Monday, November 28, 2011

From Russia with Love

Last night we were invited to Anya and Trevors home to have a delicious five course Russian meal cooked by Anya. Flavours and inspiration from her home and family's heritage Tajikistan, Siberia and Russia.

The menu

'Shuba' - Herring under a fur coat
Sel'd' pod shuboy (or Shuba, from Russian шуба (fur coat)): also known as "dressed herring" is chopped salted herring under a "coat" of shredded cooked beet, sometimes with a layer of other vegetables. This was very moreish and very nice cold entree on a hot day. I would have had thirds but I knew there were 4 more courses to come...! I didnt take any photos but the picture I found above is to show how it is served.

Crab Stick Salad - Салат из крабовых палочек
Salad with rice, boiled eggs, sweet corn and diced crab stick meat, mixed in mayonnaise. We had this with the beetroot and herring and it was like little jewels in your mouth. Anya's brother Serj joined us for dinner and this is his favourite food.

Stuffed Peppers
This dish was capsicum stuffed with beef, onion, duck fat, poached in vegetable broth with fresh herbs (dill, parsley, shallots). This Russian recipe has so many textures and flavours. I love the generous amount of fresh herbs.

Beef stroganoff with mashed potato
Beef Stroganoff or Beef Stroganov (in Russian: Бефстроганов Befstróganov) is a Russian dish of sautéed pieces of beef served in a sauce with smetana or cream, originating in 19th-century Russia. Anya made a very nice version we enjoyed with red wine.

Russian Tort Prazhskogo cake
This is a two-layer walnut cocoa cake. Anya said they make it for special occasions like birthdays, so we felt very happy to try it. Delicious.

We did eat a lot last night! It was so lovely and slow though, I loved having so many courses and enjoying wine and interesting, funny conversation all night. It wasn't till after midnight we realised we should go home because we had to get to work in a few hours. I could have stayed, I feel like there is so much more to learn about Europe, the culture and the recipes, the people and the customs and the mountains.

We learnt that they love another dish, that I am keen to try on our BBQ; Lamb Shashlik.
Shashlyk or Shashlik (Persian: شیشلیک,Hebrew: שישליק‎, Russian: шашлык meaning skewing meat and -lik, a noun-making suffix' [1][2]), is a form of Shish kebab popular throughout Israel, Lithuania, former Soviet Union, Iran, Mongolia, and parts of central Europe. Meat for shashlik (as opposed to other forms of shish kebab) is usually marinated overnight in a high-acidity marinade like vinegar, dry wine or sour fruit/vegetable juice with the addition of herbs and spices.

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