This bright beetroot dip doesn’t contain salmon or any other fish raw. In my home-country vegetable spreads and dips that are mushed into a non-smooth consistency are often called caviar. In USSR fish caviar was an expensive product and most of the time was served over special occasions, but people have always wanted something tasty not only during holidays or weekend; and such vegetables as an eggplants, marrows and beetroots were cheap and available almost throughout the year, thus I guess economical version of the “caviar” was created.
Russian Beetroot Caviar
- Boil beetroots until soft. Cool, clean and chop.
- Chop the onion and fry in a oil until soft and golden, about 5 minutes.
- Finely chop cucumbers. Also finely chop or mush garlic.
- Blitz all ingredients in a food processor until desired consistency.
- Check the seasoning. Serve with rye bread or crackers.
A year ago I visited “Taste of Dubai”. It was a large, full of fun and activities festival, dedicated to food, cooking and eating! It brought together restaurant and street food, music performances, cooking classes and live cooking demonstrations. You could order some nice food, relax and enjoy the music, another great way to spend the evening was to cook along with top chefs. Many world-famous and celebrity chefs were invited to the festival, and I could watch how they are preparing amazing and tasty food, and then taste it. Among many chefs was Dhruv Baker, he is known as a winner of MasterChef 2010, and I didn’t miss a chance to sign his cookbook ‘Spice’.
Spiced cauliflower with peas
Adapted from “Spice” by Dhruv Baker.
- Wash the cauliflower and cut into small florets.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan on a medium heat, add mustard seeds. As soon as the start to pop add all spices and stir for a minute.
- Add cauliflower florets and stir to coat with spices. Cook on a medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes.
- Add frozen peas and tomato, season to taste. Reduce heat to low-medium and cook for 20 minutes or until cauliflower is cooked.
- Arrange on a serving plate, drizzle with lime juice if using and top with coriander.
Millet bitochki with mushroom sauce
- Wash millet throughly under running water, cover with hot water, season with some salt, bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until millet is ready. You need to cool it completely. To make it faster, spread millet on a large plate and put in a fridge for 10-15 minutes, while preparing the mushrooms and sauce.
- In a frying pan, heat butter and oil, add onion and fry for 5 minutes (set aside half of onions for millet ). Add mushrooms and fry on a hight heat for 10 minutes or until all liquid is evaporated (if there is any). Season to taste. Set aside 3-4 tbsp mushrooms for millet; then chop it finely.
- Meanwhile, in a small pan, add butter and flour, stir on a medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir into mushrooms.
- Pour over cream along with sour cream, give it a good stir. Pour in hot water. Check the seasoning. Simmer on a medium heat for 5-8 minutes. Add more hot water to reach desired consistency. Keep the sauce warm.
- Transfer cooled millet in a mixing bowl, add egg, parsley, season with salt and pepper. Mix in fried onion and mushrooms. Combine the mixture. I didn’t use any flour, but if the mixture seems doesn’t want to resemble into a patty, add a tablespoon or two of plain flour.
- Generously spread breadcrumbs on a large plate. With a tablespoon take a millet mixture and make a ball, pat it down with your hand or spoon. Cover in a breadcrumbs. Repeat with all millet mixture.
- In a large frying pan, heat oil, put bitochki and fry on both sides until golden. To keep it warm while preparing others – put them in a preheated 120-150C oven.
- Serve with mushroom sauce and sprinkle with extra parsley, if desired.
Cauliflower couscous with shrimps
- Mix up all ingredients for shrimps marinade. Put shrimps in a bowl, pour over marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in a fridge at least for 1 hour.
- Wash and roughly cut cauliflower. Using a food processor, blitz cauliflower until breadcrumbs/couscous size.
- In a frying pan, heat oil and butter. Add whole baby onions and fry over medium heat until golden. Add cauliflower and garlic if using, fry for 10-15 minutes or until cauliflower is ready. Add lemon juice and season to taste. Stir in chopped herbs and olives.
- In a separate pan heat oil and fry shrimps for 2-3 minutes on each side over medium-high heat.
- Arrange cauliflower couscous on a large serving plate. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with almonds. Top with shrimps.