Friday, April 12, 2013

Chow Down to Eurovision 2013 - Belarus

Dobry Vecher,  Ladies and Gentleman we have landed in Belarus. Since their first participation in 2004  Belarus has never failed to delight, amuse, shock and appall. Anastasiya Vinnikova summed up my true feelings about Belarus in 2011, I Love Belarus, ('got it deep inside').  
The Queen of Belarusian Eurovision is former MRS Russia Angelica Agurbash, who in 2005 brought us "Love Me Tonight" which some of us did more than others, she came 13th in the semi final.

Yes, I have an Angelica shrine
Every Google search for Belarusian cuisine came up will lots and lots of potato pancakes, Drakini. I tried a couple of versions and in the end based this recipe from a Russian clip on Youtube, I followed the pictures. I have taken inspiration from Angelica and used a filling in the centre to create that age old Eurovision standard, the reveal. After hours of watching Love Me Tonight I knew there were only 2 ingredients that could possibly do, cheese and mince.

Love Me Tonight Drakini

  • 250g beef mince
  • 120ml passata
  • 1.5kg potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 eggs
  • Plain flour about 1/2 cup but maybe more or less
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • 100g grated cheese
  • Lard or oil
  • In a fry pan, cook the mince and passata on high for about 8 minutes, till the mince is cooked through and the passata has reduced into the mince.
  • Put the potatoes and onions into a food processor and blend till the consistency of porridge
  • Transfer into a large mixing bowl
  • Add the eggs, flour, pepper and salt
  • Stir to combine, you may need to add a little more flour depending on the consistency.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of oil/lard to a hot fry pan.
  • Add about dessert spoon of the batter to fry pan and push the spoon in to create a small well.
  • Spoon on a little of the meat mix into the well.
  • Cover with about 1/2 spoon of pancake mixture
  • Let cook for about 2 minutes and then flip over.
  • Cook for a further 2-3 minutes till brown and cooked through. You made want to lower the heat on the fry pan during the cooking if they look like they are going to burn.
  • Serve with sour cream
  • While experimenting with the recipe I did a version where the meat and cheese was mixed into the batter rather than in the centre, this was AB's personal favourite version.
This year Belarus is sending us Alyona Lanskaya and her song Solayoh

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