Thursday, March 27, 2008

Parental love

My mom is a wonderful cook (as is my dad, which, I guess, should be obvious:) and even though she lately claims that she's gotten a bit bored with cooking and when it's just the two of them they eat deli food half the time, when we go over for a long weekend, she always whips up some of the classics.
And the Easter was a very, very long weekend. So there were some classics and some newbies in her kitchen.
Here are some of the highlights.

Blini (thin Russian pancakes):

These are classic Russian blini, ultra thin and buttery. When I was a kid, she used to have a piece of fat on a fork and she'd glaze each pancake she'd take off the pan with it. By now it's butter. But you get the point.
It's a classic pancake dough but very thin, approximately the thickness of a drinking yoghurt or syrup.

2 eggs
fine flour

Cook on both sides on a large pan. Make sure they are as thin as they come.
Serve with trout or salmon fish-roe; pate; cream cheese or, if you're the more conventional type, with home-made strawberry jam.

Vinaigrette salad:

finely chopped boiled beetroot
finely chopped boiled potato
sauerkraut (with carrots)
green onion or spring onion
sun-flour oil
salt and pepper

Chop, mix, dress, mix. Enjoy. It's always hard to stop before all of it is gone. And it's so pretty looking.

Mom's mustard chops:

Pork-chops (~1,5 - 2 cm in thickness, cut from the back)
mustard for marinating
1 egg
2 - 3 cloves of crushed garlic
salt and pepper
1 - 2 tbs of flour

Smear the pork with mustard and leave over-night. Cut into chops and beat with a meat hammer or a glass bottle (beat with the mouth of the bottle, so it leaves nice tidy ring-shapes, it works even better than a hammer).
Prepare the batter - whisk the egg, add the garlic, salt, pepper, flour and milk. Use the leftover mustard from the bowl / plastic box you used for marinating the meat.
Dip each chop into the batter and fry on low heat on both sides.
Serve with boiled potatoes and home-made pickles.

Pan-fried pollack with basil and green onions:

1 pollack fillet
a bush of fresh basil, chopped
a generous bunch of green onions, chopped
freshly ground black pepper and salt

Remove the fish from the skin (if hasn't been done in the supermarket). Cut it into about 5 cm wide pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fry on medium heat on one side. Turn, cover with chopped green onions and basil and squeeze on some mayo. It's wonderfully light and yet pollack has a very nice, strong taste for a white fish.

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