This year Maslyanytsya starts on February 20th, 2017 and will last till February 26th, 2017. It is country’s most picturesque and cheerful holiday, which is traditionally accompanied by songs, dances and large-scale feasts. The east Slavs also call this holiday Butter Week or Pancake Week.
The tradition of consuming pancakes or rather the analogy of French crepes (thin layers of fried batter) reaches back in centuries. Ukrainians have around dozen of traditional Maslyanytsya recipes. «Destinations» will share some of the most popular with our readers.
Read: Maslyanytsya 2017 in Ukraine
Red Beet Pancakes
Ukrainians love potato pancakes, why should beet pancakes be any different? Well, for one, these are sweet. Not just sweet but totally red…are you sure you didn’t put sugar in there? The natural sugars of the beet caramelizes on the outside of the pancakes, leaving you with a sweet crunchy exterior and soft and decadent interior.
2 pounds beets (3 very large or 4 to 6 medium), 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary (or thyme, if you prefer), salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, 1/2 cup flour, 2 tablespoons butter, Minced parsley or a few rosemary leaves for garnish.
Directions: Trim beets, and peel them as you would peel potatoes; grate them in food processor or by hand. Begin preheating 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Toss grated beets in bowl with rosemary, salt and pepper. Add about half the flour; toss well, add rest of flour, and toss again.
Put butter in skillet; heat until it begins to turn nut-brown. Scrape beet mixture into skillet, and press with spatula to form a round. Cook at medium to medium-high heat -- the pancake should gently sizzle; cook, shaking pan occasionally, until bottom of cake is nicely crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Slide cake onto a plate, top with another plate, invert the two plates, and return cake to pan. Keep cooking, adjusting heat if necessary, until the other side is browned, another 10 minutes or so. Garnish, cut into wedges, and serve hot or at room temperature.
Green Spinach Pancakes
Having a filling, green breakfast like this will set you up for the day. Packed full of alkalizing greens and protein, it's the perfect option for Maslyanytsya pancake day.
Ingridients: 25g teff flour, 25g gluten free flour, 1 egg, 130g almond or soy milk, 50g baby spinach, 1 tsp sunflower oil. Filling: 100g mushrooms, ½ sliced red onion, 1 clove garlic, 1 tsp sunflower oil, pinch sea salt, 6 tbsp water, 60g kale, 6 tbsp water, ½ lime.
Directions for the pancakes: Pour boiling water over the spinach so it wilts and squeeze any excess water out. Blend together the spinach and milk until smooth. Whisk in the egg and sunflower oil into the spinach mixture. Weigh and mix the dried ingredients into a bowl. Slowly stir in the dried ingredients into the wet mixture. Heat a pan with 1 tsp of sunflower oil and pour half of the mixture into the pan evenly. Leave to cook for 1-2 minutes until its golden brown then flip over and cook on the other side till golden brown and take off the heat. Repeat for another pancake.
Directions for the filling: thinly slice the onion and sauté in the pan with slices of garlic in the sunflower oil for 1 minute until soft. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 1 minute and add 6tbsp water and leave for another minute. Push the mushrooms to one side of the pan and add the kale, lime juice and rest of the water and leave to wilt in the steam. Take off the heat.
To serve open the pancake and put the kale and mushrooms on one side and 3 tbsp of yoghurt over the top and chopped coriander. Fold the pancake over the filling.
Read: Ukrainian Cuisine Most Popular Dishes
Ukrainian Traditional Pancakes «Nalysnyky»
Nalysnyky are Ukrainian crepes with different fillings. It’s a very popular dish in all regions of the country. Rolled pancakes with different fillings are made in different countries of the world, the principle of making is the same, but batter, stuffing can differ.
Ingredients: ½ liter milk, 2 eggs, 2 tbsp vegetable fat, 1 tbsp sugar, 200 g flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 pinch of salt.
Directions for batter: take a large bowl and beat eggs with salt in sugar in it until the mix becomes fluffy ad light. Add vegetable oil, mix well, add milk and mix again. Add baking powder and flour, mix until the batter becomes smooth.
The batter is ready. Now take frying pan and preheat it on medium heat. Grease the pan surface with oil. Pour small amount of batter into the pan (depending of frying pan diameter), swirl the pan for a few seconds to make batter spread evenly.
Cook the pancake on a medium heat for about a minute (till it turns lightly browned), then turn it over with spatula and cook for another half a minute. Continue until all of the batter is used up.
You can eat these crepes as they are if you want. Ukrainians call them ‘mlyntsi’. But if you want to try ‘nalysnyky’, you have to stuff pancakes.
Among the most popular fillings for Ukrainian nalysnyky are the following ones: ground meat (pork, beef, chicken); veal liver; chopped hard-boiled eggs and bunch onion; mushrooms; stewed cabbage; cottage cheese with raisins or candied fruit; fruit and berries.
Photo source: depositphotos.com