Russian Cabbage stew with mushrooms

What is y our comfort winter food? Is it roasting chicken or meaty stew? Or maybe you are making lots of sweet pies during cold days? Everyone has their own preferences and favorite dishes that warm you up when outside is cold, and undoubtedly, such food should be warm, aromatic and delicious.

 For me, one of such winter dishes is stewed cabbage. The recipe is very simple, easy to cook and affordable. White cabbage is not expensive, and nowadays available all year round. As I already mentioned the recipe is really simple but takes time and patience to prepare, you have to stir cabbage regular so its color will be nicely dark but not burned. I used dry mushrooms along with fresh, as they add amazing flavor and uniquw taste to the whole dish; if it’s the right season and you are like to get fresh wild mushrooms – use it (like chanterelle or little honey mushrooms, or fresh porcini). It is a perfect vegetarian dish. If desired extra protein – serve the cabbage with roasted chicken or sausages. 

Russian Cabbage stew with mushrooms

What You’ll Need:

30g dry porcini mushrooms

300g brown mushrooms, sliced 

1 large brown onion, sliced or chopped

2 large carrots, grated 

1kg white cabbage, shredded

100ml tomato sauce or 2 tbsp tomato paste

2 bay leaves

1 tsp whole coriander seeds

150-200ml hot water

sea salt to taste

For garnish: fresh chopped dill, parsley, spring onions

How to Make It:

In a medium bowl cover dry mushrooms with hot boiled water. Leave for 30 minutes, drain, wash, chop and leave aside until needed.

In a large pan, heat oil and butter, add fresh mushrooms. Fry on a medium heat for 10 minutes or until liquid from mushrooms is evaporated (if will be any). Season a little bit and transfer to a bowl until needed. 

In the same large pan, add a tablespoon of oil if needed, onion and carrots. Fry on a medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add half of the shredded cabbage. Stir and sauté for 5 minutes more. Add the rest cabbage, tomato sauce or paste, spices, stir well and sauté on the medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring even now and then. At this step if the cabbage begins brown too much, add a little bit of water, stir and continue to sauté. 

Add again a little bit water if needed, stir, cover with the lid and stew for 20-30 minutes more, stirring every now and then. 

When the cabbage is almost ready, add fresh and dry mushrooms. Cover and stew for 10 minutes more. Adjust the salt.

Sprinkle with fresh herbs if desired. Serve warm with a slice of rye bread. 

Can be eaten alone or with some roasted chicken, grilled sausages. Enjoy!


Monastery beetroot salad with coriander seeds

 Hello guys! How is your foodie-blogo-life going on?
I’ve wanted to post this recipe for so long that almost forgot about it. When I was a student I didn’t want to spend much time cooking, so the food was usually prepared well ahead of time, and then reheat, or simple dishes were all the time favorite, like boiled potatoes served with homemade pickles or macaroni a la flot, or famous salad vinegret was cooked pretty often. So, the recipe of this salad I read in one tiny little book with few recipes suitable for the Lent diet, when you’re not allowed to eat meat and dairy products; and I liked it from the first spoon (even though first time I didn’t use neither honey or coriander seeds) and since then I prepare it. I highly suggest not to omit coriander seeds, as they give so much flavor, and the simple beetroot salad turns into something special. And I love the idea that this bright salad can be made all year round and served whether as a starter or a healthy main dish (add some roast fish steaks on a side for the more nourishing meal).

MonasteryBeetroot Salad

Monastery beetroot salad with coriander seeds

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: very easy
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You’ll need 
450-500g beetroot
2 medium brown onions
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1.5 tbsp whole coriander seeds, crushed
150g prunes, without stones
100g walnuts, raw or dry-roasted
2 tsp runny honey
some chopped parsley or dill, for garnish, optional
How to make it
  1. Boil or roast beetroots until ready to eat. Peel, cut into cubes or wedges.
  2. Saute onions in oil until translucent, add coriander seeds and fry for 1 minute more.
  3. Chop prunes and walnuts, combine with honey. Mix into beetroot.
  4. Drizzle with extra oil and honey, if desired. Sprinkle with some more coriander seeds and (optionally) with fresh chopped parsley or coriander.
Enjoy!
MonasteryBeetroot Salad with coriander seeds

 

Russian Easter Cake (Kulich)

 Every year on Easter I’m coloring eggs and making kulichi. I love foodie traditions! 😀
 Kulich is a traditional sweet bread that is usually baked in a tall cylindrical shape tins (similar to Italian panettone); kulichi are made from brioche dough with dried fruits or nuts added, and decorated with snow-white icing or it might be not topped at all.
 During the Eater holiday in Russia people visit their relatives and friends and give each other colored eggs, various sweets and kulichi. One of the most amazing things about kulich that it stays fresh and soft pretty long: I  suggest to make the double quantity of the dough and bake small-size kulichi, so you can take a couple pieces with you when visiting a friend. What can be better than such a nice, sweet and home-made gift, right? 🙂
Easter eggs&kulich-2
 This time I decided to add a touch of luxury to the kulich’s dough, so I added lots of aromatic spices (vanilla, cardamom, saffron), and used double fat milk and more egg yolks (compare to my regular recipe) to make the dough richer. Of course preparing the dough and making kulichi is a time consuming process but its absolutely worth it! The result is beautiful, flavorful and soft kulich!
 Don’t forget to sprinkle the cake with colorful edible beads for the final touch!
Easter kulich
Paskha is another traditional Easter dessert, where the main ingredient is tvorog (the farmer cheese). I absolutely love it and I wish I could it more often then once a year. 😀 Click here to get the recipe.
 Easter eggs-1

Russian Easter Cake (Kulich)

  • Servings: 1x15cm kulich
  • Difficulty: moderate
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For one 15cm round tin.
 
I used large eggs. Egg for the glazing need to be very fresh.
The dough should be soft, but if needed add more flour.

Ingredients

370g plain flour

6g yeast
small pinch of salt
150ml double cream milk, warm
4 egg yolks + 1 egg yolk (for brushing)
80g white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3 cardamom, crushed (use only seeds)
a pinch of saffron
75g butter, very soft but not melted
120g mixture of golden&dark raisins and dry fruits (orange, strawberry)
50-70g roasted silvered almonds, optional
Icing
1 egg white
150-160g icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
Preparation method
  1. In a large mixing bowl, sift 100g of flour, add salt, yeast, warm milk and stir to combine. Cover with a wet kitchen towel and let it rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk egg yolks, vanilla and sugar with hand or electric mixer for 2-3 minutes until pale. Add egg mixture and butter to the dough, mix to combine. Sift the remaining flour, add spices and mix just to combine.
  3. Transfer the dough to the working surface and knead to combine.
  4. Return the dough to the large bowl, cover again with wet kitchen towel and let it rise for 30-40 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, wash raisins, blot it up with paper towel. Sprinkle all dry fruits with a teaspoon of flour, it allows them to be evenly distributed throughout the dough. Mix fruits and nuts into the dough. Cover the dough with wet kitchen towel and let it rise for 60 minutes.
  6. Line the baking pan with baking paper, grease with butter. The dough should occupy 2/3 of the volume. Cover and let it rise for 20-30 minutes.
  7. Brush the kulich with egg yolk mixed with a spoon of water.
  8. Bake in preheated 100C oven for 10 minutes, then increase the heat to 180C and bake for 30 minutes or until the toothpick inserted into it gets back dry. If the top become too golden – cover kulich with a piece of foil or baking pepper.
  9. Take out of the oven, let it completely cool.
  10. For the icing, whisk egg white with few tablespoons of sugar and lemon juice until well combined. Or beat it with an electric mixer on a low speed. Gradually add more sugar and whisk again. Keep adding sugar until you gets the desired consistency (not too liquid).
  11. Spread the icing on top of each kulich with a tablespoon. Let it dry.

Enjoy!

Cover kulich in the foil or plastic wrap and keep in the fridge up to 3-4 days.
Easter eggs&kulich-1

Blini spiral pie

 Maslenitsa or Butterweek is going on in Russia right now. It’s a winter festival, saying goodbye to the cold winter days and greeting the warm and sunny spring. During this week people prepare and eat lots of blini. For breakfast blini can be served simple and quick with melted butter and sugar or some homemade jam, for lunch – again blini, and for the dinner, especially when the whole family is getting together, is really nice and festive to serve the delicious salmon pie or this one – soft, aromatic and nourishing spiral meat pie.
 Blini and the filling can be prepared a couple of days ahead, so you can assemble the pie whenever  you have the time or just before the dinner. Succulent stewed cabbage, tasty beef and aromatic dill along with coriander and parsley make the filling truly wonderful! Moreover, blini will be soaked in a mixture of sour cream and eggs, that adds extra moisture and taste.
blin_pie-2
 Maslenitsa is a very kind and light time, each day has a special meaning according to old tradition. For example, Wednesday is called “Gourmand”. On this day huge tables and stalls were settled on main squares, where people could drink hot honey-based sbiten and aromatic tea, enjoyed gingerbreads, fresh buns and some other sweet treats, and definitely taste the unlimited blini! But the main event was the visit of son-in-law his mother-in-law, and the mother tried to prepare the best blini she could to show respect and love to her daughter’ husband.
 On Friday, the mother-in-law returned the visit, then her daughter made pancakes and the son-in-law had to please the mother and her other relatives.
blin_pie-1

Blini spiral pie

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderate
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The quantity of the ingredients is given approximately, as it totally depends on the taste, quantity of blini, etc. 
*For the pouring mixture, you can use either sour cream or double cream; even milk will work, just reduce the quantity.
Ingredients
~8 blini
Filling
250g mince beef
250-300g raw white cabbage
1 medium red onion
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
dried herbs: dill, crushed whole coriander, marjoram
salt&pepper to taste
some oil for frying
2-3 tbsp sour cream (15-20%)
100ml double cream (30-35%)*
2 eggs
Garnish
sour cream
Method
  • Make blini. The recipe is here.
  • Heat some oil in one frying pan, add chopped onion and beef, season with marjoram and salt and pepper. Fry on a high heat for few minutes, breaking up the lumps with spatula. Reduce the heat to medium and fry for 10-15 minutes more. Then add some warm water, if the meat is too dry, cover with the lid and simmer until tender or while you’re preparing the cabbage.
  • In another pan, heat the oil and shredded cabbage, fry on a medium-high heat, stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary, allow cabbage to brown but not to burn. Fry until cabbage is brown, then sprinkle with dill and coriander, season, cover with a lid and cook until the cabbage is soft.
  • To assemble, you need any round baking dish, covered with baking paper and drizzled with oil. Mix meat with cabbage and fresh parsley. Take one blin and put one-two tablespoons of the filling into it, roll. Make as much as fits to the baking dish.
  • Mix creams with eggs and pour over the blini pie.
  • Bake in preheated 190C oven for 30 minutes.
  • Serve warm with  a dollop of sour cream.
Enjoy! 

Russian Beetroot Caviar

 This bright beetroot dip doesn’t contain salmon or any other fish raw. In my home-country vegetable spreads and dips that are mushed into a non-smooth consistency are often called caviar. In USSR fish caviar was an expensive product and most of the time was served over special occasions, but people have always wanted something tasty not only during holidays or weekend; and such vegetables as an eggplants, marrows and beetroots were cheap and available almost throughout the year, thus I guess economical version of the “caviar” was created.

russian-beetroot-caviar

 The recipe I found in a book dated 1990, it calls to boil beetroot, fry onions and press through the  meat-grinder machine along with other ingredients. Easy-peasy. It turned out so tasty, that i have already made it few times in a row! Moreover, it was a hit at the home-party, especially when I served this dip nicely decorated with little festive crackers; needless to say, guests asked for the recipe!
 The original Russian recipe calls for the salted pickled cucumbers, which are usually watery and personally I don’t like its taste, so I used regular crunchy pickled cucumbers and the beetroot dip was absolutely amazing and delicious! I prefer slightly coarse a caviar-like texture, so I don’t blend ingredients too much, but if you wish – just blitz it more to get the smooth dip. Enjoy!

Russian Beetroot Caviar

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients 
400g/2 medium-size beetroots
2 tps olive or sunflower oil, for frying
1/2 large brown onion
~100g pickled cucumbers
2 cloves of garlic
Salt&Pepper, to taste
Method 
  1. Boil beetroots until soft. Cool, clean and chop.
  2. Chop the onion and fry in a oil until soft and golden, about 5 minutes.
  3. Finely chop cucumbers. Also finely chop or mush garlic.
  4. Blitz all ingredients in a food processor until desired consistency.
  5. Check the seasoning. Serve with rye bread or crackers.
Enjoy!