Saturday, September 24, 2005

Ponchiki

Every University student of the Soviet Union knew this very cheap and very tasty dish perfectly. “Ponchiki” are lighter and fluffier analog of doughnuts, and Soviet student ate them with coffee. Although a serving of “ponchiki” is ready in about 1 minute, this was not fast food in the general sense, because they cooked it only from freshly prepared dough.

Traditional Russian “ponchiki”:

Ingredients:

1 cup milk
2 cup flour
1 egg
1/8 lb margarine (half of the stick)
1 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ yeast pack

Method:

Heat milk until warm, melt margarine, and add margarine to milk, and then add salt, sugar, egg, and mix.
Mix flour and yeast, and add milk to it in teaspoons, stirring thoroughly.
Let to sit in room temperature for about 1 hour.Fry the ponchiki by putting 1 tsp of the dough into hot oil, dry with a paper towel, and sprinkle with sugar powder. Eat when they are hot.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Tomato salad

Russian Cuisine: Tomato Salad

This recipe is great for a hot summer day, and even an inexperienced can easily prepare it. There is no cooking involved, and this salad works great with most raw detox, low GI, Zone and several other types of diets. It is merely two-three centuries old, because tomatoes was not known in Europe before the discovery of the New World. The recipe is very popular across the whole Russia from northern to the southern regions near Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan. It is hard to say if it was borrowed from Mediterranean region or invented independently, but somewhat similar recipes are popular in Greece and Italy.

Ingredients for two

  • 4-6 tomatoes (on vine, Roma, or just any regular; medium size)
  • 2 slices of large yellow sweet onion in rings or cut to smaller pieces
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed oil
    (olive oil will work great too; sunflower, canola, corn oil will work too giving different flavors; try it with buckwheat oil if you can get it)
  • A half teaspoon of dried basil or the same amount of fresh one (optional, for Middle Asian variety)
  • Optional: 1-2 teaspoons of cut fresh dill
  • Salt (regular or sea salt) to taste
  • Optional: 1-2 tablespoons of green onions cut in small pieces
  • Optional: ½ to 1/3 of a long cucumber.

Method

Cut tomatoes in 8 parts (three cuts, 12 if you used large tomatoes), don’t forget to remove dry parts near the graft. Mix in a medium bowl with the rest of ingredients except oil, salt, add oil, mix, let stand for a few minutes until it will give a juice (see photo). It’s ready to serve.

For a version popular in Middle Asia, add basil.

For tomato-cucumber version cut the cucumber of cubes (two cuts along the long side, then as many as necessary crosscuts) and mix it with tomatoes on the first step.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Lulya-kebab

Ingredients:

2 lb lamb
4 medium onions
Species: cumin (black sort is preferable), grinded coriander seeds, dried sumac or barberry, and salt on taste
½ tsp vinegar or lemon juice

Method:

Grind the lamb with the lamb fat (or without it.)
Cut 3 onions into small cubes (or grind it too.)
Add all spices, knead it all together until the color is almost white, and let sit for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 380 F.
Grease the baking sheet.
To make lulya-kebabs, take a part of the mix with a wet hand, and shape it in an oval form.
Place on the sheet, repeat until the mix is gone.

Another way to cook lulya-kebabs is to grill.

To serve, cut 1 onion into rings, wash them and dry.
After that, sprinkle the rings with coriander seeds and vinegar.
Place lulya-kebabs over this “bedding” on a large dish.
Serve with your favorite meat sauce (for example: blend tomatoes, garlic, coriander, salt, lemon juice, and black pepper.)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Don’s Salad

Don’s Salad

This recipe is named not in a human’s, but in the great river’s name. For some hundred years, starting in the 13th century, the area around Don was a place where free people lived, who did not pay any taxes, and did not have any state duties except to defend Russia from attacks by people from the south.
Don’s Free Cossacks were warriors for hundred years. Their families lived in villages along the Don River. Don’s area is comparatively southern in Russia, and every family had its own large vegetable and grain fields, and collected the rich harvest. But to collect harvest is the first half of the job; the second is to keep it. One of the favorite vegetable recipes of past centuries was Don’s salad. This salad is conserved to keep it fresh, so you can eat this salad the day after preparing, or a half-year after you cook it.

Ingredients:

Red sweet pepper
Onions
Non-ripe tomatoes (not green, and not red yet)
Cabbage
Carrots
Garlic (optional)

For brine:
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp 9% vinegar
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
(For every can)


Method:
Take equal part of every vegetable.
Wash vegetables, peel onions, and clean out pepper seeds.
Cut tomatoes to medium slices, cut peppers into thin short strips.
Thinly slice cabbage, onions, and peeled carrots (and, optionally, garlic.)
Place all vegetables in a large enameled dish, and mix them very well.
Add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp sugar into a dish, and set aside for 20 minutes, stirring thoroughly every minute.
Mix water, vinegar, salt, vegetable oil.
Bring the mix to boil.
Put vegetable mix into clean cans, pour brine over it, shake cans, cover with lids, and sterilize them for 10-15 minutes, depending on the can’s size.

Note:

If you like this salad fresh, then just adds cold mix (vinegar, salt, and vegetable oil) to vegetables, mix well, and serve.