Dumplings: Ukrainian Varenyki with Tart Cherries

Dark tart cherries are one of the most traditional fillings for Ukrainian varenyki — sweet dumplings served with fruity sauce, or melted butter and honey, or sour cream and sugar. Their recipes vary from region to region. Varenyki I remember were mostly made with the dough enriched by soured milk or whey and eggs. There are also recipes using only boiling water for the dough. All of them have the same goal — a dumpling with a soft and pleasant texture.

April 3, 2016
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Basic Ancho Adobo

In Mexican cuisine, adobo is a dark red, flavorful paste made from ground chiles. Some herbs, spices, and acidic ingredients (e.g., citrus juice or vinegar) are added. It can be used as a marinade and as cooking or serving sauce. The word adobado is an adjective to describe dishes where adobe is used as cooking sauce. Adobo heat level depends on chiles used for making it. Ancho Adobo is very mild. A combination of Ancho and Chipotle Meco is my favorite.

April 1, 2016
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Holubtsi

Holubtsi are part of my Ukrainian tasting menu Bud’mo!. This recipe is adjusted to local ingredients and I jokingly describe it as UkrTexMex.

February 26, 2016
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Tequila Tasting Party Recipes: Palate Cleansing Salad

“The true southern watermelon is a boon apart and not to be mentioned with commoner things. It is chief of this world’s luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat.” — Mark Twain, Puddn’head Wilson

September 27, 2015
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You Say Tomayto, I Say Tomahto

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.

July 19, 2015
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Summer Is…

“Sweetness cloys. Tart fruit and tart women give life its savor…” Tart fruit tarts give Summer its thrill!

July 5, 2015
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Asustar el Pulpo! Scare an Octopus!

Treasures I bring home from my travels are mostly not material. They are memories, pictures, and recipes. I love traveling for many reasons, but seeing my friends who live far away is the most valuable experience. And sometimes, I am lucky to meet in real life people I knew for years virtually, which always feels…

January 28, 2015
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My Borsch

Rich, thick and dense, bright red, piping hot, always served with a dollop of a sour cream on top. My father and brother would say: “There is a borsch and there is red soup with beetroots and tomatoes. These are two very different things.”

January 26, 2015
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“Thank You” Sauce

There are many similar sauces in different regional cuisines. Fermented chilies are used for making some variations of famous Thai sriracha. There are popular Louisiana hot chili pepper souses that also use fermentation to add subtle acidity to the taste. The taste of fermented sauces is very different from mass production sauces with vinegar. It is more complex and intelligent. This recipe is for a very mild sauce. It allows to modify the level of heat by changing the ratio of sweet and hot peppers.

January 25, 2015
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