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Cooking For Fun

Russian Side Dishes

Russian Baklaczan
Courtesy of Linda

1 eggplant
1 onion; diced
3 tb olive oil
1 green pepper; diced
1 lb mushrooms
10 oz carrots, frozen
1 cn tomato paste
1 tb brown sugar
1 tb vinegar
1 ts salt
1/8 ts pepper
1/4 ts garlic salt
1 black olives (optional)

Wrap eggplant in foil and bake about 1 hour at 350 deg. Brown onion in olive oil. Add green pepper, mushrooms and carrots. When cool, peel and dice the eggplant in about 1/2 inch pieces and ad to the above ingredients. Add tomato paste and the balance of the ingredients with 2 cups water. Simmer for 1 hour. Ad black olives. Serve warm or cold.

Radish & Egg Salad

1 Pound Red radishes -- cleaned and sliced
3 Hard-boiled eggs -- coarsely chopped
1/2 Cup Sour cream
1 Bunch Scallions -- trimmed and chopped
Salt -- to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper -- to taste
=== GARNISH ===
2 Sprigs Fresh dill -- chopped

Mix all the ingredients except the dill and place in a serving bowl. Garnish with the dill.

Serves 4 to 6.

Russian Kasha
Courtesy of Sarah

2 Cups Chicken stock -- fresh or canned (Please avoid bouillon cubes)
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly-ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Cup Kasha buckwheat groats, medium grain
1 Egg -- beaten

Place the chicken stock, salt, pepper and butter in a 2-quart heavy covered saucepan. Bring to a simmer. In a small bowl stir the kasha and egg together. Heat a non-stick frying pan and add the kasha-egg mixture. On medium-high heat flatten, stir and chop the kasha with a wooden fork for 2 to 4 minutes, or until the egg has cooked and the kernels are hot and mostly separated. Bring the stock to a boil and add the kasha to the broth. Cover and turn the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove the cover, stir and check that the kernels are tender and the liquid is absorbed. If not, cover and continue to cook another 3 to 5 minutes. Stir and fluff with a fork and serve. This recipe makes 3 cups of kasha.

Comments: This traditional Russian dish is made from buckwheat groats, a very nutty-flavored grain. You may find this grain in bulk in Russian or Jewish markets. It is simple to prepare and you will find yourself serving it often in place of rice or potatoes. This recipe is the traditional way of preparing this grain.

Russian Potato Pancakes

1 Pound Russet potatoes
1 Egg
1/2 Cup All-purpose flour -- plus
4 Tablespoons All-purpose flour
Salt -- to taste
Freshly-ground white pepper -- to taste
2 Tablespoons Oil
Peanut oil -- for frying

Peel the potatoes and soak them in salted water. (This will prevent discoloration.) Grate the potatoes and then grind them fine in a food grinder. Combine the potatoes with the egg, flour, salt and pepper and oil. Mix well. In one-sixteenth inch of oil, panfry a few pancakes at a time until they are golden brown and crisp on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove to paper towels to drain. Serve warm with sour cream and applesauce. This recipe makes about 1 dozen pancakes. Note: Use a mounded tablespoon to measure out the batter and flatten into a 4-inch circle in the hot oil. These pancakes should be thin and crispy.

Comments: This dish is Russian, it is Jewish, it is peasant, it is delicious. When Russian immigrants came to these shores they found potatoes were even more plentiful here than in the homeland. So what do you eat? Potatoes!

Eggplant "Caviar"

2 medium eggplants, about 1 lb (450 g) each
4 Tbs (60 ml) lemon juice
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped fresh parsley
4 garlic cloves, crushed through a press or chopped very fine
6 to 12 drops of Tabasco sauce (or to taste)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Wrap the eggplants in aluminum foil and bake in a 400F (200C) oven for one hour, until very soft. Unwrap carefully and allow the eggplants to cool before handling. Scrape the softened eggplant out of the skins and place in a food processor or blender. Add the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve cold as a dip with crackers or crudites, or as a spread on melba toast or thinly sliced bread. Serves 8 as an appetizer.



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