Belorussian Potato and Cheese “Souffle” Babka

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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Comments

  1. Alla says

    Oh this brings me back to my childhood. Thank you for posting this. I’m pinning it to make at our next family get together.

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