Russian Food & Cooking

Russia is mainly a northern country with long-lasting cold winter. The food should give us much energy and warmth to survive during the winter time. So, the essential components of Russian cuisine are the ones, which provide more carbohydrates and fat rather than proteins. Fresh fruits and vegetables are rarely used in food. So, the top five components of a Russian meal are:

Potato (boiled, fried, baked, potato chops, potato pancakes, potato soup, smashed potato)
Bread (bread, toasts, bread-crumbs)
Eggs (boiled, fried)
Meat (pork and beef – chops, stakes)
Butter (usually added in all meals and spread on bread)

Also popular: cabbage, milk, sour cream, curds, mushrooms, lard, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, berries, honey, sugar, salt, garlic, onions.
To cook, you will need vegetable oil, salt, and petter.

Traditional russian dishes:

1. Russian Borstch recipe
Ingredients : 3/1/2c. canned tomatoes , 5or6 med.size potatoes cut in halves ,1 large carrot cut fine, 1 small peeled beet , salt to taste , 1 small onion chopped, butter, 4c. shredded cabbage , 3/4c. sweet cream ,1/2c. fresh green pepper chopped , 2tbs. fresh or dried dill, 1 celery chopped fine , 2/1/2 qts. water, 1/1/2c. diced potatoes, black pepper .

Put water to boil in large kettle.Add 1/2 c. canned tomatoes. When water is boiling drop in 5 or 6 med. size potatoes,chopped carrot and the beet. While this is cooking add 3 tbs butter in frying pan. When melted add chopped onion,cook tender but do not brown. Add 3c. canned tomatoes and let simmer with onion and butter until a thick sauce. Set to back of stove.
Into a separate frying pan put 2-3 tbs. butter to melt. Add 2c. shredded cabbage and fry.Cook tender but do not brown.Shred another 2c. to add later to the borstch.
When potatoes are tender remove them to a bowl.Add 2tbs. butter, mash well,then add 3/4c. sweet cream and mix well and set aside.
Add 1/1/2c. diced potatoes to the stock and the remainder of the shredded cabbage. When diced potatoes are tender, add the onion-tomato- sauce, then add the cooked cabbage,and the potato-cream mixture. Add 3 tbs. butter to the borstch. Stir well.
Add fresh chopped fine green pepper. Add 3tbs fresh or dried dill. The more fresh dill the better the flavor..Remove beet, one hour later after borstch is ready.
Borstch is ready to serve.Serve hot.Serve with chopped garlic in your soup bowl and a fresh piece of bread and butter... Yummy, enjoy...

2. Potato vareniki recipe:
Ingredients : 2 pounds potatoes, cooked (save water from cooked potatoes) , 2 onions chopped , 1 stick margarine , Salt and pepper , 2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cook potatoes in simmering water until soft and put them through a potato ricer. Saute onion in margarine until very soft, add 1/2 of the onions to the potatoes and season with salt and pepper.
Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Add vegetable oil and enough water to make a soft dough and mix until the dough no longer sticks to the hands. Cover dough and let rest for about 15 minutes. Roll out dough on a floured board to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut dough into small squares and place a dollop of potato mixture in the center of each square. Fold dough, pinch ends to form a triangle. When all are made, put into boiling water and boil for about 10 minutes.
When all are cooked, drain and serve with the remaining sauteed onions on top.

3. Pelmeni recipe
Ingredients: 2 c flour, 1 c milk or water, 1/2 ts salt, 1 tb vegetable oil, 3 eggs, 250 g beef, 250 g pork, 1 onion, salt and pepper to taste.
1. Grind beef and pork twice in meat chopper. Then add chopped onion, salt, and pepper. To make mincemeat more tender and juicy, add a bit of milk. Reserve.
2. Mix flour with eggs and milk, salt and oil until a soft dough forms. Knead on floured surface until dough is elastic.
3. Take some dough and make a "sausage" (1 inch in diameter). Divide into pieces (1 inch thick). Roll each piece so that each is 1/16 inch thick.
4. Take a glass or a cup (2 inches in diameter) and make rounds with it's help on the dough. Fill each round with 1 teaspoon of the mincemeat, fold into half-moons.
5. Pinch edges together and connect the opposite sides. Pelmeni can be frozen to be cooked later ( you can keep them in the freezer for a long time), or cooked immediately.
6. To cook pelmeni, boil a large amount of water, as they can stick to each other. Salt water. Carefully drop pelmeni into boiling water. Don't forget to stir them from time to time. Boil for 20 minutes.
5. Served with butter, sour cream or vinegar, and ketchup.

4. Shashlik recipe
Ingredients : 3 lb Lamb, cut from leg , 2 sm Onion, finely-minced , 4 lg Garlic, cloves, fine-minced , 2 lg Shallot, minced , 2 tb Parsley, freshly-chopped , 2 1/2 c Pomegranate juice, unsweet, 4 tb Corn oil , 8 ds Cayenne pepper .
Trim away all fat from meat. Cut into 2" chunks. Place in small bowl together with onion, garlic, shallot, parsley, cayenne pepper and pomegranate juice. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove meat from marinade and pat dry. Skewer the meat, using four substantial skewers. Brush with oil. Broil under very high heat, turning often until done. Some prefer it slightly pink (12 minutes). Well done will take about 20 minutes. Remove from skewers and serve on a heated plate with Kasha. VARIATIONS: Include 2 green peppers cut into 12 chunks, 4 tomatoes cut into quarters, and 4 small, white onions, peeled and cut in half. Skewer alternate chunks of vegetable and meat chunks. Proceed according to recipe.

5. Salad Vinegret recipe
Ingredients : 2 ea average beets boiled, 4 ea potatoes boiled , 3 ea pickled cucumbers , 2 ea carrots boiled , 100 g green peas (optional), vegetable oil , mayonnaise (optional) , salt to taste.
Boil all vegetables. Let them cool down and then peel. Chop beets, potatoes, cucumbers, carrots, cucumbers. Add green peas, if you want. Season with vegetable oil or mayonnaise. Add salt to your taste. Served as an appetizer before main dish.

6. Salad Selyodka pod Shouboy (Dressed Herring) recipe
Ingredients : 2 ea thick salted herrings , 5 ea potatoes , 4 ea carrots , 4 ea beets , 5 ea eggs , 400 gr mayonnaise
Boil vegetables until they are ready ( you can boil vegetables in 1 pan). Boil eggs hard.
Peel skin from herrings, cut them along the spine. Take all bones away. Cut herring meat into very little pieces and always check for bones. Take a large dish. Put herring meat evenly on the bottom. If you like onion, you can put little pieces of onion on the herring. Then spread mayonnaise evenly (thin layer).Grind potatoes and make the next layer of it. Spread mayonnaise. Use a fork to plane the layers. Then goes carrot (grind, put, spread). Then you do the same with 4 eggs and beets. Spread mayonnaise on the beets and grind 1 egg on it to make the dish beautiful. This salad must look like a cake. Put the dish in the fridge for an hour.

7. Salad "Olivier" recipe
Ingredients : 5 potatoes , 3 carrots , 4 eggs, 1 pound boiled meat, 1/2 pound green peas, 2-3 dill pickles (you can use fresh cucumbers), salt to your taste, 1/2 pound mayonnaise
Boil potatoes and carrots in skin (it helps to keep vitamins), then cool them down and peel them. Boil eggs and boil meat. Chop potatoes, carrots, eggs, meat dill pickles into 1/2 inches squares. Add green peas and salt. Trust your own taste, everything must be in proportion. Stir mayonnaise only for the part of salad you are going to eat. It will be kept better without it. Mix the salad and refrigerate for a
while. If you want your salad a little tender, mix a part of mayonnaise with an equal part of sour cream. Bon appetit!