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Drink Like a Russian for the Sochi Olympics

Drink Like a Russian for the Sochi Olympics

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If you’re going to pull off drinking like a real Russian, you’ll need to remember a few things. First, drink only vodka and only drink it straight. There is no shaking, stirring or sipping in true Russian vodka drinking. You are about to explore a national treasure, after all, and the integrity of the ritual must be preserved. I suggest you stick to a brand like Russian Standard, which is popular both in the Old Country and here in the New World. In the U.S., drinking shots is more mating-ritual-meets-frat-party, but in Russia it is as wrapped up in family and tradition as Christmas. Every major life event is celebrated with a raised glass. Wedding? Vodka shots. New job? Vodka shots. New fur? New baby? Funeral? Vodka shots for all, even the dearly departed.

You might ask yourself how a nation that celebrates everything short of waking up with hard liquor manages to function at all, let alone contribute War and Peace to the literary canon and thwart Napoleon’s advances. You will find your answer on the Russian table: zakuski, or appetizers, are not just a first course. The herring and dill potatoes, brown bread, pickles and Olivier salad you’ll find at almost all gatherings are meant to be eaten directly after drinking each shot and then intermittently in between. Snacking like this will keep you more together than you have any right to be by the end of the night. The delicious spread you see in the video came from the best Russian restaurant in New York, Mari Vanna.

Finally, a toast must precede every drink. There is always something to drink to, whether it’s an affirmation of health for all present parties (budem zdorovy!) or a celebration of women, mothers and the Motherland (Za zhensheen! Za materei! Za rodinu!). Toasts can start with a dirty joke and end as a tribute to world peace; they can be tongue-in-cheek, full of historical facts and even rhyme. But most importantly, the way to make a truly Russian toast is to be sentimental, and with the right tone and choice of words, almost anything can be a tear-jerker. Do you doubt me? Watch this:

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?

A: Why, merely to get to the other side. So friends, let us raise our glasses so that on the road of life, we too can be like that humble chicken and make it safely across to the other side.

See? Only a Russian can turn a tired joke into a genuine, heartfelt toast.

Budem zdorovy!

Masha Vapnitchnaia is a travel blogger at, and co-director of the Women's Travel Fest.

Winter Olympics 2014: A fine excuse to explore Russian food (with recipes)

This Jan. 6, 2014 photo shows lemon syrniki in Concord, N.H. Syrniki is a farm-style cheese pancake, sort of a cross between cheesecake and pancakes. It can be served for breakfast, tea, a light meal or a snack. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

When Americans think of Russian food, it's generally the cliches -- the beet soup known as borscht, or caviar-topped pancakes called blini. And they imagine both washed down with copious amounts of vodka.

Admittedly, those play a role. But traditional Russian cuisine is so much broader than that, encompassing a variety of dumplings, pungent preserved vegetables, smoked and salted fish, and meats like wild game and crawfish. Not your traditional American fare to nosh while watching sports, but certainly fitting choices if you're planning to watch the Winter Olympics, which are being held in Russia this year.

"For Americans, it's pretty specific to drink beer, eat pizza, eat wings," says Yevgeniy Khorishko, press officer at the Russian embassy in Washington. "There is no such tradition in Russia."

Which is why when Olya Morgen and her husband Brian sit down to watch the Winter Games next month, they're planning to enjoy a feast of potato salad and pirozhki.

"We'll munch and watch," says Morgen, a 33-year-old chiropractor from Arlington, Va., who emigrated from Moscow in 1991. "Brian loves it. The pirozhki are his favorite."

Need help getting a taste of Russia for your own viewing party? Consider starting with Russian potato salad, also called Olivier after the 19th century Belgian chef who created it.

Potato salad remains one of Russia's most beloved dishes. A diced potato salad originally accompanied by luxurious items such as crawfish and grouse, Olivier generally incorporates peas, carrots, salted cucumbers and sometimes other vegetables in a rich mayonnaise dressing. Today, however, the meats are more likely to be chicken, ham or a bologna-like sausage. The salad is an absolute requirement on any Russian holiday table.

"In Russia, it's very famous," Alexander Lokhin, executive chef at the Russian restaurant Mari Vanna in Washington, said speaking through a translator. He doctors American mayonnaise with pickle juice and egg yolk for the Olivier he serves at the restaurant. "All holidays we have Olivier, especially for New Year's Eve."

Adventurous eaters might watch the ski jumps and other cold weather events with some "herring under a fur coat." This is a plate of finely chopped pickled herring buried beneath layers of shredded potato, beets, onions and carrots. The salad can be eaten on its own or with some sturdy Russian black bread. The beets often are mixed with mayonnaise or sour cream to form a pinkish dome over the ingredients.

Got your heart set on blini? Those work, too. The small buckwheat pancakes make excellent finger food. A toppings bar can include smoked salmon, chopped eggs, sour cream and caviar.

Dumplings called pirozhki offer pockets of yeasty dough filled with ground beef and onion, mushrooms, rice, mashed potatoes and dill, braised cabbage, or even liver and potatoes. Pelmeni are dumplings with a thinner skin, a bit like wontons, and are filled with minced meat, fish or mushrooms, before being boiled. They can be eaten in broth or buttered and served with sour cream. Though both are dumplings, pirozhki are larger, sturdier and usually are baked, while pelmeni are smaller, slippery and generally round.

"It's the difference between ravioli and pizza," says Lokhin.

Fresh vegetables traditionally were difficult to come by during the deep freeze of Russian winters. But that didn't stop people from enjoying salads. Russian vinegret salad begins with a layer of diced boiled beets and potatoes. This gets topped by any combination of diced carrots, peas, kidney beans, pickled cabbage, onions, salted cucumbers or a half-dozen other items. The salad usually is dressed with sunflower oil.

Russian drinks run the gamut from kvass, a fermented beverage made from rye bread, to the honey wine called medovukha. But to celebrate, nothing makes a toast like vodka.

"Definitely we'll celebrate our victories with traditional Russian spirits, you know what," says the Embassy's Khorishko. "But not in the beginning of the day. After work."

How to Make Khinkali and Khachapuri, Sochi’s Delectable Delicacies (With Recipes!)

This month in Sochi, Russia, the world's athletes have access to one of the hottest venues for cuisine on the planet: the three dining halls in the Coastal, Mountain, and Endurance Athlete Villages in Sochi. Often the size of several football fields, these massive pop-up food courts are home to everything from carbonara to curried rice to quinoa. Here, athletes can basically eat their way around the globe. For those of us who aren't Olympians, however, gaining access to such a smorgasbord of various countries' cuisines requires a bit more footwork. Just ask graduate students Lindsay Fullerton and her husband Matthew F. Rarey. Since 2007 the Chicago-based couple has been on a quest to eat food from all 196 of the world's countries, an adventure they've been chronicling in their blog, Eating the World. So far they're up to about 95. “We're approaching the limit of places we can get to without leaving the country,” says Rarey.

Both Rarey and Fullerton agree that Eating the World is more than an ode to food or a personal goal it's also a great way to learn about countries, as well as ways their regional cuisines reflect things like cultural identity and immigration patterns. For example, every time a lesser-known country like Grenada won a gold medal during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Fullerton took the opportunity to research and profile that country's national dish. She's doing something similar for Sochi. “I'd love to tie in the Olympics with Russian food,” says Fullerton, “because I feel like there's a lot we don't know.” While the couple has already checked Russia off of their list, the cuisine they ate was more northern-based: dishes like pelmeni (dumplings) and Herring Under a Blanket, a layered dish of fish, potatoes, vegetables and mayonnaise. “It seems like Sochi and southwest Russia have lots of food that came about as a result of trade through the region,” says Fullerton.

Sochi delicacies include khinkali, a Georgian-style dumpling that's typically filled with spiced meat and boiled in salted broth. Locals dip them in tkemali, a sauce made from the area's sour plums, and eat them by hand. Along with the sauce, the main difference between khinkali and Russia's pelmeni is the added broth. With khinkali you hold each dumpling upside down and take a small bite, sucking out the broth before devouring.

Khatchapuri can also be served with eggs on top. (Image courtesy Flickr user scottjlowe)

Khachapuri is another Sochi staple. It's the ultimate grilled cheese: a homemade bread that can be shaped in a variety of ways, from flat and round to a boat-like pocket, then filled with a gooey mixture of cheese (most commonly sulguni, a pickled Georgian cheese similar to mozzarella) and egg before baking. Khachapuri varies from eatery to eatery, with each place having its own distinct take on the doughy dish.

Located in Manhattan's Lower East Side, Moscow 57 opened this month and specializes in classic Russian dishes as well as the lesser-known fare of Central Asia and the Caucasus, including southwest Russia. Here are Moscow 57 Chef Seth Goldman's takes on both khinkali and khachapuri:

Khinkali - Georgian Style Dumplings

4 cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cups warm water

1 pound mixed ground beef and lamb (not too lean)
3 Tablespoon lamb fat (Found at most butchers, or buy a fatty cut of meat and don't trim it.)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground caraway seed
1 teaspoon finely chopped cilantro
Pinch of cayenne
3 small onions, peeled
1 cup warm beef stock

  1. Combine the flour, salt, and warm water to make a firm dough. Knead for 5 minutes, then let sit, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes.
  2. Make the filling: Mix the ground meats, fat and spices. Grind the onions and stir them into the meat mixture. With your hands, knead in the stock.
  3. Divide the dough into 25 pieces. On a floured board, roll each piece out to a 6-inch round. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of each round.
  4. Make accordion pleats all the way around the filling by folding the edges of the dough in toward the center. Move in a clockwise direction, allowing each fold of dough to overlap the previous one, until the filling is completely enclosed in dough. Hold the dumpling in one hand and twist the pleats together at center to seal. Break off the excess dough at the top.
  5. Cook the khinkhali in salted, boiling water for 12 to 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Traditionally served with Tkemali (sour plum sauce)

sesame oil and chopped cilantro
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce combined with 1/3 cup plum preserves (or prune butter) and a few drops lemon juice


2 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
10 Tablespoons cold butter, cubed
2 eggs
¼ cup plain, full fat yogurt
1 egg yolk, beaten

  1. Combine flour and salt in a bowl, cut in butter (with two knives or pastry blender) until it resembles coarse cornmeal.
  2. Beat the eggs, combine with the yogurt, add to flour mixture.
  3. Combine it with your hands until you can form a ball.
  4. Chill for 1 hour

Cheese filling

½ pound Muenster cheese
½ pound mozzarella cheese
¼ pound Havarti cheese
1 egg, beaten

Grate the cheese and combine with egg

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease baking sheet
  3. Divide the dough into equal portions, 4, or 8, depending on the size khatchapuri you want.
  4. Roll dough into rounds, about ¼ inch thick. 
  5. Divide the filling evenly in the center of each round, leaving a wide rim.
  6. Pull the edges to the center and seal
  7. Brush with yolk, bake 30-50 minutes (depending on the size and how dark you like them).

Editor's Note: The subheadline of this article originally stated that these dishes were native to southern Russia, when they are actually native to Georgia and its surrounding regions. We regret the error.

In Sochi, Russia, Don’t Touch The Water

Well in Sochi, Russia, you had better not TOUCH the water, either.

When Chicago Tribune reporter Stacy St. Clair, who is covering the Winter Olympics for the newspaper, arrived at her hotel, she was informed that there was a problem with the water and it had been shut off.

Then hotel staff delivered an ominous warning: “Do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous.”

St. Clair’s tweet about the situation has gone viral.

My hotel has no water. If restored, the front desk says, "do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous." #Sochi2014

&mdash Stacy St. Clair (@StacyStClair) February 4, 2014

Water was eventually restored, but it came out of the tap in a less than appealing color. (See above.)

“On the bright side, I now know what very dangerous face water looks like,” St. Clair tweeted.

“Also on the bright side: I just washed my face with Evian, like I’m a Kardashian or something.”

The Pink Eye of Bob Costas

On the first night of Olympic coverage, NBC’s Bob Costas kicked off the broadcast by explaining his surprisingly grotesque swollen eye, which required him to forgo contacts in favor of glasses until it clears up.

Said Costas, “According to the NBC doctors here, it’s some kind of minor infection that should resolve itself by the weekend. If only all my issues would resolve themselves that quickly, but that’s another story.”

No word on if the infection was caused by exposure to the dangerous brown water in Sochi.

Celebrate Olympics with a party

This Friday we will be cheering on team USA during the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Sochi Olympics. If you're planning on getting some friends and family together, why not celebrate in style? Here are some great ideas to consider when planning your Winter Olympics party.

<1>Food: With this years Olympics taking place in Sochi, Russia, consider bringing traditional foods to the table. Think syrniki (a traditional Russian pancake), beef stroganoff, pelmeni (a Russian perogi), goulash, and olivier salad (a potato salad). You can find recipes and even more dishes online.

<2>Drink: It's cold outside so opt for a warm hot chocolate bar. Guests can add toppings like marshmallows, whipped cream, and shaved chocolate. &If you're looking for an adult beverage, try a white Russian or Russian martini. And for those feeling adventurous, try an ice luge for shots. It's practically an olympic sport, right?

<3>Experience: Decorate your space with wintery touches like snowflake garland, Russian touches like matryoshka dolls, and olympic touches like photos of the various events. Add cozy blankets and pillows to your viewing area. Be sure to light the fire for a wintery feel and add olympic traditional music for added ambiance before the ceremonies.

For Russians in D.C., the Sochi Olympics are a time to celebrate, right? Not quite.

Russian restaurant Mari Vanna in Washington is celebrating the Sochi games in style — and with infused vodka. But official Olympic-themed embassy events are limited, unlike in years past. (Photo by Joy Asico)

Pass the pirozhki! With all eyes turned to Sochi, seems like the ideal time to showcase all things Russian, doesn’t it?

Well, da. But Russia’s officials in Washington, unlike previous host country embassies, have taken the opposite approach to the 2014 Winter Games. Ambassador Sergey Kislyak has invited about 200 guests to a private viewing party at his residence Friday morning, but that event is closed to the media. There were no embassy-sponsored events leading up to the Games, and no other Olympic parties or public celebrations scheduled at this time, according to a spokesman.

It’s a surprising strategy, given that Vladimir Putin has spent a reported $51 billion — the most expensive Winter Games in history — to promote modern Russia.

“Hosting the Olympics is always a very significant event for any country,” Kislyak told the Washington Diplomat last month. “It’s also a kind of festival of friendship. . . . This is an opportunity for people to learn more about our country.”

Most Washington ambassadors, who now do triple duty as business recruiters and tourism boosters as well as diplomats, have used their Olympics spotlight to educate and impress American politicians, corporate executives, philanthropists and the media. So why the paltry party scene this time?

It may have something to do with the president, vice president and other top U.S officials skipping the opening ceremonies, a perceived snub that exacerbated the ongoing tensions between the Obama administration and Putin. Or maybe it’s a reluctance to celebrate until the reported threats of a terrorist attack have been safely averted. Could be the gay-rights protests, the Edward Snowden flap or another reason entirely.

The embassy did not comment on the lack of Olympic-themed events in Washington, but the ambassador gave a broad hint that unflattering media coverage — including reports of numerous issues in Sochi — was a factor. “I understand how the press here works,” Kislyak said in the Diplomat interview. “They need hot issues in order to be read, to have high circulation. This is not only an American phenomenon. But I start every working day reading about Russia from the news clips my staff prepares, and I would say it’s not the most encouraging reading.”

The lack of festivities is a notable departure from the past few Games, when local embassies enthusiastically flew the Olympic flag.

In 2012, British Ambassador Peter Westmacott hosted a number of high-profile events around the London Summer Games: A kickoff 200 days before the competition began, a day-long “Embassy Olympics” with teams from other Washington embassies and the State Department a “Let’s Move!” pepfest with Michelle Obama, Samantha Cameron, wife of British Prime Minister David Cameron, Olympians and local schoolchildren plus a farewell reception for Team USA a month before the athletes left for London.

The Brits biggest party was held on the night of the opening ceremonies at the ambassador’s residence (co-hosted with NBC) with six giant screens, Olympic-themed food and drinks, a photo booth, an official Olympic torch and 600 guests (mostly Americans) in the mansion and sprawling lawn. The opening and closing ceremonies were designed to be “a celebration of all things British — hip and historic, traditional and multicultural, quirky and cool,” Westmacott said this week. The Washington party, he said, was designed for people “to enjoy the occasion but also to think of Britain as a great place to visit, do business, live and study.”

For Vancouver’s 2010 Winter Olympics, Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer threw a launch party 100 days before the Games with an official countdown clock, three Olympic mascots and a Canadian pop star. On opening night, the mantra was, “If you can’t be in Vancouver, the Embassy of Canada is the next best place” the building was turned into a miniature Olympic village with former Olympians, ice carving and 1,500 guests in Canada’s promotional red mittens, featuring Olympic rings and maple leaves. The ambassador followed up with hockey, inviting D.C. fans to watch the three U.S.-Canada matchups at the embassy.

And in 2006, Italy’s embassy, the National Italian American Foundation and the Sons of Italy threw a giant party focused on Italian food and wine, especially the Piedmont region, site of the Winter Games in Turin. Hundreds of guests were invited to watch the opening ceremonies, drool over Vespas and Maseratis, and enjoy food prepared by chefs from a dozen Italian restaurants in Washington.

But nothing like that from the Russian embassy this year. In the absence of any big Olympic events, two local restaurants are filling the vacuum for Russian expats and Russian-Americans looking for the Sochi experience. Russia House has created three Olympic drink specials (gold, silver and bronze) and will be airing Olympic coverage. Mari Vanna, a Russian eatery that celebrated its first anniversary with a packed party Tuesday night, has a following of local fans thanks primarily to Alex Ovechkin. The Washington Capitals star (and face of the Sochi Olympics — he’s on billboards everywhere) has made the restaurant his home away from home, most recently when he brought in fiancee Maria Kirilenko to celebrate her birthday last month just before leaving to join the Russian Olympic hockey team.

So the restaurant is gearing up out to cheer on Ovechkin and the Olympics, giving out a free shot of Russian vodka and pirozhkis for everyone who shows up to watch Friday’s opening ceremonies and the closing two weeks later, as well as nonstop broadcast of the Games. And there are three new dishes on the menu created for the Olympics and inspired by the spicier Georgian cuisine of Sochi.

“I’m really excited about this,” said Moscow-born manager Sergii Andriushchenko. “It’s a really big deal to capture attention on Russian culture, Russian food and sport. We’re really proud of what we do and how we do it.”

Russian doctors and athletes ‘switched urine samples’ at Sochi Olympics

Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Russia’s national anti-doping laboratory, claims he replaced samples with clean urine at night through a hole in the wall at the laboratory in Sochi. Photograph: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Russia’s national anti-doping laboratory, claims he replaced samples with clean urine at night through a hole in the wall at the laboratory in Sochi. Photograph: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

Last modified on Mon 27 Nov 2017 09.56 GMT

The former head of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency has revealed his part in an astonishing state-run doping programme before and during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, which included supplying banned performance-enhancing substances to at least 15 medal winners and substituting tainted urine samples with clean ones during the Games so that they passed doping tests. The International Olympic Committee described the accusations as “very worrying” and called for them to be investigated immediately by the World Anti-Doping Agency .

Dr Grigory Rodchenkov, the director of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory from 2005-15, claimed he helped dozens of Russian athletes with a cocktail of banned substances including metenolone, trenbolone and oxandrolone which he mixed with alcohol. To improve the absorption of the steroids and shorten the detection window, he dissolved the drugs in Chivas whisky for male athletes and Martini vermouth for women.

Among those Rodchenkov claimed to have helped cheat were the bobsleigher Alexander Zubkov, who won two golds in Sochi the cross-country skier Alexander Legkov, who won gold and silver and Alexander Tretiakov, who won gold in the skeleton competition. Rodchenkov also claimed the women’s ice hockey team, who were knocked out in the quarter-finals, were doping throughout the Games. Legkov and Zubkov described the claims as “nonsense and slanderous”, Russia’s Match TV reported.

“We were fully equipped, knowledgable, experienced and perfectly prepared for Sochi like never before,” admitted Rodchenkov. “It was working like a Swiss watch.”

Among a series of extraordinary claims that were published in the New York Times, Rodchenkov said Russian anti-doping experts and members of the FSB, the Russian intelligence service, secretly replaced urine samples containing banned substances of medal winners with clean urine. To do this they set up a shadow laboratory in Sochi, having found a way to break into supposedly tamper-proof bottles.

Rodchenkov said that several weeks before Sochi, an FSB agent gave him a previously sealed bottle that had been opened, its uniquely numbered cap intact. “When I first time saw that bottle is open, I did not believe my eyes,” he said, adding: “I truly believed this was tamper-proof.”

In a development that could have come out of the pages of a John le Carré novel, the Russians set up a secret shadow laboratory – room 124 – at the official drug-testing site. During the night, when no one else was around, tainted samples from Russian athletes would be passed through a small hole in the floor to this shadow laboratory, where they were replaced with clean urine from athletes collected months earlier. The elaborate procedure allowed Russian athletes to continue taking banned substances during the Games, given them an advantage over their rivals.

The Russians topped the medal table in Sochi with 33 medals, including 13 golds, a stark improvement on the previous Winter Olympics in Vancouver where they finished only 11th with 15 medals. None of their athletes were caught doping in Sochi. However Rodchenkov said that as many as 100 dirty urine samples were expunged during the Games.

“People are celebrating Olympic champion winners but we are sitting crazy and replacing their urine,” Rodchenkov said. “Can you imagine how Olympic sport is organised?”

Eat Like You're at the Olympics: 10 Brazilian Foods to Make at Home

Food Network Kitchen’s for Summer Slow Cooker/Zucchini Fries/Picnic Brick-Pressed Sandwiches, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Hey, not many of us can actually make it to the Olympics (either as a world-renowned athlete or otherwise), but we can sure eat like we’re there. In honor of the games to come, take a culinary trip to Rio by cooking up some Brazilian mainstays right at home.

Sold at bakeries across Brazil, Pao de Queijo have the consistency of cheesy dough balls, and they’re a staple in Brazil. With a name that translates as “cheese bread,” these gluten-free morsels are eaten as part of a traditional breakfast or as a snack. Eat them by themselves or split them open and use them like buns for your favorite slider fixings.


Ingrid Hoffman's Caipirinha

Photo by: Ingrid Hoffman ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Ingrid Hoffman, 2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Refreshing, tart and sweet, the Caipirinha is no stranger to American bar menus, but it’s roots are in Brazil, where its the national cocktail. Fixed with cachaca, a Brazilian rum made from sugarcane juice, caipirinhas are often made with just lime, but they can be modified to include different fruits, like orange, plum and melon.

CC ACAI BREAKFAST BOWL Cooking Channel Unsweetened Frozen Acai Puree, Banana, Blueberries, Honey, Granola, Pomegranate Seeds, Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

In the United States, acai bowls are a relatively new arrival on the health-food scene, but the superfruit sensation is actually an ancient Amazonian staple. Rich in antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids, the purple fruit is native to Central and South America. After purchasing unsweetened frozen acai puree in the freezer aisle, blend it together with banana, blueberries and honey for a traditional Acai Breakfast Bowl that can be dolled up with all kinds of toppings.

Skip potatoes in favor of another starchy vegetable that can be boiled, roasted or cut into thin slices and fried for chips or Yuca Fries.

Brazil’s most-famous regional dish, Feijoada, is a hearty stew brimming with meats and black beans that’s served with rice and greens. It’s simmered for hours on end until the beans are just about bursting.

As seen on The Food Network's, The Kitchen. Photo By Todd Plitt BSTV

Brigadeiros are a traditional birthday treat in Brazil. Fixed with sweetened condensed milk and chocolate, these festive, bite-sized morsels have a creamy texture on the inside and a colorful sprinkle-covered exterior.

Brazilian Codfish Balls are a popular appetizer and bar snack with cod and potato in every bite. After rolling each ball in breadcrumbs, bake until they’re crispy and nicely browned.

A few more traditional Brazilian favorites to make at home:

If you’ve visited a traditional churrascaria (Brazilian steakhouse) you know that Brazilians are big on steak. Bring the steakhouse flavor home by cooking a traditional Tri-Tip Picanha Roast with Charred Cherry Tomatoes and Onions in the oven.

Savor a bowl of Moqueca de Peixe, Brazilian fish stew, made with coconut milk and a variety of seafood and sprinkled with toasted coconut and diced limes before serving.

Finish your Brazilian meal with a fruit that’s native to Brazil — passion fruit — by enjoying a silky, fruity passion fruit mousse.

Ring-Shaped Recipes to Make While Watching the Olympics

Show your patriotism during the 2016 Games by putting a ring on it. In honor of the Olympic Games, make recipes in the shape of the Olympic rings. Garnish these ringed foods with the logo colors (or red, white and blue!) to give your presentation a first-place finish. Go, team!

You won’t feel any guilt snacking on these “fried” onion rings. Sliced sweet yellow onions are dredged in flour, then buttermilk, then a panko breadcrumb-olive oil mixture before baking at 450 degrees F. The result is crispy rings without the oily mess. If only colored ketchup were still trendy.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Start this recipe the night before so the dough has time to rise before shaping it into ring or doughnut holes. After frying the rings, you’ll make a simple glaze with powdered sugar, water and vanilla extract. You can add food coloring to the glaze in hues that reflect the signature logo of the Olympics.

PHOTO CREDIT: Ralph Alswang Photographer 202-487-5025 [email protected]

Photo by: Ralph Alswang ©Photographer: Ralph Alswang WWW.RALPHPHOTO.COM

Ralph Alswang, Photographer: Ralph Alswang WWW.RALPHPHOTO.COM

Alex’s crispy calamari rings get a kick from chile oil. Battered and deep fried, you’ll indulge as you watch others face challenges of elite athleticism. Garnish the rings with thinly sliced lemon and basil leaves to cover two logo colors in one dish.

Photo by: Armando Rafael Moutela ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Armando Rafael Moutela, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

These bite-sized appetizers are easy to make and perfect for feeding a crowd. Use spinach tortellini topped with bright-green pesto for the green rings. Skewer summer tomatoes of varying colors for an additional pop of color.

Ideas from Food Network Magazine:

Viewing party guests will love this Bundt cake with a surprise inside. In addition to the cake’sshape, the raspberry filling gives each slice a “ringed” effect when placed on a plate. Start this cake before the day’s games begin so you have enough time to let it bake and cool before adding the filling.

Fire up the grill to cook fresh summer produce. These pineapple rings couldn’t be easier: Simply brush each side with vegetable oil, then grill each side for three minutes until you see a char. Your yellow ring is complete.

Instead of topping these ring-shaped cookies with holiday nonpareils, use Olympic-colored sprinkles. Arrange the cookies in the shape of the logo for a festive presentation.

Watch the video: Moscow Bar! Try to Drink It! Drink Like a Russian!


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