To Russia With Love @TheTableSet

To Russia with Love

This time on The Table Set podcast Nathan, Andy and I step a little bit outside our comfort zone when a conversation about The Cabbage Patch Kids turns to dining. Don’t worry no “kids” were harmed in the making of this conversation, but cabbage does bring to mind Russian food (at least for us it did for us).

Maybe it’s just the timing. Between the Sochi Olympics and the Valentine season, a feeling of love is developing around our table. Russian love. So despite the politics of the games this year, and the obvious implications from the (almost) similarly named James Bond flick, we decided to send this episode out “To Russia with Love”.

The episode gets its genesis at a local Russian restaurant in West Hollywood called Traktir. The three of us went there recently and enjoyed plates of sliced lamb, slippery pelmeni dumplings and a beef-brothed soup flavored with pickled vegetables. Well, if you know anything at all about The Table Set then you know we love a dining challenge. So a plan was hatched to throw a Russian themed dinner party with a прелестный (delicious) menu. Many of the dishes we put together were reinterpretations of some of the classic Russian fare we enjoyed at Traktir. I even tried my hand at Russian “Ketchup”. It seems the Russians love ketchup and put their sweeter, chunkier version on just about everything. I’ve included the recipe below.

We put together a creative video of the evening too. I think it captures the feeling of friends and food very well. It might even make you think we really went to Russia.

I hope you’ll bounce over to Homefries and listen to the latest episode of The Table Set, “To Russia With Love”. We invited friends to the table, drank some vodka and got very creative with Russian food. Na Zdorovie! GREG

Russian Ketchup with Tomatoes & Prunes 

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Russian Ketchup


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 onion (minced)
  • 5 clove garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 16 prunes (pitted and chopped)
  • kosher salt (as needed)
  • ½ cup cider vinegar (maybe more)
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes


Warm the oil in a 4‑qt saucepan set over medium heat. Add the minced onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often until softened; 6–8 minutes. Add the coriander, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, prunes and a couple pinches of salt. Cook, stirring often until caramelized; 2–3 minutes. Lower the heat and add the vinegar and tomatoes. Simmer, stirring often until thick; 20 to 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning and/or consistency with salt and vinegar.