and for sharing your delicious recipe!

The blinchiki are fairly easy to prepare, just time consuming. However, I consider any recipe that is time consuming to be therapeutic. This one in particular required me to stand over a stove for about 45 minutes swirling my wrist so that the batter coated the pan evenly in a paper-thin layer. One at a time, each crepe was stacked, filling the room with the smell of sweetness. All was quite except for the sizzling and whistling of the blinchik forming over the hot heat.