Russian Sauerkraut Soup (Schi)

February 12th, 2010 in Hot Soups, Soup Recipes by Julia Volhina

Sauerkraut soup, also called sour schi, is a traditional russian main first course dish for several hundreds year.

Original recipes for schi (there are more that one: sour schi, grey schi, green schi) usually include some kind meat, some kind cabbage, carrots, potatoes and spices. Sour schi are prepared with sauerkraut or mix of sauerkraut and fresh cabbage.

I do cook schi with just sauerkraut and I prefer pork broth for sauerkraut schi, however you may use beef for it if you don’t like pork.

Deruny (Potato Pancakes)

February 6th, 2010 in Main Dish Recipes, No-meat by Julia Volhina

Potato pancakes, prepared from fresh chopped or grated potatoes, onions, eggs and flour, are commonly associated with various cuisines of Europe. In Ukraine they are called “deruny”, in Russia and Belarus “draniki”; similar recipes can be found in Polish, German, Austrian, Czech cuisines.

Potato pancakes are usually a main no meat dish for lunch or breakfast; it tastes good topped with sour cream or mushroom sauce.

Even though potato pancakes are good enough as a separate dish, they can be also served as a side dish for vegetable or meat main dish course.

Cream of Mushroom Sauce

January 30th, 2010 in Sauces & Dips & Spreads by Julia Volhina

I think that is one of the easiest cream sauces to do, but it is also a bit heavy due to usage of whipping cream as a main ingredient.

Personally I think the taste this sauce completely worth working out those extra calories later on. But it is for you to decide: try substitute cream with smaller amount of half & half to make it a bit lighter if you wish.

Cream of Mushroom Sauce is perfect addition for potato-based dishes: potato dumplings, potato pancakes or simply boiled potato; it will also benefit grilled or fried chicken meat or roast beef; as well as it can be served as a pasta sauce.

Minced Beef Cutlets

January 23rd, 2010 in Beef, Main Dish Recipes by Julia Volhina

This it a traditional russian recipe for minced meat cutlets which includes meat, white bread soaked in milk and a lot of onions. Some people prepare those cutlets from beef only, some add a bit of pork or pork fat in them. I prefer just beef.

You may grind or mince meat yourself or buy a ground one and simply add finely chopped or grated onions: whatever you prefer. Either way I am sure it will taste delicious!

I’ve served those cutlets with fried potatoes and greek salad, just in case you were curious.

Stuffed Egg Shells

January 16th, 2010 in Appetizers & Snacks by Julia Volhina

Egg shells stuffed with mushrooms, eggs and onions mix is an appetizer I asked my mom to do for each celebration, we had, when I was little.

It is still my favorite dish; now I cook it myself when have enough time and special state of mind to stub some eggs and dice everything into little pieces :)

To get empty egg shells is the most tricky part in making stuffed egg shells: you may waste one or two eggs while learning to do so, just be brave and persistent.

You are lucky if chickens, which produced eggs you are planning on using to prepare this appetizer, have had enough calcium in their diet, that will make the whole deal with getting nice looking egg shell halves much more easier. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a case for me: the shells of eggs I had were crushing when breathed on.

That didn’t do any bad for taste (believe me!), just made pictures a bit less nice looking than I expected, but I hope you will still like the recipe enough to try it out.

Mimosa (Layered Fish Salad)

January 9th, 2010 in Salad Recipes by Julia Volhina

Mimosa, as a fish layered salad, is very popular in all countries of ex-USSR. As well as Herring Under Fur Coat and Salad Olivier, Salad Mimosa finds its place on the table for big holiday celebrations, such as New Year, Christmas, birthdays and others.

It is easy and fun to cook, and due to the layered structure of the salad it should be prepared several hours in advance before serving to allow layers to soak. So the good idea would be to assemble the salad a night before you are going to put it on the table.

By the way this salad name – Mimosa – comes from the bright yellow color and a texture of its last layer which looks very similar to the yellow blossoms of the plant called “mimosa” in Russia.

Dried Fruit Kompot (Uzvar)

January 2nd, 2010 in Beverage Recipes, Non-alcoholic by Julia Volhina

Uzvar is a kompot made from dried fruits: mainly apples, pears and prunes, however various recipes include raisins, dried sour cherries and even dried apricots.

Even though this drink is traditionally served to Christmas Eve dinner in some countries of West Europe (e.g. Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Lithuania), I really can’t find a reason why it can’t be a great better choice to drink before all those sugary-artificially prepared sodas people consume so much those days.

Uzvar, or as it also called in ex-USSR countries – Kompot made from Dried Fruits, is very refreshing, tasty and easy to do. I highly recommend this drink to everybody, prepare it for your kids – they will love it!