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.
|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