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Cooking For Fun

Russian Main Dishes

Govyadina v' Smetane
(Beefsteaks in Sour Cream)

This is a very unusual method of serving steak, but one which uses sour cream to make a distinctively Russian sauce.

4 beefsteaks, fillet or rump
1 Tablespoon drippings or butter
salt and pepper
2 medium onions
1/2 cup grated cheese
3/4 cup sour cream

Prepare 4 trimmed steaks and brown them quickly in the frying pan with the dripping (butter can be a substitute). Transfer them to a baking tray, season with salt and freshly
ground pepper. Keep warm. Chop the onions and soften them in the same frying pan. Spread onions over the steaks. Sprinkle with grated cheese and pour on the sour cream. Cover with foil. Bake in pre-heated oven at 350°F for 1 hour, removing the foil for the last 20 minutes. Serve with plain cooked vegetables such as carrots, broccoli or cauliflower.

Rybnoye Satsivi

Georgian recipes are very popular throughout Russia. The walnut sauce can also be used with cold chicken or even game dishes.

1-1/2 pounds salmon, halibut or cod
salt and lemon juice
For the Sauce:
4 Tablespoons butter
6 ounces walnuts
2 medium onions
1 Tablespoon flour, rounded
1 egg yolk
2 to 3 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 small bay leaf, crushed
1 cup fish stock
1 ounce chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of saffron, crushed

Poach the fish in salted water with some lemon juice. Remove the fish from the stock. Cool. Keep some of the stock for the sauce. To make the sauce, finely chop the onions and
garlic and fry lightly in melted butter. Add flour to make a roux, then add the fish stock, stirring constantly. When it comes to a boil, remove from heat. Chop or grind the walnuts, add them and all other ingredients to the sauce. Mix thoroughly and leave to cool. Pour the sauce over the fish pieces and serve room temperature.

Piroshki (Small Russian Meat Pies)

3 cubes of margarine
1 cube (.25 lb.) sweet butter
4 cups of flour
1 cup of ice cold water

Important Note: All utensils used must be cold (taken from refrigerator) in order that the butter not soften when it is being mixed with other ingredients.

Sprinkle into a pot 1 cup of flour; to this add margarine, a small piece at a time, until one cube has been added. With two criss-crossed knives (scissors fashion) reduce the margarine to pieces the size of peas; while so doing, add ice water a little at a time. The final appearance should be large pieces of margarine - about 1/2 inch pieces. If they are too small, the flour will not be layered, as desired.

Repeat the above three times until all the flour, butter, margarine and water have been used-up. Lay out the dough on a wax-paper covered board and roll out the dough to finger thickness. (Put wax paper over dough when rolling). Fold the dough in half and roll-out again and repeat this process 3-4 times. Fold the dough (like a piece of paper) into a more compact form and place the dough in refrigerator. You may keep the dough there for 2-3 days or, more correctly, until the time that you decide to make piroshkis or pirog.

To Make Stuffing for Piroshki:

3 lbs. lean hamburger, place in pan and cut with wood spoon until it is separated into small pea-size pieces

Fry over small flame in pan, mixing all the time, with no butter, pour off excess fat. Fry until it just turns grey. After having been cooked, add some Swanson beef bouillon to moisten the meat so that it is not dry. Add salt, pepper. Separately, fry finely cut onion and add this to the meat. Just before making the piroshki, hard boil 3-4 eggs, dice, add  to meat. To use: when meat filling is ready, cut the dough into 3-4 pieces (for convenience in rolling out) and roll out to 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick. Cut rolled-out dough into disks with the rim of an old fashioned cocktail glass. Place a full teaspoon of meat and place on the disk, fold disk in half (fold is at bottom and edge is at top), pinch the edges together then "pinch & twist" them, giving a zig-zag appearance to the edge, to prevent their opening during subsequent baking. Flatten each piroshok a little.

Place the pieces on a cookie sheet in rows (about 24 pieces, 3 x 8) and put in freezer. When frozen, they can be removed, put in plastic bag, sealed and put into deep freezer for extended storage. When needed, defrost and start by pre-heating the oven to 450 deg.F. Then take each piroshok, and wipe with the finger its top and where it was pinched with a well mixed egg (with 1/2 tsp. water added) and place on sheet. Place in middle of oven and cook for 15 min at 450 deg. Then reduce heat to 40 0 deg. for another 20 minutes. (If you have over-cooked at the first 450 deg., as evidenced by the color, cover with a layer of brown paper and reduce temp. to 400. for final cooking.)

Piroshki a la Aunt

Meat stuffing: Chop two hard boiled eggs. Place 1-2 pounds of hamburger in frying pan and press with fork while it cooks to keep it soft, and to separate all the small pieces of meat. Do not put oil in pan. Cook only until meat turns brown. Mix in the chopped eggs. Do not overcook. Add salt, pepper, dill.

Dough: 1/2 pound butter (soft!), 1/2 cup water with 1 tablespoon rum. Mix with butter in bowl- 3 cups flour, add one egg. Roll out with rolling pin, put on pieces of stuffing, pinch shut. Place all on pan and refrigerate for at least 1-hour - this helps make the dough better layered when placed later in oven. Remove from refrigerator, brush with butter, put in oven pre-heated to 400-degrees for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350-degrees for another 15-minutes - until lightly browned.

Piroshki with Meat

Dough: Make the dough 12 hours before preparing. 1 lb. wheat flour, 1 cup warm water, and some dry yeast. Mix flour in water, set in warm place until the volume has doubled. Add 1/2 lb. flour and warm water so that dough will not be too thick, and place again in a warm place for 2 hours. Salt to taste, add eggs, butter and ? (could not find English    equivalent in dictionary) until dough begins not to stick to dish; set aside and allow it to rise again.

Stuffing: 1 lb. chopped meat, 5 onions, salt, pepper, 3 eggs, 1 spoon butter. Fry meat with onions, add pepper and salt, add chopped hard-boiled eggs, add butter. Bake in the dough or, better yet, deep fry.

Russian Piroshki

1/4 lb pound sweet butter
2 cup sifted enriched flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream (or enough to moisten dough)
2 tablespoon butter
1/2 pound ground beef
2 tablesoon butter
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 hard cooked egg, chopped
Salt & pepper
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup water

To mix pastry, cut butter into sifted flour and salt as for pie crust, but leave the mixture in coarse lumps.  Add enough sour cream to bind.  Gather into a ball; roll into 15"x12" rectangle.  Break extra butter into small bits and scatter it over pastry.  Fold into 3 parts; press, roll out again and fold into thirds once more.  Press down; wrap in waxed paper and chill for 2 or 3 hours.  When ready to use, roll gently to 1/8" thickness and cut into 3" rounds.  Fill with mixture; brush the edges of pastry with milk.  Press together over filling, then fold the edge back to obtain a good seal.  Bake in moderate oven, 375 degrees for 20 minutes.  To prepare filling: brown meat in butter only until it loses its red color.  Add onion and brown lightly.  Add egg, seasoning and flour, stirring lightly.  Add water and set aside to cool.



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