I made a great discovery yesterday at the New Odessa European Market and Deli, but had to consult a Russian syllabary before I could figure out what it was. My discoveries are stacked in the cake stand on the left, and they are identified here as “сырники.”
The woman behind the counter advised me to heat them up in the oven first — maybe even to top them with a little jam after they were hot.
Who needs jam? These little beauties emerged from the oven with crisp edges and a soft, creamy-custardy interior. The flavor teetered on the sweet/savory edge between cheesecake cheesy and fried mozzarella stick cheesy.
Once I could sound out the Cyrillic letters into “syrniki” I found both many odes to and and many recipes for this cheese pastry that is well loved through the Slavic world. Most recipes list only whole-milk farmer’s cheese, eggs, sugar, salt and a bit of flour. Wowza.
I also picked up some fried pirozki pastries, with fillings that ranged from sauerkraut to
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