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!
Continue reading “Instant Pot Nachynka – Cornmeal Casserole”
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.
Continue reading “Saturday Night Noodleburg for the Instant Pot”
Onions. They go with everything, don’t they?
It’s the first step to so many recipes – heat oil or butter and saute onions, blah, blah, blah. So simple. But, time-consuming. My baba would simmer onions on low heat in butter for what seemed like hours. They never browned and these aren’t caramelized. They’re just wonderfully cooked onions.
My solution: chop and cook a lot of onions all at once in the Instant Pot. Maybe use some now, freeze the rest to use later. Then you’re covered when you need a fast topping for those frozen perohe (Sure, the box or bag says perogies but you’re stubborn and call them perohe). Or, you just want a head start on filling some traditional cabbage rolls or some summertime beet leaf holubchi. All-purpose onions are here for you.
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I don’t often make cabbage rolls (or holubtsi or golubchi or whatever) with meat. Ground meat is hard to roll. Even if you have a small amount of rice, it just doesn’t hold together like 100% rice cabbage rolls like my traditional-Instant Pot cabbage roll recipe or even the beet leaf holubtsi recipe.
Enter buckwheat or kasha! Buckwheat filling in cabbage rolls is also great – and healthy. But, on its own it’s not spectacular though it’s a great alternative for dairy-free and gluten-free vegetarians. Here, I’ve combined some ground pork along with buckwheat to make a unique filling for your Instant Pot. You could also use ground beef or a vegan ground meat product.
Continue reading “Instant Pot Buckwheat and Pork Cabbage Rolls / Holubtsi”
Beet leaf cabbage rolls may not make a lot of sense but they’re delicious and completely unlike cabbage holubtsi (holubchi, golubchi, golubtsi, whatever). Replacing the cabbage with beet leaves is a summer time treat.
Like many awesome Ukrainian recipes, this one finishes with being baked in cream. So, it needs to be finished in a regular oven because that cream totally curdles in the Instant Pot. A little extra time but totally worth it.
After some research, there are plenty of recipes around called beet leaf holubchi but with bread dough wrapped in beet leaves. My family always makes beet leaves filled with rice and plenty of dill. If you’re used to the bread dough version, try this one out!
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The Ukrainian word for cabbage rolls have a lot of different spellings when it’s transliterated into English. Holubtsi, holubchi, holubchy, golubchi, golubtsi. Why the h and g? Regional differences, I suppose.
In my family, holubtsi are more often meatless than meaty. This applies especially to Sviata Vechera, the meatless 12-dish Christmas Eve dinner. In this version, they are also gluten-free and could go vegan by swapping out the butter for vegetable oil.
While you could finish the rolls in the oven, this recipe in the Instant Pot helps you save some time by speeding up the fillings and the final cooking.
This recipe saves almost 2 hours of cooking time!
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This is a more modern version of kutia. My baba liked the addition of the dried fruit and nuts – it’s more extravagant than her Traditional Kutia recipe. This is my “healthier” version.
What’s kutia and how do I say it?
Kutia or Kutya (pronounced coo-tcha) is one of the most important dishes in all of Ukrainian cuisine. It’s a big hassle to make – but not with an Instant Pot.
This is boiled wheat. Pretty basic but wheat is the centre of Ukrainian culture and farming. When I was younger, I was told that the yellow half of the bottom of the Ukrainian flag symbolized the wheat fields and the blue band on the top symbolized the sky. Now, that there’s Wikipedia, I’ve learned the flag pre-dates Christianity in the Ukraine but that story developed around 1845. To sum up, wheat’s important.
This recipe saves you from soaking the wheat overnight and over 2 hours of cooking time!
Continue reading “Modern Instant Pot Kutia”
Whether it’s Kutia or Kutya (pronounced coo-tcha), it’s probably one of the most seminal Ukrainian dishes. It’s also one of the most time consuming.
The history of kutia
Kutia is a Christmas Eve dish but – in reality – its roots have very little to do with Christmas. So, let’s travel back a few thousand years to the Ukraine. What was going on? Growing wheat. So, they boiled the wheat.
But, it’s so much more than just boiled wheat. Ukrainians (and everyone nearby) celebrated the winter solstice before they adopted Christianity in 997 AD. Kutia is the centrepiece of this winter solstice dinner that was adapted into what is now the Christmas Eve meal: Sviata Vechera.
This recipe saves the overnight soaking time plus 2 hours of cooking time over the traditional recipe!
Continue reading “Traditional Instant Pot Kutia”
There are too many bad borscht recipes for the Instant Pot on the web. And, there’s more to Ukrainian food than just borscht.
This blog is going to change the way you think about Ukrainian food. Generally, it’s very time-consuming and labour-intensive to make. But, the Instant Pot is a way to speed it up.
Smachnoho! (Bon appetit in Ukrainian)