Russian

Piroshki
Pirozhki made with onion, mushroom, meat and rice stuffing.
Russian cuisine is a collection of the different cooking traditions of the Russian people. The cuisine is diverse, as Russia is by area the largest country in the world. Russian cuisine derives its varied character from the vast and multi-cultural expanse of Russia. Moreover, it is necessary to divide Russian traditional cuisine and Soviet cuisine, which has its own peculiarity. Its foundations were laid by the peasant food of the rural population in an often harsh climate, with a combination of plentiful fish, pork, poultry, caviar, mushrooms, berries, and honey. Crops of rye, wheat, barley and millet provided the ingredients for a plethora of breads, pancakes, pies, cereals, beer and vodka. Soups and stews full of flavor are centered on seasonal or storable produce, fish and meats. This wholly native food remained the staple for the vast majority of Russians well into the 20th century.

Russia great expansions of culture, influence, and interest during the 16th–18th centuries brought more refined foods and culinary techniques, as well as one of the most refined food countries in the world. It was during this period that smoked meats and fish, pastry cooking, salads and green vegetables, chocolate, ice cream, wines, and juice were imported from abroad. At least for the urban aristocracy and provincial gentry, this opened the doors for the creative integration of these new foodstuffs with traditional Russian dishes. The result is extremely varied in technique, seasoning, and combination.



RECIPES:

Borscht

Garnish this classic Russian soup with sour cream.

Serves 4-6

1 1/2 Tablespoons Oil
1 medium Onion, grated
2 teaspoons Garlic, minced
1/4 cup Celery, minced
1 1/2 cups Cabbage, finely chopped
2 medium Potatoes, peeled and grated
16 ounce Beets, pickled
3 cups Beef broth
2 Tablespoons Red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a heavy soup pot over medium flame. Add the onion, celery, potatoes, garlic, and cabbage. Cook until just soft. Add the remaining ingredients. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes. Carefully puree the soup in a food processor. Return to the pot and simmer 15 minutes longer. Serve warm.


Charlotte Russe

It's time to rediscover this classic dessert.

Serves 4

1/4 cup Water
1 envelope Unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup Cream
Ladyfingers or sliced sponge cake

Add the water to a saucepan. Sprinkle on the gelatin. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Whisk in the milk and sugar. Over low heat, heat the mixture, stirring constantly, until it begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Chill. Whip until firm peaks form. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until firm peaks form. Fold the two mixtures until blended. Line a 1 1/2 quart dish with the ladyfingers (bottom and sides). Pour in the mixture. Chill well. Unmold or serve with a spoon.


Russian Dressing

This popular dressing from the 1950's is making a comeback. It is traditionally used on the famous Reuben sandwich.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Chili sauce (prepared)
1/2 teaspoon Onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon Horseradish
1/8 teaspoon Paprika

Mix all ingredients well. Refrigerate. Serve over mixed
green salads or on sandwiches.

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