Holidays the Ukrainian Way
October 25th, 2017

This holiday season, expand your palate with a bowl of borsh.
Adobe Stock photo by harmoony

Explore a variety of flavors with recipes from Ukraine


  • Chicken (about 2 thighs and a breast; or 1 thigh, 1 breast and 2 wings)
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium beet, cut into sticks
  • 2 large carrots, cut into sticks
  • 1 large onion, cut into small squares
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into medium-sized sticks
  • 1 small head of cabbage, shredded into medium-sized straws
  • 8-ounce can of V8
  • 10 bouillon cubes
  • 1 bunch of baby dill, cut into small pieces
  • Olive oil
  • Sour cream
  • Salt to taste

Fill a large pot ¾ full with water. Boil all chicken parts for about 40 minutes. Periodically remove the foam.

Heat a large pan with olive oil on medium heat. Fry the beets. Push beets to one side of the pan and put carrots on the other half. Add olive oil as needed.

Add potatoes to pot with water and chicken. Add bouillon cubes to the water.

Move beets and carrots to make space for the onions in the pan. Add olive oil as needed, but not too much. Add peppers to the pan. Let simmer until peppers cook through (this will not take long).

Add the V8 to the pan. Once it starts to boil, turn off the burner.

When the potatoes are almost cooked, put in the cabbage. Let the water come to a boil, then throw in all of the vegetables from the pan.

Remove pot from heat and add the dill. Serve in individual bowls and add sour cream.


Olivier Salad

  • 2 pounds milk sausage (high-quality bologna), cubed
  • 10 hardboiled eggs, cubed
  • 3 medium potatoes, boiled and cubed
  • 2 large carrots, boiled and cubed
  • 8 baby dill pickles, cubed
  • 15-ounce can sweet peas, drained
  • ½ bunch fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1½ cups mayonnaise

Mix all cubed ingredients in a bowl with sweet peas and mayonnaise. Add dill to taste and serve.


Kotleti (Meat Rissoles)

  • 2 pounds ground turkey or ground chicken
  • 1 pound low-fat ground beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ French baguette
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1½ tablespoons seasoning salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic and herb seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 can plain bread crumbs
  • Extra-light olive oil

Put the onion through a food processor, then into a mixing bowl. Soak the baguette in the half and half until it is soaked through. Put the baguette through a food processor and add to the mixing bowl.

Mix the meats, onions, garlic, eggs, baguette, seasoning salt, garlic and herb seasoning, pepper and mayonnaise. Mix by hand so it is all consistent.

Heat olive oil in a large pan on medium heat. Make palm-sized patties, cover in bread crumbs and add to the heated pan. Fry until brown, then flip the patties. Cover the pan with a lid until the other side is brown.

Make one or two patties first to taste for salt. Add salt to the mix if needed, then continue frying the patties, adding olive oil as needed.
Kotleti can be served with mashed potatoes, rice or spaghetti.


Golubtsi (Cabbage Roll)

  • 1 head of cabbage, washed
  • 2 pounds ground turkey or chicken
  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 cup of rice, washed
  • Lemon
  • 1½ tablespoons seasoning salt
  • No-salt seasoning blend to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Better than Bouillon chicken base
  • 8 ounces V8 tomato juice
  • Extra-light olive oil

In a pot, add 1½ cups of boiled water to the rice and return to a boil. Once boiled, turn down heat to simmer and cook until all water is absorbed (approximately 15 minutes). Rice should be about half cooked. Let it cool completely.

Boil water in a medium-sized pot. Add juice of half of a lemon to the boiled water. Lower the full head of cabbage into the water so it is completely covered. Boil for approximately 5 minutes, until the cabbage leaves are soft and wilted. Remove the cabbage and peel off the top layer of leaves until you reach the hard leaves. Lower the remaining cabbage head back into water to wilt the next round of leaves. Repeat until you peel all of the cabbage leaves. Cut most of the leaves in half, except the smallest ones.

Fry carrots on medium heat until soft, then cool. Fry onions in a separate pan until golden brown; let cool.

Mix by hand ground meats, rice,
carrots, onions, seasoning salt, and seasoning blend into a large mixing bowl.

Roll about 1 tablespoon of the mix into the half cabbage leaves prepared earlier.

Place the rolls in a large pot, covering the bottom. Add additional layers until all rolls are in the pot.

Pour boiled water over the rolls until all of them are covered. Add chicken base and bring to boil. Boil on medium heat for about 40 minutes.

Add approximately 8 ounces of V8 to the pot. Add more or less to taste. Bring the pot back to a boil, and boil on medium for another 15 to 20 minutes
Served with mashed potatoes.


Anichka Cake

  • Cake batter for 1 (you will be making 2)
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup flour

Heat oven to 350 F.
Combine sugar and flour. Add egg, honey, butter and sour cream. Put the baking soda in a small cup and add the vinegar. Add this to the batter mix. Pour the mix into an 8-inch baking pan.

Bake for 20 to 35 minutes, checking doneness with a toothpick. Let the cake cool, then cut in half horizontally.

Repeat process to make a second cake.


  • 1 2/3 cups sour cream, room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1½ stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 10 tablespoons sugar

Mix the cocoa powder with sugar. Add butter and sour cream. Put frosting in between each of the four layers of cake and on top.


  • 4 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 8 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons sour cream

Combine sugar and cocoa powder. Mix in the sour cream. Cook mixture in a pan on medium-low heat for approximately 5 minutes, mixing constantly, until the mix is smooth. Be careful not to overcook, as it may get too thick to spread over the top of the cake.

Pour hot glaze over the top of the cake and sides. Use the back of a spoon to smooth.

After the glaze cools, decorate the cake with seasonal berries or crushed roasted nuts, or leave plain.

Recipes courtesy of Nadya Klein and family.