There are many articles and videos about making this flatbread, but most recipes belong to people who make it every day and don’t need to measure ingredients any more. The results on pictures are different — more or less thick, more or less soft, with more or less defined layers. So, where to begin?
I don’t have an explanation why we’ve never made dumplings with red and black currants at home. My Mom used to add currents to the sauce, but never fill dumplings with them. It’s funny that I am tasting this well known version of Ukrainian varenyki only now, so far from home, in Texas, where currants are exotic! I asked myself why dumplings with tart cherries and currants are so popular in Eastern European countries. I think, the key is the intensity of sweet and sour flavors rounded with soft dough and a little bit of cream or butter. Many other fruit and berries change its flavor when cooked, but tart cherries and currants keep it well and tease our taste buds with every bite!
My first mistake was to buy these tomatoes. I keep assuming everything on Farmers Market should taste good. They looked so beautiful, but the taste had nothing to do with their looks — watery and diluted. The only way to make them more or less enjoyable was to concentrate their flavor by partial dehydration, by making something similar to sun-dried tomatoes. Then I’ve made another mistake — left them in the oven for too long, and they turned into completely dry chips. Using plain Noosa yogurt to reconstitute some of their moisture became a brilliant idea! Alternated layers of dry tomatoes and yogurt created an equilibrium of texture and flavors the next day. It could’ve been mistaken for salami with unusually layered “meat” and “fat”… Or could it?
I saw this video on Facebook about 4 months ago. It shows this kind of pizza is made at Trattoria Pizzeria La Bufala: it is cross cut at the center, filled with some buffalo ricotta and black truffles, garnished with arugula, cherry tomatoes, and fresh buffalo mozzarella. I liked the idea so much, it had to be recreated in my kitchen! Obviously, in my home kitchen and with the ingredients available in Central Texas, I could only utilize the presentation idea. I refer to this idea as 4-pies pizza, thus the name.
While the rest of the world used this word to describe a matchstick knife cut, for Russian-speaking culinary community julienne has always been a chicken and mushroom casserole en cocotte. This legendary dish was extremely popular during the Soviet era in high-end restaurants as well as at home. Naturally, the assumption was that the recipe is a result of French influence on pre-revolution Russian cuisine. All stories I know about this dish are mostly anecdotes. Many different recipes claim to be original. Some insist on using mushrooms, preferably porchini. Other include cooked chicken and other vegetables. Restaurant versions often add bechamel or mornay sauces, while home cooks prefer sour cream. Everybody makes this dish adjusted to their personal taste, keeping the same only basic ingredients and the way it is served. Russian julienne has to be cooked individually portioned in mini casseroles and covered with a generous amount of cheese to melt on top. It is simple and delicious!
This corn soup is sweet and creamy with earthy aroma and delicate warming heat of charred green chili. Fresh corn and poblano pair perfectly here. Serve it with crunchy corn tortilla chips and fresh cilantro. Melt some cheese in it to add more depth and creaminess.
Do you prefer fresh or roasted tomatoes with burrata? Why? For a long time I was sure fresh tomatoes are the best. Until today. Roasted tomatoes concentrate their flavor and change their texture. They become tender soft, just like burrata. Add basil leaves and flowers, chives flowers, thyme, EV olive oil, and fresh crusty baguette. That’s it.
I want to hear a delicate snap when an oatcake is broken to pieces. Without being fragile, a piece of oatcake should easily crumble between my fingers when lightly pressed. That’s the goal for texture. Everything else is variable.
There are many morels recipes in my collection. All of them are variations of what everybody else makes with morels. Baked Langres stuffed with morels and served with crusty bread and French champagne is my own invention. It is my favorite and the most decadent recipe. It turns an ordinary weekday dinner into fantastic celebration of flavors and textures.