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MC03 “Condor” – Syrniki Pancakes

(Note: This one recipe was previously posted some years ago. It took a while for the idea to grab me. Here it is in the order it belongs.)

Recipe (printable PDF)


Miranda Chase #3 Condor

Holly eased the pilot into the small shed with the others as the knock-out drug took him under. “Tom and Tim. You stay here. Find something to make sure they won’t freeze to death before they wake up. Keep an eye out, we’ll try to get the loadmasters over here next.”

“Twelve hours, they won’t freeze,” Tim poked one guy in the gut now bulging prominently above the waistband of his underwear after they’d stolen his uniform.

“Living on too much beer,” Tom agreed.

“A little fried brown bread.”

“With that cheesy mayo-ketchup dip.”

“Syrniki fried curd fritters.”

“With honeyed sour cream?”

“Ah, Russia,” the two Special Operations guys sighed happily in unison.
NOTE: This is actually two recipes in one. I couldn’t find Farmer’s Cheese at first, which Wikipedia lists as “pressed cottage cheese.” So, I pressed low-fat cottage cheese for four hours (which removed about 2 Tablespoons of liquid – probably not worth the effort) and ended up with a very loose batter. Thicker than pancake batter, but still pour-able rather than shape-able. Then we went out and found Farmer’s Cheese (3rd supermarket), but I actually liked the first better (which also was lower fat).

Active Time: 30 minutes / Total Time: 30 minutes

Makes 12 pancakes (and 3-4 is definitely a meal with a little bacon or a smoothie).


  • 16oz Farmer’s Cheese or low-fat Cottage Cheese
  • 3 eggs (if big), 4 eggs (if small)
  • 3/4 c. all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting per below)
  • 3 Tbsp. – sugar (the Russian version looks to be sweeter with less flour and more sugar: 1/2 c. flour to 1/4 c. sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vinegar (white or cider, we preferred the latter)
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • vegetable oil or extra light olive oil for frying (butter also works)
  • toppings: jam (apricot or blueberry), syrup, powdered sugar (a particularly wonderful addition), honey, sour cream (honey and sour cream, oh yeah!)


  1. Batter:
    1. Farmer’s Cheese variation: beat eggs, sugar, and salt in a bowl, then mix in flour and cheese with a fork.
    2. Cottage Cheese variation: throw first 5 ingredients in blender or food processor. Blend until curds broken up and well mixed (10-15 seconds).
  2. Mix baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl, stir so that it fizzes. Mix into batter.
  3. Stir in raisins. (Don’t blend or they turn to mush.)
  4. Large skillet with 1-2 Tbsp. oil, heated on med-low. (The temperature is critical. These pancakes are going to rise and expand greatly. Even medium heat will burn the outside before the inside is cooked.)
  5. Forming:
    1. Farmer’s Cheese variation:
      1. Dust flour on the counter
      2. Drop 1/4 c. of thick batter onto flour.
      3. Dust with more flour.
      4. Pat down into a disk shape.
      5. Knock off excess flour as you transfer it to pan.
    2. Cottage Cheese variation:
        1. Dollop a scant 1/4 c. into pan.
        2. Slap once with a wet spatula to flatten it into a disk. (If you use a dry spatula, it will stick and make a mess.)
    3. Keep them spaced way apart. The pancakes will at least double in size.
  1. Cook 4-5 minutes per side. Refresh oil between batches. (I found 5 minutes was best. Unlike normal pancakes, don’t  wait for air bubbles that pop and not fill in before flipping. That will be too late for the turn. The edges will look massively underdone up until the final minute. When that goes away, you know the interior needs just one more minute.)
  2. Toppings, and enjoy. (Pretty good zapped in the morning, too.)


Fork drag through Cottage Cheese (pourable batter) Fork drag through Farmer’s Cheese (deep furrow) Better behaved Farmer’s Cheese ones

Sloppy Cottage Cheese ones merging

A few toppings

A lovely plate of Russian scumptiousness
Recipe (printable PDF)

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