I’ve always had a soft spot for Ukrainian food and have always loved the flavours when I’ve had the opportunity to try it (sadly not enough opportunities), so when I found Mamushka: Recipes from Ukraine and beyond by Olia Hercules, I immediately purchased it. There are a lot of recipes in this book, including a lot for bread which I really want to try at a later point, and I really enjoyed cooking from it.
There was one dish I completely messed up, and that’s my fault not the recipe book’s. I won’t include that in this post because I have not successfully cooked it, and one day I will and I will revisit this book and we can talk about how good (or not) that dish is. Overall, I give this cookbook 4 stars, and am looking forward to going back and trying other things.
Potato cakes with goats’ cheese (serves 2 as a side)
- 500g floury potatoes, peeled and roughly grated
- 1 small onion, roughly grated
- 1 mall carrot, peeled and roughly grated
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 30g goats’ cheese, mashed with a fork
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking sheet with some baking parchment
- Mix everything except the oil together in a bowl and season really well with salt and pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan, drop separate dessertspoonfuls of the mixture into the pan and fry them for 2 minutes. Carefully flip them over and fry on the other side until golden.
- Pop the potato cakes on the prepared baking sheet and finish cooking them through in the oven – they should take 5 – 10 minutes.
Notes on this recipe:
- Very simple (apart from the grating, but I have a food processor for that) and incredibly more-ish. They worked really well with the roast chicken (for the meat eaters) and the omelette (which was the thrown together side dish for the vegetarian).
Azerbaijani chicken with prunes and walnuts (serves 6)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium chicken
- 1 tbsp ground sumac
- 100g pitted prunes, finely chopped
- grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
- 200g walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- 1 red onion, grated
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Rub the olive oil all over the chicken. Place in a roasting tin and sprinkle it with the sumac.
- Mix the prunes with the lemon rind and juice, walnuts and onion, then stuff the mixture inside the chicken.
- Roast for 1 hour or until the juices run clear when you slice through the thickest part of the leg.
Notes on this recipe:
- It really depends on the size of your chicken as to how long it will take to cook. I usually cook mine for about 90 minutes to ensure that it is cooked through.
- This was a nice moist chicken with lovely sweetness from the stuffing and sumac.