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There is little to say, very few words that can capture the sentiment, but the horrors occurring in Ukraine are simply terrifying and tragic to see unfold. Over the past few weeks we have witnessed heroism and humanity show up in incredible ways. Millions of refugees are being aided in their mission to seek safety for themselves and their loved ones, ‘average’ citizens are being raised to martyrdom through their actions to defend home, and Ukrainian voices from around the echo warrior call for Ukrainian independence. 

We are grateful every morning that we wake up warm and safe in our beds. We are grateful for the normalcy of continuing to be able to work on what we love. We are grateful to be able to continue helping local restaurants – but our hearts are also trapped within Ukraine’s borders with our substantial team of Cheetah employees still there as well as the millions of others experiencing pain, displacement, and a fear of what is to come.

Protests in Ukraine and across the world are making national news. Show your support by learning more about their food, culture, and resilience.

While we work to help those continually affected by the situation, we also wanted to give you a small but important way to connect with Ukrainian culture through food. Food brings us together, and what better way to build compassion and understanding for our Ukrainian friends, coworkers, and family than to explore this distinct cultural aspect. 

We encourage you to explore Ukrainian food, and recommend trying out both original Ukrainian recipes below.  We hope you can appreciate their rich flavor and history, and then craft your own fusion combos using your own favorite flavors or the cuisine of your heritage. 

How can you help Ukrainians and support them more directly?  We know that simply cooking Ukrainian food may not be enough to fill the hole you have for the atrocities taking place. If you’d like to help provide food to those currently IN Ukraine, consider donating to World Central Kitchen. This philanthropic organization is on the ground in Eastern Europe and has already provided over 1,000,000 meals to those in need in Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, Romania and Hungary. 

Ukraine is known for its rich soups and stews. Here is a recipe for a beautiful Borscht.

Ukrainian Borscht (Vegetarian)

Ingredients

  • ⅕ lb. Diced Celery
  • ¼th  Fresh Yellow Diced Onion
  • ⅛th Shredded Green Cabbage
  • ⅕th lb. Peeled Garlic
  • Beef Soup Base Paste to taste
  • ⅕th lb. Diced Tomatoes
  • ⅕th lb. Diced Red Beet
  • ⅘th lb. Shredded Carrot
  • 1 Peeled Gold yukon Potatoes 
  • Fresh Baby Dill
  • Kosher Fine Salt
  • Unsalted European Style Butter
  • Black Ground Pepper to taste
  • Cook with 5 whole Bay Leaves

Directions

  1. Sauté the onions, celery and cabbage with the butter until soft and translucent
  2. Add the diced tomatoes and the garlic, as well as all of the water or broth
  3. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce to medium heat and let simmer
  4. Peel the beets, carrots and potato
  5. Dice half the beets and grate the other half
  6. Grate all the carrots
  7. Dice your potatoes
  8. Add the beets, carrots and potato to the broth. If you would like to add any other optional vegetables (ie. beans, peas, beet greens, etc.) do so now
  9. Allow soup to simmer on medium until diced beets and potatoes are soft (test them with a fork or by biting into them!), about 15 minutes. Remove soup from heat
  10. Stir in chopped fresh dill weed and salt and black pepper
  11. Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream and a slice of bread and butter

Traditional Perogies

Ingredients For Filling

  1. 5 lbs. Golden Potatoes 
  2. 1 lb. Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  3. 1 Diced Onion Sauteed in Butter

Ingredients For Dough

  1. 6 cups all purpose flour
  2. 2-3 teaspoons of salt
  3. 2 cups of warm water (the same water you cooked your potatoes in)
  4. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  5. 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Perogies are a staple snack, appetizer, and accompaniment for most of Ukraine.
Support Ukraine by exploring their rich culinary history and food culture.

Directions

Start by making your potato filling 

  1. Peel and quarter potatoes and boil in salted water until soft
  2. Drain potatoes and save water
  3. Return potatoes to your pot and add cheese and onion
  4. Mash until smooth and well-combined
  5. Place filling in the fridge to cool for at least two hours

Make your dough

  1. Use a large bowl to sift flour and combine with salt. 
  2. Mix your water, oil, and egg separately and pour half into your flour mixture.
  3. Mix slowly and evenly, combining the second half of the liquid slowly
  4. Knead by hand until everything is well mixed. You should have a ball of dough that is malleable, not sticky. You may need to add a bit more water here to make the perfect mixture. 
  5. Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes minimum
Learn how to make Ukrainian dishes and food.

Assemble your Perogies 

  1. Cut your dough into smaller portions and keep them wrapped in plastic before using them. 
  2. Using a floured surface, roll dough to about ⅛ inch thickness
  3. Using a biscuit cookie cutter, cut dough into rounds
  4. Fill each round of dough with roughly 1 tablespoon of your potato mixture and seal the edges together with your fingers. Make sure the perogies are completely sealed. 
  5. To cook, boil a large pot of water and cook them in batches of about a dozen at a time. Stir gently as they cook to avoid clumping. 
  6. When they rise to the top they are ready for removal. Use a slotted spoon to drain excess water and transfer to a serving dish

To really amp up this recipe, try serving with small pieces of fried onions, sour cream, and even bacon bits. 

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