Mors, Russian Berry Cocktail

Mors is a refreshing drink made of berries. Though cranberries are the most traditional choice, any berry in season can be used, and commercial brands in Russia and Ukraine offer anything from blackcurrant to raspberry. This version, made with red currants and blueberries, was inspired by the selection at the Union Square Greenmarket this morning — I […]

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Russian Food - Salmon Coulibiac

Salmon Coulibiac

Originally, a kulebyaka was a closed pie filled with several layers, often separated with pancakes to prevent mixing. The dish could be served at any time during the meal, and fillings consisted of almost anything, including meat, fish, mushrooms, onions, cabbage, buckwheat, hard-boiled eggs — sweet ingredients to create a dessert pie weren’t unheard of either. However, it […]

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Lamb Shanks Ufa

My series of dishes named after Eastern Bloc cities and regions has taken you to Dubrovnik, Vojvodina, Telavi, and now… Ufa, the capital of Bashkiria. The Bashkirs, just like the Tatars who also live there, are a Turkic ethnic group. As I was browsing in the aisles of the NYU library recently, I realized that not only did Bashkiria release […]

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Blueberry Jam

Blueberries are mostly found in North America, but their cousins, bilberries, are found all across Europe and are highly praised in berry-gathering, preserve-loving Russia. The Russian Wikipedia informs us that in 1964, Soviet Union issued a stamp representing bilberries, and the Great Soviet Encyclopedia mentions that bilberry juice can be used for the dubious purpose […]

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King Crab Ravioli, Caviar and Vodka Cream

King crab, caviar and vodka: are there any ingredients that better exemplify haute Russian cuisine? I served this dish as a first course on New Year’s Eve. Enjoy with champagne (just not necessarily the Soviet kind)! For the pasta dough, I am using a modified version of Gordon Ramsay’s dough recipe. Stay away from dough recipes that […]

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Blini and Oladi, Russian Pancakes

Blini and Oladi, Russian Pancakes

There are literally hundreds of Russian pancake recipes. The Bolshaya Kniga Domashney Kukhni by Svetlana and Lidia Lagutina alone counts more than 70! These recipes distinguish themselves by the type of flour or starch used (wheat, buckwheat, rye, semolina, potato), the raising agents or aerators present in the batter (yeast, baking soda, beaten egg whites, […]

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Baked Paskha

Paskha is a traditional dessert made of tvorog and shaped like a truncated pyramid. Culinary writer William Pokhlebkin notes that the cost of the dish used to mean that simple people could only afford it about once a year, and chose to time it for the end of the Lenten fast in the orthodox faith — in […]

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