Tag Archives: festive cooking

Herring under a fur coat or Russian Shuba Salad

¬†It sounds funny and may be a little weird, but that’s how we called a very popular salad in Russia. Exactly under a fur coat, not in. ūüôā I can’t imagine Russian New Year celebration without this salad.¬†Another nickname or short name of the salad is ‘shuba’, that means fur coat in Russian.
The main¬†ingredients¬†are beets, potatoes and lightly salted herring; the salad is composed of vegetable¬†layers¬†coated with mayonnaise. Nowadays, ‘shuba’ has undergone a number of changes, one add hard-boiled¬†eggs, another omit onions or add ¬†an apple. But the one thing is still constant – the salad is incredibly favoured and beloved by many Russians!
Shuba Salad
¬†A legend says that such salad was created by¬†a merchant Anastas Bogomilov, who was an owner of the popular tavern and¬†restaurant¬†chain in Moscow at the¬†beginning¬†of the 20th¬†century. It was a time of The Civil War and Revolution in Russia, and taverns’ visitors discussed the¬†Russian future with patriotic fervour, so they became¬†furious and began to fight. And of course, they broke some¬†furniture¬†and smashed plates during their drunken brawls. To avoid it, a merchant devised a stratagem – to make a well-nourishing zakuska (a starter) and a symbol of the public union in one dish. Thus, one of his cooks –¬†Aristarkh Prokopcev prepared and served¬†a new salad ‘shuba’ at the New 1918 Year eve, where red color of beetroots symbolized the red flag, and potatoes were the food of workers and peasants. Shuba¬†was an abbreviation, first letters of a slogan; Sh for¬†Chauvinism, U for¬†Decay, B for¬†Boycott, A for¬†Anathema.¬†Visitors and guests liked this salad and began to order it often. As the salad were fatty, guests¬†couldn’t¬†got drunk very fast, thus scuffles happened rarely and¬†furniture¬†was left untouched.
 Long after, people forgot the origins of the salad, but it became an integral part of the festive new year table.
Russian layered salad - Shuba
Here is my version of the ‘herring under a fur coat’. For the dressing, I usually use only sour cream (it’s healthier), but you can substitute it with¬†mayonnaise, or make it 50/50. Also I add an grated apple – the salad gets freshness, but for someone an apple is unnecessary here. The choice is up to you.

Herring under a fur coat or Russian Shuba Salad

  • Servings: 5-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
200-300g herring fillet, lightly salted
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 large potatoes, skin on and boiled
2 large beetroot, skin on, boiled or roasted
1 medium carrot, skin on and boiled
1-2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped or grated, optional
1 juicy and sour apple (granny smith is great), coarsely grated, optional
Dressing
100-150ml (15-20% fat) sour cream, or as much as you like
2-3 Tbsp mayonnaise, optional
1 tsp dijon mustard, optional
salt, pepper to taste
Garnish
dill, parsley or chives, optional
Preparation method
  1. For the dressing, mix all ingredients and season to taste, or use only sour cream. You can spread the dressing with a tablespoon, or use a piping bag.
  2. Cover chopped onion with hot water and soak for 5-10 minutes, it helps to remove the bitterness. Then drain water.
  3. Drain any liquid from herring. Cut herring fillet into small cubes. Make the first layer – arrange herring on a serving plate. Spread onion on herring.
  4. Peel vegetables and coarsely grate or finely chop.
  5. Arrange a layer of potatoes. Cover with dressing. Also you can make potatoes the very first layer, if desired.
  6. Spread eggs, if using, and lightly cover with dressing. Also you can top finished salad with eggs.
  7. Arrange a layer of carrot. Cover with dressing.
  8. Arrange a layer of apple. Lightly cover with dressing.
  9. Finish with a layer of beet. You can only top with grated beetroot, or complitely cover the salad. Spread evenly some dressing.
  10. Garnish with chopped dill or chives, if desired.

The salad becomes much better if you refrigerate it overnight (cover the salad with a foil) or for a few hours.

Enjoy!
Herring under a fur coat
I’m linking this wonderful, tasty and festive salad to Fiesta Friday.

Winter cake with red berries

Red berries and cheese make this cake a frequent guest on my table during the winter. ūüėÄ It looks gorgeous and tastes delicious! Perfect for holiday season!

Redberry_pie

INGREDIENTS

100g butter, very soft at room temperature

150g Philadelphia cheese or smooth cottage cheese

120-140g sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

130g self-raising flour (or plain flour+ 1tsp baking powder)

2tsp mandarin or orange zest

1tsp lemon zest

200g mix of cranberries, redcurrents and raspberries, fresh or frozen (no need to defreeze)

50-70g flaked almonds

Redberry_pie-3

METHOD

Beat the cheese, butter and sugar together.

Add eggs to the batter mixture, one at a time, beating rapidly.

Stir in mandarin&lemon zests.

Sift the flour and mix to combine.

Finally, carefully stir the berries into the batter.

Sprinkle the cake with flaked almonds or your favorite nuts.

Bake in preheated oven 180C/360F during 35-40 minutes.

Bon appetit!

Redberry_pie-2

Adapted from this source.

The little tiny Holiday cookies

Christmas and New Year are definitely my favourite holidays. Hustle and bustle time. Snowing outside, everybody is in rush, searching presents and gifts for the loved ones. Unfortunately in the UAE I can’t feel such wonderful emotions in full, but I can bring the festive mood and flavours to my home by baking some winter treats.

¬†These little cookies are so rich in chocolate, that could give little more warmth for the family tea-time. Adding some spices-cloves, cinnamon or cardamom and a small hazelnut or pistachio inside is also great! ūüėČ

And if you pack them in a little Xmas box ‚Äď it might be amazing gift for a friend.

I’m pretty sure that better to double the amount of the ingredients, so you don’t need to cook it twice! Cookies-2

Ingredients:

1 egg

50g/2 Tbsps sugar

60g dark chocolate (60-70% cacao)

100g/4-5 tbsp flour

1 Tbsp butter

Icing sugar ‚Äď to cover the cookies

Method

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a bowl under the simmering water, gently stir.

Whisk the egg and sugar together in another bowl until light and fluffy.

Carefully fold in the chocolate mixture, then add the flour and combine.

Scoop the cookie batter with a teaspoon, shape small balls and roll them in plate with icing sugar.

Place on a baking tray and bake for 9-10 minutes in a preheated oven 180C/360F.

Enjoy the holiday! ūüėÄ

Cookies-1