Cossack Pie

In Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook is a recipe I have always intended to make, called Cossack Pie. Until now I have had either not enough time, or was missing several of the ingredients. It calls for cabbage, broccoli, onions, carrot, cottage cheese, sour cream, eggs, a little white wine, spices, and a sour cream/yogurt mix. Oh, and a pie crust. When I came upon the recipe the other day, I realized I had everything except fresh mushrooms, but I did find a can of them in the back of the cupboard. Voilá!

There was a lot of chopping – I spent two hours on this thing – but was rewarded. It was delicious, out of the ordinary, and used up some things that needed using. Husband even liked it a lot.

My California friend Fern recently posted on Facebook something like:  Time to check the back of your cupboards, bring this stuff out and do something with it! Here are a few articles that may help in this process:

Food Expiration Dates You Should Actually Follow,

Here’s How Long Those Condiments in your Fridge and Pantry Are Supposed to Last,

and No Flour, Eggs or Butter? No Problem! 23 Cake Recipes for When You’re Missing an Ingredient,

With that explorer’s spirit, I will continue to look through my Moosewood Cookbook and see what else has gone unmade lo these many years.

What have you discovered in the back of your cupboards, or freezer?

Any recipes or ideas you want to share?

33 thoughts on “Cossack Pie”

  1. Nice post! Husband has a good idea what we have in our various freezers, particularly things he has plans to grill. It is time to clean all the kitchen cupboards and drawers, a task I dislike. I found a couple of quite expired cans of evaporated milk the other day. I tossed them.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. We will soon get some Baker’s Ammonia in the mail, which husband needs to make Nordic crisp breads and flatbreads. We have lots of various grains, seed blends, and specialty flours in the basement that I want him to use up. We keep them in the fridge and freezer so they don’t get rancid. Last night he made the best Swedish crisp bread from Graham flour. Graham flour is coursly ground whole wheat flour that has the wheat germ in it. They remove wheat germ from regular whole wheat flour, as wheat germ gets easily rancid. Now, however, we are running low on graham flour. We get it from the Swany White mill in Freeport, MN. I phoned them yesterday and was told they will be milling some next week.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Freeport is usually cited as the model for Lake Wobegon. Fictional Lake Wobegon is actually a composite of many little towns. Freeport has a strong claim to being the main inspiration. as Garrison Keillor lived there in the early 1970s.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve been doing the same, trying to think of things to do for the food we have. I made Clementine muffins last week which turned out to be quite good. And also on Monday I found 2 half packages of assorted veggie burgers in the freezer and some corn. I still have tomatoes left from last summer so I am made a pasta dish with these burgers and corn and tomatoes. By itself it’s tasty but with Parmesan cheese on top it’s really good. Also found a jar of bruschetta topping from Trader Joe’s in the back of the cabinet last week. It’s good on toast. Actually it’s good on a lot of things but it’s very good on toast with some cheese.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Cossack Pie sounds a lot like Russian Vegetable Pie from the old Vegetarian Epicure cookbook. We used to make it quite often back in the ‘70s but haven’t for years. Russian Vegetable Pie also has cabbage and onions and mushrooms and sliced hard boiled eggs but uses cream cheese instead of sour cream.

    Since I’m generally the one who cooks dinner and also the one who keeps a mental inventory of what ingredients we have on hand, I’ve been digging deeper in my memory banks to dredge up recipes that will make the best use of our supplies while still maintaining variety and balance. Pre-virus, I would just make whatever we were in the mood for and if I was short an ingredient or two, I would just pop down to the store to get it. Now I have to be more mindful, if not creative.

    I’m trying not to let any of our fresh produce “go by” and if it gets a little past its prime, there’s always a stir fray or curry or quiche or soup that will make use of it.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I nominate “stir fray” for our glossary. Definition: baboon take on stir fry, usually the result of poor technique and insufficiently hot wok that results in an overcooked mess.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. I just found a jar of some Fig Butter and Satay Peanut Sauce from Trader Joe’s, sun-dried tomatoes, a Tamarind Concentrate (!), and tins of anchovies and smoked oysters.

    An additional question could be, like they used to ask Lynne Rosetto Kasper on the Splendid Table – what could you make from that??


    1. Those are very specific ingredients. One might ask why you bought them if you didn’t have a plan for them.

      Tamarind paste is a key ingredient of pad thai. The obvious thing to do with the satay sauce is skewers of chicken satay. I like to use sun-dried tomatoes in pastas and pasta salads but Robin doesn’t like sun-dried tomatoes much. You can use the anchovies to add umami to lots of sauces and things, but once you’ve opened the tin, you probably won’t be able to use them all. You could put them on a pizza or make a caesar salad.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I can tell you exactly why she bought them. Because you’re in the store with your little list and then you walk by the shelf or the end And you see the item there and you think oh that sounds interesting I can make something with that. And so you put it in your cart and then it goes into your car and then to your house. Then into the cabinet where it sits forever.

        Liked by 4 people

    2. There was an episode of the Splendid Table where they talked at length about anchovies. I think this recipe was talked about there – it’s called Jo’s Tuna Pasta.


      1 lb 2 oz penne, fusilli or casarecce
      3 1/2 fl oz extra-virgin olive oil
      1 white onion, finely diced
      3 tablespoons tomato paste (concentrated purée)
      2 tablespoons vincotto or balsamic vinegar
      1 1/2 oz good-quality tinned anchovies in oil
      6 1/2 oz good-quality tinned tuna in oil
      freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve

      Full recipe is on their web site.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I just had a funny thought, maybe for another day. Remember when on The Splendid Table, Lynn would have callers give her ingredients they had on hand and she would invent a recipe? We could do that. Maybe just a single problem ingredient and we could suggest ways to use it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a good friend who I met when he first moved to this country. He actually rented a room in our house when YA was young. He was born In the Netherlands but grew up most of his life in the UK; he liked Vegemite, although he called it marmite. There was always a jar of it in the cabinet, but I just couldn’t get to like it although I did try. It always seem to me like I had just gone out onto the street during a hot summer day and licked tar.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One of the few foods I associate with my granny was a brew of a spoonful of Bovril dissolved in boiling water. I liked it. Some years ago I was in the Irish on Grand store in St. Paul and discovered they had a small collection of Irish and British specialty foods in the back. So, I looked for Bovril. They didn’t have it, but had something that looked similar: Marmite. I bought a jar. It’s still in my fridge, but I can’t figure out a use for it.

        I also have a rather large chunk of tamarind pulp. I use it to prepare tamarind paste for use in various Southeast Asian dishes.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. OT: Here’s a singing event happening this afternoon at 5:53 CDT –

          ‘Classical Minnesota Public Radio, The Current and MPR News are teaming up to invite the entire state of Minnesota to join together in song (while still social distancing) at 5:53 p.m. this Friday. We’ll all play Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend” on the air, while you swing open a door or a window and belt along with your neighbors. Join in!’

          Liked by 2 people

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