Today I quickly whipped up one of my favorite Russian breakfast foods, syrniki. My friend El. and I call them “pancheesies.” They are a very common staple of Russian homecooking, kind of like hash browns and pancakes are the familiar staple of any American’s breakfast.
The recipe is as easy as pie (actually, easier than pie).
1 1/4 cup of farmers’ cheese (this is a cheese that is similar to goat cheese in consistency, but actually tastes like cottage cheese. It’s the closest equivalent here in the States to Russian cottage cheese called “tvorog,” and is fairly easy to find in most larger grocery stores)
1 large egg
2-3 tbs of sugar
1/2 cup flour
Mix all the ingredients well in a mixing bowl, until the consistency starts to look like slightly lumpy mashed potatoes
Using a spoon dipped in cool water to prevent sticking, scoop up a generous spoonful of the mix, and form into a ball, then flatten into a small pancake. Coat both sides of the pancake in a little bit of flour, and fry in hot vegetable oil in a deep skillet, turning over so that both sides are lightly golden brown.
Syrniki taste great with a dollop of sour cream, with a serving of your favorite jam or preserves, or just on their own, depending on how rich or sweet you want your breakfast to be. I also like them as an afternoon tea snack. I had mine with Yorkshire Gold tea from Taylor’s of Harrogate, and a spoon of June Taylor‘s fig & port preserves I picked up at the Farmers’ Market a while ago, and have been savoring since.
(Yes, that mug is great).