Russian Syrniki – Farmer Cheese Patties

Very common breakfast food in Russia, like porridge (kasha), pancakes (oladiy) and omelette (Russian omelette is different from the French). Farmer cheese (tvorog) good for health, especially for children. The name comes from the Ukrainian name of cottage/farmer cheese – syr. There are many recipes for syrniki: some like a pure cheese flavor, others prefer pancakes-style, some like it savory, some – sweet. Usually recipe includes cottage/farmer cheese (tvorog), preferably smooth (with small curds) and eggs, using semolina or flour to thicken dough.

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Yield: 2 servings (4 patties in each)

1 1/2 cups (about 220 g) farmer cheese (low fat is ok)
1 egg
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
pinch of salt
pinch of soda (optional, added if cheese is too sour)
4 tbsp. flour or/and semolina or cream of wheat (I used packet (1 oz.) Instant Cream of Wheat)
1/3 cup raisins or chopped dried apricots (optional)
For garnish: honey, jam, sour cream or crème fraiche (optional)

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Combine cheese, egg, salt, sugar, soda and flour or/and semolina, raisins or dried apricots, if used, mix to make dough. Let stay in fridge, covered, about 2 hours or overnight.

Make a log (about 2 inches in diameter), cut in 8 slices, make patties. Spray a frying pan with cooking spray (or use some oil), heat over low-medium heating, fry syrniki in a small batches under the cover, turn once, until golden brown on both sides.

Serve hot.

1 serving (without garnish) is about 223 calories
1 patty
is about 56 calories

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