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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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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

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