Rhubarb Cake with Hazelnut Meringue

Rhubarb and Hazelnut Meringue Cake

This is one of my old, before-culinary-school recipes. I was tweaking some rhubarb cake recipes six years ago, and this one was my final ever since. It came to my mind again a few days ago when I saw beautiful bright pink, glossy rhubarb stalks at Central Market. I tend to improve either proportions or techniques when revisiting recipes from the past. This cake escaped any changes at all. It doesn’t require any pro equipment or special skills, very easy to make, just follow the steps.

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Tasting Menu: Tapas

Tapas cooking class follow-up

Pulpo a la Gallega

Pulpo a la Gallega

Pulpo a la Gallega

RECIPE

Empanada Gallega

Empanada Gallega

Empanada Gallega

RECIPE

Pinchos Morunos

Pinchos Morunos

RECIPE

Artichoke Flower Salad

Baby Artichoke Flower Salad

Baby Artichoke Flower Salad

My clients were looking for the recipe of artichoke flower they loved when visiting Madrid. I tried different cooking methods with locally available artichokes and couldn’t come close to the soft texture they described. Using low-acidity marinated artichoke hearts became the best solution for now. We sprayed them with olive oil and broiled for a few minutes to caramelize the tops. Look for Fancy Whole Artichoke Hearts by Native Forest, product of Peru at Central Market and Whole Foods.

Gilda | Anchovy, Olive, and Pepper Skewers

Tapas: Gildas

Tapas: Gildas

The idea is to combine these three ingredients the way they all work together without overpowering each other and the wine they are served with. We tasted many different olives and used two milder varieties: Castelvetrano (darker green, pitted) and Picholine (lighter, stuffed with sweet peppers). These olives are available at Central Market.

We found commonly used for this tapa Fefferoni peppers overwhelmingly hot and added only tiny strips of them for piquant notes. Roasted Piquillo peppers took their place.

Butterflied white marinated anchovies, Boquerones by Martel are available at Central Market. Ask for them in deli meats and seafood section, they are sold in bulk and you can get the exact amount you need to serve.

pa amb tomàquet | Pan Con Tomate | Grilled Bread with Tomato

Tapa: Pan Con Tomate

Tapa: Pan Con Tomate

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

This Catalonian dish is often referred as the simplest tapa to recreate. The truth is the opposite: you need the right kind of these down-to-earth ingredients to make it truly exciting. Connoisseurs of Pa amb tomàquet tapa only make them with a special variety of tomatoes — Tomates de Colgar, sweet and meaty. Grilled slice of white crusty bread is used a grating tool. First, add garlic flavor, and then grate halved tomato. Soaked with thick tomato pure slice of bread is then seasoned and sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil. It is simple when you have ripe and delicious tomatoes handy. We learned how to manipulate tomato flavor with what we have available — fresh organic heirloom and canned Manzano varieties. One of the ingredients we used for seasoning was sun-dried tomato powder available at Savory Spice Shop.

Angulas | Baby Eel

Tapa: Angulas | Baby Eel

Tapa: Angulas | Baby Eel

Baby eels are part of traditional Basque cuisine. There are canned angulas available at Specs (headquarters, Brodie Lane). All my guests were adventurous and open minded to appreciate this tapa with very delicate flavor and amusing firm texture. Pairs well with rounded and balanced Tempranillo.

Queso con Membrillo | Cheese and Quince Paste

Tapas: Spanish Cheese and Quince Paste | Queso con Membrillo

Tapas: Spanish Cheese and Quince Paste | Queso con Membrillo

Tapas: Spanish Cheese and Quince Paste

Tapas: Spanish Cheese and Quince Paste

Spanish cheese I served is available at Central Market, Whole Foods, and partially at Specs (headquarters, Brodie Lane). Curled Petit Basque was part of the artichoke flower salad. At the end of the dinner, we paid respect to other three great kinds of cheese, traditionally paired with a quince paste called membrillo: 2 month aged Tronchon, 4 month aged (by Don Juan) Manchego, and 3 month aged Majorero.

Spanish Cheese: Petit Basque

Spanish Cheese: Petit Basque

Spanish Cheese: Petit Basque

Spanish Cheese: Petit Basque

Salo #3 | Cured in Hot Brine and Smoked Pork Belly

Pork belly cooked 60C sous vide for hot smoking

As I mentioned earlier, Salo in a Jar (сало в банке) is a highly popular way of wet curing salo at home, and there are recipes with cold and hot brine. But where the idea hot brine comes from? Can I speculate that someone impatient decided to try it hot? The result was somewhat in between cured and cooked salo, which is another widely used cooking method for pork belly in Ukraine. Cured with hot brine salo was so pleasing that the recipe quickly became popular. Using sous vide allows full time and temperature control in this recipe.

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Shangri-La Scones

Ramps and Cheddar Scones

Chef Patterson’s recipe has three unusual features. First, he uses high-gluten bread flour instead of all-purpose one. Second, the amount of baking powder is three times more than average. Why? Bread flour is capable holding more moister. It is strong enough to let scones rise and not to explode because of the amount of baking powder. It results in a fantastic, unforgettable texture of the scones.

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Huazontle Salad

Huazontle Salad

Think broccoli with thinner and more fibrous stalks and stems. That’s huazontle, just with more tiny green buds and fewer stems and leaves. Huazontle bud clusters are simmered in salty water for 5-15 minutes (different sources give different timing) first. Then they are cooked as tortas (patties), which are formed by pressing huazontle clusters around a portion of queso fresco, dipped in flour then into an egg foam, and deep-fried. This recipe is sort of the same, but deconstructed.

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New Facebook Group for LCL Followers

LET'S COOK TOGETHER

New closed Facebook Group is created for those of Lyukum Cooking Lab followers who would like to be informed about coming and new events — classes, tasting parties, etc. In addition, I am going to share everything I have to say about food and cooking on the go. Most of postings will be bilingual (English + Russian). News and announcements for local clients will be in English only. You do not need to be my Facebook friend to join the group, but you have to send me a personal message with request via Facebook. See you there!

Me on Facebook
Lyukum Cooking Lab closed Facebook group

There are two new cooking classes coming, on August 27 (10:30am) and on October 1, 3pm: Smoking Hot! Join these classes via Thumbtack or Facebook group.

4-8 people
indoors mostly
$55 per person

Do you like smoky flavor? Do you know that it takes no longer than 15 minutes to make most of hot smoked dishes with stovetop smoker? If you own Cameron’s stovetop smoker or think about adding it to you kitchen cookware collection, join this class! I own Camerons for more than 10 years and I use it for smoking meat, poultry, dairy, fruit, vegetables, grains — almost anything. I’ll share my experience, tips and tricks I learned over years, will show you how quick and easy it is to use this smoker.

we will make and eat (non-vegetarian):
1. Stuffed and smoked chicken breasts (gluten-free)
2. French omelette with smoked scallops (gluten-free)
3. Smoked burgers (gluten) OR riblets (gluten-free)

OR

we will make and eat (vegetarian and gluten-free):
1. appetizers with smoked plumcots, brie, and thyme
2. shakshuka (poached eggs) with smoked tomatoes
3. smoked hominy grits with sauté vegetables

Experimenting with Kvass in Texas

Kvass Tasting Party

“What’s more absurd than a novel about salmon fishing in Yemen?”

Kvass Madness 2016

It’s time to summarize my 2016 kvass quest. Last Sunday, my kvass-craving guests came to Lyukum Cooking Lab to celebrate kvass! I had 5+ batches of kvass and three traditional Russian cold kvass-based summer kinds of soup to taste. Everybody was asked for honest opinions so we could identify the recipe everyone liked the best. The result was somewhat unpredictable. Or, somewhat predictable, because tastes differ. Four recipes out of five found their respective fans.

Kvass Tasting Party

Kvass Tasting Party


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Fresh Bread and Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Bread Baked at Home

Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Bread Baked at Home


What is better than delicious fresh tomatoes, fresh crusty bread, some Italian basil and fragrant extra virgin olive oil!?

Easy to bite and chew, with perfect crispy and light crust, ciabatta (my recipe) is perfect for grilling. It is also one of the easiest breads to make at home. It doesn’t require special ingredients, skills, or equipment. You need some bread flour, yeast, water, baking stone, and hot oven.

Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Bread Baked at Home

Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Bread Baked at Home

There was a time when I tried different ciabatta recipes and techniques in my search for the best one to my taste and my busy schedule. Today, I am ready to share with you my tips and tricks. We’ll make it step-by-step together, and you’ll see you can effortlessly incorporate making this delicious bread into your life!

Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Bread Baked at Home

Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Bread Baked at Home

Enriched Bread

Makivnyk

Makivnyk


Smoked Plumcots, Bacon, and Brie Pie

Smoked Plumcots, Bacon, and Brie Pie


Plumcot Pie

Plumcot Pie


“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche!”

September 19, 10:30am

Duration: 3 hours
Number of students: 3-5
Pricing: $55 per person

With slight variations, this kind dough is used for many baked products all over the world. In French cuisine there is very rich and tender brioche. Famous challah, enriched with eggs (and sometimes vegetable oil) comes from Jewish cuisine. In Ukraine, we have our own basic and versatile recipe for moderately enriched dough. It is used for small, round pastries called pampUshky (there are also deep-fried pampushKY, which are similar to doughnuts). Savory garlicky pampushky are served with borsch. Sweet ones can be plain or filled with fresh berries, jam (povydlo), poppy seed filling, and dusted with sugar powder. The same dough is used for pies, braided and intricately decorated loafs of sweet bread, and rolls. All these beautiful sweet breads are light and puffy, never overly sweet.

This dough is easy to make and shape. It doesn’t stick. It’s a pleasure to touch. When well kneaded, it is soft as a baby’s bottom. You can make more dough in advance, keep it refrigerated for up to 3 days, and have fresh baked delicacies every day. Come and share the joy of baking soft and tender pies with me!

We will make:

Dough recipe

for 2 pies

  • 500g all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp instant dry yeast (SAF)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 55g sugar
  • 240ml warm (105°F) whole milk
  • 1 large egg

You will learn:

  • About all-purpose flour
  • The science of gluten, how to make it stronger or weaker
  • How to make 50% hydration dough for enriched bread with tender crumb
  • How to shape and bake layered buns, rolls, and braided or open pies

Schedule:

15 min before the class — Pleasure to meet you! Introductions.
1 hour — Making and handling 50% hydration dough for enriched bread. Demo and practice.
1 hour — Shaping and baking pies. Demo and practice.
1 hour — Tasting and socializing.

Class conclusion, questions and answers.

Drinks. If you’d like to enjoy your pies with your favorite drinks, you are welcome to bring your own. Still water, hot coffee and tea will be available.

Appearance. We will eat collectively cooked food. Please make sure your nails are well groomed and clean. If you have long hair, tie it back or cover it.

Have comfortable clothes and shoes. I’ll provide you with an apron.

Please, let me know if you have any food or kitchen chemicals allergies.

Use Cooking Classes Request Form below to request this class.

LET’S COOK TOGETHER!

Cooking Classes Request Form

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

When do you plan to attend a cooking class (month-day-year, time AM or PM)

Number of students

Notes (what would you like to learn, dietary restrictions or preferences, etc.)


LET'S COOK TOGETHER!

#LYcooking #lyukumcookinglab

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