Russian cookery and hints

Yield: 1 servings

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NOTES : In Russia, everyday dishes are made with ground meat mixtures prepared and served various ways. Tiny meatballs served with sauces as appetizers or entrees are called bitky. The so-called Russian hamburgers, kotletky, are characteristic everyday restaurant and family fare. Kotletky differ from American hamburgers in that kotletky are golden and crisp on the outside and moist and tender on the inside. In Russian restaurants, they are served plain or with sour cream, mushroom or tomato sauce and accompanied by kasha, macaroni or potatoes. NOTES : The Russian meat dish most known outside Russia is doubtless this creation, which was named for a gourmet and bon vivant of the czarist court, Count Paul Stroganoff. There are many recipes for the dish, and this is just one of them. NOTES : The 2nd most popular soup in Russia is based on beets and is called borshch, or derivations of that name. Believed to have originated in the Ukraine, the soup is made in many variations. It can be prepared with only beets; it may include additional vegetables, with or without meat; or it may include poultry or game. Borshch can be served hot or cold, and it is generally garnished with sour cream.

The kind of borshch that is made in the Ukraine is very hearty. It differs fromother varieties in that it includes garlic, tomatoes and pork as well as beef and a great number of vegetables. All the kinds of borshch are excellent soups and are particularly goos when reheated. It is a one-dish meal, good for a winter supper. NOTES : The Circassians were an ancient tribe that inhabited the western part of the Caucasion Mountains, but their name has been used for all the inhabitants of the Caucasus. In the past Circassian ladies were noted for their beauty, and many of them introduced native dishes to the courts of the sultans in Constantinople. Thus this creation is popular in Turkey as well as in southern Russia. It makes an excellent buffet dish. NOTES : In southern Russia, a favorite method of preparing poultry is to serve either spitted or broiled chicken with a sauce made with green gooseberries, pounded walnuts, sourcream or fruits. One of the most typical sauces is tkemali, which is made with a base of wild or sour plums that grow only in the Georgian republic. It is not possible to duplicate the recipe outside of the region, but a good substitute can be attempted. This is an excellent entree for an outdoor meal. NOTES : Small oval or round plump pastries made with nonsweet dough and filled with various food combinations are called pirozhki. The term is derived from an old Russian word PIR, meaning feast. Pirozhki are made with both raised dough and plain pastry, and can be filled with mixtures based on mushrooms, cabbage, chicken, ground beef or fish. Priozhki are popular appetizers and also served with soups. Generally those that will be used with soups are made a little larger, about 5 inches in diameter. NOTES : Russians are extremely fond of pork, which they prepare in interesting variations. On of their great hoiday treats is roast sucklig pig stuffed with kasha. Other typical pork dishes, such as this one, are served with fruit sauces. Plums may be substituted for the cherries, if desired. NOTES : In Russia soups are basic foods, ranking in importance after breads and grains. The most common is made with cabbage and is called shchi, or s'chee. It is particularly favored because it does not require a meat base. During the summer the soup is made from fresh cabbage and is called "lazy"; while during the winter, sauerkraut is used, and the name is changed to "sour". All the kinds of shchi are hearty dishes and are rich in vitamins. The ingredients usually include whatever is on hand. Beef, sausages and smoked pork add further sustenance to some of the cabbage soups. Shchi can be served with kasha and garnished with sour cream. This is one variation. NOTES : The best known Russian dessert is a simple fruit pudding made by thickening cooked fruit with cornstarch or potato starch. The preferred fruits are those with tart flavors, such as cranberries, rhubarb, sour cherries or apples, but all kinds of berries are used. The thickness can vary from that of jelly to a bit more runny consistency. Customarily the dessert is served with cream. Shared by: Dan Klepach Submitted By SHARON STEVENS On 03-10-95

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