ODESSA CUISINE

Flavor of Odessa.. It is various and every time it charms with the chance to discover something new, unknown, unusual. Historically, there were more than 130 nationalities, who live in the city. Each of them has a precious part in all fields of city life, and over one of them – Odessa cuisine – we are ready to open the veil of mystery and tell you about some from the thousand of most delicious dishes.
Do you know how to create a culinary masterpiece? A unique combination of spices, herbs, and ingredients, creating an incredible, unique taste and the finest aroma. All this makes you remember it from time to time and strive at all costs to try it again.
Well, what about Odessa? You may ask, what does this south city, what at the time of Richelieu was called “a little Paris”, have in common with a refined culinary masterpiece? It’s all very simple: it was created as a mixture of nationalities, traditions, gastronomic predilections.On the Black Sea coast, on a small spot of land, at first, several styles were neatly mixed: Romanesque, Gothic, Rococo and Art Nouveau. Then the French, Italians, Greeks, Turks, Jews, Moldavians, Ukrainians, Russians have precisely joined the city, all this was seasoned well with true freedom and duty-free import of goods.
And what happened then? And then they began to cook it all in the hot, scorching sun. And the amazing and unique city was created. All the time geniuses were born in it. People never discouraged there. A simple, cheerful, open, hospitable people amazed and still amazes everyone who has ever visited this fertile land. Perhaps no one knows how to trade like Odessa citizens, no one knows how to joke better than Odesa citizens, and no one can finally cook like Odessa citizens.
Odesa cuisine is spicy and vivid. It has its zest and its peppercorn! Odessa cuisine has absorbed the best culinary traditions of the people of different countries from all over the world, and become a vivid mixture of original cultures and flavors. Aromatic as Greek, spicy as Bulgarian, refined as French and hearty as Italian, Odessa cuisine dishes are small culinary masterpieces, table decorations and the pride of every Odessa family!
Russians, Ukrainians, Jews, and Greeks, who were the majority in the city, brought something of their own to the “common cauldron”, and at the same time borrowed something from neighbors: the Russians gladly began to eat “caviar from the eggplants”, the Jews enjoyed the varenyky with cherries, the Ukrainians admired forshmak, and the Greeks appreciated the stuffed pike. So they live like this for many years, combining round rissoles from tyulka with prunes and nuts.
It is impossible to tell which cuisine had the largest influence. After all, everything had an impact – including the fact that the city is located on the seafront, which generously provides its gifts to the citizens.
From the first day of its foundation, Odessa has been and remains an international city. Therefore, Odessa cuisine is only replenished with new dishes that Bulgarians, Turks, Romanians, Moldavians, and other neighboring nationalities bring.
Many people are aware of the hospitality of the friendly Odessa owners, who are still happy to prepare for family feasts and guests such intricate and complex dishes as stuffed fish, stuffed peppers, or chicken neck.
Today Odessa cuisine dishes can also be found on the menu of almost every Odessa restaurant. Fried zucchini with mayonnaise and garlic, eggplant rolls under the funny name “mother-in-law’s tongue”, eggplant`s caviar seasoned with garlic and parsley, fried gobies in a crispy batter,
forshmak from minced salted herring, mussels in a pot, stewed and baked rapanos. There aren`t feast without stuffed fish, and in almost every restaurant you can find such dessert as prunes with nuts under cream and napoleon.
Discover this city for yourself where a noisy bazaar is mixed with a subtle boulevard, where the answer to the question is another question, and people enjoy telling jokes and treat everything philosophically, with a sense of irony. There is something to see, to walk, and of course, there is something to eat!

ODESSA CUISINE RECIPES

EGGPLANT IKRA (EGGPLANT SPREAD)
Ingredients (4 servings):
2 large or 3 medium eggplants
2 medium tomatoes (preferably “Mikado” or “beef tomatoes”)
2 bell peppers
2 garlic cloves
3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion
salt, sugar, pepper – to taste

In Odesa, eggplants are commonly called “blue”. Cook “blue” and eggplants in the oven until completely cooked through to make them soft (it’s important not to dry the pepper: it needs less time). Cool, clean and finely grind vegetables with blanched tomatoes. Add vegetable oil, crushed garlic, grated onion, lemon juice, sugar, salt, black pepper. Mix it all thoroughly and serve it.

FORSHMAK
Legend says, that this recipe has not changed since 1813.
Ingredients (4 servings):
2 medium green apples
75 g. butter
2 chicken eggs
5 walnuts
2 large herring
1 onion
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt, black pepper to taste

In a meat grinder, grind the fish fillets twice. Peel apple from skin and seeds, and grind with onion. Add butter, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and also walnuts and finely grated hard-boiled eggs in prepared mince. Mix it all together thoroughly. Put forshmak on a plate and topped with olive oil. Serve on black Russian bread.

TZIMMES FROM STRING BEANS WITH CRISPY TOASTS
Ingredients (1 serving):
100 g. white string beans
100 g. onions
50 g. tomato paste
30 g. vegetable oil
Ingredients for decoration:
100 g. onions
30 g. starch
100 g, vegetable oil
seasonings, salt – to taste

Wash and soak white string beans in the water for an hour, then put to boil. Dice onions in advance and fry it in vegetable oil. Mix boiled beans with onions and tomato paste in the pan. Add salt and pepper. Put the ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth. Peel, slice, salt, roll in starch onion and fry it in vegetable oil. Serve tzimmes, topped with fried onion.

THE SANDWICH “LOADER FROM PRIVOZ”

The sandwich Loader from Privoz – is a practical Odessa “national dish”. Everybody enjoy fresh tyulka here. Besides, this dish is simple to prepare, but very tasty. It is a slice of black bread, covered with curd with basil, on which the fillet of tulka is laid out, then it is sprinkled with green onions. Served it with mikado tomatoes and onions, toned with olive oil.

 

ODESSA STUFFED CHICKEN NECK
Ingredients (4 servings):
chicken skin neatly removed from the neck and thighs
3 tablespoons raw chicken fat
100-150 g. chicken liver
1 medium onion
3 garlic cloves
6 tablespoons semolina
salt, black ground pepper to taste

Peel and dice onion. Chicken fat split into small pieces, fry it over medium heat until cracklings. Remove from heat, take out cracklings, put aside. On melted fat, fry the onion until brown. Boil chicken liver in boiling water for a minute, strain through a colander, let it cool, then chop it finely. Peel and chop garlic finely. Heat semolina in a dry pan for 20-30 seconds. Mix fried onions, cracklings, liver, semolina and garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Stuff skin with the mixture, not tight. Gently sew the neck with cotton thread. Boil it in boiling bouillon for 10-12 mins until just tender. Take out neck from bouillon, dry it, remove thread, then slice it.

ODESSA ROUND RISSOLES FROM TYULKA
Ingredients:
500 g. fresh tyulka
1 chicken egg
40 g. flour
60 g. vegetable oil
salt, pepper – to taste
Ingredients for sauce:
50 g. mayonnaise
20 g. leeks
20 g. pickles
3 g. dill
3 g. capers

Clean tyulka from heads, ridges and guts, rince, dry it, salt and pepper. Divide into parts and shape into round rissoles. Round rissoles dip in flour, then in egg and fry both sides until just tender. Add diced leeks, pickles, minced dill and capers in mayonnaise. Mix it all together thoroughly. The sauce is ready

BLACK SEA FISH SOUP
Ingredients:
1.5 kg fish
2 litre water
2 leeks
1 carrot
1 root of parsley
3-4 potatoes
2 tablespoons semolina or millet
2 sweet peppers
3 tomatoes
salt, pepper – to taste

It is advisable to use fish of several species (mullet, gobies, pike perch, glossa, flounder, etc.). Gutted fish, washed and cut into pieces (if it is large). If the fish is fine, then gut it and put the whole thing. Remove eyes and gills from the head of a large fish as well as a small cartilaginous bone at the base of the skull, which gives bitterness to the fish soup. Put diced potatoes, semolina or millet, sliced roots of parsley, sliced onions in salted boiled water. Boil it for 10-15 minutes on medium heat, add salt, pepper and boil it for more 10 minutes, then put fish in saucepan. Add sliced sweet peppers and incised crosswise on one side tomatoes to the fish soup. Boil for 10-15 minutes over medium heat. Fill with finely chopped greens and salt a minute before the readiness. Let the fish soup brew.

ODESSA GOBIES
Ingredients:
350 g. crude gobies
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon starch
salt, pepper – to taste

Mix flour with starch thoroughly. Cover gobies in this mix. Fry gobies until crisp and golden brown. Serve it with sliced tomatoes, covered with garlic sauce and powdered with greens.

FISH CUTLETS
Ingredients (1 serving):
60 g. flounder fillet
140 g. pangasius fillet
20 g. сream 30 %
20 g. vegetable oil
50 g. eggplants
salt, pepper – to taste
Ingredients for Tartar sauce (1 serving):
30 g. leeks
25 g. pickles
20 g. bell peppers
30 g. cream 30 %
10 g. vegetable oil

In a meat grinder, grind the prepared fish fillets, add salt, pepper and cream. Mix it all together thoroughly and shape 3 round cutlets, freeze it. Fry cutlets on vegetable oil and cookin the oven until ready. Dice eggplants (with a side of about 0.5 mm), fry on vegetable oil.
Sauce “Tartar”: dice peeled vegetables, fry them. Add cream and double boil.

BLACK SEA MUSSELS IN WINE AND CREAM SAUCE
Ingredients:
1 stick of butter
2 garlic cloves
1 chile pepper
1 lemon (zest)
250 ml. wine
1 bunch of parsley
1 kg. mussels
salt – to taste
toasted bread for serving

Heat butter in large pan and add garlic, chili, zest, and fry for 2 minutes over medium heat. Add wine and stew for 2 minutes. Add mussels and cover with a lid. Stew mussels for 3 minutes until they open. Put mussels on a plate. Boil bouillon over high heat few minutes. Add parsley, salt it and then pour mussels with this broth. Serve the dish immediately with fried bread.

BLACK SEA RAPANAS IN A CREAM SAUCE
Ingredients:
300 g. rapanas
200 g. champignons
1 leek
100 ml. cream 20%
vegetable oil for frying
salt, pepper – to taste

Defrost rapanas meat in a natural way. It can be cut into small pieces. Rinse and dice mushrooms. Chop the onion in half rings. Heat the vegetable oil on the pan, fry mushrooms for 10 minutes, then add onion and stew for 3-4 minutes. Then add rapanas meat, salt and pepper it, and fry for 3 minutes. Pour cream and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Immediately remove the pan from the stove, otherwise the meat will become stiff.

ODESSA PALAW WITH MUSSELS
Ingredients (2 servings):
1 kg mussels
400 g. rice
6-7 onions
3-4 carrots
3 garlic cloves
100 g. vegetable oil
salt, black and red pepper – to taste

Heat vegetable oil in kettle or pot with thick walls. Sliced carrots. Place in a pot with preheated vegetable oil. Crush garlic with a knife and it to carrots, fry together with carrots, salt and pepper. Add sliced onion. After the mass is fried, pour it with one liter of boiling water, dip the mussels into it. When mussels will start opening, pour rice.

GEFILTE FISH
Ingredients:
1-2 kg fishes (pike, carp)
1 chicken egg
15 g. semolina
1-2 onions
salt, pepper – to taste
1 beetroot

Clean fish, cut head and gut without cutting the belly. Gently separate the skin from meat, meat from bones. Cook mince: add egg, semolina, pepper, salt (to taste), water. Stuff the skin with minced meat. At the bottom of the pan put onion husks, fish bones, fins and head. Place the fish in a saucepan, put the beets cut into 3-4 parts, pour everything with cold salted water (the water should cover the fish), add black pepper to your taste. Put the saucepan on the fire, bring to a boil and cook on very low heat for 2.5-3 hours. Do not cover the saucepan with a lid. Cool the fish and refrigerate, the broth should freeze to a jelly-like state

BOEUF STROGANOFF FROM BEEF
Ingredients (4 servings):
0.5 kg beef (entrecote)
2 onions
400 g. fresh mushrooms
1 bunch of spinach
1,5 glass of cream
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt, pepper – to taste

Peel beef from skin, cut across the fibers with a thickness of 1 cm and slightly beat off. Cut the chopped entrecote and mushrooms into slices 2-3 mm thick., And the onion – 2 mm thick straws. Stew beef, onion and mushrooms on vegetable oil for 2 minutes until golden brown. Salt, pepper and pour cream and stew 5-6 minutes. Then add spinach and mix it together thoroughly. Serve it with mashed potatoes.