Russian Food

Easy soup recipes

Soup seemed to be a staple of our diet when I was growing up, and I still love eating soup. I put some of my favorite (easy!) recipes together in a book, and the e-book is free for the next couple of days. If you download it and try the some of the recipes, let me know which ones you liked. I hope you enjoy it!
Download Russian soup recipes here
soup

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Categories: Russia, Russian culture, Russian Food, Soup | 2 Comments

Russian Dark Rye Bread Recipe

bread

I love Russian dark rye bread, especially Borodinsky bread, but it’s hard to find in Arizona. So, after many trials and errors (probably more errors than trials), I came up with a recipe that’s very easy and tastes very much like Russian rye bread. I have a Breadman breadmaker that requires liquid ingredients first, then the solid ones. The order is important, so if you have a breadmaker, make sure to follow instructions for the order of ingredients. If you don’t have a breadmaker, then I have no idea what to do…

So, here’s the recipe:

Put 3 tablespoons of dry malt powder in a cup, add 100 ml of hot water, mix it well, let it cool a bit, then put it in the breadmaker.

I use Diastatic Barley Malt powder from Hoosier Hill Farm that I buy on amazon.com

Add in order:

200 ml of very warm/almost hot water

2 tablespoons of sunflower/vegetable oil

2.5 tablespoons of molasses

2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 tablespoon of sugar

1 teaspoon of coriander powder

2 teaspoons of coriander seeds (you can use ground coriander, too. I use one teaspoon of ground coriander and another teaspoon of whole seeds, mashed slightly)

1 teaspoon of caraway seeds

2 cups of rye flour

1 cup of white flour

2 teaspoons of dry yeast

I use whole wheat setting, and the whole process takes 3.5 hours, then I let the bread cool in the breadmaker so it’s not as squishy. That’s it!

The taste is very similar to Russian Borodinsky bread, but the process is much simplified, kind of like real champagne vs. sparkling wine.

If you try making it, let me know how it turns out!

Categories: Borodinsky bread, dark rye bread, Russia, Russian bread, Russian dark rye bread, Russian Food, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Vinegret: A Russian Beet and Vegetable Salad

vinegret

In nineteenth century, a famous French chef Marie-Antoine Careme was employed by the Russian czar Alexander I. One day, he was observing the work of Russian cooks who were making a salad that he was not familiar with. Noticing that the cooks were using a vinegar-based dressing, Careme pointed to it and asked in French, “Vinaigre?”

The Russian cooks who did not know French, thought that the famous chef was referring to the name of the salad and started nodding and repeating, “Vinegret, vinegret.”

Thus, a new dish was born in the czar’s kitchen. Later, the dish was adopted by the common people. There are many different variations on this salad, but I will post just one recipe that is considered a classic Russian vinegret.

Ingredients:

Hard-boiled eggs

Cooked vegetables (to preserve the taste, boil first, then peel): beets, carrots. potatoes

Pickles

Sauerkraut

Onion (white, red, or scallions)

How much of each? Start with about equal amounts, then experiment to see what combination you like best.

Dressing:

Vinegar and vegetable oil (in equal parts), salt, and black pepper

Dice everything, mix with dressing, and enjoy!

 

Categories: Russian Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Tomato and Apple Salad

Here’s another easy summer salad that you and your kids might like (minus the onion for the kids, probably).

Salad Ingredients:

6 tomatoes

2 apples (I prefer green, but any apples would work well)

2 hard-boiled eggs

1 onion

 

Dressing:

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

salt and pepper

 

Directions: Thinly slice salad ingredients, toss with the dressing, and enjoy!

Categories: Russian Food | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cool as a Cucumber: An Easy Russian Salad

Coat of arms of the Union of Soviet Socialist ...

Summer is a great time for salads. Any salads, but especially the lighter ones, with green vegetables and light oil dressings. So, I’d like to share with you some recipes for Russian summer salads. And they are different from American green salads. How? Most American green salads involve a lot of leaves: spring greens, spinach, or some type of lettuce. And that’s great. But sometimes, as you reach into the mysterious depths of your fridge, you can’t find any of those leaves, or maybe you just want a change.

So, try this one:

Salad Ingredients:

2 medium cucumbers
2-3 medium tomatoes
1 onion (I prefer red)

Dressing:

1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
(sunflower oil is traditionally used in many Russian salads, but you can be a rebel and use something else!))
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
1 garlic clove (finely shredded)
(a lot of Russian recipes tend to use garlic: perhaps, it’s because it was one of the few readily available spices in the Soviet Union, or maybe, it’s because of the proximity to Transylvania and all its vampires…)
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 tablespoon of horseradish (okay, okay, it’s optional!)

Directions:

Thinly slice tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. Add the dressing. Mix and enjoy!

Categories: Russian Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Garlic Eggplant with Soy Sauce and Honey

Aubergines from http://www.usda.gov/oc/photo/9...

Eggplants have always fascinated me. The first encounter with an eggplant I remember was in kindergarten. We were supposed to make a collage out of vegetable shapes that the teacher gave us. I got some pictures of carrots, potatoes, tomatoes — all on thin paper, nothing unusual. And then… the teacher gave me a thick velvety shape. It was dark purple; it felt soft to the touch; and it glistened in the light. That was a picture of an eggplant. At home, I begged my mom to make something out of eggplants. She did, but I felt disappointment. It tasted a little bitter and too strong for my kindergarten palate. It was nothing magical, nothing like that thick velvety shape I got in school. As I got older, I never really liked eggplants, but I always felt compelled to buy them and experiment. Why? Mr. Freud would have some answers for it, I’m sure. My answer is a simple and delicious recipe below. Finally, the eggplant lived up to that first impression it made on me many years ago. Thick, velvety, mysterious, and yummy. I hope you enjoy it, too!

 

Ingredients

2-3 medium eggplants

6-8 garlic cloves (adjust to taste, of course. For me, more is always better.)

2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce

1-2 tablespoons of honey

some butter for sautéing

fresh cilantro, dill, or parsley to garnish

 

Steps

1. Peel garlic cloves, thinly slice them, and saute them in a pan with butter.

2. Wash and cut eggplants into thin slices. Their shape doesn’t matter. Just make them thin so they cook faster.

3. Add honey and soy sauce. Mix and cook until eggplant is soft. Add butter and/or a little water if the pan gets too dry. Be careful when adding water to a hot pan to avoid burning yourself if the water heats up too quickly. Just add a little at a time.

4. When the eggplant is soft, remove from heat, put in a serving dish, and sprinkle some fresh cilantro, dill, or parsley on top.

5. Enjoy!

Categories: Russian Food | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

Olivier Salad for a Russian New Year’s Eve

English: Russian Olivier salad

This salad is named after Lucien Olivier, a famous Belgian chef who worked in a fancy Moscow restaurant in 1860’s. Olivier’s original recipe was never disclosed, but everybody knew the main ingredients of the beloved salad and added others according to their own taste and availability of certain types of food, so many versions of this salad exist. Here’s one. Feel free to experiment!

 

Ingredients:

2 boiled potatoes (boil first, then peel)
1 medium carrot (boiled)
2 hard-boiled eggs
1 can of green peas
1 grated apple
1 bunch of green onions
1 pickle (and/or half a cup of sauerkraut)
1 medium cucumber (peeled if tough skin)
salt
mayo (you can mix mayo and yogurt or mayo and sour cream for a milder taste)

 

Steps:

The key to this salad is to chop everything in really small pieces. The salad tastes better when everything is chopped small (green peas are small, right? — use their size as a guideline).

To see more Russian recipes, click here.

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Avocado: A Russian Story

Deutsch: Matjes, frisch aus dem Fass, Hamburg

When avocados first appeared in Russian stores, most people had no idea what to do with this exotic and weird… fruit? or vegetable? Nobody had a clue. But lack of knowledge did not stop people from experimenting. Avocados were boiled, fried, baked and put into soups. Well, you can imagine the results (or maybe  you shouldn’t!).  Avocados were interesting, but tasted too bland and too fatty (for a vegetable) to a typical Russian palate.

 

So, somebody came up with the following radical recipe:

 

Ingredients:

 

1 avocado

3-4 hard-boiled eggs

1 medium yellow onion

6-8 slices of pickled herring

mayonnaise

 

Directions:

Chop everything and mix. The key here is what kind of herring you get — pickled is the best one. Don’t get any kind of herring that tastes sweet (no herring in wine sauce, etc.). Try it if you dare!

For more Russian recipes and Russian stories, click here.

Categories: Russian Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Easy Russian Recipes are Now Easy to Find

Skeletal handsScary, isn’t it? But not as scary as finding the right recipes on my blog has been recently. Now the good news.

Click here to find the list of all my recipes from this blog.

 

As for the scary stuff, I’ll save it for my books!!

Categories: Russian Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Russian Borsht (Red Beet Soup)

 

Borsht

Borsht

 

Ingredients:

 

2 medium beets

 

2 medium carrots

 

1-2 tomatoes

 

1-2 potatoes (optional)

 

1/4 head of cabbage

 

1 onion

 

2 tablespoons of tomato paste (or more — experiment and see what you like)

 

Butter for sauteeing

 

Broth (chicken, beef, or vegetable) or soup base

 

Salt and pepper

 

Dill, cilantro, or other herbs you like

 

Steps:

 

1) Peel and grate beets and carrots.

 

2) Peel and thinly slice onion.

 

3) In a medium saucepan, saute beets, carrots, and onion until soft. Add tomato paste. Instead of tomato paste, you can use ketchup and/or tomato/pasta sauce. Different combinations will create different results, so experiment and see what you like.

 

4) Fill the pot with broth (or water + soup base)

 

5) Add chopped cabbage, thinly sliced tomatoes, and diced potatoes. Potatoes are optional.

 

6) Add salt, pepper, and dried herbs (if you’re using dried herbs).

 

7) Cook on low heat until cabbage and potatoes become soft.

 

8) Serve with fresh dill or cilantro. Some people like to eat borsht with a dollop of sour-cream (or plain yogurt).

 

Categories: Russian Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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