Sunday, February 10, 2019

Russian cuisine recipes

Borsch (Борщ)

  • 3 short beef ribs
  • 3 potatoes
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1 big carrot
  • 1 medium beet
  • 1 can of peeled tomatoes
  • Spices: bay leaves, thyme, coriander, pepper mix, salt, garlic
  • Greens: optional - dill, cilantro, parsley
Result: 4.5 - 5 liters
  1. Beef broth. 3 short beef ribs (or some other meet with bones and fat - tails for example). Put in pan and add 2-2.5 liters of cold water. Put on maximum heat and carefully let it get to boiling point. When it starts to boil - reduce heat to medium and remove float. Keep it on the stove on low heat for 1.5-2 hours. Check meat - it should easily detach from bones and be soft. When it is almost ready - add spices: bay leaves, coriander seeds, thyme seeds, pepper mix, salt. 10 minutes later - turn off, take meat out, filter broth into bigger pan - it should be at least twice the size of filtered broth.
  2. Actual borsch. 3 potatoes - peel and cut any style, just make sure it's not too thin, pieces should be around 0.8cm thick. Make sure broth is hot, but not boiling and put potatoes in. While potatoes are cooking - prepare cabbage. You'll need half or 3/4 of cabbage head sliced. It should take you around 5 minutes to slice cabbage, and as soon as you're done - put it in. 1 big carrot and 1 medium beet - peel and grate. Put in when done. Canned peeled tomatoes (Kirkland signature brand, for example) 1 can - dice tomatoes in 0.5cm wide blocks, and pour all juice in pan. Let it cook for 3-5 minutes, check potatoes and cabbage - they should be soft, not crunchy. While waiting prepare meat - clean it from bones, skin and dice it into 0.5cm blocks. When borsch is done - add diced meat and some greens if you want - dill, cilantro and whatnot. Garlic, smashed or diced into very small pieces, is also a good idea.
  3. Now borsch is done and just needs final check - taste it for sweetness. If carrot and beet were sweet - you probably want to add lemon juice, add one tea spoon and check again. Also check for salt while at it.

Cutlets with mashed potatoes (Котлеты с картошкой)

  • Mashed  potatoes
    • 10-12 potatoes
    • 5 teaspoons of butter
    • salt
  • Cutlets
    • 1 pound ground beef
    • Medium onion
    • 1.5 Cup of milk
    • 1/3 baguette (or equivalent amount of any white bread)
    • Spices: salt, pepper mix, oregano, marjoram, ground coriander, optional dried dill and parsley
Result: 4-5 servings.

  1. 2.5 potatoes per person - peel, cut into half-an-egg sized pieces, put into empty pan. Fill pan with boiling water and put on max heat. It will try to overflow when starts to boil so keep an eye on it and better not cover. When starts boiling - remove float, add salt and just a bit of olive oil. Reduce heat to low and cover pan. Give it 15 minutes and start checking - potato should be soft, with no crunchy spots. Pour all the water from pan into some mug or small pan. Add unsalted butter - a teaspoon per person. Mash potatoes adding potato water until it reaches correct softness - it is up to you, but usually you'll need between half and 3/4 of potato water.
  2. Take milk, warm it up to room temperature and pour into deep plate. Take bread, 1/3 of baguette or any other white bread, soak it in milk until soft, then squeeze it lightly and put into mixing bowl. If you kept crust - you probably want to put them in grinder or food processor first. Take ground beef, one pound, and add it into mixing bowl. Medium onion - peel, cut and ground it - in any food processor or meat grinder. Add spices: salt, pepper mix, ground coriander, oregano, marjoram, optional dried dill and parsley. Mix everything, using hands - treat it like dough. Make small balls, a bit bigger than an egg. Put frying pan on stove, max heat, take another plate and pour flour into it. When pan is hot - pour oil on it, take meat ball, roll it in flour, flatten it and put onto the pan. When pan is filled - keep an eye on cutlets, as soon as one side becomes brown - flip them and reduce heat to medium. Then let them fry for about 5 minutes and flip them again. Reduce heat to low and cover pan. 5 minutes later they should be ready - pick cutlet that you put the last and cut it in half - there should be no pink meat inside.

Herring under fur coat (Селедка под шубой)
  • Mayo
    • 2 yolks
    • 3 teaspoons of lemon juice
    • 3 teaspoons of vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons of water
    • 2 teaspoons of mustard
    • 1 teaspoon of salt
    • pepper
    • 2 cups of oil
  • Herring salad
    • Pickled herring, 500 grams. Maties brand available in Costco
    • 1 big onion
    • 5 eggs
    • 5 medium potatoes
    • 4 medium carrots
    • 2 big beets
    • 1 apple
    • Mayo - 2 cups.
Result: 25x25x6 cm

  1. Mayo. Put only yolks - no whites in mixing bowl. Bowl should be big enough - 3 liters or something like that. put everything else, except for oil. Mix it a bit - at least make sure yolks are broken and already mixed with vinegar. Then, put mixer on medium speed, tilt bowl to the mixer blades and start pouring oil - very slowly at first and pour oil right on mixer blades. Make sure you do not leave any oil pockets. When one cup will be in it should start to thicken - increase mixer speed and increase speed of pouring. Just make sure your mayo is thoroughly mixed. If it will get too thick - pour on more teaspoon of water in and mix some more. Use it fast, its shelf live is ~3 days.
  2. Herring salad must be finished 24 hours in advance - it needs a day to properly soak in mayo and become soft and creamy. First, boil veggies - potatoes, carrots and beets. They need different time to cook, so you can either boil them separately or you'll need to take carrots earlier out of the water. It is tricky, but since you are going to grate them afterwards, you need to stop cooking them when they loose crunchiness, but are not too soft yet. In any case, after veggies are cooked - put them in cold water until they are actually cold, or at least room temperature. Boil eggs, around 7 minutes - they should be hard boiled, but without blue color on yolks. Now grate everything, except onion, into separate bowls. Including apple - peel it first, remove heart and grate as well.
  3. Now take a deep dish, deep enough to hold all 7 layers - at least 2 inches. First layer - onion. You need to peel it and dice it into very small pieces. Put it into strainer and pour hot water over. Let it cool down and put into deep dish as first layer. Next - herring, take it out of oil and let it drain. Cut it into small pieces as well and put it as a second layer. Grated apple is third layer. Fourth layer is doubled - put half of potatoes and smear it with mayo and just a bit of salt and pepper. Then repeat - including mayo, salt and pepper! Fifth layer - grated eggs. Sixth layer - grated carrots, smear it with mayo and add a bit of salt and pepper. Seventh layer - grated beet, cover it with rest of the mayo. For each layer - twice for potato, carrots and beets you repeat the same process - carefully spread ~ 1/4 of prepared mayo on top of freshly layered vegetables. And since we boiled them without salt - we add some now. Just keep in mind that herring is very salty.
  4. Now cover salad with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for 24 hours. 

Spring salad (Весенний салат)
  • Campari tomatoes - 8-10 tomatoes
  • Persian cucumbers - 1 pack
  • Half of medium onion
  • Olive oil, salt
  • Optional fresh dill
Result: 2-3 servings
  1. Cut tomatoes into quarters, cut cucumbers into half rings, slice onion into thin half ring pieces. Put it all in one bowl, add oil, 3 table spoons, salt, 0.5-1 teaspoon. Optionally dill. Mix everything. Let it rest for few minutes.

Crepes with caviar (Блины с икрой)
  • 3 eggs
  • 0.7 liters of milk, 0.3 liter of water
  • 2 cups + 4 table spoons of flour
  • 6 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 4 teaspoons of melted butter
  1. Take big bowl, 2-3 liters big, put in 3 eggs, 0.5 liter of milk, 0.3 liter of water, sugar, salt, soda and melted butter. Mix it all a bit. Then start adding flour, add two cups, table spoon at a time. Make sure that flour is properly mixed in before adding next spoon. If your dough becomes too thick - add remaining milk. At the end you should used all your milk and water, added 2 cups of flour and your dough is very watery. Now add few more table spoons of flour - be careful, it is the moment when crepes dough turns into pancake dough. Crepe dough is watery, just a little bit thicker than good milk or half-and-half.
  2. Next you need to fry them. Put frying pan on the stove, wait until it is burning hot, set heat to medium high (7 out of 10). Pick pan from the stove, take ladle, and pour dough on the frying pan - ideally, you should pour dough in one place on a pan and just rotating and tilting the pan make it evenly spread. If you can't do it - no problem, start with rotating and tilting pan so that dough spreads out and pour more dough using ladle only to cover holes. Try to use as little dough as possible - worst case, your crepe will be small or with holes, but if you pour too much - it will become big pancake. In few seconds after you finished pouring dough - you will need to flip your crepe. Take plastic / silicon / wooden spatula and carefully move it around the crepe not deep, just to make sure that edges are not stuck. Then flip your crepe. Give it 20 seconds to fry from other side. Carefully lift one side of it to make sure that it is ready and move it to plate. If it is too pale - leave it for another 10-15 seconds and repeat. When crepe is on the plate - you need immediately cover it with thin layer of butter - just take a butter bar and slide it over. Also, it is a good idea to cover crepes to keep'em warm and soft.
  3. Caviar - we prefer Awers Inc in Bellevue. Pick any red caviar with reasonable price.

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