Tomato and Apple Salad with Sour Cream Dressing


100 g tomatoes
100 g apples
40 g sour cream
10 g parsley leaves

Slice ripe and hard tomatoes and peeled and cored apples. Lay alternating slices of apples and tomatoes on a serving plate, pour sour cream over salad and decorate with parsley leaves.

This recipe is for patients with liver disease.

Cucumbers Stuffed with Raw Vegetables


100 g cucumbers
50 g tomatoes
30 g green cabbage
1/4 egg, hardboiled
40 g sour cream
5 g dill

Peel cucumbers, cut them in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Thinly slice tomatoes and insides of the cucumber, finely chop cabbage and hardboiled egg, mix everything with 20 g of sour cream and stuff cucumbers with this mixture. Pour remaining sour cream on top and sprinkle with dill.

This recipe is for patients with liver disease.

Toasts with Vegetables


60 g wheat bread
75 g milk
1/4 egg
5 g sugar
15 g butter
30 g sour cream
75 g green cabbage
50 g carrots
50 g zucchini
50 g apples
5 g lettuce leaves
5 g dill

Cut bread into 2 slices, dip in 50 g of milk mixed with sugar and egg, and bake until lightly browned. Meanwhile, shred cabbage and peeled zucchini and braise them with 25 g of milk and 10 g of butter. Separately braise thinly sliced carrots. Mix cooked vegetables with grated apples, finely-chopped lettuce and dill, top toasts with vegetable mixture, smooth the top, drizzle with melted butter and brown in the oven. Serve with sour cream.

This recipe is for patients with liver disease.

Mixed Vegetable Puree


60 g/2 oz carrots
60 g/2 oz cauliflower
30 g/1 oz green peas
35 g/1 1/6 oz green beans
60 g/ 2 oz milk
25 g/1 oz butter
1 tsp sugar

Braise carrots with a small quantity of milk, boil all the other vegetables, mix together with carrots and pass through a meat grinder with fine plate. Add hot milk and 10 g (2/5 oz) of melted butter; then whip the mixture, add sugar, and serve with a piece of butter. This puree can be served with medium-boiled egg.

This recipe is for patients with gastric disease

Carrot Stuffing for Pie


1 – 1 1/2 kg/ 2 lb 4 oz – 3 lb 6 oz carrots
3-4 eggs, hardboiled
2-3 tbsp butter or oil
1 tsp sugar

Thinly slice peeled and washed carrots and put them into a pot. Add 1/2 cup of water and 1 tbsp oil. Cover the pot and braise carrots until cooked. Chop cooked carrots, season with salt, add 1 tsp sugar, remaining oil and mix well. Add chopped eggs and stir to combine.

Sauerkraut and Mushroom Stuffing for Pie


1 kg/2 lb 4 oz sauerkraut
3-4 tbsp butter or oil
2-3 onions
50 g dried mushrooms

Pick sauerkraut over, and, if it is too sour, wash it and scald with boiling water, then chop it finely, put into a pot together with oil or melted butter and braise, covered, until cooked. Fry diced onions until browned, add finely chopped boiled mushrooms, salt, pepper, and fry 3-4 minutes longer. Mix with cooked sauerkraut.

Green Cabbage Stuffing for Pie


1 head (1 1/2 – 2kg / 3 – 4 lb) green cabbage
3-4 eggs, hardboiled
1 tsp sugar
2-3 tbsp oil

Shred clean and cored cabbage and scald it with boiling water, then pour cold water over it and squeeze all the water out. Put cabbage into a pot with hot oil and fry 10-15 minutes stirring frequently to prevent cabbage from burning. Add chopped eggs, sugar, season with salt.

Braised Cabbage

(Updated — scroll down to read.) Translating recipe “Braised Cabbage” reminded me of a dish that my mother makes from time to time. Since we live pretty far from each other I do not get to eat it as often as I would love to. I decided to make this dish following instructions of the translated recipe; therefore, I will not repeat the instructions here. I did however made some modifications to the recipe which I will describe in the post.

Assembling ingredients for this recipe is easy. I started with onions because it takes some time to really caramelize them.

Now, this was the first time where I deviated from the recipe. Recipe calls from 3 tbsp of butter (or oil, since the word масло can be translated as butter or oil if there is no adjective in front of it). 1 tbsp goes into pot with cabbage, the other goes to make roux, so we are left with only 1 tbsp of fat to caramelize onions — to me it is not enough. I used 3 tbsp of olive oil to fry onions.

Once all the cabbage was shredded I put it into a dutch oven together with 1/2 cup of water and 1 tbsp of olive oil.

Throughout the 40 minutes of cooking I mixed it a couple of times, but there was a little bit of burnt marks on the bottom of the pan at the end of 40 minutes. I added onions, bay leaves, sugar, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and another 1/2 cup of water and proceeded to braise for another 10 minutes. Meanwhile I made rough from 1 tbsp of flour and 1 tbsp of unsalted butter. At the end of 10 minutes of braising I added roux to the pot and mixed everything well.

Overall impression — while taste was somewhat similar to my mother’s braised cabbage — there are some things that were different. First of all — it seems that initial 40 minutes of braising is too much. Cabbage came out a bit mushy and overall feeling was that it was overcooked. Perhaps it was the fact that it was shredded fairly thinly. Next time I will braise 30 minutes in the first stage. Second, the cabbage tasted too sweet. Combination of tomato paste and sugar was too much — I will try this recipe without sugar, or with just 1 tsp of sugar. And finally — I do not think roux adds anything to the dish. There was not much sauce to thicken in the first place.

Приятного аппетита.

P.S. I did try making this dish the second time, and this time it was a winner. From the start I added 1 cup of water instead of recommended 1/2 cups. I did not measure how much oil I put into a frying pan to caramelize 2 large onions, but I was not stingy with it.

I set kitchen timer for 30 minutes and stirred cabbage a couple of times during the first braising period. Heat level was medium-low; however, when I saw that there was still too much water on the bottom of the pan at the end of 30 minutes, I increased heat lightly and braised for 5 minutes longer before adding onions and other ingredients.

If first time I was cavalier about adding tomato paste, this time I weighted it — 33 grams according to serving size weight of 2 tbsp as indicated on the side of the can. I added onions, tomato paste, sugar (I did keep it), seasoned with salt and pepper and braised for 10 minutes longer.

The end result was great — there was no starchy taste from roux which was completely omitted, cabbage was perfectly done and not overcooked at all. This recipe is a keeper.

Cheater’s Cabbage Pierogi (Dumplings)

Pierogies are known to American public as a Polish dish; however, they are very popular in Ukraine. It might have something to do with the fact that Ukraine was occupied by Poland for a fairly extended period of time — I will let food historians to debate this point. Usually making pirogies takes some time; however, I was prepared. In addition to my somewhat overcooked braised cabbage, I had a pack of dumpling wrappers in my fridge just waiting to be filled, that is why I called this recipe as “Cheater’s Pierogi”. Going forward I will use dumplings instead of pierogies.

True, using dumpling wrappers does not make very authentic pierogies, but it certainly saves time, and the result is still very satisfying. I diced 1 onion and started caramelizing it in 4 tablespoons of olive oil — do not be shy with oil here. Meanwhile dumpling station was set up.

You can see the side of half-sheet baking pan with parchment paper on the bottom left. Water in the black bowl is used to moisten edges of the dumpling wrappers. Although dumplings could be  made by hand, dumpling press I found in a local Asian store saves a lot of time. The procedure goes as follows — put one dumping wrapper on top of dumpling press, moisten the edges of the wrapper with pastry brush, put a teaspoon of cabbage in the middle of the wrapper and press the sides together. Meanwhile, bring a pot with salted water to rolling boil.

This work is done much faster when 2 people are working together. When all the dumpling are ready, cook them by dropping 10 of the dumplings at a time into the boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes, then take dumplings out of the water with a skimmer and drop them into the skillet with caramelized onions. Add the next batch of dumplings to the pot, meanwhile, coat dumplings in the skillet with oil and caramelized onions and move them from to another pot. Repeat the process until all the dumplings are cooked.

Here is a close-up on prepared dumplings.

Since I was busy finishing dumplings while my son was cooking them I did not snap a picture of them in a frying pan. I also did not figure out to take a picture of the finished dish. Will do it some other time, when I make potato dumplings using similar process. Adding dough ingredient improved the texture of cabbage, and serving these dumplings with sour cream certainly cut down on sweetness.

Although this was the first time I made dumplings with cabbage, I will certainly cook this dish again. We will also post more recipes of dumplings going forward, since we are just getting to the grains section.

Just to summarize ingredients for this recipe:

1 recipe of braised cabbage
1 onion, diced
4-5 tbsp vegetable oil
1 package dumpling wrappers.

Приятного аппетита.