Fast Fish Almondine

This is a fast dish, but a long story, going back to ancient Rome. You think that almondine means “made with almonds,” and you are right. But google it, and you’see a different word – amandine. Google that, and it means – surprise! – made with almonds. Scroll down a little, and the Urban Dictionary tells you that…

Stuffed Avocado

When you hear stuffed shirt, you get a mental image of a retrograde, an inflexible old-fashioned conservative, maybe an arrogant poseur with no substance. The latter is probably the closest to the truth, as the idiom was actually born as a literal description of a scarecrow, dressed in real person’s clothes and stuffed with whatever was…

Vinaigrette – a Russian Winter Salad

He is called Father Frost or General Frost. He lives in Russia, and he could be very cruel, especially to those who do not show proper respect to him. He has defeated many invaders, from the khans, to Napoleon, to Nazi Germany. He likes to decorate fields and forests, covering them in pristine snow and…

But Hannah Did Not Have Potatoes! Latkes with a Tropical Twist.

Chanukkah is coming, and kids are looking forward to stuffing their faces with latkes – potato pancakes. When I was growing up, we had all kinds of latkes on Chanukkah, and sometimes my grandmother skipped the deruny (potato latkes) altogether because of the variety of other, more interesting ones: carrots with apples, zucchini with raisins, and my father’s favorite rechene (buckwheat) latkes. When a guest inquired about…

Placinda – Flaky Pumpkin Pie

A prominent Rabbi picks up an apple, pronounces the appropriate blessing, and bites into it. One of his students also picks up an apple, mutters a blessing, and takes a bite. Then he stops and asks: “Rabbi, what is the difference between you and me eating an apple? We both say the same blessing, yet…

The Golden Soup

Dear Carol of Retired? No one told me! says that today is a National Split Pea Day. Not to be left out of it, I am repeating this simple, yet delicious recipe. King Midas had a daughter called Marigold, and he loved her more than anything, and he wanted to give her the best, the…

Dracula and Klyotzki Dumplings

It looks like my Monster cookies were not scary enough for you, Beautiful People. Let me introduce you to some truly terrible real monsters who have become legendary. Count Dracula really existed. He was born in Transylvania in fifteenth century and ruled the province called Wallachia. His name was Vlad III, and his last name…

Pumpkin Spinach Soup

I have heard from lovely Carol who runs a great blog with a funky name Retired? No one told me! that October is a Pumpkin month; she also asked me to share my pumpkin soup recipe. I am repeating my old post, with two changes: the first one is in INGREDIENTS, and the second in…

Spear Your Meat, But Don’t Spare Your Veggies: Shashlik

When you think of meat on skewers, you probably visualize this: Or, perhaps, if you are even slightly familiar with Georgian cuisine (a country, not a state), this: And you will be on the right track: regardless of countless variations of it, shishkebab definitely has a long military history. I couldn’t help but share with…

The Great and Glorious Fake Sauce

Louis XIV of France was a great and glorious king who has consolidated a great and glorious country by forging a centralized government – absolute monarchy. Having been scared out of his wits as a teenager during the Fronde rebellion, when he, his mother Anne of Austria –  the Regent, and Cardinal Mazarin fled from…

Pickling Time and Chunking Kale

A distressed mother barges into a Rabbi’s study: “Rabbi, my son has gone meshuge (crazy)!” “Calm down, lady, have you taken him to a specialist? What makes you think that?” “Specialist-shmeshalist! Who needs specialists? I am a mother, I know!” “But, dear lady, what does he do?” “Oy, Rabbi, he eats pigs and dances with girls!” “Listen,”…