If you ask me to name one dish that comes in mind
from my childhood memories, without a doubt it would be sirniki (seer-nee-kee). They were
usually made on weekends or mornings when there was nowhere to rush, and enjoyed
leisurely over the breakfast table. Ok, who am I kidding; they were gone as
soon as they hit the table as they were one of our favourite breakfasts :)
Sirniki are fritters or pancakes, and usually made from farmers cheese, flour and/or semolina, egg and sugar. You can add vanilla for taste, but I personally prefer without it. Also you can add raisins or dried chopped apricots and omit sugar altogether for healthier version. Serve them with dollop of sour-cream and lightly dust with powdered sugar. They also can be served with jam or marmalade, or even with condensed milk. But I like them more traditional way.
Now, speaking of farmer’s cheese. If you have not
heard about farmers cheese before then imagine cottage cheese or ricotta, but
much drier and tangier in taste. You can make farmers cheese yourself by using
this recipe, just make sure to drain it well by living it in a fridge
overnight. Alternatively you can buy it in an Eastern European shop or larger
It is very easy and quick to make sirniki. And you
do not really need any equipment, but of course you can use food processor for
your convenience. To be honest, I like to make sirniki only with semolina and
omit flour at all. In my experience they will hold shape better as using only
flour, more often than not, they fall apart in the pan.
In a bowl combine farmers cheese and egg, mix well until combined. I use fork to break up farmers cheese and to make mixture fine and even. Then add semolina and sugar, mix and leave to stand for 20-30 minutes for semolina to plump up.
Put non-stick frying pan over medium heat and add oil, about 2-3 tablespoons.
In a plate put more semolina. With a spoon scoop (I use soup spoon) out farmers cheese mixture and put directly into the plate with semolina; roll it into a ball, then flatten into a patty. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. You should get about 8 patties.
When the oil is hot, carefully place the patties into the pan. Fry until they are golden on both sides.
I prefer to eat them warm, but there is nothing wrong with cold ones too.
You can easily double this recipe if you want to cook bigger batch.