Siberian Birch Syrup Pie and Kefir Ice Cream

If you find yourself in Canada, you might try the impossibly sweet yet addictive maple syrup pies. In New York City, Momofuku Milk Bar has the infamous crack pie, which isn’t all that different, except it’s made with cane sugar and a funkier crust. As a birch syrup lover, I wanted to come up with a similar dish for the other side of the Iron Curtain. Siberia being a little to Western Russian what Canada is to the United States, I decided to create a Siberian birch syrup pie.

One may ask: do people really eat custard pies in Siberia? Aren’t Siberians just a bunch of alcoholics who push frozen planes along their airport tarmacs while dodging meteorites? (Tupolev-134, no less.) It’s time to shake off clichés! Let it be known that modern Siberians do eat all kinds of pies. And starting from now, add birch syrup pie with kefir ice cream to the list!

Russian Food - Birch Pie

The Siberian pedigree is reinforced by the presence of pine nuts, which are found all over Siberia — more on this at siberianpinenuts.com. Once toasted, they add a nice bitterness to the dish. Compared to some Canadian recipes, I’m keeping the sugar level in check, and to balance the flavors from the birch syrup, I’m making a tangy kefir ice cream, topped with a piece of crispy bacon to add a salty note.

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Russian Fritto Misto with Cucumber Ketchup

On the heels of yet another recent trip to Pulaski, I went fishing with Captain Troy and came back home with two walleye. Walleye is the North American cousin of European pike-perch, a species found throughout Eastern Europe in places such as the basins of the Danube, the Black Sea, and the Caspian Sea. And so, my catch begged for an Eastern European recipe, such as… fritto misto.

Walleye

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The Russian Food Blog

Many of you have probably noticed by now that this is a Russian food blog. But it never hurts to state the obvious once in a while. And to drive my point home, I just bought russianfoodblog.com (note to Google: it spells Russian food blog).

So from now on, and until I get tired of spending my money on not-quite-random-yet-not-quite-necessary domain names, you can access all the contents of this blog using russianfoodblog.com. Like my About page: russianfoodblog.com/about/. Or my reviews of Russian restaurants: russianfoodblog.com/category/restaurants/russian-cuisine/.

Let’s go through the recent posts that truly make this blog a Russian food blog, the Russian food blog, the blog of the Russian food…

Russian food - Russian Cuisine - Russian blog - Russian food blog

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Lake Trout and Crawfish Ballotine

A few months back, I reported my giant catch of delicious, bright-orange-fleshed lake trout from Lake Ontario. Although I usually avoid freezing fish, that time I had no choice. This gave me plenty of trout to use, to try and perfect this ballotine recipe.

Russian Food - Lake Trout and Crawfish BallotineThere are many sources of inspiration for this recipe…

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This Is A Russian Food Blog

Only today did I realize that if you google “russian food blog”, Food Perestroika doesn’t appear in the first 10 pages (I didn’t look beyond that). Moreover, all of the blogs on the first result page, though sometimes quite interesting, only post a handful of articles a year, when they haven’t stopped all together. Don’t I deserve my 15 minutes of fame, too?

Sure, neither my blog title nor my tagline explicitly use the words “Russian”, “food” or “blog”. It’s also true that this is not only a Russian food blog, in that I write many posts that talk about other topics (such as food-serving establishments and travel) and other countries (such as Hungary, Ukraine, Georgia, and Azerbaijan, all of which are only so far from Russia). I guess I’m being too subtle for the world’s foremost search engine, and I apologize.

So Mr Google, please take note. I’m going to spell it out for you: this is a Russian food blog.

It is a blog that talks about Russian food. A food blog, with an emphasis on Russia. A blog with posts on Russia and food, or if you prefer, on food and Russia. A blog that looks at Russia through the prism of food. Russian food, aka the food of the Russia, is discussed here, using blogging as a medium. Russian. Food. Blog.

And if this is not enough, here are some posts to convince you: