Bukovinian Nachinka (known as Bukovynska nachynka) is similar to my traditional nachynka recipe for the Instant Pot. This is just as easy and has just a few extra step to add bacon. Bukovina? It’s one of those in-between-places in Eastern Europe.
If you’re a vegetarian – look away and head over here now. Studenetz is a Ukrainian version of head cheese – with garlic. Studenetz is a staple all year round but mostly pops up at Easter.
A traditional recipe takes way over four hours to cook on the stovetop plus assembling time – but less than half that time in the Instant Pot. It’s not “instant” but end-to-end I made this recipe in 4 hours total (then refrigerated everything overnight). This recipe uses the same ingredients as my baba’s recipe.
You either love studenetz or don’t touch it.
It’s easy to make your own dry curd cottage cheese. This recipe makes a cottage cheese with small curd – perfect for nalysnyky (Ukrainian cheese crepes) or Easter cheese babka. My homemade Instant Pot dry curd cottage cheese is destined for perishke (or pyrizhky, basically a bread-based baked perohe or pyrogy)
For Christmas Eve, I like to make braised red cabbage. It’s not a Ukrainian recipe – but what Ukrainian doesn’t like cabbage? (Ukrainians are allowed to not like cabbage)
This braised red cabbage is colourful and easy to make ahead of time. Just refrigerate and reheat when you’re ready to serve it.
Chicken soup is one of those things that’s special for everyone. This is the way that my baba would serve her chicken noodle soup. First off, she made her own noodles from scratch. But, you can get great egg noodles that have that rustic feel at the store.
The key is that she served the noodles separately from the soup. Everyone could add that they wanted at the table. Plus, serving cold noodles cooled down the soup for kids.
Як ви готуєте борщ? (yak veh ho-too-yet-eh borsch) I’ve been learning Ukrainian with Duolingo. It’s been fun and sometimes frustrating. If you’d like to try it out, you can use this link which would give me a free week of the “pro” version. The other day, the lesson asked me Як ви готуєте борщ? How do you cook borscht?
Here it is. This is a vegan borscht with a lot of flavour, and it’s pretty straightforward. I save time by using pre-cooked beans and pre-cooked onions. A quick steam for the beets makes them easier to peel. And, dill and beet leaves (or swiss chard) adds a fresh flavour in the middle of winter.
Christmas Eve is coming soon, as they say. I say it’s the most important Ukrainian food holiday of the year.
Sviata vecheria is an overwhelming meal to make. But, a lot of the cooking time can be sped up using the Instant Pot with the recipes here on Instant Ukrainian.
Beans are a fairly pedestrian thing. This recipe made for Sviata Vecheria, the Ukrainian twelve-dish meatless Christmas Eve meal. As such, it’s made with vegetable oil and is totally vegan. With a cup of Instant Onions, you’ll save even more time on your way to Christmas Eve.
Mashed beans may not look like much but they’re tasty and garlicky. They’re kind of the Ukrainian version of refried beans.
For one of my favourite foods, I grew up thinking that “nachynka” (also nachinka or начинка) was the word for cornmeal. It actually means stuffing. Also known as Bukovynska nachynka if it has bacon in it. But, this is a basic but delicious cornmeal side dish at heart.
Nachynka starts out as a basic polenta recipe to which you add eggs and onions and bake it in the oven. I made this an embarrassing number of times trying to get this one right for the Instant Pot – and it’s worth it. Instead of stirring the cornmeal on the stove for 45 minutes, the Instant Pot makes that a quick 9 minutes!
Cookbooks like Culinary Treasures published by the St. Basil’s Ukrainian Women’s League have been my go-to for figuring out the right proportions for the recipes here. Originally published in 1967, it must have been popular because my copy is a reprint in 1972.
It’s the collective knowledge of the women at St. Basil’s in Edmonton, Alberta as well as women from across Canada. Mrs. A. Hlynski of Toronto, your Saturday Night Noodleburg should be a classic – and it’s an easy casserole for an Instant Pot Saturday Night. Inspired by her 1967 recipe, I’ve adapted it for the Instant Pot and sped up the process a little bit, too.
You can’t go wrong with a casserole that’s topped with corn flakes.