Sunday, March 15, 2009

Siberian Spicy Garlic Cheese (Pikantny Syr)

The Amazing Race's second Russian pit stop
this recipe from

  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) medium-sharp white cheddar cheese, finely shredded
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) Emmentaler cheese, (Gruyere)finely shredded
  • 1/4 cup pure sour cream (containing no additives)
  • 1/4 cup full-fat mayonnaise
  • 8 to 10 large garlic cloves, put through a garlic press
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or hot paprika (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Toss the shredded cheeses by hand in a large bowl.
  2. Mix together the sour cream, mayonnaise, pressed garlic, hot pepper (optional), and salt in a small bowl, then add to the cheese, stirring to mix well.
  3. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours (and preferably overnight) to let the flavors meld.
  4. Let the cheese mixture come to room temperature before serving. Use as a stuffing for small firm ripe tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, as a topping for baked potatoes, or as a spread for dark bread.

Recipe Notes:
Called pikantny syr (spicy cheese) in Russian, this is a popular appetizer in Siberia and the Russian Far East. In restaurants it is usually served as a stuffing for ripe red tomatoes, or as a spread for chewy-textured Russian bread. The combination of cheeses used in this recipe approximates the taste of the cheese used in Asian Russia. Plenty of garlic provides the kick; you can also add some cayenne pepper to make the cheese even hotter. Russians make this dish by putting all the ingredients through a meat grinder--but you can shred the cheese by hand or even use a food processor.

My Notes: I only used 4 cloves of garlic, and it is still very garlicky! I liked this spread on toast points. (We were out of crackers.) It would also be delicious melted on top of chicken breast... which I may try with the leftovers!

Tim's Rating: 8/10 ("Too garlicky for me.")
Liz's Rating: 8/10


HaveShoesWillTravel said...

That looks delicious. All my favorite foods - cheese, garlic, sour cream, and mayonnaise!

WeezerMonkey said...

How can anything ever be too garlicky?! I don't believe it!

Send it to us! We love garlic so much that we're going to the Gilroy Garlic Festival this year!

Mary Ellen said...

This looks really good. I love how you are following the Amazing Race in your blog - I love that show!

Maria said...

Never had this before, I love my garlic though! Looks great!

Anonymous said...

Ooh...this sounds wonderful. I love cheese and I love spice.