Tag Archives: food photo

Butterweek and Russian Pancakes!

    What can be special in pancakes, you think? In this case, you have never tried real Russian pancakes with their special aroma and taste! 🙂

     Russian author Alexander Kuprin gave good characterization to pancakes:

“A pancake is round-shaped as the generous sun. A pancake is red and warm as the hot sun. A pancake greased with butter is a recollection of sacrifices, which were made for a mighty stone idols. A pancake is a symbol of the sun, nice days, good harvests, happy marriages and healthy children.”

Some ages ago, a man was accompanied by a pancake all their life. From birth, when pregnant woman was eaten pancakes, and until death, when pancakes were served during funeral repast (we still follow this tradition).

Nowadays, pancakes are essential treats for Butterweek (Rus.-Maslenica). It’s the spring festival, the week before Lent (The Great Fast) for Christians in Russia. During this week women bake pancakes every day(!), invite relatives and friends, and celebrate the spring.

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Lots of Russian authors mentioned pancakes in their work. A good example, “Eugene Onegin” by Alexander Pushkin:

  “Throughout their life, so calm, so peaceful,

  Sweet old tradition was preserved:

  For them, in Butterweek the greaseful,

  Russian pancakes were always served..”

Every day of Butterweek has a name and meaning.

Monday is “meeting”. The daughter-in-law visited her parents, then father and mother-in-law visited their house and their decided together how to celebrate. First-cooked pancakes were given to poor people in commemoration of deceased. In the evening, children went to slide from snow hills.

Today is “flirting”  🙂 Usually it was day for weddings. Just married couples and their guests went to slide from snow hills. In every house baked “hills” of pancakes. 🙂

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  Have a nice week! 😀

Russian cured salmon

 As I promised the recipe of classic Russian cured salmon. 🙂

We need around 400-500g salmon without skin, 2 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp sugar and 50ml vodka (the best quality you can afford).

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Combine salt and sugar in a small bowl, mix it with a spoon. 🙂

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Take any dish (usually I use a food container with lid), sprinkle half of the mixture on the bottom, place salmon fillet over it.

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Sprinkle the fish with the remaining mixture, and rub some into sides of the fish.

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!!! And above all – pour 50ml vodka over the salmon. It will help to cure the salmon.

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Put the lid or plastic wrap on the dish/container and refrigerate.

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Turn salmon 2 times a day (if you don’t have time-don’t worry, once a day will be enough also), until it’s cured throughout – about 2 days. After a day of curing you will see some liquid, don’t pour it out!

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Take the salmon out of the fridge after 2 days (it’ll be done even in 1 day). Now you can pour the liquid out. Wipe the salmon with paper towel. Slice it thinly.

Enjoy this marvelous Russian-style salmon with blini (thin crepes) and vodka. It’s also perfect on a piece of bread with a cup of tea. Great for breakfast or lunch. 🙂

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Oladushki – small Russian pancakes

Olad’i, oladushki – are small, thick, round pancakes prepared from batter and fried in a hot oil. 

Olad’i have always been much loved in Rus’ (Russia) and still remain popular in a menu of Russian cousine.

Prepared on kefir (sour milk or laban in Arab countires), a yeast-raised batter, with semolina, carrots, apples..

On one version, word “olad’i” came from the name of Slavic goddess of beauty and love – Lada.

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They are perfect for a weekend breakfast, served with your favorite toppings.

Yield: Serves 3

All ingredients should be at room temperature.

  • sour milk or kefir/buttermilk/laban, full fat, 300 ml
  • 1 egg
  • sugar 2 tbsp
  • salt 1/2 tsp
  • soda 1/2 tsp or baking powder 1 tsp
  • plain flour, around 150-200 ml 
  • sunflower oil, for frying

Preparation:

Whisk together the egg and sugar (with hand whisk). Add salt, sour milk, soda and blend until you have a smooth mixture. The batter should be like a thick sour cream, so to get the right thickness – better to use a full fat kefir (sour milk or buttermilk). If the mixture seems too thin, add some more flour.

Heat some sunflower oil in a skillet (frying pan), thus olad’i (pancakes) will be cooked fast and well browned.

For each pancake, spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the batter onto skillet. Cook until bubbly and a little dry around the edges. Turn and brown another side.

If you used too much oil-transfer pancakes to a paper towel to remove rests of fat ( or you can use non-stick skillet and fry without any oil).

 Usually oladushki (pancakes) are served with plenty of sour cream, honey or jam.

Or on a modern way – with chocolate sauce. Enjoy! 🙂

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Fish. Sea bream.

Hello my dear readers!

Today I will tell you something about fish 🙂 

  Rivers hold a special place in Russian history. Waterways have been major routes of trade, settlement and cooperation. Goods ferried by water between important trading regions which were located near rivers. As a result the fishing was one of the most important trades for the Slavs since ancient times.

   Russian cuisine is a famous with an incredible number and variety of fish dishes at all time. Uha with sterlet (fish soup), solyanka with sturgeon or pike (soup), fish balyks (curred fillet), various fish-pies, baked or fried fish in sour cream – were popular not only among tzar family (Imperial family) and merchants. Fish was on a table of common people as well, particular freshwater fish from rivers and lakes. A caviar was a treat also, either red or black. Festive days fall on a fasting days sometimes, when it isn’t allowed to eat meat and diary, and a fish is served as the main dish. 

  There were some typical methods to prepare fish: boiling (whole or sliced), steamed fish (usually whole), baked or fried fish fillets, stuffed, salted, jellied, even raw (“stroganina” –  in Western Siberia sliced frozen fish).

  Now-days fish isn’t well-liked as a main course. We still have rivers and a fish in it. But compare to a sea-fish, a freshwater fish has more bones, but inexpensive. Faves are salted salmon and red caviar.

    What about me, I like fish whether it’s salted, fried, steamed or in a soup.🙂

Well, I’ve got 2 fresh cleaned sea-bream.

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Rinse the fish in cold water. Pat dry with paper towel and rub both sides with salt (and rosemary optionally).

Preheat oven to 190°C (370°F).

Place the fish in a baking pan greased with some olive oil. Stuff fishes with the lemon slices and chopped fresh coriander (or parsley).

Make 2-4 gashes on the top sides and put in lemon slices. Squeeze the juice out of one lemon over the fishes.

Place the fish in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Garnish with broccoli and asparagus. Enjoy! 🙂

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Ingredients:

2 medium sea-bream

1.5 lemon

small bunch of fresh coriander (or parsley)

olive oil

some salt

Breakfast. Russian Salted Salmon.

   What homemade breakfast is enjoyable for you? For me it is a sandwich with homemade salted salmon. Thin slices of salmon on a piece of Russian rye bread. May be some butter, chopped dill.. No words! It sounds so delicious, so amazing! I’m already hungry! 😀
   You can also add a thin slice of lemon or lime. The citrus really comes through, but doesn’t overpower the delicate taste of cured salmon. Such breakfast would be a great start to the day for sure!
   Don’t forget to prepare a cup of fresh coffee or tea. Now you can enjoy the incredibly tasty breakfast!
     
   We do like a red fish in Russia!  But during Imperial times in Russia not only fish with red meat were called “red”. Sturgeon,  beluga (hausen) and sterlet were served for imperial dinners as “red fish”. List of red fishes was named not by the color of the meat or by the breed, but by excellent and tender taste, a certain size, and the prestige! It’s fishing was very difficult and sometimes dangerous. For example, beluga could weight up to 200-300 kg and could easily sinks the fishing boat. In 1827 beluga was fished with weight around 1500 kg!!! Siberian sturgeon got the title “The king fish” for it’s strength and size. So such dainty fishes been expensive, not everybody could buy it. Only for imperial family, noblemen and gourmets. Fishes with red meat (salmon) were more ordinary and often were made salty for long storage.
   Popular and widely-sold types of red fish in Russian are chum salmon and pink or hunchback salmon (they’re not very expensive), salmon and  trout are more expensive species but definitely more tastier fishes. Nowadays, it’s possible to buy already salted salmon in supermarkets but many Russian women prefer to buy a whole fish (often it’s sold frozen) and cure it themselves. The weather in Russian is cold most of the time, so fish’s head, tail and fins go well into soups and chowders, such comforting and nourishing meal can easily warms you up.
 Cured salmon can be eaten as is, or on a slice of your favourite bread. It is a delicious appetizer, which accompanies vodka and other strong drinks. More pure vodka – more salmon should be eaten, it helps to reduce an alcoholic intoxication.
  I’m sure your guests would be glad to taste Russian salted salmon and interested in the recipe. Shall we keep it in a secret? Can’t say for you, but I’ll show you how to prepare it soon (you can find the recipe by clicking here).
  Stay healthy!