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Russian cold soup-Sveckolnik

    Sveckolnik [sve’koljnik] – Russian summer cold soup, which goes really well during the summer heat. The name comes from the word “sveckla”, which denotes beetroot.
   When AC and even hundreds of ice cream don’t help you against hot, this light soup refreshes and cools you. 
  The main ingredient is a raw beetroot, it’s high in vitamins, minerals and fiber that can effect the digestive system in a positive ways.
Raw beets are one of the top vegetables for nutritious raw eating, according to Bastyr University.
   You can include this light soup in your balanced diet and it takes only few minutes to prepare it.
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Ingredients:
beetroot – 2 small
cucumbers – 3-4
eggs – 1-2 per plate
a bunch of spring onion
a small bunch of dill
1 garlic clove
buttermilk 400 ml
water 200 ml
salt, sugar to taste
sour cream (optional)

Better to choose small young beets. And you can substitute raw beets with boiled, if you like.

Shred beets and cucumbers, put them in a deep plate.
Boil eggs for 10 minutes, let cool and cut them into chunks.
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Slice green onions, put it in a cup and add some salt. With teaspoon begin to grind the salt into onions.
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Add crushed garlic and mix.
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Combine together beets, cucumbers, eggs, onions and dill. Add a pinch of sugar.
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For the liquid part buttermilk is mixed with cold drinking water, the volume and thickness of it totally depends on your taste.
 If you can find “salted lassi”  (yougurt drink)-use it, no need to dilute with water; in Arabian countries it’s called “laban up”, in Russia – “tan”, “sivorotka” .

Pour the buttermilk over dry ingredients and mix well. Sprinkle some dill.

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  Enjoy! 🙂
You can serve it with a dollop of sour cream and rye bread.

Layered salad with chicken and prunes

In Russia you can find large variety of salads, especially with mayonnaise dressing. Such salads are little bit heavy and could nourish you easy, especially during winter time.

Despite the fact that they’re tasty, better to cut down mayo dressings and replace it with sour cream or yogurt.

The below wonderful salad could be served not only for a family dinner, but for any festive occasion. It consists of simple ingredients, tastes good and deserves to be in your cooking book 🙂

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Ingredients

  • 2 medium chicken fillet
  • 12 prunes (dried plums)
  • 200 g mushrooms (champignons)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Dressing

  • 150 g sour cream
  • 1 tsp plain mustard
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt, pepper

Put the prunes in a cup and cover with hot water, let stand for 30 minutes. Remove stones and cut prunes into pieces.

Boil the chicken, let cool, then cut it into small cubes.

Boil the eggs for 10 minutes. Shred the cucumbers and cooled eggs.

Cut the onion and mushrooms, fry together with 1 tbsp olive oil until golden-brown; set to cool.

Mix ingredients for the dressing.

 Layers

  1. Prunes
  2. Chicken fillets
  3. Spread 1/2 dressing
  4. Mushrooms with onion
  5. Spread 1/4 dressing
  6. Eggs
  7. Spread the remaining 1/4 dressing over eggs
  8. Cucumber

Done! Let the salad stand for 1 hour and you can enjoy! 🙂

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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! 😀

Kournik – Russian chicken pie

Hello, dear foodies!

In Russia we really do like pies, to bake and to eat! 🙂 And I’m not an exception. 🙂

Kournik – the festive pie which used to bake for weddings. It was shaped like a dome, interlaid with thin pancakes and stuffed with various fillings: boiled chicken, fried mushrooms, rice, eggs and etc. Nowdays, preparing of the pie is left for weekends. But there is the simplified version of it, which Russian women cook during working-days. 

 Hope this simple and tasty pie can turn into a family favorite!

So, we need

For pastry:

260-300 gr plain flour

150 gr sour cream

150 gr butter

1 egg

pinch of salt

Kournik-1For filling:

2 chicken breasts

2-3 potatoes

1 onion (big one)

a few small cubes of butter

1 egg for brushing

salt and pepper

Mix the flour, pinch of salt, soft butter, sour cream and egg together in a bowl. Then you need to work on a surface – mix together to form a soft pastry.

Shape the pastry into a ball and cover with a towel. Meanwhile, cut the chicken and onion into cubes and grate potatoes.

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Divide the dough into 2 parts, one should be smaller- will be the lid (upper part) for our pie.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry until it’s roughly the size of the pie dish.

Spread the potatoes in an even layer, season with salt and pepper

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then the chicken with onions, season with salt and pepper

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Then put small cubes of butter over filling (for juiciness).

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Roll the remaining pastry out – to cover the pie.  Pinch the edges to seal.

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Make a small hole in the center of the pie (use your forefinger) and be imaginative-decorate 🙂

Kournik-11Brush all over with beaten egg and bake in the oven for 1 hour (190-200°C or 380-400°F), until golden.

Kournik-12Serve with hot tea or cold milk. Enjoy! 🙂Kournik-13

*I used 28cm baking dish;

**Were used 3 chicken breasts and 2 potatoes;

***And don’t throw pastry’s leftovers! Make a small pie, using leftovers of the pastry and potatoes!

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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