Syrniki

I'm going to try to attempt a new recipe every week. Last weekend I gave blini a go and it's now become a staple. It's so easy to make and filled with endless possibilities depending on your mood. This time, I've discovered something equally satisfying and just as subtly decadent, syrniki.

Not quite a pancake, and not quite a biscuit, syrniki (сырники) is made of farmer's cheese and fried up on the stove. It's not cloyingly sweet, and instead has a slight savory taste from the cheese which is mild and creamy (think a cream cheese and cottage cheese baby).

Sunday was a  grey, cold, and snowy morning, so I thought what better time to bring some warmth to the kitchen and our bellies.

Tyler headed to an event while I set to work in the kitchen.

Tyler headed to an event while I set to work in the kitchen.

Here's what you'll need for about 12 syrniki:

  • 1 lb. farmer's cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar (you're welcome to add more if you'd like a sweeter batter)
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup flour plus more for coating
  • Raisins or another dried berry (optional)
  • Oil for the pan (I used sunflower)
  • Toppings of your choosing

Begin by adding the farmer's cheese to a bowl. It will maintain it's shape (like cream cheese), but will crumble easily (like feta) when prodded with a fork. So...prod away until you're left with small crumbs of cheese.

Next, add both eggs and mix until completely incorporated.

Followed by the sugar and salt.

Once you have a nice sticky, wet mixture, add the flour. 

Now, this would be the part when you toss in the raisins. I decided to make half the batch without, and so I didn't add them right away.

Your batter should still be sticky after adding the flour.

Your batter should still be sticky after adding the flour.

Pour a few tablespoons of flour onto a small plate. This will be for coating each syrniki.

Take a hefty spoonful of batter and place it onto the plate with flour. Gently turn it and form into a flat, round, shape with your hands.

Ready for raisins.

Plain on the left, raisins on the right.

Plain on the left, raisins on the right.

Once you've formed all of your syrniki and prepared a clean plate with paper towels, it's time to get cooking!

Pour a few tablespoons of oil into a flat-bottomed pan. Heat over medium-high heat. When the oil is good and hot, add your first batch.

Don't overcrowd the pan.

Don't overcrowd the pan.

After they've sizzled away for about three minutes, flip them over ever so carefully (watch out for oil splatters).

They need to cook for a few minutes on the other side, before being transferred to the prepared plate. The syrniki should be golden brown on either side.

Keep working in batches until they're all done. In the meantime, gather your toppings.

Clockwise from left: Sguschenka, boiled condensed milk, orange marmalade, apple.

Clockwise from left: Sguschenka, boiled condensed milk, orange marmalade, apple.

No need to let them cool. Pick your favorites and claim them as your own.

If you can't eat them all in one sitting, they keep nicely in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Which topping would you choose? Since I can never decide, I don't. I'd like to experiment with stuffing them with something. Let me know if you take a whack at it. I would love to hear how they turn out.