Posts Tagged ‘Ukrainian’

by Caitlin Saniga

Polichinki with grilled apricot filling, Greek yogurt and spicy candied walnuts

I vividly remember many Sunday afternoons of my childhood spent sitting at Baboo’s kitchen table with three plates spread out in front of me: one for a never-ending supply of super-thin fried pancakes, one to use as a filling and rolling station and another one to pile up the finished palacinka. Baboo kept two or three pans going on the stove at one time, and she didn’t stop until she’d made enough pancakes for our whole family (six at the time), which was about 30 palacinka. My goal was to keep the supply plate empty, so with as much efficiency as I could muster, I’d select jelly or yogurt or cottage cheese, and then fill and roll the palacinka, creating an ever-larger mound. My favorite filling was strawberry jelly, but we experimented with lots of flavors: grape, mint, raspberry, even apple butter. But Baboo’s favorite was apricot. With that in mind, I created this recipe. I doubt she’d ever make something like this in her kitchen, but I bet she’d have liked it.


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by Caitlin Saniga

Borscht is often served a bright pink color with a dollop of sour cream, but the borscht at Veselka was more pure tasting with no cream, except if you specifically ordered it. The recipe, which I peeked at in the Veselka cookbook my aunt bought after falling in love with this soup, includes beets, pork, beef broth, carrots, celery, potatoes, cabbage and lima beans. And I think the green garnish is dill.

Red letters over the kitchen say “Veselka is love.” When I asked our waitress what Veselka means in Ukrainian, she said “rainbow.” And rainbows hold special significance for me.

I visited: Veselka, a 24-hour Ukrainian diner in East Village. Established in 1954, it specializes in pierogies (fried or boiled), stuffed cabbage, blintzes, kielbasa and borscht.

I tried: Among other delicious things, a small bowl of the borscht.

Why it stood out:When I walked into Veselka, every table was dotted with one or two bowls of borscht, but honestly,

I ordered a small plate each of boiled and fried pierogies, with fillings including mushroom and sauerkraut, potato, spinach and cheese and sweet potato. Each plate came with sides of apple sauce, sour cream and butter and onions and cost $6.95.

I wasn’t the one who ordered the traditional Ukranian beet soup. My Aunt Marci did, and after only one spoonful, she was happily howling her “My god, this is good” approval. She eventually walked out with the Veselka cookbook, for sale at the diner (and online), tucked under her arm.

It cost: A small bowl is $4.75; a large bowl is $6.25

Find out more:

My Aunt Kay, Aunt Marci and I share a Ukranian heritage. We’re all about the pierogies, stuffed cabbage and borscht at Veselka.

144 Second Ave.
East Village NYC, NY 10003
There’s also a newer location on East First Street just east of Bowery.

*$6 Snacks is a recurring feature that reviews an area eatery’s snack — for $6 or less. Look at a map of the places we’ve tried. Help our map grow by submitting your own review. Find out how!

Veselka on Urbanspoon

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