Christmas Goose

Roasted Goose

Just like Bizet’s Carmen, a goose has it all: a memorable juicy meat and a haunting golden skin, a terrific variety of textures and flavors, a romance with highs and lows of heat, and a painful tragedy of the amount of fat.

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As American As: Mincemeat Pie

Mincemeat pie

Even though American taste buds are known for the love of sweet and salty food combinations, traditional Mincemeat pie is seen today as an acquired taste. There are many implications on why early settlers combined savory meat and ingredients that are considered belonging to dessert dishes. Was it really for food preservation purposes or our ancestors were fond of bold flavors?

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Swedish Apple Cake | Svensk Äppelkaka

Swedish Apple Cake

This Swedish apple cake recipe was part of our international block at school. I don’t know how authentic it is, but when I shared it in my Russian-speaking blog years ago, it became one of the most shared and popular. Every year, during the season I bake this cake to experience its sensational taste again — creamy soft apples are caressed by creamy soft crumb. Every bite is delicate and gentle like October sun right before sunset.

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Romantic Breakfast: Smoked Fish Benedict

Smoked Fish Benedict

Eggs Benedict is an American breakfast dish — two halves of English muffin, a slice of ham or bacon, and a poached egg are served with hollandaise sauce. There are many variations on the basic recipe. The one I use in my Romantic Breakfast: Mastering Eggs Recipes cooking class comes from the Two for Tonight: Pure Romance from L’Auberge Chez François cookbook. It belongs to Alsatian cuisine, which combines the rustic simplicity of neighboring Germany and French finesse. My version below is adopted to our locally available ingredients. I use smokey reduced cream sauce with vegetables instead of Hollandaise.

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Pork Ribs: Cowboy Bigos

Cowboy Bigos

There are magical recipes so simple, a child can follow and get professional quality results. They do not require any special skills or equipment. I’m serious! I shared this recipe with my friends, clients, strangers, who were experienced and inexperienced, poor and rich, teenage students and mature adults, cooking for one or for large family — they all made perfectly cooked ribs.

When you pack seasoned ribs relatively tight in foil and cook it low (270-300F) and slow (~3 hours), you do not let any moisture to escape. Thus, you keep in all the juices and flavors of meat, bones, cartilage, and fat. They gelatinize tough tissues and concentrate. The result is full of flavor and melts in your mouth!

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My Double Apple Tart from Paris

Tarte aux Pommes

The French apple tart, or Tarte aux Pommes, is actually a double apple tart. Between the layer of thin caramelized apple slices and buttery pastry crust, there is a creamy vanilla-flavored apple puree. Two layers of apples with different textures make this dessert a celebration of apple season.

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Let Zephyr only breathe…

Zefir (Russian: Зефи́р, may also be spelled zephyr or zephir) is a dessert commonly produced and sold in the countries of the former Soviet Union. As the name suggests it has a delicate airy consistency. It is made by apple puree, which has been thickened with pectin, and egg whites into a foam. The foam is stabilized by a sugar and agar syrup.

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