Monday, February 20, 2012

Maslenitsa - Pancake Week




Painting  Maslenitsa, Boris Kustodiev, 1919 Source



Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Sächsilüüte (Swiss), Fastnacht (German), Fastelavn (Norvegian), Απόκριες (Greek), Masopust (Chech), Maslenitsa (Russian)... What do all this names have in common? Those words are the names of the carnival seasons in the different regions with celebration of a reach and fatty food before the Lent begins.


To honor my husband's ancestors, I decided to surprise him with a traditional, no, wait, a mandatory (!)  food for the Russian version of Fat Tuesday. Actually, in Russia it is a week long celebration and is called   Pancake week or Maslenitsa. Each day of Maslenitsa has it's own activities, one of which is when son-in-law  visits his parents-in-law, and mother-in-law makes Bliny (lace thin pancakes) for her son-in-law.


Bliny are a lace-thin version of a pancakes


Thanks to the Internet ans Skype, we had a virtual visit  from my mother, and she "reminded" me to make some bliny for her son-in-law (she must like him very much if she remembers this details!). 


Making bliny (a thin version of a pancakes) is not a rocket science (shhh! don't tell my brother, who actually is a rocket  scientist, I said that: he hates when we make such comments about anything a little bit more complicated. He always sais that rocket scientist are a normal people ).


I don't have a recipe for the crepes/bliny, but the closest one to what has been done in my family for generations, and how I was taught by my grandma,  is Alton Brown's Crepes.  
It is so  easy to make , that my son learned to cook bliny/crepes when he was just tall enough to hold a pan at the stove.


***
Bliny (crepes) with Mushroom Filling

Ingredients and batter



Here's a list of the ingredients I used:
eggs, flour, water, milk, pinch of salt, and olive oil. I didn't use any butter, which is traditional for bliny. And I never measured the flour, milk and water: it just comes naturally. My son though does use Alton's recipe (without the butter, though) and it comes out just as thin.


1.Batter


2. pour on a skillet


3. and flip!


For the Mushroom filling:




  • 1/2 lb mushrooms (crimini), choped
  • 2-3 shallots, choped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, diced
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dry dill (or a tbsp of fresh, choped)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oil  in a cust iron or  a stainless still skillet.
Add shallots, add salt, and stir 2-3 minutes until golden-brown.
Add choped mushrooms and cook on a medium-high 5-7 minutes, stirring a few times.
Taste. Adjust the seasoning, add more salt and  pepper, and taste again.
In a ball mix eggs, garlic, dill, and cooked mushroms. Taste to see if more salt and pepper needed.




Place a spoonful of the filling on a midle of each crepe, and wrap it.


My healthy option: without the butter over the top.




I didn't have a chance to bake it in the oven as two hungry men were guarding my each move and totally refused to wait another 30 minutes. I hardly made some pictures of it.


For a dessert we had bliny (again) with a heavenly delicious raspberry-red currant jam and a cup of tea.



Dear Mother, your son-in-law had a pleasent surprise and was happy for the rest of the day. He asked me if we can have more Russian food on the table not just this week. Did his ancestor's genes just woke up and talked to me? Although I am not an expert in the Russian cuisine, I'll give it a try.

Crown of this tree is another "lace", created by mother-nature...


Dear friends! Whatever carnival is closer to your heart, I wish you the best time with a good food, happy dancing and a lot of fun!



Until next time,
Cowboy Country Vegetarian

55 comments:

  1. These sound brilliant! Mushrooms in pancakes is my kind of thing, they are so thin!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a lovel ystory along with the pancakes. I really love that the look of that reapberry one, yummy delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Here in Romania we usually make bliny instead of pancakes... but i love pancakes more :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like bliny/crapes more, they are lighter.

      Delete
  4. wow...its a tasty delight...great post..!
    Tasty Appetite

    ReplyDelete
  5. That looks fabulous! My hubby would love this, too! And thanks so much for visiting me today and giving me encouragement! I sure appreciate it! ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome! And thank you too, your comments are my encouragement, so much needed.

      Delete
  6. My husband told me about "Masleniza" today. We remember this holiday from Russia. I love "blinw", have to cook some-)) Thank you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. The opening painting just wowed me - what life there is! Love blinis - haven't thought to make them for quite a while - and this was just a delicious reminder! Fun and fascinating!

    ReplyDelete
  8. these look amazing and what a great wife your are

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Rebecca! You are so kind!

      Delete
  9. I am so excited to see your blini recipe because I was lucky enough to try blinis that looked just like this and I've been hunting down the recipe ever since. I wonder what the proportions are like though? I wonder if mine will turn out as lovely as yours? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lorraine, you can use the recipe that I referred to in the post (Alton Brown, link should take you there). If it gets to thik, just add some water to thin it out. Thanks for visiting me!

      Delete
  10. These are incredible! As perfect as I've seen anywhere....and your tree photo is stunning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ann. I am glad you liked it. The tree crown reminded me of lace, and I thought why not to use it too!

      Delete
  11. Mmm mushroom pancakes they look delicious! Your blini look so inviting too!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Loved reading your post. Pancakes seem to exist in almost every culture! Would try your version for sure. thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe they do as the grain was one of the first seeds humans started to cultivate. Thank you for visiting me!

      Delete
  13. This is so interesting!I like this version of pancakes. Thanks for sharing it and enjoyed this post. Happy pancake day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy pancake day to you too! Happy Shrove Tuesday!

      Delete
  14. Woops, forgot it was Shrove Tuesday. These look great though, perhaps on the weekend. Its interesting that these are called Blinys, I've always thought they were the small and fat pancakes that are usually served with caviar, not the beautiful crepes you've made here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They can be served with fat , butter, caviar, or anything else. And I never liked it with caviar. For me bliny - on one plate, caviar - on the other, please. My favorite fillings for bliny are mushrooms, potatoes, farmer's cheese, and cabbage. I want one now, actually, with some potato filling.

      Delete
  15. Well I think you woke up the "Russian Bear" inside your husband lol. But I can undestand that as these blinis look totally delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Katerina. You are so funny!

      Delete
  16. Oh WOW! This totally puts me in the mood to celebrate! I need to share this with my husband. Looks like his type of food. You have a cute blog. This is my first time here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you April. I am glad you like it. Welcome to my table!

      Delete
  17. LOOK at how thin and lacy your pancakes are, they are wonderful! Happy Mardi Gras and thanks for such a wonderful post!
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Karen for your kind words. Happy Shrove Tuesday to you!

      Delete
  18. I love pancakes!!! yours look delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Pancakes are always welcomed. Savory or sweet are equally delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you, Efty! I need one savory and one sweet, no, wait, two savory and one sweet! :)

      Delete
  20. Wow those look like something I would love- mushrooms and hard boiled eggs all rolled up in a crepe... yum! Found your blog through April's and always excited to learn new veggie recipes. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Happy Pancake Tuesday to you! Thank you so much for the inspiration. It's now harder to decide sweet or savoury. I may need to have both... I think that's the only fair and logical solution... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Michael. Both savory and sweet, that's how we always have it!

      Delete
  22. lovely post and site following you on google friends
    nice to meet you

    ReplyDelete
  23. Those look fantastic - I love seeing everyones' different pancake recipes today! I didn't find out until really late that it was shrove tuesday/pancake day... I ALWAYS forget :( Well, I don't need a specific day as an excuse to make yummy pancakes - maybe I'll have these as a meal next week!

    Thanks for dropping by my blog earlier! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Charles! Isn't it amazing how a simple food such as pancake became an universal meal. Happy Shrove Tuesday!

      Delete
  24. very nicely done pancakes..appetizing..:)
    lovely writeup..
    Tasty Appetite

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Marina, thank you for visiting my blog, I've been a follower of ur blog for a while and I love your recipes :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love pancakes and yours looks great good!

    ReplyDelete
  27. The above given recipe is really very nice. It is easy and tastes good. Thanks for such a great recipe.

    ReplyDelete

Your warm comments put a smile on my heart.