Myth #2. I rarely eat Russian meals.
Both myths are completely and utterly lie. Unfortunately, I still can’t persuade myself in that and I am very reluctant to admit that but I am sure that everyone knows the truth.
Without further adieu, please welcome 3 most cooked by me meals: borsch, dumplings and pancakes.
Borsch, or Borscht, or борщ
3 medium potatoes
Half of white cabbage
2 medium beetroots
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
1. Put a large deep pan with 2/3 of water to boil. In the meantime, chop potatoes in cubes, chops cabbage. When the water starts to boil, add potatoes first. When it starts to boil again, add cabbage.
2. Finely slice onion and garlic, transfer them into a frying pan to sauté. Grate carrot and add it to onion. Grate beetroot and add it to the pan.
3. Add 2 tbsp of water from the deep pan with potato and cabbage to the frying pan. Add 2 tbsp of tomato paste/puré and 1 tbsp of vinegar. Once everything looks soft and together, transfer to the deep pan.
4. Add salt and pepper. Add 2-3 bay leaves. Simmer for another 5-7 minutes.
5. Once the fire is off, add chopped dill and parsley.
Serve topped with sour cream and a clove of garlic as a snack. Preferably, to find rye bread. Borsch is to die for the next day.
250 ml water
Plain flour to reach the right consistency (400 g)
Minced beef with onion / mashed potatoes / fried cabbage / frozen berries
1. Break an egg into a large bowl. Add a bit of water and 1 tsp of salt. Mix all together. Add more water and a bit of flour. Mix. A bit more water and more flour. Mix. Add the rest of water and a bit of flour. Then keep adding flour until the dough stops sticking to your hands (did I mention that we use fork at first and then hand? – it’s more convenient to use one hand so that the other one stays clean). Put it aside. Or freeze it if you to make dumplings at a later date.
2. Prepare the filling. Minced beef with minced onion seasoned and spiced will go really well. I love mashed potatoes because I can always find them home. Fried cabbage is good as well – especially since we’re using only half of cabbage for soup above. I also absolutely love dumplings with mixed berries but when I start eating them I can eat only them for a week or so. Very addictive and unbelievably delicious. Use your imagination for stuffing dumplings. Anything! Mushrooms, ricotta – anything like that.
3. Roll the dough on the working surface with rolling pin. Then choose a glass with diameter of 10 cm. Cut out circles. Put the filling in the middle, stick the opposite sides of the circles together, then stick one side to the middle and then the other side. It should look like half-moon. Dust the tray with flour and put melded dumplings on it.
4. Boil water in a deep pan. Once boiling, add 12-24 dumplings depending on the size of the pan and humber of people. I serve 12 people for Russians and 6-10 for other nationalities just because Russians already love them and foreigners still yet to realise how delicious this is. So I prefer not to scare them by the portion.
5. Once dumpling are on the surface of the water, boil for another 5 mins. After that serve in a bowl topped with sour cream and black pepper. Priyatnogo appetita!
500 ml milk
a bit of water
flour – to reach the consistency
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
oil (I prefer coconut oil at the moment)
1. This is done overnight. Break all eggs in a bowl, salt, sugar. Whisk everything together. Add 250 ml milk and whisk again. Add the rest of milk and add a bit of flour. Keep whisking and adding flour to reach a very light and liquid consistency but the one that is fairly thick. Perhaps, the consistency of double cream before whipping. Cover and put the pancake mix into the fridge.
2. The next day heat well the cast iron pancake pan, add a bit of oil, spread it evenly on the pan. When you are holding the pan in one hand in the air, add a full ladle of mix into the pan and spread it on the pan. Put on fire. Once the whole pancake changed a bit of colour into ivory, turn to another side. 15-20 sec and the pancake is done.
3. Now all you need to do is repeat this another 20 times. I’ll count next time how many I actually make. In essence, that’s French crepes so voilà!