Belarus

Steve’s house, Streatham

17 June 2012

A special occasion this, since we had our first-ever guest chef – Steve’s Belarussian friend Alina. She proposed the following menu:

As starter, Draniki with sour cream: http://www.belarusianfood.com/2009/05/draniki.html

This, says Alina, is the iconic Belarussian dish. She served it with a side order of grechka, fried onion and mushrooms. Very nice indeed, a promising start.

Cooking grechka

Cooking grechka

For main: Kalduni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalduny, but a modern variation of it, using mashed potato instead of unleavened dough, and baked instead of boiled, and with a minced meat filling. This turned out OK in the end, though it didn’t look so good during preparation.

Kalduni

Kalduni

For dessert: Syrniki, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrniki, which were served with raspberries, blueberries and cream. Delicious.

Syrniki

Syrniki

Finally there was a rum-and-orange cocktail Krambambula, the signature Belarussian drink.

Alina explains: “Belarussian cuisine is heavily potato, buckwheat, dairy and mushroom-based, so these dishes would be a fair representation of what’s been going on food-wise for generations. Salads in Belarus tend to be quite plain, just some vegetables cut in pieces with a dash of oil and vinegar or sour cream.”

Food: 4/5

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