Olga's Flavor Factory http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com Step by step, easy, homemade recipes Fri, 25 Jul 2014 21:43:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Moving Week Eats http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/olgastips/kitchen-tips/moving-week-eats/ http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/olgastips/kitchen-tips/moving-week-eats/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 19:56:18 +0000 http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/?p=14280 We are finally in our new home! Last weekend rushed by at breakneck speed and I am happy to announce that we survived. Moving takes so much time and effort. My organized little mind does not like chaos, and the masses of boxes, stacked up possessions, disassembled furniture and just utter chaos at times have... 

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IMG_1778

The moving truck in front of our old apartment building.

We are finally in our new home! Last weekend rushed by at breakneck speed and I am happy to announce that we survived.

Moving takes so much time and effort. My organized little mind does not like chaos, and the masses of boxes, stacked up possessions, disassembled furniture and just utter chaos at times have been driving me crazy. However, it also a huge motivation to get everything in order again and get settled in as soon as possible in our new home. I am so excited about getting my closets, drawers and every room organized again. My hands are just itching to get it all down right away.

In the meantime, food has been the last thing on my mind, but no matter how much I wanted to avoid it, we humans have this strange need to eat every day. It would be so much easier to just resume eating in a week, once everything is settled down again:). However, this is not the case. In fact, I think everyone was more hungry than usual, because we were all working so hard.

Maybe you’ll be moving in the future, or have an extremely busy week ahead, so I will share what we’ve been eating for the past week.

Normally, I would have planned ahead and made some Freezer Meals, and cooked a lot of other food that could be made in advance and then simply reheated. However, I simply did not have time at all in the past month or so. As you know, we got a new family member and that has been quite an adjustment for our family, so I did not have any spare time to make Pelmeni or Lasagna.

The food I cooked was not part of a brilliant menu or anything. My main focus was to cook food that could be made in large batches ahead of time and then reheated well. I also wanted food that was easy to serve and could also be prepared with the least amount of cooking tools, since I had already packed part of my kitchen. Lastly, I focused on the ingredients that I had in my fridge and pantry, because grocery shopping was another extra task that I tried to avoid. Besides, the more food we used up, the less we would have to move to the new kitchen.

Day 1

Chicken Noodle SoupI wasn’t feeling very well that day, so the Chicken Noodle Soup was therapy for myself. It really hit the spot and was so soothing for my tummy. 

Chicken Noodle Soup-1Homemade BreadIMG_7162 - Copy

Cheesy Chicken MeatballsI had ground chicken on hand, so I prepped the meatballs ahead of time and then simply baked them right before heading over to the other house to feed the hungry. I served the meatballs with mashed potatoes and a Tomato Salad. Cheesy Chicken Meatballs-1-2

Mashed Potatoes

Easy Tips For Better Mashed Potatoes sm-1

Day 2 and 3

Cold Beet Holodnik – This was brilliant. It is served cold, so you don’t even need to reheat it. This soup is so refreshing during our hot summer days. Most importantly, it is so easy to make. I made such a huge pot of this soup, that we had a really hard time transporting it. From that day on, I decided not to make anymore soup until I was in my new kitchen again. IMG_1130 (550x412)I served the Holodnik with boiled potatoes, caramelized onions and bacon, with Chicken Cutlets one day and Mom’s Braised Potatoes the next day. Both dishes were a huge hit.Bourbon BBQ Chicken Cutlets (550x382)

 

Braised Potatoes-1Day 4

PlovSince I was working the night before, I had made the Plov the day before, when I was making the Braised Potatoes. It was a great idea, since both dishes use a lot of the same ingredients, so prep work was a cinch. It was really easy to just reheat the Plov. We simply served it with Polish pickles.IMG_1117 (500x334)

While I was getting some sleep, my Mom made Russian Olivie. What a great idea! We kept it in the fridge and anyone could serve themselves a portion at any time. It’s hearty, filling and also served cold.

Russian Salad Olivie (550x381)

Day 5

Pasta Primavera - my parents were recently in Ohio, visiting my Aunt and Uncle. They have a huge, thriving garden and gave my Mom a whole bunch of Zucchini. She brought it with her to Florida, so we made Zucchini Pancakes a few days before for breakfast and also made this Pasta dish. I also happened to have asparagus in my fridge and peas in the freezer. This is a great option for busy days, since it’s so quick to make. Plus, I love using the oven for busy days, since I don’t have to stand at the stove too much.

Pasta Primavera-1-16Day 6

This was the BIG MOVING DAY, last Saturday. No time to cook and no available kitchen anyway. Time to order Pizza!

Breakfasts that week were really easy. As I already mentioned, we made Zucchini Pancakes one morning, bagel egg sandwiches a few other mornings and a few days just cut up some deli meat, cheese and bread with tea.

What a week! I am so thankful that it went so smoothly. We have wonderful family members who helped us out so much, with both the remodeling and the moving. We couldn’t have done it without them.

This week was interesting too, since I didn’t have a kitchen to cook in at all!

This is what my kitchen looked like this week.

This is what my kitchen looked like this week.

IMG_0818As you can see, I didn’t have any appliances or cooking surfaces. I’m so glad I at least had a refrigerator to store food. I even had to wash the dishes in the garage sink. I will share that experience with you next week, so stay tuned to find out how I managed to cook without a kitchen.

Have any of you moved recently? Do you have any helpful tips to share about feeding your family during this hectic time?

 

 

 

 

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Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/sweets/chocolate-sour-cream-bundt-cake/ http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/sweets/chocolate-sour-cream-bundt-cake/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:00:30 +0000 http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/?p=14285 How many of you like to eat homemade desserts, but don’t like to spend too much time on the preparations? I’ll raise both hands. The creator of the bundt cake and I would probably be kindred spirits. What a brilliant concept for a fancy presentation with minimal effort. I make all kinds of bundt cakes:... 

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Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake-1-16How many of you like to eat homemade desserts, but don’t like to spend too much time on the preparations? I’ll raise both hands.

The creator of the bundt cake and I would probably be kindred spirits. What a brilliant concept for a fancy presentation with minimal effort.

I make all kinds of bundt cakes: orange, lemon poppy seed, coffee cake, glazed and marbled. This is a Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake, from a recipe that I got from America’s Test Kitchen. I think that any time you add sour cream or buttermilk to batters it makes it 100 times better. This chocolate cake really rocks, and I am not a chocolaholic by any stretch of the imagination. I crave chocolate cake only a few times a year, and this one is the one of the few recipes that I will make. The chocolate cake is delicious all by itself; it’s so chocolaty, deep, rich and tender. I make this bundt cake a lot of times before work, when I don’t have a lot of time to fuss, but want to have something sweet in my lunchbox. Let me tell you, a slice of this Chocolate Cake with a cup of coffee really hits the spot sometime around 2 in the morning. It’s also something for me to look forward to in the beginning of my shift, when it’s usually really busy.

You can elevate this cake a notch by serving it with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream and some fresh berries. That would be worthy of a special occasion. 

Ingredients:

3/4 cup cocoa powder

6 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon instant espresso or instant coffee powder

3/4 cups boiling water

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon coffee and rum liqueur, optional

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

12 Tablespoons butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)

2 cups brown sugar

5 eggs, room temperature

Instructions:

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake-1Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bundt cake pan with oil or brush it with melted butter and sprinkle with flour.

In a medium heatproof bowl, combine the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder and espresso powder. Pour in the boiling water and whisk it all together until all the chocolate is melted. Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake-1-2

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake-1-3Set is aside to cool off slightly, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda together.

Add the sour cream, vanilla and liqueur to the chocolate mixture. You can use any liqueur you like, or omit it, it’s up to you. Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake-1-4

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake-1-5In a large bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until they are fluffy, about 5 minutes. Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake-1-6Add the eggs, one at a time. Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake-1-7Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter, mix it in slightly, then add half of the chocolate mixture, mixing slightly again. Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake-1-8

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake-1-9Add half of the remaining flour, mix again, followed by the second half of the chocolate mixture and then lastly with the remaining dry ingredients. Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake-1-10

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake-1-11Using this method to mix the batter really helps to not over mix it, creating a really tender and delicate texture of the cake.

Pour the batter into the prepared bundt cake pan. Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake-1-12Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake-1-13Cool the bundt cake for 5 minutes before inverting it onto a cooling rack. Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake-1-14Cool for another 10-15 minutes and then dust it with powdered sugar. Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake-1-15This cake is delicious served with ice cream, or whipped cream and berries.Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake-1-16

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sweets
Serves: 1 bundt cake
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 6 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso or instant coffee powder
  • ¾ cups boiling water
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon coffee and rum liqueur, optional
  • 1¾ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 Tablespoons butter, softened (1½ sticks)
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bundt cake pan with oil or brush it with melted butter and sprinkle with flour.
  2. In a medium heatproof bowl, combine the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder and espresso powder. Pour in the boiling water and whisk it all together until all the chocolate is melted. Set is aside to cool off slightly, about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda together.
  4. Add the sour cream, vanilla and liqueur to the chocolate mixture. You can use any liqueur you like, or omit it, it's up to you.
  5. In a large bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until they are fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time.
  7. Add ⅓ of the flour mixture to the butter, mix it in slightly, then add half of the chocolate mixture, mixing slightly again. Add half of the remaining flour, mix again, followed by the second half of the chocolate mixture and then lastly with the remaining dry ingredients. Using this method to mix the batter really helps to not over mix it, creating a really tender and delicate texture of the cake.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt cake pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool the bundt cake for 5 minutes before inverting it onto a cooling rack. Cool for another 10-15 minutes and then dust it with powdered sugar.
  10. This cake is delicious served with ice cream, or whipped cream and berries.

 

 

 

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Gazpacho http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/soups/gazpacho/ http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/soups/gazpacho/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:25:20 +0000 http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/?p=14179 The first thing I want to plant when I have an actual garden of my own will be tomatoes. I can barely contain my excitement and the thought of reaching to pick tomatoes right of the vine in my backyard, almost brings me to tears. I think I can manage to grow the rest of... 

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Gazpacho-1-18The first thing I want to plant when I have an actual garden of my own will be tomatoes. I can barely contain my excitement and the thought of reaching to pick tomatoes right of the vine in my backyard, almost brings me to tears.

I think I can manage to grow the rest of the ingredients for Gazpacho in my garden too. Won’t that be incredible?

Soup is one of my favorite things to eat. We eat soup several times a week in our family. Gazpacho is absolutely divine during the hot, summer months. It’s cold and refreshing, exactly what everyone is craving this time of year.  Not only is it cold and soothing, but it also has so much crunchiness and freshness. All the vegetables are fresh, nothing is cooked, so you can imagine how bright it is. 

Ingredients:

5 medium tomatoes, peeled and seeded, half coarsely chopped and half minced

1/2 of an English cucumber, seeded, half coarsely chopped and half minced

1 small bell pepper, seeded half coarsely chopped and half minced

1 small celery stalk, half coarsely chopped and half minced

1 slice hearty bread

1 small jalapeño, minced

1 small shallot, minced

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 cups tomato juice

salt, pepper

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more to garnish

1/2 Tablespoon sherry vinegar, plus more to garnish

fresh herbs, to garnish (parsley, green onions, basil, etc.)

Instructions:

Gazpacho-1Cut an X on the top and bottom of the tomatoes. Gazpacho-1-2Submerge the tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Plunge the tomatoes into an ice bath and then peel the skin off the tomatoes. Gazpacho-1-4Remove the seeds from the tomatoes. Coarsely chop half of the tomatoes and mince the second hand of the tomatoes.

Gazpacho-1-3Coarsely chop half of the cucumber (which would be 1/4 of the whole English cucumber, scraping out the seeds from the cucumber too), bell pepper and celery stalk. Gazpacho-1-5Mince the second half of the cucumber, bell pepper and celery stalk. Gazpacho-1-6Mince the jalapeño and shallot and crush the garlic clove.

If you like spicy food, you might want to add more hot peppers and different varieties of hot peppers to this soup. It depends on your taste buds. Also, you can add the seeds to the soup to add more spiciness to it. Sergi and I don’t like our food too spicy, so I leave it on the mild side. Gazpacho-1-7Place the coarsely chopped vegetables and the slice of bread, torn into pieces into a food processor and pulse until it’s completely pureed. The bread is completely optional. Your soup will be smoother without the bread. The bread gives the soup creaminess. Gazpacho-1-8

Gazpacho-1-9Add the olive oil and the sherry vinegar and pulse to combine again. Gazpacho-1-10Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Add the minced vegetables, the crushed garlic clove, tomato juice and season to taste with salt and pepper and more olive oil and sherry vinegar, if needed.

Gazpacho-1-11

Instead of mincing all the vegetables, you can pulse them in the food processor until they are coarsely chopped and puree the second half. This method is much faster. I prefer to mince the vegetables by hand, because I’m somewhat OCD about having everything chopped nicely and neatly and I actually really enjoy chopping. Since I have so much practice, it doesn’t take me long at all.

Gazpacho-1-12

Gazpacho-1-13Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight. Remove the crushed garlic clove before serving. Garnish with fresh herbs, more minced vegetables and olive oil and/or sherry vinegar.  Gazpacho-1-18

Gazpacho
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soups
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 5 medium tomatoes, peeled and seeded, half coarsely chopped and half minced
  • ½ of an English cucumber, seeded, half coarsely chopped and half minced
  • 1 small bell pepper, seeded half coarsely chopped and half minced
  • 1 small celery stalk, half coarsely chopped and half minced
  • 1 slice hearty bread
  • 1 small jalapeño, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • salt, pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more to garnish
  • ½ Tablespoon sherry vinegar, plus more to garnish
  • fresh herbs, to garnish (parsley, green onions, basil, etc.)
Instructions
  1. Cut an X on the top and bottom of the tomatoes. Submerge the tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Plunge the tomatoes into an ice bath and then peel the skin off the tomatoes. Remove the seeds from the tomatoes.
  2. Coarsely chop half of the tomatoes and mince the second hand of the tomatoes. Coarsely chop half of the cucumber (which would be ¼ of the whole English cucumber, scraping out the seeds from the cucumber too), bell pepper and celery stalk. Mince the second half of the cucumber, bell pepper and celery stalk.
  3. Mince the jalapeño and shallot and crush the garlic clove.
  4. Place the coarsely chopped vegetables and the slice of bread, torn into pieces into a food processor and pulse until it's completely pureed. The bread is completely optional. Your soup will be smoother without the bread. The bread gives the soup creaminess.
  5. Add the olive oil and the sherry vinegar and pulse to combine again.
  6. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
  7. Add the minced vegetables, the crushed garlic clove, tomato juice and season to taste with salt and pepper and more olive oil and sherry vinegar, if needed.
  8. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
  9. Remove the crushed garlic clove before serving. Garnish with fresh herbs, more minced vegetables and olive oil and/or sherry vinegar.

 

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Karina’s Bridal Shower http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/olgastips/hospitality/karinas-bridal-shower/ http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/olgastips/hospitality/karinas-bridal-shower/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 10:00:48 +0000 http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/?p=14247 My baby sister is getting married this summer and I don’t even know h0w I feel about it. I guess my emotions are bittersweet. She has always been my cute little baby sister, and now she is going to be a married woman with a home and family of her own. Her fiancé, Eddy, is... 

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Karina's Bridal Shower -1-14My baby sister is getting married this summer and I don’t even know h0w I feel about it. I guess my emotions are bittersweet. She has always been my cute little baby sister, and now she is going to be a married woman with a home and family of her own. Her fiancé, Eddy, is a wonderful guy and we all love him already. I couldn’t have handpicked a better man for her if I did it myself. Karina is the last one in our family to get married. We are all so thankful for the wonderful spouses that each one of us original Goncharenkos has married. They are all amazing and I genuinely feel that they are part of our family, just as much as all my siblings.

Even though Eddie and Karina live in New York, they decided that they wanted to have a tropical, Floridian wedding, which is definitely convenient for us. They came down this week do take care of some wedding preparations. My parents are also here to help us with the move, Dad helping Sergi finish the last, final renovations before we bring all of our things from our apartment to the new house, and Mom helping with the children, cooking, packing and generally helping out with anything that needs to be done. This week, if you enter into my premises, you will find yourself with a job:).

We girls started scheming of a bridal shower, since it was only logical that the timing was perfect. We had an intimate, lovely shower for the last little chick in the family nest. My sister, Milana, hosted the party at her house and she and her husband, Andrey,  did a phenomenal job with the decor, don’t you think?

Karina's Bridal Shower -1

Karina's Bridal Shower -1-24

Karina's Bridal Shower -1-12

Karina's Bridal Shower -1-6

Karina's Bridal Shower -1-23

While the menfolk all got sweaty and used their muscles at my new house, the girls enjoyed an evening of elegance, lots of great food, gushing over all Karina’s new household possessions and of course, girl talk.

Karina's Bridal Shower -1-4

Karina's Bridal Shower -1-9

It’s so peaceful in Grandma’s arms.

Karina's Bridal Shower -1-25

I absolutely LOVE the lighting. It was beautiful.

The Food:

Our menu was simple but SO delicious. Since it was only the 6 of us, we didn’t make an exorbitant amount of different dishes but chose foods that we all loved.

Flavored Water (with lemons, strawberries and mint)

Karina's Bridal Shower -1-11Creamy Chicken Salad Bites

Karina's Bridal Shower -1-2New potatoes with butter and fresh herbs

Karina's Bridal Shower -1-16Baked Salmon Fillet (I used the same recipe as my Baked Steelhead Trout Fillet). I’m so glad we made extra salmon, since we had some party crashers at the end of the night:).

Karina's Bridal Shower -1-10

Karina's Bridal Shower -1-15Spinach Strawberry and Avocado Salad

Karina's Bridal Shower -1-7Desserts:

Karina's Bridal Shower -1-5

My amazing sister-in-laws, Vitaliya and Marina

Fruit Salad

Karina's Bridal Shower -1-8Caramel Cake – I’m not even sure what this cake is called, because Vitaliya made it, and I forgot to ask, but the thin cake layers reminded me of caramel. The cake just melted in your mouth. The frosting was made from dulce de leche. YUM.

Karina's Bridal Shower -1-20Chocolate Cake Roll (Recipe coming soon) This was my creation and I loved how it turned out. I will try to recreate it for you soon. I didn’t have a chance to take a proper picture, but you can see it hiding in the back, behind the fruit salad.

Karina's Bridal Shower -1-21Strawberry Souffle – “Many hands make light the work.” I love this quote, especially when it comes to food. With everybody pitching in, the food was a cinch. Marina made these elegant, cold Strawberry Souffles, in such an elegant presentation.

Karina's Bridal Shower -1-19Don’t you just love watching the bride to be open all her presents? It’s so much fun to see all those household beauties:). I’ll just show you a small glimpse of the present opening. Karina's Bridal Shower -1-28

Karina's Bridal Shower -1-22

Karina's Bridal Shower -1-27

Karina with Mom

Karina with Mom

It was a lovely evening. At 10 pm, I got a phone call from my husband, telling us that they were all hungry and on the way to join us. We ended the evening with the whole family reunited again (except for our sister, Elina, and her family, but they were with is in spirit and on Snapchat).

Karina's Bridal Shower -1-26

Whenever I take pictures of an event, I later realize that I don’t have any pictures of myself there. Here’s the only one, and from my phone too. Does this happen to anyone else?

We love you Karina and Eddy! Congratulations on your engagement and May God bless your future marriage!

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Belorussian Potato and Cheese “Souffle” Babka http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/ontheside/side-dishes/belorussian-potato-cheese-souffle-babka/ http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/ontheside/side-dishes/belorussian-potato-cheese-souffle-babka/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 13:30:56 +0000 http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/?p=14211 Mashed potatoes have earned their respect on most holiday dinner tables. They are such a staple, and for good reason. I prefer potatoes over any other side dish. I guess this proves that I’m Slavic and not Italian in origin:). Today I introduce you to another way to prepare the spud. A “babka” is such... 

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Belorussian Potato and Cheese Babka-1-21Mashed potatoes have earned their respect on most holiday dinner tables. They are such a staple, and for good reason. I prefer potatoes over any other side dish. I guess this proves that I’m Slavic and not Italian in origin:).

Today I introduce you to another way to prepare the spud. A “babka” is such a fun way to serve potatoes. Usually, I prepare Belorussian Potato Babka with raw pureed potatoes, but this recipe uses cooked potatoes that are shredded AND, get this…. assembled in layers of potatoes and cheese. Farmer’s cheese is another favorite Slavic ingredient, so I thought it would be a natural combination. You can use ricotta cheese and it will taste just as great. The outcome is so fluffy, it reminds me of a potato soufflé. The crisp and crunchy cheese layer on top contrasts wonderfully with the tenderness of the Babka. Serve this at your next party as a side dish instead of mashed potatoes. Your guests will enjoy the surprise.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 lbs potatoes

1 1/2 Tablespoon butter or oil, divided

1 large onion, minced

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

12-16 oz farmer’s cheese or ricotta(depending on how much cheese you like)

1 whole egg and 3 egg yolks

1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated (divided)

1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, finely grated, optional

1 1/2 cups half n half

salt, pepper

dry herbs, optional

Instructions:

Belorussian Potato and Cheese Babka-1-3Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a rimmed baking dish with 1 Tablespoon of butter or oil.

Belorussian Potato and Cheese Babka-1-11Cook the potatoes in their skin, either in water or bake them in the oven.

Belorussian Potato and Cheese Babka-1-4When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them and grate them on the large holes of a box grater.

Belorussian Potato and Cheese Babka-1-9

Belorussian Potato and Cheese Babka-1-10Meanwhile, melt 1/2 Tablespoon butter or oil in a skillet. Add the onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are tender.

Belorussian Potato and Cheese Babka-1-7In a bowl, mix the farmer’s cheese with 2/3 cup of the Parmesan cheese, the whole egg and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper. You can also add some grated Mozzarella cheese, or any other cheese that melts well.

Belorussian Potato and Cheese Babka-1-5Whisk the egg yolks and the half n half together, also seasoning with salt and pepper.

Belorussian Potato and Cheese Babka-1-8Layer 1/3 of the potatoes into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

Belorussian Potato and Cheese Babka-1-12Sprinkle 1/3 of the onion and garlic mixture on top of the potatoes, and season with salt, ground black pepper and dry herbs (if you’re using them). I really like this dry herb mixture. Belorussian Potato and Cheese Babka-1-13

Belorussian Potato and Cheese Babka-1-14Spread out half of the cheese mixture next. Belorussian Potato and Cheese Babka-1-15Repeat with another layer of potatoes, onion and garlic, then the second half of the cheese mixture and top it off with another layer or potatoes, onions and garlic, seasoning each layer of potatoes.

Belorussian Potato and Cheese Babka-1-16

Belorussian Potato and Cheese Babka-1-15

Belorussian Potato and Cheese Babka-1-18Pour the half and half and yolks over the whole dish and sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese.

Belorussian Potato and Cheese Babka-1-19Bake, covered, in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown.

Belorussian Potato and Cheese Babka-1-20

Belorussian Potato and Cheese Babka-1-21

Belorussian Potato and Cheese "Souffle" Babka
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sides
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2½ lbs potatoes
  • 1½ Tablespoon butter or oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12-16 oz farmer's cheese or ricotta(depending on how much cheese you like)
  • 1 whole egg and 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated (divided)
  • ½ cup Mozzarella cheese, finely grated, optional
  • 1½ cups half n half
  • salt, pepper
  • dry herbs, optional
Instructions
  1. Cook the potatoes in their skin, either in water or bake them in the oven.
  2. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them and grate them on the large holes of a box grater.
  3. Meanwhile, melt ½ Tablespoon butter or oil in a skillet. Add the onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are tender.
  4. In a bowl, mix the farmer's cheese with ⅔ cup of the Parmesan cheese, the whole egg and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper. You can also add some grated Mozzarella cheese, or any other cheese that melts well.
  5. Whisk the egg yolks and the half n half together, also seasoning with salt and pepper.
  6. Layer ⅓ of the potatoes into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle it with salt, ground black pepper and dry herbs (if you're using them). I really like this dry herb mixture. Sprinkle ⅓ of the onion and garlic mixture on top of the potatoes, followed with half of the cheese mixture. Repeat with another layer of potatoes, onion and garlic, then the second half of the cheese mixture and top it off with another layer or potatoes, onions and garlic, seasoning each layer of potatoes. Pour the half and half and yolks over the whole dish and sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese.
  7. Bake, covered, in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown.

 

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Seared Shrimp and Summer Couscous http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/main-course/seared-shrimp-summer-couscous/ http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/main-course/seared-shrimp-summer-couscous/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 13:30:03 +0000 http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/?p=14196 Moving Week is here! I say this with both exhilaration and trepidation. Part of me wants to sing and dance, and the other part wants to run away and hide until it’s all behind us. Ha ha. Simple dinners have full reign of my kitchen and time consuming ideas are beaten back with a stick.... 

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Seared Shrimp and Summer Couscous -1-13Moving Week is here! I say this with both exhilaration and trepidation. Part of me wants to sing and dance, and the other part wants to run away and hide until it’s all behind us. Ha ha. Simple dinners have full reign of my kitchen and time consuming ideas are beaten back with a stick.

My luxury meal planning time is practically nonexistent. As I recently sat in the parking lot of the grocery store and scribbled down my weekly menu and grocery list, I closed my eyes and tried to think of something that would be very summery, full of fresh flavor and not take too much time. Shrimp and couscous came to mind and I immediately. Both ingredients scream SPEED to me. Each take 5 minutes to prepare, and it’s hard to find any other kind of full meal that can beat that record.

Put these juicy, plump shrimp with fluffy couscous on your menu. I think the addition of tomatoes, aromatics, fresh herbs and lemon juice really elevate this dish to an elegant and sophisticated meal, even though it’s technically easier to prepare than to take the time to get take out. Nobody said that delicious, homemade dinners that look 100% gourmet need to be difficult to make.

I have to go back to my boxes, but I can’t wait to come back soon and show you our new place:). But before that happens, I need to stay sane for the rest of the week, get all our possessions packed up and transported, all while entertaining a very rambunctious child and an attention hungry baby. 

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1/2 jalapeño, minced

1 pint grape tomatoes, chopped in half

4 garlic cloves, divided

1 1/2 cups couscous

2 1/4 cups chicken, seafood or vegetable broth, hot

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 lb shrimp, deveined and peeled (with tails still attached, optionally)

1 Tablespoons fresh parsley and green onions, minced and thinly sliced

Instructions:

Seared Shrimp and Summer Couscous -1Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a deep skillet. Add the onion and jalapeño. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, on medium heat,  until the onions are softened. Seared Shrimp and Summer Couscous -1-2Increase the heat to high, add the tomatoes and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 3o seconds. Seared Shrimp and Summer Couscous -1-3Add the couscous to the skillet and pour in the broth and 1-2 Tablespoons of lemon juice. Bring it to a boil, turn off the heat and let it stand, covered for 5 minutes.

Seared Shrimp and Summer Couscous -1-4

Seared Shrimp and Summer Couscous -1-5Meanwhile, add 1 Tablespoon of oil to another skillet and sear the shrimp for 1-2 minutes per side, on high heat, seasoned with salt and pepper. Cook half of the shrimp at a time. Seared Shrimp and Summer Couscous -1-6When you turn the shrimp over, add 1 clove of minced garlic and another 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice to the skillet. Repeat with the second half of the shrimp, lemon juice and garlic. Add parsley after you turn the heat off. Seared Shrimp and Summer Couscous -1-7Fluff the cooked couscous with a fork. Seared Shrimp and Summer Couscous -1-8

Seared Shrimp and Summer Couscous -1-9Add the shrimp to the couscous and serve. Seared Shrimp and Summer Couscous -1-10

Seared Shrimp and Summer Couscous
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ jalapeño, minced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, chopped in half
  • 4 garlic cloves, divided
  • 1½ cups couscous
  • 2¼ cups chicken, seafood or vegetable broth, hot
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 lb shrimp, deveined and peeled (with tails still attached, optionally)
  • 1 Tablespoons fresh parsley and green onions, minced and thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a deep skillet. Add the onion and jalapeño. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, on medium heat, until the onions are softened. I
  2. increase the heat to high, add the tomatoes and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the couscous to the skillet and pour in the broth and 1-2 Tablespoons of lemon juice. Bring it to a boil, turn off the heat and let it stand, covered for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, add 1 Tablespoon of oil to another skillet and sear the shrimp for 1-2 minutes per side, on high heat, seasoned with salt and pepper. Cook half of the shrimp at a time.
  5. When you turn the shrimp over, add 1 clove of minced garlic and another 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice to the skillet.
  6. Repeat with the second half of the shrimp, lemon juice and garlic.
  7. Add parsley after you turn the heat off.
  8. Fluff the cooked couscous with a fork.
  9. Add the shrimp to the couscous and serve. Garnish with fresh herbs.

 

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Kale Salad With Roasted Beets http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/ontheside/salads/kale-salad/ http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/ontheside/salads/kale-salad/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 13:35:03 +0000 http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/?p=13928 Most people indulge in salads during the summer more than any other time of the year. I am the same way. I guess all the available abundance of fresh produce has a good effect on us. Even though my favorite salads are still the ones that I have been enjoying for years, like Creamy Spring... 

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Kale Salad With Roasted Beets-1-10Most people indulge in salads during the summer more than any other time of the year. I am the same way. I guess all the available abundance of fresh produce has a good effect on us. Even though my favorite salads are still the ones that I have been enjoying for years, like Creamy Spring Garden Salad or Cauliflower Tomato Salad, sometimes, I crave something different, maybe even a little bit wierd. This kale salad is definitely unique in both taste, texture and visually too.

One of the small annoyances of kale is that it can sometimes feel like your jaw gets a workout gnawing on something that just doesn’t want to break down. The secret to tender kale leaves is to give it some tough love in the form of an aggressive rubdown. Not only will you be adding lots of flavor into the leaves because you’re rubbing it with olive oil, lemon juice and salt, but you are also softening the kale. I love the addition of roasted beets and caramelized apples. With some crunchy walnuts, sweet raisins, a zesty dressing, and nutty Parmesan cheese, your mouth is in for a roller coaster ride. 

Ingredients:

Salad:

3 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil

1-2 apples (any kind of apple)

1/2 – 1 Tablespoon honey

6-7 cups kale

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2-3 small roasted beets

1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced

1/4 cup toasted walnuts

1/4 cup golden raisins (or craisins)

Romano or Parmesan cheese (goat cheese or blue cheese would be great in this salad too)

Vinaigrette:

4  Tablespoons olive oil

1-2 teaspoons red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 garlic cloves, smashed

1-2 teaspoons dijon mustard

1 – 2 teaspoons honey

1/2 Tablespoon fresh parsley, minced

Instructions:

Kale Salad With Roasted Beets-1-2Read this post to find out How To Roast Beets. I would recommend roasting the beets ahead of time. The beets need to be cold for this recipe.

How To Roast Beets-1-5Peel the apple and cut it into slices. Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the apple with the honey and cook it for about 5 minutes, until the apple slices are tender and slightly caramelized. (You can also use brown sugar instead of honey.) Set the apples aside until they cool completely. 

Another great addition would be a splash of apple cider. Add the liquid to the vinaigrette later. 

Kale Salad With Roasted Beets-1-4Massage the kale for at least 5 minutes with 2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and season with salt. The kale will become much more tender and soft and will decrease in volume significantly.

Kale Salad With Roasted Beets-1Peel the beets and cut them  into slices. Season the beets with 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice, salt, pepper and parsley. You can use as much or as little beets as you like.

Kale Salad With Roasted Beets-1-3Mix all the ingredients together for the vinaigrette.

Kale Salad With Roasted Beets-1-5Layer the kale on the bottom of the plate and arrange the beets and the apples on top of the kale. Drizzle some of the vinaigrette over the salad, discarding the garlic. Garnish the salad with raisins, walnuts and Parmesan or Romano cheese. You can also add some goat cheese or blue cheese to the salad, it’s absolutely divine with beets and apples. Kale Salad With Roasted Beets-1-7

Kale Salad With Roasted Beets
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sides
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3½ Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 apples (any kind of apple)
  • ½ - 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 6-7 cups kale
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2-3 small beets
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts
  • ¼ cup golden raisins (or craisins)
  • Romano or Parmesan cheese (goat cheese or blue cheese would be great in this salad too)
Vinaigrette:
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1-2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ Tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
Instructions
  1. Read this post to find out How To Roast Beets. I would recommend roasting the beets ahead of time. The beets need to be cold for this recipe.
  2. Peel the apple and cut it into slices. Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the apple with the honey and cook it for about 5 minutes, until the apple slices are tender and slightly caramelized. (You can also use brown sugar instead of honey.) Set the apples aside until they cool completely.
  3. Another great addition would be a splash of apple cider. Add the liquid to the vinaigrette later.
  4. Massage the kale for at least 5 minutes with 2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and season with salt. The kale will become much more tender and soft and will decrease in volume significantly.
  5. Peel the beets and cut them into slices. Season the beets with ½ Tablespoon of olive oil, ½ Tablespoon lemon juice, salt, pepper and parsley.
  6. Mix all the ingredients together for the vinaigrette.
  7. Layer the kale on the bottom of the plate and arrange the beets and the apples on top of the kale. Drizzle some of the vinaigrette over the salad, discarding the garlic. Garnish the salad with raisins, walnuts and Parmesan or Romano cheese.
Notes
You can also add some goat cheese or blue cheese to the salad, it's absolutely divine with beets and apples.

 

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Buckwheat and Mushroom Cabbage Rolls http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/main-course/buckwheat-mushroom-cabbage-rolls/ http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/main-course/buckwheat-mushroom-cabbage-rolls/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 11:55:45 +0000 http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/?p=13923 Admit it, if you are Slavic, sometimes you get cravings for food that many other people would call wierd. Think of Seleyodka (pickled herring), Holodets, Salo, Borsch and many others. I’m sure you’ve gotten some strange looks when you open up your lunch box at work once in a while. Even though cabbage rolls are... 

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Mushroom and Buckwheat Cabbage Rolls-1-19Admit it, if you are Slavic, sometimes you get cravings for food that many other people would call wierd. Think of Seleyodka (pickled herring), Holodets, Salo, Borsch and many others. I’m sure you’ve gotten some strange looks when you open up your lunch box at work once in a while. Even though cabbage rolls are a bit more popular than the foods that I just named, many people turn up their noses at the mere mention of cabbage.

I had one of these cravings the other day, specifically for Golubtsi (cabbage rolls). I am also trying to cook foods that are great as leftovers, since we are spending so much time remodeling our new place, and days when I don’t have to cook are appreciated more than ever. This time, I decided to use buckwheat instead of rice in the meat filling and also added mushrooms to the filling as well as the sauce. Oh, wow! Let me tell you, the buckwheat adds such a nutty flavor to the filling and mushrooms make everything taste better anyway, so the combination was a big hit.

I was so sure that my 5 year old would never eat the cabbage rolls, so before we sat down to dinner, I made him a Grilled Cheese Sandwich. As I was mentally patting myself on the back for being such a thoughtful and cool Mom, I noticed a rambunctious boy at my elbow, eyeing the cabbage rolls. He was very perplexed that I was only serving it to myself and my husband, and not placing any on his plate.

“Me want some too, Mom”, he adamantly told me. I was shocked. I doubtfully placed a cabbage roll on his plate.

He just doesn’t know what it is, I told myself, as soon as he takes a bite, he will move the plate away. Oh, well. The Grilled Cheese Sandwich is ready and waiting. 

Imagine my surprise when he devoured the whole cabbage roll and told me with lots of nodding and smacking noises that it was “very good”. 

Ingredients:

Cabbage rolls:

1 medium savoy cabbage

1 lb ground pork (you can also use ground beef, turkey or chicken)

1/2 Tablespoon butter or oil

1 onion, minced

1 carrot, finely shredded

1/4 cup dry chanterelle mushrooms, rehydrated and minced

4 oz. fresh button mushrooms (or any other fresh mushrooms), chopped

1/2 cup raw roasted buckwheat

salt

ground black pepper

Sauce:

1/2 Tablespoon oil

1 large can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes

1 onion, chopped

1 small carrot, shredded

1 celery stalk, minced

4 – 6 oz fresh button mushrooms, chopped

1 -2 garlic cloves, minced 

salt, pepper

Garnish:

fresh dill, parsley

sour cream

Instructions:

Mushroom and Buckwheat Cabbage Rolls-1Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut out the core from the cabbage head and submerge the cabbage in the water. Cook in the boiling water until the cabbage leaves have softened, 5 minutes or some. Remove the cabbage from the water and set aside until it is cool enough to handle. Save the water that it was cooking in, since you will use a bit of it later.

Mushroom and Buckwheat Cabbage Rolls-1-2Cook the buckwheat until it’s just slightly underdone.

Rehydrate the dry mushrooms in some boiling water, set them aside for about 10 minutes, drain and then mince. Chop the button mushrooms.

Mushroom and Buckwheat Cabbage Rolls-1-3In a skillet, heat the butter or oil and add the onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the carrot and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Mushroom and Buckwheat Cabbage Rolls-1-4Cook, covered, for about 8 more minutes, until all the ingredients have softened and the mushrooms have turned a golden brown. Cool slightly.

Mushroom and Buckwheat Cabbage Rolls-1-5Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, mushrooms and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Mushroom and Buckwheat Cabbage Rolls-1-6Add the carrots and celery, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Mushroom and Buckwheat Cabbage Rolls-1-7Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook for another 5-10 minutes. You can also add any kind of dry or fresh herbs.

Mushroom and Buckwheat Cabbage Rolls-1-10Mix the ground meat, cooked buckwheat and the sautéed mushroom mixture. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt, freshly ground black pepper and again mix to combine. Mushroom and Buckwheat Cabbage Rolls-1-8

Mushroom and Buckwheat Cabbage Rolls-1-9Separate the cabbage leaves from the head and cut off the hard rib on each leaf with a paring knife and discard. Place about 1/4 cup of the meat and mushroom filling into the bottom center of each cabbage leaf, fold the side edges of the cabbage over the filling and roll it up over the filling to form a cabbage roll. Repeat with the rest of the cabbage leaves and the filling.

Mushroom and Buckwheat Cabbage Rolls-1-11Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cover the bottom of a 13×9 inch deep baking dish with sauce. Nestle the cabbage leaves on top of the sauce and cover them with more sauce on top. Pour about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of the remaining cabbage water on top of the cabbage rolls. Mushroom and Buckwheat Cabbage Rolls-1-12

Mushroom and Buckwheat Cabbage Rolls-1-13Bake in the preheated oven, covered, for about 45 minutes. Serve with fresh herbs and a dollop of sour cream.

Mushroom and Buckwheat Cabbage Rolls-1-19

Mushroom and Buckwheat Cabbage Rolls-1-18

Buckwheat and Mushroom Cabbage Rolls
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 15 cabbage rolls
Ingredients
Cabbage rolls:
  • 1 medium savoy cabbage
  • 1 lb ground pork (you can also use ground beef, turkey or chicken)
  • ½ Tablespoon butter or oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 carrot, finely shredded
  • ¼ cup dry chanterelle mushrooms, rehydrated and minced
  • 4 oz. fresh button mushrooms (or any other fresh mushrooms), chopped
  • ½ cup raw roasted buckwheat
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
Sauce:
  • ½ Tablespoon oil
  • 1 large can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, shredded
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 4 - 6 oz fresh button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 -2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt, pepper
Garnish:
  • fresh dill, parsley
  • sour cream
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut out the core from the cabbage head and submerge the cabbage in the water. Cook in the boiling water until the cabbage leaves have softened, 5 minutes or some. Remove the cabbage from the water and set aside until it is cool enough to handle. Save the water that it was cooking in, since you will use a bit of it later.
  2. Cook the buckwheat until it's just slightly underdone.
  3. Rehydrate the dry mushrooms in some boiling water, set them aside for about 10 minutes, drain and then mince. Chop the button mushrooms.
  4. In a skillet, heat the butter or oil and add the onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the carrot and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, covered, for about 8 more minutes, until all the ingredients have softened and the mushrooms have turned a golden brown. Cool slightly.
  5. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce.
  6. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, mushrooms and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Add the carrots and celery, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook for another 5-10 minutes. You can also add any kind of dry or fresh herbs.
  7. Mix the ground meat, cooked buckwheat and the sautéed mushroom mixture. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt, freshly ground black pepper and again mix to combine. Separate the cabbage leaves from the head and cut off the hard rib on each leaf with a paring knife and discard. Place about ¼ cup of the meat and mushroom filling into the bottom center of each cabbage leaf, fold the side edges of the cabbage over the filling and roll it up over the filling to form a cabbage roll. Repeat with the rest of the cabbage leaves and the filling.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  9. Cover the bottom of a 13x9 inch deep baking dish with sauce. Nestle the cabbage leaves on top of the sauce and cover them with more sauce on top. Pour about ⅓ - ½ cup of the remaining cabbage water on top of the cabbage rolls. Bake in the preheated oven, covered, for about 45 minutes. Serve with fresh herbs and a dollop of sour cream.

 

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Vanilla and Raisin Rice Pudding – Рисовая Каша http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/breakfast/vanilla-raisin-rice-pudding/ http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/breakfast/vanilla-raisin-rice-pudding/#comments Mon, 07 Jul 2014 16:55:37 +0000 http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/?p=14132 I’ve been trying to introduce my 5 year old picky eater to something other than pancakes for breakfast. I tried to remember what my Mom cooked for us when we were all small, and I thought of Molochni Soup, milk soup, which was made with either pasta or rice. We called the rice version Risovaya... 

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Vanilla and Raisin Rice Pudding-1-10I’ve been trying to introduce my 5 year old picky eater to something other than pancakes for breakfast. I tried to remember what my Mom cooked for us when we were all small, and I thought of Molochni Soup, milk soup, which was made with either pasta or rice. We called the rice version Risovaya Kasha, or Rice Pudding, as it is known here. When I was a little girl, my Mom would make it quite often. This is a staple Russian breakfast, especially for children. Whenever I make Rice Pudding, it’s like a walk down memory lane.

Since I like to kick things up a notch, I added raisins, orange zest and a vanilla bean to my Rice Pudding. It was the BOMB! You can’t call it boring for sure, and it’s still a healthy and filling breakfast. Sometimes, I even make it to serve as a dessert. 

Ingredients:
1 cup medium grain rice

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 – 5 cups milk

1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar

1 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

1/2 – 1 teaspoon orange zest

1 handful golden raisins

1 handful regular raisins (or any other dry fruit)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 Tablespoons butter

Instructions:

Vanilla and Raisin Rice Pudding-1Add the rice, salt, water, raisins and orange zest to a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed into the rice. Vanilla and Raisin Rice Pudding-1-4

Vanilla and Raisin Rice Pudding-1-5

Vanilla and Raisin Rice Pudding-1-6

Vanilla and Raisin Rice Pudding-1-7Meanwhile, in another saucepan, heat the milk, sugar and vanilla bean (if you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the very end, after turning the heat off) just until the sugar dissolves. Vanilla and Raisin Rice Pudding-1-2

Vanilla and Raisin Rice Pudding-1-3Add the milk mixture to the rice, stir, and continue cooking, covered, on medium low heat for about 30 minutes, until the rice pudding is creamy and thick. Vanilla and Raisin Rice Pudding-1-8If you like the rice pudding to be thick and creamy, use 4 cups of milk. If you like the rice pudding to be a thinner consistency, use 5 or more cups of milk. You can also add all kinds of other dry fruit, such as cry cherries, craisins, apricots, etc.ikilk. You can also add all kinds of other dry fruit, such as cry cherries, craisins, apricots, etc.

Vanilla and Raisin Rice Pudding-1-9Portion the rice pudding into bowls and garnish with a bit of butter and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Vanilla and Raisin Rice Pudding-1-11

Vanilla and Raisin Rice Pudding
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 cup medium grain rice
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 - 5 cups milk
  • ¼ - ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 handful golden raisins
  • 1 handful regular raisins (or any other dry fruit)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons butter
Instructions
  1. Add the rice, salt, water, raisins and orange zest to a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed into the rice.
  2. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, heat the milk, sugar and vanilla bean (if you're using vanilla extract, add it at the very end, after turning the heat off) just until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Add the milk mixture to the rice, stir, and continue cooking,covered, on medium low heat for about 30 minutes, until the rice pudding is creamy and thick.
  4. If you like the rice pudding to be thick and creamy, use 4 cups of milk. If you like the rice pudding to be a thinner consistency, use 5 or more cups of milk. You can also add all kinds of other dry fruit, such as cry cherries, craisins, apricots, etc.ikilk. You can also add all kinds of other dry fruit, such as cry cherries, craisins, apricots, etc.
  5. Portion the rice pudding into bowls and garnish with a bit of butter and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

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Nun’s Puffs http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/sweets/desserts/nuns-puffs/ http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/sweets/desserts/nuns-puffs/#comments Wed, 02 Jul 2014 15:05:12 +0000 http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/?p=14116 When I was an engaged young woman, I knew that I would soon be cooking for my own family. I bought myself a thick hard cover notebook and spent many hours browsing through my Mom’s hand written recipes, rewriting them into my own notebook. I felt so happy with anticipation and also proud to think... 

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Nun's Puffs-1-9When I was an engaged young woman, I knew that I would soon be cooking for my own family. I bought myself a thick hard cover notebook and spent many hours browsing through my Mom’s hand written recipes, rewriting them into my own notebook. I felt so happy with anticipation and also proud to think that soon I would be a homemaker myself.
The very first cookbook that I bought for myself was a bridal edition New Cook Book of Better Home and Gardens. I found it on one of my many trips to Barnes and Noble. I was looking for a good comprehensive book with all kinds of basic recipes, starting from pancakes, and covering all the bases-  salads, sides, entrees, desserts, etc. I also really appreciated all the tips in the book too.
I vividly remember my first few months as a married woman. I loved planning my menu, getting dinner cooked and then waiting eagerly for my wonderful husband to come home from work. I even made sure to put on a cute outfit, do my makeup and fix my hair:). There was something so special about that time.
One day, as I was looking for a new dessert to try, I stumbled upon a recipe for Nun’s Puffs. The name itself was intriguing enough, and I loved how simple it was to prepare with only 4 ingredients. I’ve been making Nun’s Puffs ever since. If you open my cookbook, it will automatically open to that recipe, because the binding is permanently creased there. That’s how much I love this recipe. It is basically a pate choux dough, (the same one used for cream puffs and eclairs) except it’s made with milk instead of water. The texture really reminds me of a popover or a Dutch baby pancake, crisp on the outside and the inside tastes like a crepe. 
Ingredients:

1 stick butter (1/2 cup)

1 cup milk

3/4 cup flour
4 eggs
sugar, for sprinkling the puffs
honey, optional
Instructions:
Nun's Puffs-1Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a regular size muffin pan with oil, on the inside and on the rim.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the milk and bring to a low boil. Nun's Puffs-1-2Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon, keeping the saucepan on low heat, until the dough comes together in a ball that stays together. Nun's Puffs-1-3Cool for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, using a wooden spoon, until each egg is evenly mixed in. Nun's Puffs-1-4At first, the dough will separate into chunks, but then will become smooth. Nun's Puffs-1-5
Nun's Puffs-1-6Divide the dough evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle each puff with sugar. Nun's Puffs-1-7Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until puffy and golden brown. Nun's Puffs-1-8Serve with a drizzle of honey. Nun's Puffs-1-10
Nun's Puffs
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sweets
Serves: 12 puffs
Ingredients
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • sugar, for sprinkling the puffs
  • honey, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a regular size muffin pan with oil, on the inside and on the rim.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the milk and bring to a low boil.
  3. Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon, keeping the saucepan on low heat, until the dough comes together in a ball that stays together.
  4. Cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, using a wooden spoon, until each egg is evenly mixed in. At first, the dough will separate into chunks, but then will become smooth.
  6. Divide the dough evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle each puff with sugar.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until puffy and golden brown.
  8. Serve with a drizzle of honey.

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