Monday, July 25, 2016


     Russian Style Ground Meat Patties!
     Kotleti is a delicious Russian creation.  If Kotleti are served with French Fries and ketchup, then this presentation style can be considered to be a snack or street food.  Kotleti can also be be served a bit fancier as a comfortable home cooked meal.    
     Kotleti is often described as Russian Meatballs or breaded meatloaf patties.  Kotleti can be made any shape.  Kotleti are often shaped like oval patties or like mini sliders.   Kotleti can be baked, broiled or pan fried.  The finished Kotleti should be slightly crispy on the outside.
     Kotleti is usually made with ground beef, pork or chicken.  Ground turkey, wild game and even fish can be used to make Kotleti.  I made today's recipe photo example with ground pork.
     Kotleti is usually served with no sauce, but there are a variety of sauces and condiments that go well with these tasty meat patties.  Gravy, sour cream, mustard or ketchup are the simplest choices.  Sautéed mushrooms, mashed potatoes or French Fries are traditional accompaniments for Kotleti too.

     This recipe yields 1 portion.  (2 to 4 Kotleti, depending on the size.)
     Step 1:  Place 1 small peeled russet potato in a sauce pot.  (Select a potato that is enough for about 1/3 cup of mashed potato.)
     Cover the potato with water.
     Boil over medium high heat till the potato is very soft.
     Drain the water off of the potato.
     Step 2:  Place the boiled potato in a mixing bowl.
     Mash the potato till it is very smooth.
     Step 3:  Trim the crust off of some stale French bread.
     Coarsely chop the bread pith and place it in a container.  (About 3/4 cup of chopped bread pith is needed for this recipe.)
     Step 4:  Wet the bread pith with 1/4 cup of milk.
     When the bread pith becomes very soft, squeeze the excess milk out of the bread.
     Place the damp bread pith in the mixing bowl with the mashed potato.
     Step 5:  Add 7 ounces of ground pork.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of whisked egg.
     Add 2 tablespoons of minced onion.
     Add 1 minced green onion.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of ginger paste.
     Step 6:  Add 2 pinches of cumin.
     Add 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh dill weed.
     Add 1 pinch of marjoram.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Step 7:  Thoroughly mix the ingredients till they are very smooth.
     *If the meat mixture looks like it is too wet, then add 1 or 2 tablespoons of fine bread crumbs while mixing.
     Chill the meat mixture to 41ºF, so it becomes stiff.
     Step 8:  Divide the meat mixture into 2 to 4 equal size portions.  (Large Kotleti or small Kotleti!)
     Press the meat portions into thick oval shaped patties.
     Step 9:  Dredge the Kotleti patties in plain fine bread crumbs.  Press the bread crumbs onto the patties.
     Step 10:  Heat a non-stick sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 2 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
     Place the breaded Kotleti in the pan.
     Sauté the Kotleti till the bottom of the Kotleti turns a golden color.
     Step 11:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Use a spatula to flip the Kotleti over in the pan.
     Place the sauté pan with the Kotleti in a 300ºF oven.
     Slowly roast the Kotleti till they are fully cooked and the bread crumb coating is crispy golden brown.  (Flip the Kotleti occasionally so they cook evenly.)
     Step 12:  Set the Kotleti on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan to remove any excess oil.
     Keep the Kotleti warm on a stove top.
     Sauté Mushrooms:
     This recipe yields 1 garnishing portion.
     Step 1:  Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1 tablespoon of chopped green onion.
     Add 1 clove of minced garlic.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced shallot.
     Sauté till the shallot starts to turn clear in color.
     Step 2:  Add 1 cup of thick sliced button cave mushrooms.
     Season with sea salt and black pepper.
     Saute till the mushrooms start to become tender.
     Step 3:  Add 1 cup of water.
     Simmer and reduce, till the water completely evaporates.
     Keep the mushrooms warm on a stove top.

     Kotleti Presentation:
     Place the Kotleti on a plate.
     Place the sautéed mushroom on the plate around the Kotleti.
     Sprinkle 2 pinches of chopped Italian Parsley over the Kotleti and mushrooms.
     Garnish the plate with an Italian Parsley sprig.
     Serve with some sour cream, horseradish or ketchup on the side.

     Kotleti have a comfortable aromatic flavor that is perfect for any season! 

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