To Russia, with love.
After our second daughter was born, my husband moved our family over to Far East Russia. It was quite the move and it taught me many things about who I am, who other people are, and well… food.
The Far East and the SAD.
Food in the Far East is astronomically different than the Standard American Diet I was used to following (albeit a “healthy” version). Bread was baked fresh daily at the grocery store, veggies came from local farms, and cheese was sold in little lumps or bricks wrapped in saran wrap. Though it seemed like the kinds of cheese available changed weekly, one of the most common cheeses was “farmer’s cheese,” which I of course had no idea how to use.
What is this Syrniki you speak of?
Then, one fateful day, a friend of ours introduced me to syrniki. Little fried balls of cheesy goodness, topped with compote or smyetana (sort-of an “I’ll take your sour cream and raise you one deliciousness). These little fried cheese cakes became a staple in our flat. Along with anything made from potatoes, cabbage, and/or carrots…
Upon our return to the states I was elated to find farmer’s cheese in a local grocery store. We were able to keep up our syrniki addiction until a wonderful little thing called celiac nocked me off my gluten-loving rear.
During a date night I asked my hubby what he would like to eat, and he replied (with a rather dreamy look in his eyes):
“Those little balls of cheesy goodness with sour cream on top.”
So of course I had to figure out how to make them gluten-free. Thankfully, it wasn’t hard at all! Now we can enjoy syrniki whenever we want. 😉
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- 2 c. dry curd cottage cheese or farmer’s cheese
- 2 eggs
- 2 T. evaporated cane juice
- 1/3 sorghum flour
- 1/3 c. brown rice flour + 2 T. (plus 2-3 T. to roll in)
- 1/3 c. tapioca starch
- 1 t. salt
- a handful of raisins or craisins (optional)
- Combine cheese and eggs in bowl. Mix well; add flour and salt. Mix well.
- Roll the dough into ping-pong sized balls and roll in flour.
- Heat about 3 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan or skillet.
- Before frying, flatten the balls to about 2/3 inch think. Fry in hot oil until golden on underside. Flip and fry until on other side until golden.
- Serve with a dollop of sour cream or jam on top.