Turkey Cutlets, aka Kotleti
Anya von Bremzen's kotleti are a rich spin on Soviet-era cuisine. Michael Datikash
These cutlets ain't kosher, because when the author was growing up in the FSU, she didn't know what kosher meant.
Kotleti (minced meat patties) were the most popular across the former Soviet Union. This recipe from my mother, Larisa, is a delicious cross between croquettes, kotleti, and chicken Kiev--which she makes with turkey for Thanksgiving. For extra succulence she tucks little pieces of butter inside each patty. For those keeping kosher, butter can be omitted or substituted with a small ice cube tucked inside patties, and unsweetened soy milk can stand in for the cream or milk. The cutlets work best when they're breaded and refrigerated for at least an hour before they're cooked, to firm them up. Serve them with the lavishly herbed cranberry relish from the Republic of Georgia.