Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cottage Cheese Pancakes


In Ukraine, we called it SIRNIKI. This is a type of a pancake with a large amount of cottage cheese in it. I see them as a healthy dessert or delightful snack all former USSR kids just loved.
Blog's Category: International, Perfect Breakfast, USSR-era Recipes

Sirniki
or
Cottage Cheese Pancakes


 
Intro

In translation from Ukrainian, "sirniki" means made of cheese. They are really has a lot of cheese in it and minimal amount of flour - 5 table spoons of flour per 1.3 pounds of cottage cheese!

Back in Ukraine, sirniki was beloved trick for our grandmas to feed grandkids all that "oh, so good for your teeth" cottage cheese. While it was practically impossible to feed plain cottage cheese to your picky eater (no matter how much sugar you would throw in it), sirniki were recognized by kids as a lovely, cookie-type treat and were readily ingested by those finicky little eaters.

I prefer to make cottage cheese by myself (see here how to make it at home) but the recipe below uses store-bought cottage cheese. First I thought that it won't be that good as usually, made of homemade cheese. Frankly I was wrong - so with a confidence I can tell you - to save your precious time, store-bought cottage cheese is totally good for this recipe. Are you ready? Let's do it!


What is it?

It's sweet cheese patties made of cottage cheese, little flour and little sugar, egg yolk and a nice handful of raisin.


Taste Description

Mildly sweetened with sugar, these mini-cakes pleasantly buttery-soft on the inside and rustically crunchy/chewy on the outside. Occasionally, your teeth will bite on fruity morsels of raisin or on tangy bits of un-smashed cheese. Those tidbits create nice contrast to the sirniki's dough - raisin will treat you with sweetness and small chunks of cheese - with mild sourness. These cheese patties do not need any supplemental flavors such as vanilla - they have its natural amazing flavor of skillet-fried pastry.

How to Serve

Sirniki, or cheese patties, can be served various ways:
- with a sour cream on a side - it's classic Ukrainian style
- with  preserves - for those with a "sweet tooth"
- with maple syrup - for maple syrup lovers
- with fresh fruits and berries - for the health "freaks" :) (if they are not going to be scared away at all by word "fry")
- with altogether (above)
- and finally, with nothing, on its own - kids favorite way of serving sirniki. Kids just love to eat it "on a fly", inadvertently running/driving/jumping by the kitchen table.
 

Sirniki
 
 
For about 10 medium pancakes:

  • 1 container of cottage cheese (about 1 lb or .5 kg)
  •  5 tbs flour
  • 5 tbs sugar
  • 1 yolk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup raisin
  • about 5 tbs light olive oil for frying

- In a bowl, stir cheese with yolk, salt and sugar. Stir it lightly if you want cheese bits in your dough and stir thoroughly if you do not want cheese to be "visible".

- Add flour and raisin. Stir.

- Lightly dust one palm with flour and drop spoon of dough on it (I like to use cookie dough spoon for it). Then flour your other palm and toss dough from one hand to another to form ball. Then slightly pat it to flatten and form "chubby" patty.

- One by one, make patties and place them on a skillet with olive oil, preheated to medium hot. When all of your patties are on a skillet, drop heat to medium-low or low. They have to sizzle lightly, on a "medium-low noise level".

- Fry your pancakes on one side (it may take 5-10 minutes). Then carefully flip them over and fry for another 5-10 minutes until desired "darkness". Be aware that they may seem to be overly soft while frying - they will harden up a little bit after all and will retain their shape nicely on a plate.

Note

- I would recommend to stick to this recipe to the word. I tried a lot of recipes for our "sirniki"; this one is, hands down, the best.

- Do not make them large. I would suggest about 2" in diameter - it will make flipping much easier.

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IN PICTURES

 
Sometimes, in a hurry, I mix all ingredients together in a single step. It works very well!


Using cookie dough spoon, you will have neat, evenly sized pancakes.

Just little dusting of your palms is sufficient to form patties.

Lovely... raisin is picking through :)

At this point, pancakes will be very soft and it may be a bit challenging to flip them over or to check on color underneath.

Remember to keep heat on medium-low. You don't want your cakes to burn on outside and be too mushy inside.

They puff-up at this point naturally, without any leavening. That's why recipe does not call for soda or baking powder at all.

Aren't they pretty. Watch out - they are about to disappear...
 
 
Do you see this lovely piece of cheese sticking out -I love those...

After years, I have developed taste for eating sirniki with a sour cream. In my childhood - don't even bother me with sour cream to my patties.
 
 
 


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