Today I decided to share more Russian food recipes. They are all winter foods and are good for warming you up in colder days. As an example – Russian vinaigrette can be eaten warm or cold but it will make you warm in anyway. There is a four course dinner that we offer in the article below. It includes salad, soup, main meal and sweet snack that can be eaten with tea or coffee at the end of the meal.
Happy warming up in winter!
History. Vinaigrette (Винегрет) is the name of a salad which is popular in Russia, Ukraine and other European countries. The salad consists of beet, pickled cucumber, potatoes, carrot, and onion. Other ingredients, such as green peas, beans or sauerkraut, are sometimes also added. Sunflower or canola oil is used as a dressing; there is no vinegar in Russian vinaigrette salad in spite of its name.
Despite its widespread popularity in Russia, the root of its origins may be in German or Scandinavian cuisine. An English cookbook from 1845, for example, had a recipe for a herring salad made of herring, beet, potatoes, egg whites, and apples, with a dressing made of oil, vinegar, and sour cream.
3 large beets
1 large potato
3 carrots, peeled and cut into fourths lengthwise
1/2 red onion, diced
3 pickles (dill cucumbers), diced
1 can of green peas drained
parsnip root (optional)
10 marinated mushrooms, diced
1 can of garbanzo beans, drained (optional)
1 can black beans, drained (optional)
1 can whole kernel corn, drained (optional)
meat, sausage or ham small pieces (optional)
5 spring onions, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons cold pressed olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, or more to taste
Directions 1. Place the beets, carrots and potato into a large saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. I usually steam all the root vegetables. Need to be cooked for at least 30 to 45 minutes. After cooking let the vegetables to get cool completely (or often I cut them while they are still warm for warm salad taste). Remove peels (sometimes I keep the peels as they contain lots of vitamins); cut into 1/4-inch dice.
2. Place the beets, potato, carrots, red onion, pickles, marinated mushrooms, garbanzo beans, black beans, corn, green peas, and green onions into a large salad bowl, and gently stir to combine. Drizzle in the oil, add salt and pepper to your taste, stir again, and garnish the salad with the fresh dill to serve.
Shchi (cabbage soup)
had been the predominant first course in Russian cuisine for over a thousand years. Although tastes have changed, it steadily made its way through several epochs. Shchi knew no social class boundaries, and even if the rich had richer ingredients and the poor made it solely of cabbage and onions, all these "poor" and "rich" variations were cooked in the same tradition. The unique taste of this cabbage soup was from the fact that after cooking it was left to draw (stew) in a Russian stove. The "Spirit of shchi" was inseparable from a Russian izba (log hut). Many Russian proverbs are connected to this soup, such as Shchi da kasha pishcha nasha (Russian: Щи да каша — пища наша, "Shchi and porridge are our staples"). It can be eaten regularly, and at any time of the year.
The richer variant of shchi includes several ingredients, but the first and last components are a must:
Meat (very rarely fish or mushrooms).
Carrots, basil or parsley roots.
Spicy herbs (onions, celery, dill, garlic, pepper, bay leaf).
When this soup is served, smetana is added. It is eaten with rye bread. During much of the year when the Orthodox Christian Church prescribes abstinence from meat and dairy, a vegan version of shchi is made. "Kislye" (sour) shchi are made from pickled cabbage (sauerkraut), "serye" (grey) shchi from the green outer leaves of the cabbage head. "Zelyonye" (green) shchi are made from sorrel or nettle leaves, not cabbage, and used to be a popular summer soup.
Russian soup with cabbage as the primary ingredient. Its primary distinction is its sour taste, which usually originates from cabbage. When sauerkraut is used instead, the soup is called sour shchi, and soups based on sorrel, spinach, nettle, and similar plants are called green shchi (Russian: зелёные щи, zelyoniye shchi). In the past, the term sour shchi was also used to refer to a drink, a variation of kvass, which was unrelated to the soup.
Shchi is a traditional soup of Russia where it has been known as far back as the 9th century, soon after cabbage was introduced from Byzantium. Its popularity in Russia originates from several factors. Shchi is relatively easy to prepare; it can be cooked with or without various types of meat that makes it compatible with different religions; and it can be frozen and carried as a solid on a trip to be cut up when needed. Finally, it was noticed that most people do not get sick of shchi and can eat it daily. This property is referenced in the Russian saying: "Pодной отец надоест, а щи – никогда!" (Rodnoi otets nadoyest, a shchi--nikogda! "One may tire of one's own father, but never of shchi!"). As a result, by the 10th century shchi became a staple food of Russia. The major components of shchi were originally cabbage, meat (beef, pork, lamb, or poultry), mushrooms, flour, and spices (based on onion and garlic).
The ingredients of shchi gradually changed. Flour, which was added in early times to increase the soup's caloric value, was excluded for the sake of finer taste. The spice mixture was enriched with black pepper and bay leaf, which were imported to Russia around the 15th century, also from Byzantium. Meat was sometimes substituted by fish, and carrot and parsley could be added to the vegetables. Beef was the most popular meat for shchi, while pork was more common in Ukraine. The water to cabbage ratio varied and whereas early shchi were often so viscous that a spoon could stand in it, more diluted preparation was adopted later.
The two-letter word щи contains the letter щ, which is absent in most non-Cyrillic alphabets and is transcribed into them with several letters. In German, щи becomes eight letters, Schtschi.
8 cups beef stock (vegetable stock/vegetta or water for vegetarian)
1/3 of large white cabbage
4 garlic cloves
3 medium potatoes
2 medium onions
2 medium tomatoes or tomato paste
1 leek (bottom half only)
1 large carrot
3 bay leaves
1 small parsley root
red bell pepper
2 tablespoons butter or cold pressed olive oil
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon caraway seed
2 tablespoons sour cream (or Smetana, per bowl)
1 teaspoon dill (per bowl)
1 teaspoon parsley (per bowl)
Core and shred the cabbage.Peel and chop the garlic. Peel (I never peel potatoes – I just thoroughly wash and scratch them removing the dirty parts) and chop the potatoes into large chunks. Peel and chop the onions. Wash and chop the tomatoes. Wash and slice the leek into thin circles. Peel and grate the carrot. Melt the butter in a large pot or pan. Add garlic, onion, leek and carrot. Sauté on high heat approximately 5-10 minutes until vegetables have softened. Add beef stock (vegetable stock or water) and bring to a boil. Add cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, bay leaves, black peppercorns, and caraway seed. Bring to boil again and switch the heat off. Finely chop dill and/or parsley. Ladle into bowls. Add a dollop of sour cream (or smetana) on top and sprinkle with chopped dill and/or parsley. Ideally, refrigerate after cooling and wait 1-2 days to serve as shchi is usually allowed to "cure" for a short time. In my opinion, it tastes great fresh or re-heated. Can also be served cold. Pumpernickel or rye bread and butter make a great side. Refrigerate any leftovers.
(пельмени in Russian, singular pelmen, пельмень; пяльмені in Belarusian) are a traditional Eastern European (mainly Russian) dish usually made with minced meat filling, wrapped in thin dough (made out of flour and eggs, sometimes with milk or water added). For filling, pork, lamb, beef, or any other kind of meat can be used; mixing several kinds is popular. The traditional Ural recipe requires the filling be made with 45% of beef, 35% of lamb, and 20% of pork. Traditionally, various spices, such as pepper, onions, and garlic, are mixed into the filling.
Russians seem to have learned to make pelmeni from Finnic and Tatar peoples of the Taiga, the Urals and Siberia. The word means "ear-shaped bread" in Finnic languages such as Udmurt and Komi. In Siberia they were made in large quantities and stored safely frozen outside for several winter months. In mainland Russia, the term "Siberian Pel'meni" refers to pel'meni made with a mix of meats (whether the 45/35/20 mix mentioned above, or another ratio), rather than a single meat. By the late 19th century, they became a staple throughout urban European Russia. They are prepared immediately before eating by boiling in water until they float, and then 2–5 minutes more. The resulting dish is served with butter and/or sour cream (mustard, horseradish, and vinegar are popular as well). Some recipes suggest frying pelmeni after boiling until they turn golden brown.
Pelmeni belong to the family of dumplings. Akin to vareniki: Ukrainian variety of dumplings with filling made of mashed potatoes, farmer's cheese, or cherries, to mention the most popular three. They are not dissimilar to Chinese potstickers, Tibetan mo-mo and Italian ravioli, as well as the Manti of the Kazakh and Kyrgyz cultures. The main difference between pelmeni and other kinds of dumplings is in their shape and size — the typical pelmen' is roughly spherical and is about 2 to 3 cm in diameter, whereas most other types of dumplings are usually elongated and much larger.
The process of making pelmeni is somewhat labor-intensive, but a device known as "pelmennitsa" greatly speeds up the task. It consists of a typically round aluminum plate with a matrix of holes surrounded by ridges. A sheet of dough is placed over the matrix, filling is scooped into each "cell", and the dough sags under the weight of the filling, forming the body of the dumpling. Another sheet of dough is placed on top, and a wooden roller is rolled over the top, pressing the dough layers together, cutting the dumplings apart by the ridges, and forcing the dumplings to fall through the holes. Using a pelmennitsa, the chef can quickly manufacture batches of dumplings at a time
Various minced meat dishes were adopted from other cuisines and became popular only in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; for traditional Russian cuisine they are not typical.
Russiandumplingsare wrapped in thin, unleavened dough Pelmeni are common in Russia and have similar names in other languages: Belarusian: пяльмені, pyal’meni; Tatar: пилмән(нәр) pilmän(när); Ukrainian: пельмені, pel’meni; Latvian: pelmeņi; Azerbaijani: düşbərə.
Fried pelmeni with sour cream, as served in Latvia.
The filling can be mincedmeat (pork, lamb, beef, or any other kind of meat), fish, or mushrooms. The mixing together of different kinds of meat is also popular. Pelmeni in Perm (west of the Ural Mountains) are often filled with mushrooms, onions, turnips, or sauerkraut instead of meat. Various spices, such as black pepper and onions, are mixed into the filling.
The word pelmeni is derived from pel'nyan' (пельнянь) – literally "ear bread" in the native Finno-Ugric Komi, Udmurt, and Mansi languages. It is unclear when pelmeni entered the cuisines of the indigenous Siberian people and when they first appeared in Russian cuisine. One theory suggests that pelmeni, or stuffed boiled dumplings in general, originated in China (thus explaining the use of spices such as black pepper, which are not native to Russia and had to be imported) and were carried by the Mongols to Siberia and the Urals, from where they gradually spread as far as Eastern Europe. Pelmeni were particularly favored by hunters, who were looking for light, easy-to-prepare, nourishing food to take with them frozen on long hunting trips in the winter.
Pilmän (the Tatar equivalent of pelmeni) are a traditional dish in Tatar cuisine, where they have always been served with clear soup.
Pelmeni belong to the family of dumplings, and are related to Ukrainian vareniki and Polish pierogi. In the United States and Canada, the term pierogi or perogis is often used to describe all kinds of Eastern European dumplings, regardless of the shape, size, or filling. Pelmeni are also similar to Mongolian Buuz, Chinese jiaozi and Cantonese won ton. They are cousins to the Turkish and Kazakh manti, the Nepalese and Tibetan momo, and the Uzbek chuchvara. The main difference between pelmeni and momos is their size – a typical pelmen' is about 2 to 3 cm in diameter, whereas momos are often at least twice that size.
The most important difference between pelmeni, vareniki, and pierogi is the thickness of the dough shell — in pelmeni this is as thin as possible, and the proportion of filling to dough is usually higher. Pelmeni are never served with a sweet filling, which distinguishes them from Ukrainian vareniki and Polish pierogi, which sometimes are. Also, the fillings in pelmeni are usually raw, while the fillings of vareniki and pierogi are typically pre-cooked.
Pelmeni can be kept frozen for long periods of time with little loss of quality or flavor, and the water they are boiled in is useful for making soup.
In Siberia, pelmeni are traditionally frozen outdoors in the winter and treated as preserved food. Hunters or explorers heading into the taiga would carry sacks of frozen pelmeni with their provisions as easily cooked non-perishable food. Pelmeni can be stored frozen for a long time and they are prepared immediately before eating by boiling in salted water until they float, and then 2–5 minutes more. Regional differences exist in the boiling of pelmeni. In the Urals, they are always boiled in water, while in Siberia they are boiled in salted water or sometimes meat or chicken broth.The cooked pelmeni are served on their own or topped with melted butter or sour cream. Mustard, horseradish, tomato sauce, and vinegar are popular as well. Some recipes suggest frying pelmeni after boiling until they turn golden brown. Pelmeni can also be served in a clear soup, although in Siberia this is considered poor in taste and pelmeni are carefully strained before serving.
Packed frozen, pelmeni can be found in Russian and Ukrainian food stores as well as everywhere Russian communities exist. Packets of frozen pelmeni are usually labeled "Siberian pelmeni" because of the Siberian practice of storing and transporting pelmeni in frozen form. Store-bought pelmeni are made on industrial machinery, much of which is made by Italian companies such as Arienti & Cattaneo, Ima, Ostoni, Zamboni, etc. These pelmeni usually weigh around 15 grams each and look like a larger version of tortellini, which is why for, industrial production, Italian pasta machines are commonly used. Pelmeni are also commonly made at home. The easiest (if somewhat laborious) way is simply to make them by hand; many cooks utilize specialized "pelmeni makers", which are essentially molds that resemble muffin pans or ravioli molds, allowing one to quickly make a few dozen pelmeni out of two sheets of dough and a quantity of ground meat.
In modern Russian and Ukrainian culture, store-bought pelmeni are considered a kind of fast food and are associated with students' or bachelors' lifestyles, much like instant ramen, etc.
Recipe and method
You must be heard from your Russian friends that cooking traditional Russian pelmeni is more pain than a satisfaction. But that’s not true. Russian pelmeni recipe involves only 2 steps: making the dough and making the filling. Well, assembling pelmeni is also a big step, but very interesting. Do not believe if anyone says that molding pelmeni is a pretty tedious business! It’s all about to having fun! Time-honored tradition of making pelmeni gathers all family members around the table and makes the process cooperative and interesting often accompanied by hours of songs and stories. Pelmeni can be bought pre-made in the freezer section of any Russian supermarket. They are a hearty meal that cooks quickly and easily, but most Russians still prefer the tradition of making them by hand, and Russian housewives consider it a question of honor to do so. Moreover the taste of home-made pelmeni is absolutely different. Anyway pelmeni are tasty and a true taste of Russia.
Now you have a chance to take a liking to pelmeni just following myRussian pelmeni recipe.
To make dough we need 210 ml cold water 1 egg 1 teaspoon salt 400 gram flour
I always make dough in a bread maker, it does a great job of making dough, it’s very simple and doesn’t take more than a 20 minutes. Bread maker makes the exact consistence of dough we need to cook a good pelmeni. Very elastic, soft but not too sticky. If you don’t have bread maker sift the flour into a table. Make a dimple in the top and crack the egg into that. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Adding the cold water gradually, knead the dough vigorously 15-20 minutes.
Step two. Filling.
0.5 lb beef ground 0.5 lb pork ground you can add some lamb for great flavour 1 middle onion Salt, pepper, spices by taste
Pelmeni filling consists of ground beef and pork mixed with ground or grated onion, salt and pepper. I prefer to add 1 chopped clove of garlic. Combine all ingredients and filling is ready.
My favorite part! Cut the dough into 2 pieces, one piece cover with something (kitchen towel, bowl) or wrap in a plastic bag otherwise the dough will dry up. Roll the dough into a long “snake” one inch in diameter. Cut the dough at one-inch intervals and roll the pieces out into circles using floured rolling pin 1/16 to 1/32 of an inch thick. Place a teaspoon of the meat filling in the center and fold the dough over, pinching edges firmly to completely seal each pelmen into a small packet. There should be no holes in the dough to preserve the flavor and consistency of the meat inside. Than pinch 2 sides of pelmen to get the final shape. I hope it would be much easier to follow step by step photo Russian pelmeni recipe than read this one!
If dough circles are still available and the filling comes to an end I also boil the circles without filling. They are too good with a sour cream to through them out.
The final step is boiling.
Boil a generous amount of water with 1-2 tsp. salt. Drop enough pelmeni into the boiling water. They are ready to eat when they floating to the top for 3-4 minutes and stay there. Take pelmeni out using skimmer. Add 1-2 teaspoon butter. Serve with a sour cream. If you did everything right each pelmen should look as shown in the picture, without holes and with a drop of delicious broth inside. Yummy!
From this amount of ingredients there should be 30-40 pelmeni, 3-4 servings. But traditionally people make 100-150 pelmeni and keep them frozen over time so if you plan to store your pelmeni, freeze them uncooked.
is a kind of cake with a ring of dough and tvorog (cottage cheese) in the middle, often with raisins or bits of fruit, from about five inches to two and a half feet in diameter.(Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian: Ватрушка) is an Eastern Europe pastry with a ring of dough and cottage cheese in the middle, often with raisins or bits of fruit, from about five inches to two and a half feet in diameter, analogous with the Western European pastry known in the English world as the Danish.The name vatrushka comes from the word Vatra (Ukrainian, Czech, and Serbian) that means "fire".Vatrushkas are typically made with a sweet yeast bread dough, but can also be made unsweetened with onion in the filling.
Recipe and method
vat-ROOSH-kah) is a small, personal-sized open pie filled with fresh cheese.
Its appearance somewhat resembles that of a cheese Danish, but it is not the
same pastry. Cheese-filled vatrushkas can be sweet and used as desserts or
unsweetened and served with soup. When the cheese filling is sweetened, raisins
or pieces of other dry or fresh fruits can be added to create a more
interesting flavor. Occasionally jam, fruit preserves, mashed vegetables, or even
ground meat is used as filling instead of cheese although the resulting pastry
should not be really called vatrushka. Finally, there are two main methods for
creating the vatrushka shape. The first method produces flatter vatrushkas with
more filling relative to the amount of dough. It involves rolling the dough out
into a sheet, cutting out circles or squares, and rolling up the edges around
the filling in the center. The second method gives you thicker vatrushkas with
relatively less filling (see the picture at the end). To make that kind of
vatrushkas you would need to divide your dough into individual portions, roll
each into a ball, somewhat flatten it, and then make a deep impression in the
middle with the bottom of a glass or cup. You would then fill the pit in the
middle with the cheese filling. As always, the listed amount of flour is
approximate; there are many variables that determine the final flour content in
any given batch of dough. Here is a recipe to make sweet vatrushkas:
1/4 cup water 2 Tbsp. sugar 1 packet active dry yeast 2 cups all-purpose wheat flour 1 egg 1/4 cup milk 1/3 tsp. salt 2 tsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter 1 lb. fresh unsalted cheese (curds, farmers cheese, cottage cheese) or ricotta cheese 1 egg 2 Tbsp. sugar 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour 1/4 tsp. salt Bits of raisins of other dry fruit (apricots, prunes, etc.) – small amount and optional. Additional butter to be used after baking.
Prepare the dough:
Heat the water to 110°F; add 1 Tbsp. of sugar, yeast, and ½ cup of sifted flour. Stir well, cover, and leave in a warm place for about an hour. The mix should develop a lot of bubbles and rise.
Separate the egg white from the yolk. Save the yolk in a cup in the fridge.
Heat milk to 110°F and add to the mix. Stir in the egg white, salt, and the remaining sugar. Gradually add sifted flour while stirring in one direction (a wooden spatula is preferred). While stirring, keep your spatula close to the center of the mixing bowl instead of rubbing the sides of the bowl with it. When the dough becomes too dense to stir with the spatula, start kneading it by hand while adding small amounts of flour at a time. The end point: A ball of dough with a smooth surface that has just enough flour to prevent it from sticking to your hands. Don’t use more flour than necessary! Note that the butter has not been used at this stage.
Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. After that, press it down and let it rise one more time.
Prepare the filling:
Melt the butter without making it hot, and then mix all the ingredients. Caveat: if you are using fresh cheese that has lots of water in it such as cottage cheese, squeeze the water out using a mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
Dust your work surface with flour and roll out the dough into a sheet about ¼ inch thick. Cut out circles about 5 inches in diameter (you can use a tea saucer for that).
Note: You can cut the sheet into squares instead of circles. Squares may be less visually appealing and less traditional but they save you a good deal of time but completely utilizing the entire sheet of dough. If you opt for the round shape, you would have to re-knead and reuse the dough left between the circles. At the very least you should try to cut as many circles as possible out of each sheet of dough to maximize your work efficiency. Brush up on your geometry!
Place 1/2 – 1 Tbsp. of filling in the middle of each circle (the exact amount depends on your vatrushka size and your personal preferences). Do not overfill! Carefully roll up the edges making neat, smooth, and even walls about 2/3 inches in height. Even make them a bit higher if you are afraid you are overfilling. Carefully smoothen the surface of the filling making sure it is even and fills the entire space.
Turn on the oven to preheat it to 425°F – 450°F.
Lightly grease a baking sheet or pan. You can moisten it with water instead especially if it has a non-stick surface. Arrange vatrushkas on the baking sheet some distance apart so they don’t stick together when they expand. Checkerboard arrangement will let you safely fit more vatrushkas on a single baking sheet (geometry again). Let your vatrushkas stand for about 15 minutes in a warm place.
Meanwhile melt the butter without making it hot, and mix it with the saved egg yolk. Stir very well and remove any clumps.
After vatrushkas have been rising for 15 minutes, carefully brush a thin layer of the egg yolk/butter mix on the top and most importantly, the dough portion of each pie. Don’t apply force or you’ll damage them!
Let vatrushkas stand for another 10 minutes and carefully puncture the top in 2-3 places with a fork without puncturing all the way to the bottom. Place them in the oven.
Baking time will vary but it usually takes 15-25 minutes to obtain a smooth brown crust (see the photo). You can preheat the oven to a higher temperature and then turn down the heat right after you put vatrushkas inside. Testing with a toothpick can help: the toothpick stuck into the crust should come out clean.
After the baking is finished, immediately place vatrushkas on a wooden board or wire mesh for cooling. Brush on a small amount of melted butter for extra flavor (use a clean brush, not the same one used before baking).
Let the vatrushkas cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. This is important for full flavor development.