Tag Archives: Russian tradition

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.

Pokhlyobka – The Old Russian Pottage

 Pokhlyobka is a kind of thick Russian soup made by adding flour, grains, potatoes or other vegetables. It is similar to the Britain Pottage.
¬†Long time ago, it was a main meal among poor strata of Russian society. Most of the time, villagers and peasant farmers cooked and ate¬†vegetarian¬†pottage, because such expensive ingredients like meat or fish were not affordable for them. It’s worth mentioning that meat was eaten once or twice a year; more¬†luckily¬†were farmers, who had lived near rivers and could¬†caught¬†a fish¬†throughout¬†the year.¬†The dish was easy to prepare, and¬†people¬†could use the remains of the yesterday meal – chunks of boiled potatoes or cabbage, then add extra millet or buckwheat. The rich part also ate pokhlyobka, but it was significantly better and besides potatoes, contained the meat of duck, hazel-hens, and etc.
Pokhlyobka
¬†My recipe of Russian pottage is also without meat..¬†Definitely, a good piece of fatty pork or beef could makes the pokhlyobka especially rich, so if you’re not a vegetarian you may add it.¬†But I suggest you to try the non-meat option, which is infused with aromatic spices, and delicious¬†pumpkin and thick sour cream make the soup absolutely irresistible!
‘Acoulina cooked absolutely¬†delicious¬†koulebyaks, various pokhlyobki..kvas..soaked apples..’ from the Russian novel ‘Whites, blacks and¬†grays’ ¬†by Ivan Lazhechnikov written in 1856.
Pokhlyobka - the old Russian thick soup
¬† ‘The dinner was absolutely¬†delicious¬†that day: pokhlyobka made from¬†goose¬†meat with wild onions, venison shashlik and slices of bear meat..’ from the¬†Russian¬†novel ‘Plutonia’ by Vladimir Obruchev written in 1915.

Pokhlyobka - The Old Russian Pottage

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
120-130g yellow split peas
3 small potatoes
300g pumpkin or squash
1 medium carrot, sliced
60-70g celery root, cut into small cubes
1 small onion, thinly sliced or finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped, optional
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp cumin
2 bay leaves
1.2 l water
1 Tbsp sunflower oil
salt, black pepper to taste
fresh parsley, chopped, for serving
sour cream, for serving, optional
fresh country-style bread, for serving, optional

Preparation

  1. Wash peas, put in a pan, cover with water and soak overnight. Pour out the water. Cover peas with new cold water. Boil on a medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until peas are tender. Skim the foam during the boiling.
  2. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, heat the oil, add spices and fry them for a minute. Add garlic, onion, carrot, celery root and saute vegetables on a medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
  3. Peel and cut into small cubes potatoes and pumpkin.
  4. Add potatoes to the pottage. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Add pumpkin along with fried vegetables, simmer the pottage for 10 minutes more or until the pumpkin is soft.
  6. Adjust seasoning. If the pottage is too thick, add more hot water and stir through.
  7. Garnish each plate with a dollop of sour cream and chopped parsley. Serve with a slice of bread.
Enjoy the old Russian farmer meal! ūüôā
I’m bringing this traditional recipe to all lovely people who’s enjoying the FF party today!

Draniki

¬†Draniki¬†– thin and round potato pancakes, are often pan-fried and served with sour cream. The word ‘draniki’ originates from the verb ‘drat’ (soft t), which means grate, rub. It was originally a common breakfast, and today we stick with this tradition, but¬†in some restaurants¬†it’s served all day long. Draniki are so beloved and popular in our country, that not even every Russian knows, that it is Belarus dish.
 Potato was brought to Russia in the end of 17th century, when it was served as an exotic dish only at royal banquets, and potatoes were sprinkle with sugar, not salt and pepper as nowadays. At that time in Belarus, potato had been known for 80 years. Today potato became the main vegetable in Belarus, and now over 200 potato dishes are known.
  Similar potato pancakes can be found in many countries, like hash browns in the USA, kartoffelpuffer in Germany, Swiss rösti, or Jewish latkes, and etc.
Draniki
¬†This is a simple recipe that is easy to¬†prepare¬†and produces great results! ūüôā Enjoy!

Draniki - Russian potato pancakes

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
4 large potatoes
1 egg
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2-3 Tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped (or 1 1/2 tsp dried)
a good pinch of salt
a good pinch of pepper
2-3 Tbsp sunflower oil, for frying
sour cream, for serving
Preparation
  • Peel potatoes and grate (using medium or large holes of a box grater),¬†transferring¬†to a bowl of water. Soak potatoes for 10-15 minutes, then drain well in a colander, and squeeze grated¬†potatoes¬†with hand, extracting as much liquid as possible.
  • Transfer potatoes back to a bowl and stir in egg, salt, pepper and dill. Add flour and mix until well-coated. The mixture should be wet and thick (not soupy!).
  • In a heavy-based or iron skillet heat the oil until hot, but not smoking. ¬†Place the large spoonfuls of the mixture into pan, pressing down and spreading into cm/inch rounds with a fork or spoon. Reduce heat to moderate. Brown draniki on one side about 5 minutes, turn over and brown on the other. Let drain on a paper¬†towels.
  • Serve warm with sour cream or raw.
  • Draniki are also good with creme fraiche, herb cream cheese and ricotta.
The remaining draniki can be kept in a refrigerator up to one day. Reheat in a 160C/320F oven, about 10 minutes.
Russian Draniki

Kulebyaka – Russian pie

 Kulebyaka or Coulibiac is an authentic Russian hot pie, which has an oblong shape and features several fillings.
The word became from old Russian verb – ‘kulebyachit’, that means to make with hands, to shape, to bend and to knead.
¬†Pies are always have been loved in Russia. Even famous Russian writers as N.Gogol and A.Turgenev glorified pies in their works. Various pies were always made for every holiday and festival, though it was posh royal celebration or small peasant occasion.¬†Large¬†pies stuffed with several ingredients were really popular, they were baked on Butterweek and Easter and served in taverns and small tea-houses, where each owner had a special recipe and baked very individual¬†pies,¬†different from anyone else’s, i.e.¬†opened and closed pies, feature simple (potatoes¬†or cabbage) or complicated (sturgeon with buckwheat) filling.Festive&Delicious Kulebyaka by milkandbun
¬†¬†Only in the 17th¬†century, the grand oblong pie, that features several fillings, was named ‘kulebyaka’. The pastry shell was usually made from the yeast dough (the recipe is below). The main distinction of the¬†kulebyaka-pie from any other Russian pie¬†is that the¬†quantity¬†of the filling should be two or three times exceeds the quantity of the pastry; the filling¬†of grand (festive) kulebyaka¬†is usually complicated and separated with thin pancakes.
 The most popular fillings are salmon with buckwheat, ground meat with boiled eggs and rice, cabbage with mushrooms and onions, or visiga Рa spinal marrow of the sturgeon, the last one is the unusual ingredient for nowadays, but in the 17-18th centuries it was very common.
¬†In the 19th century, French chefs, who had worked in Russia, brought the recipe to France and adapted it to the modern cookery, thus the kulebyaka became popular pie not only in Russia. ūüôāBeautiful Kulebyaka/Milkandbun
Here is my version of the festival kulebyaka.

Kulebyaka - Russian pie

The yeast dough:
3tsp/5g instant dry yeast
100ml warm milk (or warm water)
2tsp white sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp salt
200ml milk (or water), at room temperature
100g butter, melted
~600g all-purpose/plain/white flour
  1. In a cup, stir warm milk, sugar and yeast together. Let stand until foamy about 10 minutes.
  2. In a big bowl, crack eggs, add sugar, salt, milk, melted butter and stir together. Add sifted flour, yeast mixture and knead the dough until it’s smooth.
  3. Cover the bowl with wet cloth, put in a warm place and leave to rise for 1 hour. After the time, knead the dough again. Repeat this step one more time.
The quantity of dough is enough for kulebyaka and one big pizza.
The filling:
600g fresh salmon, cut into small cubes
100g basmati or jasmine rice, cooked
200g mushrooms, sliced and fried
1 big onion, sliced and fried
4 eggs, cooked and chopped
2+2 Tbsp finely chopped dill and parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
The¬†pancakes’¬†recipe you can find here. You can reduce the pancakes’ batter by half, because you need approximately 9 pancakes.
The glaze:
1 egg yolk beaten with 2Tbsp milk, 1/2tsp salt and 1/2tsp sugar
Assembling:
  1. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to approximately 26cm*35cm rectangular and 6mm thick. You can roll the dough on a piece of baking parchement, thus it’ll be much easier to transfer the pie on a baking tray; moreover, you need to turn the pie upside down-the sealing should be on the bottom.
  2. Coat the rolled dough with the pancakes.
  3. Place the egg and herbs mixture lengthways down the centre of the dough.
  4. Then arrange the mushrooms and onion mixture on top.
  5. Next, arrange rice. And the last layer-salmon.
  6. Cover the filling with pancakes, shape it to make a rectangular.
  7. Then, fold the dough and seal the edges.
  8. Transfer the pie upside down to a baking tray.
  9. Decorate with pastry trimmings, and cut two slits in the top with a sharp knife.
  10. Keep for a proofing for 20 minutes. Brush the pie with egg wash.
  11. Bake in preheated 200C/400F oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden.
  12. Leave to cool slightly for 15 minutes before slicing.
  13. Serve with a glass of milk or a cup of freshly brewed tea.
Enjoy kulebyaka! ūüėÄ
¬†Also I’m really excited to take part in the challenge “yeast and herbs”, that Angie organized with Catherine. I almost thought to give up, because I’m using yeast very-very rare in baking, finally after many days of brain storm it dawned on me that I already baked one awesome pie, so I came up with this recipe. It only seems complicated to make, just try it once and you will see that ‘kulebyaka’ is drool worthy dish! ūüėÄ
¬†Moreover, are you parting at Fiesta Friday? Don’t ask me, because I do and now gonna check some great recipes, which have brought participants. Yay!
 

Vareniki

¬†Almost everybody in Russia knows and adores vareniki! So do I. ūüėÄ
Vareniki – are dumplings, stuffed with savoury or sweet filling.

Vareniki-9

It’s considered that vareniki is a traditional¬†Ukrainian¬†dish, but originally it came from Turkey. It was a dish made from boiled unleavened dough with meat and¬†vegetables¬†filling. When “Vareniki” appeared in¬†Ukraine for¬†the first time, they were called ‘diush-var’. The¬†Ukrainian¬†people liked this dish so much that these dumplings quickly spread over the Ukraine and beyond, and¬†became¬†widely-popular, turned into traditional Ukrainian cuisine and began to call as ‘vareniki, and this name simply means – boiled.
 Ukrainian savoury vareniki are usually topped with shkvarki Рfried salted pork fat, and also can be topped with fried onions or just accompanied with sour cream according to local taste or preferences (i.e. last two toppings are quite popular in Russia).
 The most popular fillings are potatoes, mushrooms or fish. Vareniki could be also made sweet, with cherries or sweet cottage cheese filling.
There are many recipes of vareniki nowadays, with egg or sour cream in dough, based on water or kefir.
My recipe is the simplest one, and I used a mix of mashed potatoes and mushrooms. You can use the same dough for sweet fillings, such as cherries or black currant.
Here is the short video how I make these lovely twisted edges of the Vareniki.

Vareniki

  • Servings: ~70 pieces
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Vareniki can be frozen well, that’s why I¬†usually make a big batch, put them in ziplocks and freeze! No need to¬†defrost¬†before cooking.
 
Ingredients
The dough:
500g plain flour
1 egg
2 tsp salt
200 ml warm water
The filling:
800-900 g potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 onion, cut into small cubes
300 g wild or button mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp oil + 1 Tbsp butter 
Small bunch of dill, finely chopped
Salt, pepper to taste
Garnish per portion:
1-2 Tbsp sour cream 
1 Tbsp chopped dill 
a knob of butter 
 
Method
  • Dissolve salt in warm water. On a flat surface make a well in the flour, add egg and salted water. Knead until the dough is pliable. Cover with plastic wrap or towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, saute onion and mushrooms in oil and butter. In a bowl combine mashed potatoes with¬†vegetables and¬†dill. Season to taste. The filling is ready.
  • Roll the dough into 8cm/3-inch circles, place 1 tsp potato mixture into center, fold the dough over filling and press it.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil (salt the water as for pasta or you like). Put vareniki into water and¬†carefully¬†stir with a spoon. When they come to the surface – cook for 4-5 minutes more.
  • Serve vareniki with sour cream, chopped dill and a knob of butter on top.
 You can brown vareniki a bit in a butter straight after the boiling. Serve with sour cream, but already without extra butter on top.
 
Enjoy the¬†delicious¬†vareniki! ūüôā

Are you going to Angie’s party? You can try superb¬†cocktail¬†there! ūüėČ