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Calamari Ripieni | Italian Stuffed Squid

Sicilian stuffed calamari recipe with authentic Puglia taralli crumbs is a hit in Camille Orrichio Loccisiano’s Casa Calamari restaurant. I am translating her recipe in Russian with a link to the original and my notes about locally available ingredients in ATX.

August 5, 2021
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Red Snapper Ceviche & Ota Ika

The summer is coming. It’s time to update our menus with easy-made refreshing dishes as good for light dinner for two as for a big pool party. Cocktails, beer, and all that jazz.

Why is a Latin American fish salad next to a French Polynesian one combined in one recipe?

Ceviche is made with cubed raw fish marinated in citrus juice, strained, combined with sliced and chopped vegetables (most commonly avocado, tomato, onion, green onion, cilantro, chili peppers), and served cold.

Ota Ika is made the same way, but with the addition of coconut milk or creme. Some of the vegetables mixed with fish are the same, and some are different (most commonly cucumber, tomato, onion, green onion, and spicy peppers). Coconut milk softens the acidity of the initial marinade and makes the dish somewhat tropical holiday dreamy and elegant.

May 26, 2021
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Monk’s Lake House Savory Cake

The idea for this cake was born as a result of a challenge — what would a savory version of the Monk’s Hut cake be. Monk’s Lake House is a combination of Rye Galette with Fish and 7-Herb Green Sauce. Because they were born to complement each other!

January 23, 2020
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Monk’s Hut Cake | Торт “Монастырская изба”

Монастырская изба is one of the most popular cakes in post-Soviet countries. И за что его не любить? Кислые вишни, песочное тесто, крем из подслащенной густой сметаны — простые и хорошо сочетающиеся ингредиенты. Sour cherries are rolled into a thin layer of dough and baked to look like cilindrical pies. The pies are layered with thick sweetened sour cream to represent a log cabin, то бишь дровяную избу.

January 22, 2020
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Raw Kohlrabi Salad

During the winter, my parents fermented cabbage in 3-quart glass jars known as баллоны, making batch after batch. В момент заквашивания капусты нужно быть неподалеку, чтобы досталось самое вкусное в капусте — кочерыжка, the core! A juicy, crunchy, sweet stem that holds cabbage leaves is relatively small, so kids had to fight for it!

This salad recipe is a tribute to my childhood memories. It is as simple as the core of all things. Kohlrabi sticks are seasoned with salt and pepper, lightly drizzled with aromatic oil and white balsamic vinegar, and tossed — that’s it.

January 4, 2020
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Savory Brioche

Some time ago, my Russian speaking friends were praising Hans Ovando’s brioche with camembert, olives, and bacon. I’ve been thinking about trying this idea with my favorite brioche recipe and local ingredients for a few years. I couldn’t fit it into my schedule until the last December request for brioche class. I suggested making a Sweet Snowflake brioche, for it’s the season. My guests suggested making a savory aka “соленую” salted brioche as it is known in Russian. We made both. The savory brioche turned out to be so good, all of us made it several times after the class for family meals and to gift our friends!

January 3, 2020
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Chocolate Japanese Sponge Cake

There are no secret ingredients that make this sponge different. They are the same as for many other cake sponges — flour, sugar, milk, butter, sugar. It’s the method — how and in what order you combine these simple ingredients together. That’s why it is essential to follow the steps and recommendations. It is also important to bake the sponge gently at a lower temperature. For the best results, Japanese sponge should be baked it a hot bath, but in some cases, it’s impossible (e.g., when the largest available baking dish for the bath doesn’t fit the cake mold you need to use). The next best temperature for a sponge 1″ thick is 325F for 25 minutes, with the bottom of the cake mold wrapped with a wet kitchen towel. Enjoy the recipe!

November 5, 2019
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Smoked Cherry-Grape Tomatoes

Delicately dehydrated (aka sun-dried) tomatoes are extremely popular as a vegetarian snack, appetizer, or a dish element for many reasons. First of all, they add a concentrated flavor of fully ripe tomato to the dishes. They are sweet and tangy, light in calories and with an intense aroma. Now, imagine adding some campfire-like tasting notes to sun-dried tomatoes! It takes 10 minutes using Cameron’s stovetop smoker. Keep smoked tomatoes refrigerated in a jar and serve them on grilled bread rubbed with garlic, or on top of pasta and rice dishes, or add them to your favorite sauces and salsas. Enjoy the summer!

June 17, 2019
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7-Herb Green Sauce

I remember how difficult it was for me to recreate Grüne Sosse in Texas 6 years ago. Two herbs with fresh cucumbery aroma — borage and burnet — were impossible to find. Since they were not available at any local stores or farmers markets, and I tried to grow them, unsuccessfully. Finally, I gave up and replaced them with finely diced cucumber. Who knew a few years later I would find both of them grown by Livin’ Organics farm right here in Spicewood, available almost regularly! This season, Frankfurt-style green sauce is a delicacy I can enjoy more than once during the season.

April 21, 2019
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Rye Galette with Fish

I am not a big fan of that kind of galettes — rustic looking flat cakes stuffed with whatever. This one was the first I’ve ever made, and the reason it made me curious was a combination of fish and rye. The origins of rustic rye pie with fish, I believe, come from Northen Europe. Kalakukko is a good example. My friend’s recipe inspired me to experiment with several rye crust recipes available online to see what’s out there. One, in particular, became my favorite — a crust made with butter using the same method as for the flaky Pâte Brisée. The heirloom Wren Abruzzi rye flour and good tasting butter create an exceptionally flavorful dough that pairs well with many toppings, savory and sweet.

April 9, 2019
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