Archive for the ‘Ukraine’ Category

Crushed potatoes with broad beans

June 25, 2022

My third attempt at this excellent dish from Summer Kitchens, a Ukrainian dish by Olia Hercules.

Broad beans need to be young and fresh. Too often neither. Sadly they are now being picked too old.

ingredients

  • Boston new potatoes
  • broad beans
  • small onion
  • spring onions
  • crème fraiche
  • knob of butter
  • fresh dill
  • season with salt and pepper

method

New potatoes, scrape, add to pan of cold salted water, bring to the boil. Simmer for around twenty minutes.

Broad beans, pod, cook in boiling water for a little over five minutes.

Thin strips of streaky bacon in a hot pan medium heat until turning brown.

Add sliced onion, cook a couple of minutes until soft. May need a little oil.

Decant water from new potatoes and broad beans. Crush but not mash.

Add crushed potatoes and broad beans to bacon and sliced onion.

Add and stir in crème fraiche.

Add a knob of butter.

Add fresh dill.

Season with salt and pepper.

Serve.

Hot tip: When broad beans are not in season, use frozen broad beans. When new potatoes out of season, a couple of baked potatoes in the oven, scoop the cooked potatoes out of their skin. Personally I prefer to use what is in season.

thoughts

A very tasty dish.

Decant water then crush not mash, to keep texture of the potatoes.

Tip into pan with bacon strips and onion. Stir, else will burn to bottom of the pan, season with salt and pepper.

Although I had fresh dill, I did not add, as it does nothing for the dish.

Fresh peas added. Did not add spring onions.

I forgot to add a knob of butter but more than made up for with two large dollops of crème fraiche.

Crushed potatoes with broad beans

June 11, 2022

Fresh broad beans of the season, Boston new potatoes, once again I try this excellent Ukrainian dish from Summer Kitchens by Olia Hercules.

Broad beans need to be young and fresh. Too often neither.

ingredients

  • two rashers of streaky bacon cut into thin strips
  • Boston new potatoes
  • broad beans
  • small onion
  • spring onions
  • crème fraiche
  • knob of butter
  • fresh dill
  • season with salt and pepper

method

New potatoes, scrape, add to pan of cold salted water, bring to the boil. Simmer for around twenty minutes.

Broad beans, pod, cook in boiling water for a little over five minutes.

Thin strips of streaky bacon in a hot pan medium heat until turning brown.

Add a little oil. Add onions, cook a couple of minutes until soft and starting to colour.

Decant water from new potatoes and broad beans. Crush but not mash.

Add crushed potatoes and broad beans to bacon and sliced onions.

Add and stir in crème fraiche.

Add a knob of butter.

Add fresh dill. Add sliced spring onion. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve.

Hot tip: When broad beans are not in season, use frozen broad beans. When new potatoes out of season, a couple of baked potatoes in the oven, scoop the cooked potatoes out of their skin. Personally I prefer to use what is in season.

thoughts

A very tasty dish.

Previously I tipped potatoes and broad beans into the frying pan with bacon and onions to crush. Not a good idea as need to keep moving and started to burn. Crush in the saucepan once water drained, then add to the bacon and onions. Crush not mash, to keep texture of the potatoes. But watch for burning on the bottom of the frying pan.

I used half of a large red onion. The other half saved for the next day, to mix with tinned tuna in sunflower oil for a salad.

My previous attempt, I lacked fresh dill. If fresh dill made a difference, I could not tell. Maybe I did not use sufficient. I added two sprigs of dill leaves.

Sliced spring onion added after potatoes and broad beans crushed.

Slow-roast belly pork with kraut and dried fruit

June 6, 2022

Dinner for Ukraine, dinner with Jamie Oliver on Maundy Thursday some weeks ago, a fund raiser for Cook for Ukraine, the main dish was slow-roast belly pork. It was amazing, as were all the other dishes.

When I last tried this dish, slow-roast belly pork with kraut and dried fruit, I made a few minor changes from the dish by Olia Hercules in Summer Kitchens. Today, I will try and closely follow her recipe.

I omitted Dijon mustard from the spice mix for the belly-pork. My reasoning, I do not like mustard, and when I last tried French mustard on a dish, it was overpowering and ruined the dish.

Polish French mustard.

I lacked fennel seeds and made do with a handful of fennel leaves.

A piece of belly pork from Redhill farm shop.

The night before, prepare a spice mix with which to coat the pork, mix in a bowl, then apply.

  • rapeseed oil (or olive oil)
  • Dijon mustard
  • salt
  • two crushed garlic cloves
  • red wine vinegar (or cider vinegar)
  • Cyprus honey

I forgot the salt, liberally applied after I had applied the spice mix to the belly pork.

Out of curiosity I stuck my finger in the bowl and licked my finger. Amazing taste. It would make an excellent salad dressing.

Leave for an hour or so, then in the fridge overnight, take out an hour or so in the morning before putting in the oven.

Fan oven 180C for 15-20 minutes, then turn down the oven to 140C for an hour.

  • sauerkraut with carrot
  • medium onion
  • dried apricots
  • dates (or prunes)
  • two small apples (or larger apple
  • toasted then crushed coriander, caraway and fennel seeds

Toast coriander, caraway and fennel seeds, then crush. Save for later.

In a frying pan, hot oil, roughly chopped onion until soft and turning brown.

Add to the pan, sauerkraut, dried fruit roughly chopped, toasted crushed seeds, then after five minutes add and mix in thinly sliced apple.

Remove roast belly pork from baking tin. Tip in contents of frying pan. Nestle belly pork on top. Fan oven 140C for two hours.

I quickly knocked out a stock, with added water from the pan with new potatoes and fresh peas, added to vacated baking tray and made delicious gravy.

Served with Boston new potatoes and fresh peas, accompanied by a medium sweet red wine from Moldova.

OMG this was good. My first attempt, was excellent, but good as it was, I did not feel as good as what was served by Jamie Oliver, which left me a little disappointed. This exceeded what we were served at Dinner for Ukraine.

I do not know why, this attempt, the pork melted away from the bone, cf kleftiko slow-cooked lamb many hours in a wood-fired clay oven.

Obtain the belly pork from a top class family butcher. Ask them to cross hatch score the belly pork.

Usually belly pork is sold as slices. I am curious, the same cooking time if I cook four slices?

What I do not know, the recipe I used from the excellent Summer Kitchen, the same recipe at Dinner for Ukraine?

Very rich as though cooked in wine. I think a combination of factors, fruit, honey, red wine vinegar.

Crushed potatoes with broad beans

May 29, 2022

I have been waiting for the first broad beans of the season to try this dish. From Summer Kitchens, a Ukrainian dish by Olia Hercules.

Broad beans need to be young and fresh. Too often neither.

ingredients

  • Boston new potatoes
  • broad beans
  • small onion
  • spring onions
  • crème fraiche
  • knob of butter
  • fresh dill
  • season with salt and pepper

method

New potatoes, scrape, add to pan of cold salted water, bring to the boil. Simmer for around twenty minutes.

Broad beans, pod, cook in boiling water for a little over five minutes.

Thin strips of streaky bacon in a hot pan medium heat until turning brown. Add a little oil.

Add onions, cook a couple of minutes until soft.

Decant water from new potatoes and broad beans. Crush but not mash.

Add crushed potatoes and broad beans to bacon and sliced onions.

Add and stir in crème fraiche.

Add a knob of butter.

Add fresh dill. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve.

Hot tip: When broad beans are not in season, use frozen broad beans. When new potatoes out of season, a couple of baked potatoes in the oven, scoop the cooked potatoes out of their skin. Personally I prefer to use what is in season.

thoughts

A very tasty dish.

I tipped potatoes and broad beans into the frying pan with bacon and onions to crush. Maybe not a good idea as need to keep moving and started to burn. Maybe a better idea crush in the saucepan once water drained, then add to the bacon and onions. Crush not mash, to keep texture of the potatoes.

I lacked fresh dill. I was going to add dried dill but forgot.

i also forgot to season. Salt and pepper once on the plate.

McDonald’s pulls out of Russia after 30 years

May 16, 2022

When McDonald’s opened in Red Square it was a symbol of the collapse of the Soviet Union, uncontrolled captilism red in tooth and claw. For Vladimir Putin it was the worst catastrophe to befall Russia, not only the collapse of the Soviet Union, the collapse of the Russian Empire.

We have now gone full circle, McDonald’s stopped trading in March, are now pulling out of Russia permanently.

Although as a Russian friend said to me, when they stopped trading, we will now have a healthier diet.

But, the following are still trading in Russia, complicit in Putin’s war crimes:

  • M&S
  • Burger King
  • Subway
  • Nestle
  • Total
  • Leroy Merlin

Please boycott any company trading in Russia.

If you miss Russian vodka, two recommendations for excellent vodka:

  • Amos Owen craft vodka
  • Dima’s three-grain Ukrainian vodka

When McDonald’s pulls out of Russia, you know Vladimir Putin has lost the war in Ukraine.

Cook for Ukraine vegetarian

May 15, 2022

A selection of vegetarian recipes from Summer Kitchens by Olia Hercules.

Cook for Ukraine was founded by Alissa Timoshkina and Olia Hercules, with the help of Clerkenwell Boy.

Their aim was to celebrate Ukrainian and Eastern European food while raising awareness of the humanitarian crisis facing Ukraine as well as emergency funds.

Mizeria

May 1, 2022

Polish cucumber and Greek yogurt.

From the Ukrainian and Polish cucina povera tradition, it used to be made by peasants, rich landowners haughtily called it mizeria (misery).

  • bowl of Greek yogurt
  • Polish cucumber
  • salt
  • pepper
  • nutmeg

A bowl of Greek yogurt. Liberal dosing of salt, sprinkle of nutmeg and pepper.

Thinly slice cucumber, add to bowl of yoghurt, mix in with the yoghurt.

Sprinkle on top salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Cover and leave for an hour or so.

Delicious. Cucumber crunchy. Interesting mix of flavours which contrast. Strangely not obvious yoghurt or cucumber.

From Summer Kitchens by Olia Hercules.


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