Dobre den! That’s good morning in Ukrainian.
Fun fact: I studied abroad in Ukraine between my sophomore and junior year of college. I only remember two phrases from my time there but I do remember a lot about the food. It was all delicious and so fresh. This is where I learned to love the taste of farm fresh eggs. Oh and also, vodka, lots and lots of vodka.
My first night in Kiev, our group was served kotlety po-kyivskomy (chicken Kiev) so when we were searching for Ukrainian restaurants with no luck, I suggested we make it. From scratch. I don’t know what I was thinking.
After a little more internet digging we found two other Ukrainian dishes to go along side the chicken: potato varenyky (potato dumplings) and holubtsy (cabbage rolls).
We set out to make the chicken Kiev first. Matt pounded the chicken breasts into a thin layer so we could gently roll a “finger sized piece” of butter inside of them. Then the little bundles were dipped in an egg wash and bread crumbs. We were a little skeptical of the amount of butter inside but these turned out great. I think the butter helped keep the chicken extra moist.
The real standouts, though, of this at home cooked “around-the-world meal” were the cabbage rolls. Stuffed with rice, ground beef, and seasonings and smothered in a tomato sauce and slow cooked for an hour.
The potato dumplings aren’t worth mentioning. Likely they fell short because I had no idea what I was doing and not because they aren’t a tasty dish. A doughy pasta stuffed with mashed potatoes should be delicious and definitely worth a second chance.
Our cooking efforts paid off this time. We enjoyed a variety of Ukrainian dishes and sharpen our culinary skills. On to the next foodie adventure!