2 packages (7½ ounces each) farmer's cheese
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½ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dredging
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
Zest of 2 lemons
Vegetable oil, for frying
In a food processor, pulse the cheese until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir together with the eggs, ½ cup flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and lemon zest. The dough should be soft and somewhat sticky. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Form the dough into small rounds, the size of a walnut. Flatten into patties, then lightly dredge in flour. Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium-high, heat about ¼ inch of oil. Working in batches, fry the patties for 3 minutes per side, adding additional oil between batches as needed. Serve immediately.
Cook's note: Syrniki is sort of a cross between cheesecake and pancakes. It can be served for breakfast, tea, a light meal or a snack. Try is topped with sour cream and jam, or fresh fruit and whipped cream. Or, omit the sugar and go completely savory, topping it with sour cream, chives and chopped ham.
Nutrition values per serving: 140 calories, 9 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 9 g carbohydrate, 0 fiber, 3 g sugar, 6 g protein, 55 mg cholesterol, 160 mg sodium.
Alison Ladman for The Associated Press