Tag Archives: Soviet

Yozhiki

Today I’m going to post the recipe which most certainly will make all us post-soviets shiver. With disguist or with nostalgia, it’s up to you, but omg you can not find the place which had anything to do with food and where this dish would be unknown. Yozhiki along with kotleti were the pillars of soviet cuisine. Why? It has something to do with meat, it’s cheap, and it’s easy to make. Prepare to get disappointed, sophisticated young reader — yozhiki (hedgehogs) are just meatballs with rice.

Here they are:

Yozhiki

Yozhiki

Anyway, if you decided to surprise your ex-soviet friend, you might want to cook “lightened” (health talking) version of yozhiki, and you will need the following:

  1. Minced meat — 1/2 kg. Whichever actually, even minced chicken would be nice, but classic option is pork + beef.
  2. 1 medium carrot.
  3. 1 medium onion.
  4. Boiled rice — 200 g. Once again, whichever you want, tho starchy sorts would be preferred.
  5. 0,5 l of beef broth.
  6. Salt, pepper, herbs to taste.
  7. Pot.

As simple as ABC:

  1. Grate onion and carrot or chop them finely, the finer the better.
  2. Mix minced meat, grated onion, carrot and rice, add salt, pepper and herbs.
  3. Form the meatballs, for that you might need to waste some of your precious time — the “lightened” version of yozhiki doesnt contain eggs, and texture of…. uhmmmm… the mass should be tender and smooth to keep the balls together. Meanwhile bring the broth to boil.
  4. Put meatballs in the boiling broth, let it boil for 1-2-3 minutes, then lower the heat to leave the broth simmering. Cook until ready (it’s really hard to miss that point).
  5. Enjoy…

As you see, it’s hard to spoil this recipe.  You can even try to sophisticate it, pine nuts and some tomato sauce, for example, work well.

Nobody I persuaded to try yozhiki didn’t really understand — what’s about it? Probably for that you need to share the miraculous experience of eating out in soviet mensas…

Advertisements

“Kartoshka” No-Bake Cookies

OK, so here we go — the sweet treat I’m going to make today. The title in Russian sounds like “Kartoshka” (картошка), which can be translated as “Potato”. The cookies got their name due to enormous fantasy of Soviet designers, who decided to make these cookies somewhat roundish and decorate them with “buds” of white cream. This is how it looks like:

Kartoshka No-Bake Cookies

Kartoshka No-Bake Cookies

Similar cookies are also popular at Balkans, they are called “Rum Kasato” and look much more decent — plain chocolate-glazed “fingers”.

This way or another, ingredients are pretty much the same:

  1. Bread crumbs — 400 g. Plain bread crumbs, but if you have dried buscuit or maybe ground almonds, feel free to improvise.
  2. Milk — 1/2 cup.
  3. Sugar — 1/4 to 1/2 cup.
  4. Raisins or chopped nuts — 1/2 to 1 cup. If raisins are chosen, soak them in rum (couple of tablespoons) for 15 minutes.
  5. Butter — 150 g. Margarine works fine, vegetable oil does not (unfortunately 😦 ).
  6. Grated chocolate or cocoa powder — start from 2 tablespoons. We like chocolate and sometimes add as much as 1/2 of the bar (which makes 50 g).

What else will you need? Perhaps disposable gloves, if you want to make cookies nice and firm. Some free space in the fridge. Let’s assume you have it all and begin.

  1. Combine milk, sugar and cocoa/chocolate in the pot. Cook over medium heat. When mixture starts to boil, add butter and stir until it melts fully.
  2. Take off the fire, let it cool for couple of minutes. Use the time to combine bread crumbs and nuts/raisins with rum in a bowl.
  3. Add liquid mixture to bread crumbs, mix thoroughly and give it some time. Bread crumbs will absorb liquid and you’ll get nice and easy-to-shape stuff.
  4. Time to sculpt 🙂 Ball-shaped, “kartoshka”-shaped cookies would be the easiest options at home. If  you want, you can roll cookies in cocoa powder, grated chocolate, or you can perform step 5 and after that glaze them with chocolate.
  5. Put in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

I want you to pay attention to the fact, that proportions might not be correct all the time. Different bread crumbs absorb different amount of liquid. I usually start from listed amount and add more, if mixture doesn’t seem plastic enough. It’s very hard to totally ruin this recipe, so relax and try this time-proved treat.