Miscellaneous

"Holodets" – general recipe

Submitted by Nobility_Cuisine on Sat, 07/08/2006 - 09:01.
Ingredients:

3-4 lb meat bones
1 lb meat
1 pack gelatin
4-5 bay leaves
Salt, ground pepper on taste
0.5 lb boiled vegetables
0.5 lemons
Garlic, parsley and dill on taste

Method:

This dish’s name “holodets” is from the Russian word “holod”, i.e., “cold”.
It is because the final preparation step is to cool in a refrigerator for a few hours.

Really, chicken, beef, or pork “holodets” is a meat jelly with meat cuts, vegetable cuts, and spices inside.
This dish is an ancient recipe, which is still the same as some hundreds of years ago, and this is a traditional dish for many Russian celebrations in rich and poor houses.

The first stage of the recipe is to make a tasty broth.
For that, put pieces of bones, or bones and meat in a large sauce pan in same time, pour cold water over them, put bay leaves, salt, and ground pepper, and bring to boil with low heating.
Remove foam when it comes up, until the boiling water is clear.
Boil for 2-3 hours, depending on bones’ size.
Soak gelatin in warm water (1 pack of gelatin – 1 cup of water) for 1 hour, mixing sometimes. After that, filter to remove unnecessary water.
Filter meat broth, and mix with soaked gelatin.
Cut cooked meat into small or medium cuts.
Cut any boiled vegetables (traditionally, cauliflower and carrots) into decorative cuts (stars, rings, etc.).
Pour thin layer of broth in a serving dish (traditionally, it is a large and deep round dish), and place in a refrigerator for half an hour to let freeze.
After that, put a few pieces of meat and vegetables in the serving dish, and pour broth over them to cover them.
Place in the refrigerator for half an hour,
Continue to add meat and vegetables, and cover them with broth until all ingredients run out.
After that, cover the dish with lid, and place in a refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
The dish is ready when jelly is strong.

Note:

You can serve this dish (Russians consider it an appetizer or a cold main dish) in a few ways:
You can serve it in the same dish, where everyone cuts a part for himself.
You can take a flat serving dish, place dish with “holodets” in very hot water for a couple of seconds, and turn it over on the flat dish, and after that slice it.
You can cut “holodets” into cubes, and everyone takes a few cubes for his own plate.
Traditionally, Russians decorate “holodets” with lemon slices, dill and parsley.
Serve with boiled potatoes, brined cucumbers, and brined mushrooms.

Note 2:

To make this dish have fewer calories, you can use vegetable broth and non-fat meat.
If you like garlic, you can place some fresh (not boiled!) cloves or cuts of cloves with other vegetables when you make this dish.

Tvorog

Submitted by Russian_Cuisine on Fri, 12/23/2005 - 21:30.
Tvorog is one of the most ancient and popular Russian dishes.
It was known in ancient Rome too, and one of philosophers, Columella, said that it is a favorable dish on a rich and poor table.
Tvorog is a well-balanced and useful dish, containing proteins, necessary amino acids, microelements, and vitamins. It is allowed-for-all dish, and it is absolutely necessary for children, because it contains plenty of calcium, and 14%-22% of protein. For a long time, Russians called tvorog "syr", which means "cheese", and even still pancakes with tvorog are named "syrnik".
People in villages, who had cows, eat tvorog and dishes containing tvorog, almost daily.
The sour milk, where proteins have already curdled, was product for preparing of tvorog.
Pour sour milk into an oven-safe dish (in old times – large pot), and place the dish into a not very hot oven (traditionally – in Russian oven).
After a few hours, take the dish off from oven, and pour its contents into fabric bag.
Place fabric bag in a colander, and let buttermilk to stream down.
After that, put press (any clean heavy staff) on the bag.
Tvorog left in the bag.
You can eat it with salt, sugar, and sour cream, or use it in different dishes.
The only disadvantage of this tvorog is that you cannot keep it more than 3 days in a refrigerator, or it will turn sour.
To prolong its storage time, you have to dry it.

The technology of draining tvorog is next:

Place fresh tvorog (after pressing) in an oven-safe dish, and put the dish in a not very hot oven once more, and put under press in a fabric bag once more.
After 2-3 times, you will have very dry, crumbly tvorog.

To keep it for a long time (up to half a year), put it in a clean pot, pour melted butter (Russian style) over it, and keep in a cold dry place under a tight lid. People took such tvorog on long trips.
Peasants traded with such tvorog, and the dryer the tvorog, the more expensive it was.
Modern technologies of tvorog preparation are not far from ancient ones:

Ingredients:

¼ h whole milk
1 cup plain yogurt

Method:

Boil milk in glass or enameled saucepan. Add yogurt, and mix.
Turn off heating, and let sit. After it turns warm and curdles, put any uncolored clean fabric bag in the colander, and pour the semi-finished product into a bag. Let drain. That means let the buttermilk stream down.
To make dryer tvorog, place a press over it.
Tvorog is ready.

Note:

Hundreds of recipes using tvorog are in Russian cuisine.
The most famous dishes from tvorog are "syrnik", "vareniki with tvorog", melted cheese, "zapekanka", "cheese balls with potato", or "cheese-potato cakes", and "Paskha" – Easter cake.
I will give these recipes later.

Russian Cuisine

Submitted by Russian_Cuisine on Mon, 06/13/2005 - 18:24.
Hi, my name is Michelle and I will share with you here authentic recipes of the millennium-old Russian cuisine. When I started to look into the matter, I found that for some reason, Russian cuisine is not really represented in the United States. One of the reasons that I could guess, is that Russians coming to the United States are usually well educated and make a very nice living as professionals. They simply have no reason to open cheap restaurants on every corner and popularize their national recipes.