It is quite an interesting fact that marinated mushrooms are most known as classic Russian dish, regardless of the fact many world kitchens make an extensive use of this wonderful ingredient. Marinated mushrooms – be it champignons or any other – were mostly considered either as pickles or, more popular, as the bite following a shot of an ice chilled vodka. So, as a tribute to this wonderful dish, here’s my version of it – quick, easy and very tasty!
Few days ago we were invited to a dinner at our friends… As it was one of those “collectively prepared” meals when everyone brings a plate to share, we were requested to bring the dessert. Making a long story short, my wife pulled few recipes out of her infinite stash of books, cut out magazine pages, notes and God knows what else, and there was this one, right on the top of that pile… As I saw it, I knew it’s going to be the one, and boy, it turned out to be a success!
When I posted this photo on my Facebook page I wrote “burgers and kabobs”. However, since I got quite a few complaints from my Greek speaking friends (and working in a company with a big branch in Cyprus, I have a bunch of those 🙂 ), I decided to give this post a Greek spirit. So, today we are grilling mpiftekia – Greek burgers, and souvlaki – chicken thigh fillet skewers. And yeah, you’ll get extra points if you’re able to actually pronounce those names 🙂 🙂 🙂
Those of you who follow my posts probably remember my origins, roots, if you like, are from Eastern Europe. Generally speaking, Russian, I would say, but being more specific, I was born in Bessarabia, a relatively small piece of land in between Moldova, Ukraine and the Black Sea. Throughout its whole history Bessarabia was a very desired trophy – it’s been conquered by Turks, Romanians, Russians and a handful of others who ruled the land for shorter periods of time… Such a mixture of cultures created a very interesting culinary fusion as well, and Bessarabia’ cooking is heavily influenced by that of the conquerors – Turkey and Romania mainly, but also Russia and Ukraine. So, today I want to show you my take on a traditional Romanian “mititei” – grilled ground meat rolls, as I remember them from my childhood.
So, the chicken breasts… One of the cheapest cuts you can get, and one might think, quite simple to cook. But here’s the catch – this cut is one of the leanest ones as well, so, to keep it succulent and tender, you will find all kinds of marinating, brining and wrapping techniques suggested in the recipes. No, I am not saying these methods won’t work… On a contrary, they will, and you’ll most probably love the results, but… what if I told you there’s a way to grill an ultimately juicy and tender chicken breast completely fuss-free and ridiculously simple? Do I have your attention now? Good! Let’s go!
Today I want to share something very special. Usually, buckwheat is found in the organic foods sections of the supermarkets and not really popular among those who are not after pure organic and healthy food lifestyle. However for me, born and raised in the long gone Soviet Union, buckwheat is a taste of childhood, no less than that. Back then, unlike many other foods, buckwheat was freely available in the stores, and that made it one of the pillars of russian cuisine. The dish I am about to show you had no name other than “buckwheat with meat”… But I’ve taken it a bit further, upgraded it to the next level, if you like, and took the liberty to compare it with another dish I really like – persian pilaf, as, mind you, the preparation steps are almost identical. Hence, here I am, giving you the “buckwheat pilaf”, a dish which is about to change all you’ve known about buckwheat till now!
To the most of us grilling is directly associated with meat… Fish, in the best case. But hey, here’s one proud carnivore who loves grilling veggies! And I must admit, I have a confession to make – I love grilling veggies. Be it an eggplant, a capiscum or asparagus – flame charred they all taste much better. Mushrooms, however, are a story of its own. Just grilled they are more of a meaty texture, but you can really take it any way your imagination goes. So here’s what I called “pizza without a dough”, and trust me, this does taste like a pizza with mushrooms.