Russian Cuisine

Faculty Recipes

Lobio

from Stephen Jones. . .

This recipe is one of our Chair's favorite's and although it can be made many ways, this one contains a walnut mix. Lobio is a beautiful deep red on the table and can be served warm or cold.

Ingredients:

  • one pound kidney beans
  • teaspoon salt
  • two small onions, finely chopped
  • one cup (not packed) of cilantro
  • one cup of walnuts
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • one hot pepper (2 inches long - and take out the seeds)
  • one half teaspoon cinnamon
  • half teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 to one cup of pomegranate juice (some other not-too-sweet juice could be substituted)
  • Pomegranate seeds (for decoration)

Directions:

  1. Soak the beans a minimum of 5 hours
  2. Drain and place in large pot, cover with water, add salt and boil until tender (Georgians like their beans well cooked so that the dish often comes out even somewhat mushy at times. You might prefer to keep the beans crunchy. It is up to you). When the beans are done, drain and add the chopped onions. In a food processor, grind the walnuts, cilantro, garlic, and hot pepper together and add this paste to the beans.     
  3. Mix in a small cup the cinnamon, cloves, some salt and stir into the bean mixture. Pour in the pomegranate juice or whatever substitute you have to make the beans moist.     
  4. Leave to cool and, if you have them, garnish the beans with the pomegranate seeds.

Borscht

from Edwina Cruise. . .

This recipe is my favorite borscht recipe. You really do need to discard the green pepper though!

Ingredients:

  • 1 three-pound to four-pound shin of beef, cut into three or four pieces
  • 1 one-pound-13 ounce can tomato puree
  • 1 carrot, grated coarse
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 one-and-one-half pound cabbage, finely shredded
  • 3 sprigs fresh dill, or to taste
  • 1 whole green pepper, cut in half and seeded
  • 1 one-pound fresh cooked or red can whole beets with their liquid
  • chopped fresh dill to taste, optional

Directions:

  1. Place the beef in a kettle and add a generous amount of water to cover. Simmer, skimming the surface as necessary, about one and one-half hours. Do not cover.
  2. Add the tomato puree, carrot, and onion. Simmer about one hour longer, skimming the surface as necessary. Do not cover. If too much liquid evaporates, add boiling water. Add the cabbage, dill sprigs, and green pepper and cook, uncovered, about 30 minutes longer. Discard the dill sprigs and green pepper. Add the beet juice. Grate (and peel if fresh) the beets, add them (and any meat shreds) and bring to a boil. The soup is now ready. Garnish with chopped dill.

This will yield 8 or more servings

Pirozhki

from Susan Downing...

Ingredients - Pastry:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons (two 1/4-pound sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch bits and chilled
  • 8 tablespoons chilled lard, cut into 1/4-inch bits
  • 8 to 12 tablespoons ice water

Filling:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups finely chopped onions
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs, finely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons finely cut fresh dill leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. PASTRY: combine the flour, salt, butter and lard in a deep bowl. With your fingers, rub the flour and fat together until they look like flakes of coarse meal. Pour in 8 tablespoons of ice water all at once and gather the dough into a ball. If it crumbles, add up to 4 tablespoons more ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until the particles adhere. Wrap the ball in wax paper, and chill for about 1 hour. On a lightly floured surface, shape the pastry into a rough rectangle 1 inch thick and roll it into a strip about 21 inches long and 6 inches wide. Fold the strip into thirds to make a 3-layered packet 7 inches long and 6 inches wide. Turn the pastry around and again roll it out lengthwise into a 21-by-6-inch strip. Fold into thirds and roll out the packet as before. Repeat this entire process twice more, ending with the folded packet. Wrap it in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. FILLING: Over high heat, melt the butter in a heavy 10- to 12-inch skillet. Add the onions and, stirring occasionally, cook over moderate heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are soft and transparent but not brown. Stir in the beef and, mashing the meat with a fork to break up any lumps, cook briskly until no traces of pink remain. Grind the meat-and-onion mixture through the finest blade of a meat grinder. Combine the meat in a large bowl with the eggs, dill, salt and pepper, mix thoroughly and taste for seasoning.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. With a 3- to 3 1/2-inch cutter, cut out as many circles as you can. Gather the scraps into a ball and roll out again, cutting additional circles. Drop 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of each round and flatten the filling slightly. Fold one long side of the dough up over the filling, almost covering it. Fold in the two ends of the dough about 1/2 inch, and lastly, fold over the remaining long side of dough. Place the pirozhki side by side, with the seam sides down on a buttered baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with clear chicken or beef soup, on the zakuska table or presented alone as first course.

Bliny

from Susan Downing... (originally from Olga Astromova)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. flour
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups of warm milk (not hot)
  • 1 package yeasts (dried or caked)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons oil or melted butter
  • 3 eggs

Directions:

  1. Dissolve yeast. Add eggs, milk, salt, sugar, and flour. Mix well. Add oil or melted butter. Cover and set in a warm place until double in bulk.
  2. Heat a frying pan well, brush it with oil or melted butter. Spread the batter evenly, using a ladle. Bake until golden brown on each side, turing only once. Put ready bliny in a double boiler to keep them warm.
  3. Serve with sour cream, caviar, pickled herring, sprats, sardines, and chopped boiled eggs.

8-10 servings!

Kulich (Easter Bread)

from Peter Scotto...

  • 2 packages dry yeast or 1 ounce compressed yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 4 cups white flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted and clarified butter, at room temperature
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • parchment paper
  • 1 empty 2-pound metal coffee can

Directions:

  1. Mix the yeast, lukewarm milk, 1/2 cup of the flour and a tablespoon of the sugar. Let stand in a warm place, until it begins to foam. Meanwhile,
  2. Stir the butter and the remaining sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Beat the 'egg yolks,' two at a time, into the butter and sugar mixture.
  4. By now, the yeast mixture should be foaming and almost double in bulk. Add it to the butter and yolks and beat together.
  5. Mix the honey and rum together and add to the butter and yolks. Keep beating.
  6. Gradually add the rest of the flour, the egg white and salt, and keep beating.
  7. You should have a thick batter, not a stiff dough. If you have an electric mixer with a dough hook, knead with it. If you have only your hands, put one hand in the batter and knead it in the bowl. This in not conventional kneading - concentrate on folding lots of air into the batter.
  8. When the batter is perfectly smooth, cover the bow with plastic wrap and then with a thick terrycloth towel. Put in a very warm, draft-free place, such as an unlighted gas oven with a pilot light. Surround the bowl with pillows or towels to protect it against any shock; it is very delicate and might sink if someone slams a door. Let rise for three or four hours until double in bulk.
  9. Beat down the risen batter. Butter the coffee can. Put a round piece of parchment paper in the bottom and add the batter, filling the can halfway to the top.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile the kulich rise for 45 minutes or untl it rises 3/4 of the way to the top of the can.
  11. Bake the kulich 45 minutes to an hour, or until the top is golden brown and a skewer stuck inside comes out dry and clean. If the top browns too quickly, moisten a paper towel and cover the browned cap while the kulich continues to bake.
  12. When the kulich is done, remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes in its can. Meanwhile take a pillow and cover it with a towel. When the kulich is cool, wiggle it out of the can onto the pillow. If it doesn't budge, slide a long spatula along the inside edge of the can. If the kulich still refuses to come out, wait a few more minutes for it to cool more. Lay the kulich prone on the pillow - it will be too moist to stand on its end without breaking. The towel will absorb the excess moisture as the kulich continues to cool. After about 15 minutes, roll the kulich over so that the other side can be towel-dried.

8 to 10 servings!

Icing for Kulich

from Peter Scotto...

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • glaceed fruits for decoration

Directions:

  1. Mix the cream with the extract. Then, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, gradually add the sugar until, the mixture is smooth and creamy. This is a thin, pourable icing.
  2. Pour the icing over the cooled and upright kulich so that it coats the cap of the bread and dribbles down the sides.
  3. Decorate the cap with little pieces of glaceed fruits while the frosting is still wet. Traditionally, the Cyrrilic letters XB which stand for 'Khristos Voskres" (Chist is Risen) are spelled out with the glaceed fruits.

Paskha (Sweet Cheese Pyramid)

from Peter Scotto...

Ingredients:

  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 pound sugar
  • 2 1/2 pounds large-curd pot cheese
  • 9 hard boiled egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater (optional)
  • 1/2 a small jar of candied cherries and/or citron and candied rinds (optional)
  • ground almonds (optional)
  • mixed glaceed fruits for decoration
  • medium size paskha form or new 6-inch clay flower pot

Directions:

  1. Slit the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the heavy cream. Put the scraped bean into the cream and let soak in the refrigerator while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add the pot cheese to the butter mixture and cream them together.
  4. Mash the hard-boiled egg yolks and gradually cream them into the cheese misture.
  5. Put the cheese mixture in a food processor, a mixer, a sieve or a food mill, and process until the cheese is perfectly smooth. If using a sieve, it may require three rounds of sieving.
  6. Remove the vanilla bean and cream from the refrigerator. Discard the bean. Then, with a rubber spatula, fold the cream into the cheese mixture.
  7. At this point you may add any or none of the following: rosewater, cherries, almonds, citron and candied peel.
  8. Line the mold or pot with cheese-cloth. Carefully spoon the pashka into the mold or pot. Fold the ends of the cloth over the top of the cheese and either follow the directions that come with the pashka mold, or, if using the pot, set a weight (cans of food or a brick) on top of plate that is less than six inches in diameter.
  9. Set the paskha mold or clay pot on a cake rack over a plate or bowl. Let stand and drain for one hour unrefrigerated.
  10. Refrigerate and let drain for at least two days.
  11. To serve, unmold the paskha by inverting the mold or pot over a serving plate. Peel off the cheesecloth. If the unmolding doesn't work, and the paskha looks deformed, that's because the paskha was too wet. Dont' worry - to make it look normal, just reshape it with a spatula.
  12. Decorate the paskha with cherries or mixed glaceed fruits. It is traditional to mark XB on the sides with the candided fruits.

8-10 servings!