My second time making ratatouille. Fortunately this time it only took a little over an hour, whereas the first time seemed to take half the day. Also, mandolins are scary as shit. I stop slicing about three inches up, like that’s enough eggplant because I will go no closer to that blade.
Coffee pecan financiers made in a muffin pan, since it’s apparently difficult to find a financier pan. Decently easy to make. Uses a lot of eggs. They’re quite fluffy. Though they did remind me of muffins, but I’m wondering if that’s because of the shape. Lovely little things. The picture below is with coffee pecan whipped cream. Three shots of espresso and it’s basically the whipped cream version of a latte. The stuff is like crack it’s so addicting.
Had a little too much fun and the farmer’s market and whole foods. Also, this is my first time ever cooking or eating scallops. I was pleasantly surprised.
From my new cookbook, Nopi. Tomato salad with herbed wasabi mascarpone with pine nuts and pickled shallots. Scallops with sorrel sauce, corn salsa, and sumac cream, and lamb sausage. Super yummy and sounds a lot more intense than is. Mostly just a lot of chopping and mixing. Not much actual cooking.
Recipe #3: chicken meatballs in a tomato sauce. They have a different name… But they’re meatballs.
Also, once again amazing. We had to do three recipes to make the findings of awesome statistically significant. Zahav for the win.
If you don’t have this recipe book, you need to get it. The next one is hummus! Just the standard hummus recipe, but I have high expectations.
For today’s cooking/baking tale, I would like to discuss borscht. That famous ruby red, Russian dish.
I love the stuff. I could eat it every day if I had to. During my two and a half years in Eastern Europe, this had to be one of my favorite dishes. It’s sweet and tangy, cabbagy goodness could warm the soul on a cold Moldovan night.
Coincidentally, I just made it for the first time since I’ve been back in the USA. Coincidentally, I just learned last week that my husband hates borscht. He said it wasn’t filling enough. I’m slightly heartbroken over this. I made a damn fine borscht. It wasn’t quite sour enough, but other than that it tasted just like the kind my host mom made in Moldova.
Borscht is healthy and really easy to make. The only downsides are that it requires a lot of vegetable chopping and it has to simmer on low for several hours. So I wouldn’t recommend it on a day where time is a little tight.
Here are a few things I learned about borscht while overseas:
1. There are many types of borscht: red borscht (красный борщ; the kind I made), green borscht, white borsch, orange borscht, summer borscht, winter borscht. I only provided one translation. You’re welcome. Also, I think winter borscht and red borscht are kind of almost the same.
2. Every family makes borscht a little differently. It’s kind of like the Russian equivalent of a casserole. Everyone has their own recipe and their tricks for making theirs unique. Some add tomato paste others don’t. Some add beans. The meats can vary from chicken to beef. It’s really whatever you got on hand that you think will make it grand.
3. There are a few staples like beets and cabbage, and there is always a sour element (borsch, kvas, vinegar). The vinegar doesn’t make the borscht taste like vinegar, so no worries there. It really just adds a bit of a tangy flavor and preserves the bright red color of the beets. These are the staples for red borscht. The white and green don’t have beets, and I’ve also had some really sour green borschts. I’m actually not sure if it is supposed to be that way. It was like drinking a warm lemon. I may have to try to make one of those now.
4. Red borscht is oftentimes topped with a dollop of sour cream (сметана), or squirt if it comes in a bag, and dill (укроп). Two more translations. Exciting, isn’t it?
5. From the making of the borscht this week, I learned that beets are insane to work with. They are super dense and hard to grate. They turn everything red. Your counter, your floor, your clothing, your hards. Yep, everything will be red. So if you’re up for the task of red borscht-making, then make sure to wear that old t-shirt you don’t like very much.
So what’s your vote on borscht? Yay or nay? Also, if anyone out there has a sirniki recipe, please share! I’m dying to make them!