I would like to continue educating our readers on Russian cuisine and its unique dishes.
NEW Spoiling Lesha with breakfast - shortly named Russian Revolution in Mexico: Mexican Tortillas topped with free range eggs sunny side up, and herbs and vegetables from our organic garden: cherry tomatoes, red hot chilli, sage, cont parsley and fragrant basil leaves with carrot and apple juice on the side...
is another type of cold soup. The name of the soup comes from the Russian word botva, which means "leafy tops of root vegetables", and, true to its name, it is made with the leafy tops of young beets, sorrel, scallions, dill, cucumbers, and two types of kvass. Mustard, garlic, and horseradish are then added for flavor. The vegetables are rubbed through a sieve and kvass is poured over.
Botvinya is a cold soup based on sour kvass and broth of beet leaves and roots.
Botvinya is a first course cold dish extremely characteristic of Russian cuisine; and yet it has almost disappeared due to its being quite expensive and, mainly, because of the loss of the right way of preparing this comparatively time-taking dish.
The basic version of botvinya requires adding boiled red fish, salted and non-salted; while eating the soup it is repeatedly cooled by adding some ice cubes into the plate. Botvinya can also be incomplete, i.e. veggie, without fish.
Botvinya goes well in summer heat; it tastes lighter than okroshka and has a better refreshing effect.
Full botvinya consists of three parts: botvinya soup itself; boiled red fish (such as sturgeon, starred sturgeon, and salmon) that is served in a separate dish; and small ice cubes also served separately. Thus, botvinya is served in three dishes for each person.
However, botvinya is also good without expensive red fish - then it will be the so-called incomplete botvinya, or simply a cold summer green soup.
Regarding the soup part of botvinya it can be of two types: simple and stewed. Both the types are prepared on kvass basis. The stewed botvinya differs from the simple one by the presence of sour stewed ferment made of flour and kvass grounds. The choice and preparation of kvass basis is even more important here than with okroshka. Kvass sourness should supplement pleasantly fresh or saltish taste of fish, rather than contradict it. Therefore kvass should be neither sweetish, nor excessively sour. To be more exact, the acidity should be subtly and delicately savoury. Such a taste in botvinya is attained not only by means of kvass, but also thanks to gentle vegetable sourness of sorrel, and - in steamed botvinya – due to rye leaven. Besides, grated horse-radish and lemon juice ass to the pungent taste and aroma of kvass. The dark bread kvass mixed with less than one third of white okroshka kvass can make the kvass basis for botvinya.
As for the fish part of botvinya it is preferable to use different kinds of red fish with a small amount of crayfish meat or crabs and shrimps instead of crayfish.
Recipe of Complete Simple Botvinya
Ingredients: 1 liter of bread kvass, 0,25 liter of white okroshka kvass, 1,5-2 glasses of boiled sorrel, 1 glass of boiled nettle, 3 young beetroots with leaves, 1-2 fresh cucumbers, 1-2 tablespoonfuls of grated horse-radish, 0,5 lemons, 1 teaspoonful of mustard, 0,5-0,75 glass of spring onions, 1 teaspoonful of salt, 1 teaspoonful of sugar, 1,5 tablespoonfuls of fennel, 0,5 kg of fish, and 4 crayfish.
Slightly poach whole beet leaves and separately boil beetroots soft. In the same way slightly poach (no longer than 3 mines) whole sorrel leaves. Carefully wash nettle in cold water, then scald with boiling water and through onto a colander. Measure all the leaves according to the recipe and finely chop with a sharp knife. Never try to grate or grind the leaves, otherwise you will get some sort of a cream soup with a totally different taste!
Supplement the green mass with chopped boiled beetroots, and chopped green onions rubbed with salt and fennel.
Blend together the two types of kvass. Peel a lemon and pound the rind with sugar in a cup, add lemon juice, mustard, horse-radish, and a little kvass, mix it all and pour into the two-kvass blend.
Pour the kvass blend into the soup body, add finely diced cucumber and leave in a cold place for 15 to 20 minutes – so that the acidity of basis is absorbed into the leafy bulk. In the meantime prepare the fish part of botvinya.
Take a set of slices (50 g each) of different red fishes (sturgeon, starred sturgeon and salmon) and boil in a small amount of salted water with onions, fennel, black pepper and a bay leaf: 2 to 3 minutes will be enough for fresh-salted and salty smoked fish, and 10 minutes will do for fresh fish. It is unacceptable to use non-boiled salted or smoked fish, because it will not match the sour kvass basis and spoil the taste of this sophisticated dish.
Botvinya is served as the first course, or after hot first course as a liquid appetizer before the roast. It has to be eaten with two spoons and a fork: the first spoon is for soup, the second one for ice cubes, and the fork is for fish slices. As for bread, botvinya goes exceptionally with fresh rye bread.
Stewed Botvinya Recipe
2-3 teaspoonfuls of rye flour, 1-1,5 glass of cold water, 0,5-1 glass of kvass grounds, 5 young beetroots with leaves, 1-1,25 liter of bread kvass, and other ingredients - the same as for simple botvinya (see the recipe above).
Here the process of preparation is made more complex due to stewing. The stewed mass should be prepared one day prior to cooking botvinya.
Dissolve rye flour with water, pour it all into a small clay pot, cover it and put into a hot oven for about 20 to 30 minutes. After the mix is well stewed, filter it through a sieve into an enameled pan, add boiled and chopped beet leaves small, fill in with kvass grounds and leave it to sour for 24 hours; afterwards dilute it with kvass and add other ingredients.
is a form of Shish kebab (marinated meat grilled on a skewer) popular in former Soviet Union countries, notably in Georgia, Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan. It often features alternating slices of meat and onions. Even though the word "shashlyk" was apparently borrowed from the Crimean Tatars by the Cossacks as early as the 16th century, kebabs did not reach Moscow until the late 19th century, according to Vladimir Gilyarovsky's "Moscow and Moscovites". From then on, their popularity spread rapidly; by the 1910s they were a staple in St Petersburg restaurants and by the 1920s they were already a pervasive street food all over urban Russia. Shashlik is also used in Russia as a food to be cooked in outdoor environment, similarly to barbecue in English-speaking countries.
Shashlyk (meaning skewered meat) was originally made of lamb (in some extent pork or beef) depending on local preferences and religious observances. These skewers of meat are either all meat, all fat, or alternating pieces of meat, fat, and vegetables such as bell pepper, onion, mushroom and tomato. Meat for shashlik (as opposed to other forms of shish kebab) is usually marinated overnight in a high-acidity marinade like vinegar, dry wine or sour fruit/vegetable juice with the addition of herbs and spices. While it is not unusual to see shashlik listed on the menu of restaurants, it is more commonly sold in Western Asia by street vendors who roast the skewers over wood, charcoal, or coal. Shashlyk is usually cooked on a grill called a mangal. In Poland szaszłyk is popular as a form of fast-food and often appears on bustling restaurant menus (pronounced shash-wyk)
The origins of shashlyk Shashlyk comes from the Caucasian Mountain tribesmen and became popular after the conquest of the Caucasus in the 19th century. This was when the region started becoming romanticized by the likes of Pushkin, Lermontov and Byron. Russian and European travelers then began to flock to the area and almost every memoir notes the delicacy of the shashlyk. Its importance in daily Russian cuisine is highlighted in Mikhail Bulgakov’s classic The Master and Margarita when an order is made for One Karsky Shashlyk!
Nowadays nearly every family has its own secret recipe for shashlyk that is guarded closely. The key inevitably lies in the marinade. During Soviet times this was largely made up of vinegar to soften the meat – any good quality produce was hard to find back then. But be warned, using vinegar now will get you mocked! Instead there are a number of subtle variations; however, what’s important is that the marinade (see below) enhances the meat's flavor.
Best kept secrets Some shashlyk veterans swear by fresh pomegranate juice, others by kefir. There are all kinds of herbs and spices that can be added to the marinade and many cooks also stress the importance of kneading the marinade into the meat. The process takes several hours, but if you are short for time, you can always buy meat ready-marinated at major supermarkets.
Although many people opt for a Birchwood bonfire, the general consensus is that the heat of charcoal produces better results. You can have a picnic outside, but if you are looking for comfort there are many restaurants that offer shashlyk on their menu.
Following below are a few recepies of this delicious dish.
Image from cooking-technology.ru The Simplest Recipe Ingredients: - any meat you like cut in large cubes - sliced onions – lots, the volume of cut onions should be no less than half of the meat volume - salt - herbs to your liking – oregano and a bit of thyme is a good choiceMethod:Mix all ingredients well and put aside for at least 3 hours. Grill.
Shashlyk – Easy Basic MarinadeIngredients: - 1 kg (=2.2 lb) lamb, pork or veal - 3 tbsp oil - 5 tbsp vine vinegar or lemon juice - 5 onions - 2 zucchinis (tomatoes or other vegetables) - 1 bunch chives - salt, pepper (freshly ground) Method: Cut meat into cubes (5-6 cm / 2 inches). Finely chop an onion and chives. Put everything in a saucepan, pour in vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Knead marinade into the meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Slice remaining onions. Cut vegetables into cubes. Thread meat onto skewers, alternating with vegetables and onion slices. Grill on a charcoal grill for about 10-15 minutes. It is also possible to use other barbeque grills or a pan.
Image from www.artfile.ru Lamb Shashlyk in White Wine MarinadeIngredients: - 600 g (=1.3 lb) lamb - 100 ml (=0.4 cup) dry white wine - 120 g (=4 oz) butter - 400 g (=0.8 lb) onions - 2 bunches green (spring) onion - 300 g (=0.6 lb) tomatoes - 300 g (=0.6 lb) egg plant - 300 g (=0.6 lb) bell pepper - 1 lemon - 1/2 bunch parsley and dill (each) - sugar, salt, pepper (freshly ground)
Method: Finely chop green onions and 200 g (=0.4 lb) onions.
Cut lamb into small cubes (20-30 g / 1 oz). Place in a clay pot and rub with sugar, salt and pepper. Combine with chopped onions and wine. Knead marinade into the meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours.
Slice remaining onions. Cut tomatoes, egg plants and bell pepper into cubes and thread onto skewers in alternating order.
Thread lamb onto separate skewers.
Turn skewers frequently while grilling to cook meat evenly.
Slide lamb and veggies off skewers. Combine in a bowl carefully. Pour melted butter and some wine over. Sprinkle with lemon juice and chopped herbs.
Pork Shashlyk in Kefir MarinadeIngredients: - 500 g (=1.1 lb) lean pork - 5 onions - 1 l kefir - salt, pepper, other spices to taste Method:Cut pork into cubes (5-6 cm / 2 inches).
Finely chop three onions.
Place a layer of pork in a saucepan, follow with a layer of chopped onions. Repeat. Season each layer with salt, pepper and other spices. Pour in kefir and refrigerate for about 24 hours.
Slice remaining onions. Thread pork cubes onto skewers alternating with onions slices. Baste with marinade while grilling.
Image from cooking-technology.ru Pork Shashlyk in Red Wine Pomegranate MarinadeIngredients: -3kg (=6.6 lb) pork -100 ml (=0.4 cup) dry red wine -100 ml (=0.4 cup) pomegranate juice (fresh) -4 onions -1 lemon (juice only) -2-3 tbsp oil -pepper (red, black and white) -thyme, caraway and other herbs to taste -salt
Method:Cut pork into cubes (5-6 cm / 2 inches).
Slice remaining onions.
Place pork cubes and onions in a saucepan, pour in wine, pomegranate and lemon juice. Season to taste with herbs, salt and pepper. Knead marinade into the meat. Mix oil in (without kneading). Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.
Thread pork onto skewers. Turn skewers frequently while grilling to cook meat evenly.
Tip: To juice pomegranate better, roll it between your hands or on a table. Then cut in half and juice slowly using a citrus press.
with meat and cabbage Kulebyaka is traditional Russian pie with a lot of filling and served as a main dish.
Preparation: Dissolve 10-15 grams (1/2 oz) of yeast in 50 grams (2 oz) of warm water or milk, strain through a small sieve and add liquid to make up 150 grams. Add 400 grams (14 oz) of flour and knead the mixture. When you have nearly finished kneading the dough, add 50 grams (2 oz) of butter, two egg yolks and a little sunflower oil. Put the dough in a warm place to rise, covered. When the dough has risen, roll it out on a floured board, place the filling in the centre, raise the edges of the dough and join them together by pinching. Decorate the kulebyaka with strips of the dough, placing them at intervals across it. Brush with egg yolk mixed with water, place carefully on a baking tray and bake in the oven.
Kulebyaka is usually made with a meat or cabbage filling, but sometimes there are two or three layers of different fillings; for example, a layer of boiled rice, then a layer of meat filling and on top a layer of hard-boiled eggs, cut into rings.
To make meat filling, mince 800 grams (2 lb) of boiled meat. Saute some finely chopped onions in a frying pan, add the meat and fry for 3 – 5 minutes. Add three chopped hardboiled eggs, 1-2 tablespoonfuls of sunflower oil, salt, pepper and dill to taste.
For a cabbage filling, wash and shred a cabbage (1.5 – 2 kilograms – 3 lb – 4 lb), scald with boiling water, drain and rinse in cold water, put the cabbage in a saucepan with 80 – 100 grams (4 oz) of melted butter, and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly and pouring off the liquid. Then add some chopped hardboiled eggs and salt.
Masha M's cooking for Valentine Six-man paella:
Masha M's cooking for Valentine:
Valentine dinner with Marina E. Cooked dinner tonight- home made pie and cream cheese with salmon and pesto roulette, and goose with orange patte..later came a Black Forrest cake and macaroons:
Masha M cooking: pancakes and strawberries:
Orecchiette with Broccoli, bacon, chilli and fetta:
Ingredients: Orecchiette Broccoli florets Bacon, sliced Minced garlic Chilli, sliced Olive oil Breadcrumbs (a couple of teaspoons will do) Soft Fetta cheese, cubed/crumbed Parmesan, grated
1) Put the pasta on the boil and set the timer 2) In a saucen fry the garlic and chilli together with olive oil on a low heat for a minute or two. Throw in the bacon and fry a little while longer. Use the heat to release the aromas rather than to cook the ingredients quickly. 3) With 3-4 minutes to spare on the pasta, throw in the broccoli florets with the pasta. 4) With 1 minute to spare, take the garlic, bacon and chilli sauce mixture off the heat and add fetta cheese. Stir swooshingly. 5) Drain the pasta and broccoli, place in a serving plate and top with the garlic/chilli/fetta sauce mixture. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and drizzle with some extra olive-oil if desired. Stir to mix the ingredients and sprinkle with parmesan. Enjoy responsibly.
Moar foodz! - Something pasta primaveraesque with ruccola, peppers, bacon and celery - I think
Xiao Y's homemade lean Pork and preserve egg porridge:
"Edible flowers make me feel like Ferran Adrià"Masha M's photo: Regular Ordinary Chocolate Factory Breakfast Time:
Masha M's photo: Nothing quite like coming home to a monogrammed pie
Donna R's lunch
Vasily I's photo: Dinner is cooking. at Mount Franklin, Victoria:
There is some home made jam: strawberry, brown sugar and good quality champagne:
photos from Masha M: Entre: oysters, prawns with garlic and herbs, red caviar Main: Trout whole fish backed stuffed with dill, lemon, herbs and garlic Side: fennel and apple salad; king oyster and other variety of mushrooms cooked with herbs, capsicum and mini-tomatoes; wild black rice, pumpkin, red capsicum and leek cooked with herbs to perfection Desert: flour-less chocolate cake from Thomas Dux, assorted French cheeses served with figs and pomegranates, Vanilla ice cream with Port and sweet Cherry Liqueur Plus cheese platter of selective French cheeses decorated with figs, pomegranates, blueberries and fresh garden flowers
The recipes were taken from Epicurean website:
Fruit platters photos (NM):
NY celebration photos from Natasha A - some sensational Russian salads and organic chicken baked with majoram and thyme. There are lots of other snacks on the table - no names for these dishes though except the ones that I know: marinated cucumbers and tomatoes Olivie (or Russian salad) Green garden salad Bessarabia yellow bell peppers Russian vinegrette stuffed eggs potatoes cooked with dill, garlic and butter marinated herring shuba (herring with beetroot and eggs) rye bread baby peppers stuffed with goat cheese, hummus, home made deep with pine nuts and semi-sun dried tomatoes (all home made) there was also lamb cutlets and shashlik with pork and vegetables
A real NY table feast:
John M heart pancakes:
Rob B photos - cooking classes in Vietnam:
Mai L, France paris - some fancy restaurants dishes photos (provided with Mai's kind permission):