Grilled pork chops with (muzhdei) garlic sauce

This recipe is really exciting to me because it’s the first recipe I’m featuring that’s officially Moldovian (a country I was born in). The republic of Moldova was formerly part of the Soviet Union, therefore I was exposed to a lot of the Russian culture (and food) but this one is the real Moldovian deal. Winking smile


In case you are wondering, Moldovian is a completely different language… which I learned in school growing up as a second language. After the republic became independent in 1991, the schools slowly started migrating to 100% Moldovian. In fact the year we moved to Israel was the very last year classes were offered in Russian. Good thing they let me at least finish my curriculum. Nerd smile (On a separate note, how awesome are these smiley faces from Live Writer? LOVE. I digress…)

Anyways, the only 3 Moldovian recipes

Georgian cold tuna in (satsivi) walnut sauce

When I originally decided to start the Russian Bites project (yes, this was a personal project in my mind before I decided to make it into a blog), I wanted to not only dig through my mom’s old homemade cookbooks (which by the way were mostly hand written by little me because supposedly I had the best handwriting in my family) but also to find other sources of inspiration to really learn more about the culture through food. Through a quick search on Amazon, I discovered the Please to the Table cookbook which has 400 (!!) recipes from all over the former Soviet Union. Unsurprisingly, majority of these dishes I’ve never tried or even heard of, which makes it both exciting and scary. Am I going to like it? I guess that’s how you feel about recipes featured on this blog, huh?

Here is what I have to say about this… some of the recipes I grew up eating I may be more than biased about (they are my comfort food) but my (American) husband has been a happy taste tester and has loved

Chicken Kiev (kurizza po Kievski)

Last night I had my parents over for the very first Russian dinner prepared by me!! I actually chose recipes from a Russian cookbook (Please To The Table) I recently purchased. The cookbook has over 400 recipes and no pictures so I was hoping my parents would know better what the food should look like… and more importantly – taste like.

So for my first meal, I decided to make chicken Kiev. Have you heard of it before? I feel like this is one of the most well-known Russian dishes among Americans, yet to be honest – I had no idea what it actually was. I was imagining chicken stuffed with cheese and maybe even ham (I think I was confusing it with chicken Cordon Blue… must have been). What I discovered was it was chicken stuffed with herbed butter. It should be served straight out of the fryer (oh yeah!) so that the melted butter inside oozes out as soon as you cut into it. Mmmm… 😉

So yeah, funny enough – I thought I was making the most traditional Russian dish of all

Pelmeni (meat filled dumplings)

I realized the other day (and I know that this is a new blog so there is still time) that I haven’t really shown you much about what traditional Russian food really is. The first blog post was a good intro but the recipes I shared so far were just for sweets. Guess what? Russians eat savory food too. Haha, I know you kind of knew that already. 😉 So here is a recipe I must share asap. I posted it a few weeks ago on Healthy and Sane but it really should be the first savory recipe I share here on Russian Bites so I’m reposting it here. If you try one Russian dish in your life, pelmeni (or vareniki if you’re vegetarian) should be it. So here it goes…

In case you are unfamiliar with what that is – pelmeni (which by the way is plural – a single version is a pelmen’ (<– soft “n”) but you never eat just one 😉 ) are Russian meat-filled dumplings. The most traditional Siberian version is filled with a mixture of half pork, half beef. Other parts of

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