Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The Paloe/Primal Adaptations of Russian Food

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Paloe/Primal Adaptations of Russian Food

    Hey, folks.

    Like every culture, Russia eats its share of beloved grains. Buckwheat R US. Millet ain't an exotic 'ancient' grain confined to the organic section of the health food store. Heck, the honored guests are greeted in Russia with an offering of bread (rye, sour dough) and salt (coarse). But, all and all, Russian dishes actually work super-nicely without that slice of rye bread loaded with mustard. If you avoid tubers, it is a bit harder, since beets & carrots keep well in the winter, so a lot of cooking incorporates. Cabbage is nearly obligatory too.

    My husband doesn't like pickled stuff, so, alas, I have not made any of the wonderful pickles and preserves my grandma canned throughout the summer (she did not pickle pine-cones. I wish I knew why. Everything else was a fair game). Speaking of my husband... Western folk might be turned off by my ingredient list or a thought that fish can be jellied. And, yeah, I am a Russian wife of a Canadian Citizen, but I am not a Russian Wife TM imported though the dating service, staying home applying make-up all day and planning how to catch an even richer husband and all that jazz (Okay, got that off my chest!).

    Once I came to the West, I encountered a far wider range of spices than was available back in the home country, and I have experimented with incorporating it into my cooking a BIG time.

    Obviously, I am influenced by Eastern Europenian and Central Asian cuisines a lot as well, so eggplants, sweet peppers, caravai seeds and hot peppers are not out of the question.

    I will try to keep posting whenever I am making an old re-vamped favorite., even if nobody comments, though I appreciate comments if you tried the recipe.
    Last edited by Leida; 09-07-2012, 06:07 AM.
    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

  • #2
    "Moscovite" Bortsh

    The key is a BIG pot. Really BIG pot. And really good beets. If you have beets with beet leaves attached, that's even better!

    Make a bone broth by browning good 3-5 lbs of soup bones with copious meat on them and lot of bone marrow inside, YUM. If there is not enough meat on a bone, make sure to add a couple of pounds of browned stewing beef. Then throw them in the BIG pot, cover with boiling water from a kettle (to fill up the pot) and put on a low heat, do not let boil and skim the yukies till the foaming stops. Then put on low (right at slow simmer) and let it start thinking about life and stuff.

    Meanwhile, prepare a herb pouch. I tie into a cheese cloth about a tbsp of black peppercorns, same amount of coriander seeds, a red chilly pepper and a couple of stalks and leaves of celery and 4-6 bay leaves, a few cloves of garlic. I do not bother with carrots at this stage, but I cut a medium onion in half, and bury the pouch and the onion under bones.

    In about 2-3 hours once meat starts falling off the bone, I take the meat out, foil it up, and leave everything else on the warming zone of the stove overnight or over-day if I intend to have bortsh for supper.

    When the broth is ready, drain via colander, get marrow from the bones and add to the meat pile, discard bones, squish the spice bag with a back of the spoon to get the best flavor. Chill and skim off fat if desired.

    Next, the veggie stage. The amount of veggies and meat should make the bortch that is very thick, so nobody ends up chasing a cabbage thread in a sea of broth.

    About 1/3 head of the green cabbage fine slice, the finer the better but long... 2-3 stalks of celery (this replaces parsley root that we use back home), 2-3 carrots, 1 small onion, and 1 meaty red pepper. Normal bortsch would also use white potatoes, but after taking them out I like potato-less version better!

    Chop up cabbages and peppers, put into the pot, slow fire. Meanwhile, sweat onions, celery and carrots with fat of your choice, add to the pot once they smell really good.

    Then, to the queen of the bortsh: 3 to 4 medium beets (heck, add five if you have room!), the bestest, the sweeter they taste, the better! Peel, and dice about 1/4 inch, and here comes the timing thing. Have diced beets on the board ready to make the dive and a bottle of your favorite vinegar on hand (I don't recommend balzamic, it spoils color, but I love raspberry red wine). Dump beets in and follow up with 1 to 3 tbsp of vingar right on the beets, and mix it in. If using plain white vinegar, I'd throw in a tbsp of brown sugar. Mix well, and you will see that beet red color. It may go into brown-er shade as it cooks, but it will get restored back to beet-red once it chills (LATER).

    Anyway, let it cook on the low till veggies are tender (about 1 to 1.5 hrs), then add a tomato cut into half, a can of rinsed red beans if you like, and all the saved meat (try to keep the hungry progeny away from the meat, or you might end up browning an extra batch!). If you are using beet greens, they will go into the pot a wee bit earlier than that, though if you have thicker stems the stems can go in with the cabbage, and the tender leaves with the tomato.

    Bring back to boil, turn off.

    You can serve it right away with sour cream & parsley, dill or for bread eaters with pumpernickel smothered in mustard. BUT! For best results, let the pot stand till it goes down to room temperature, then chill overnight in the fridge. Eat cold or hot with the above add-ons.

    Bone Appetite!
    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

    Comment


    • #3
      Of Quark and Kefir

      Those are time-honored staples of Russian dairy, with the low sugar content, high protein, keeps the taste buds in business (cottage cheese and ricotta are pretty bland by comparison) and are easy to make. Kefir, the remnant of the days when the wild Mongols carried milk in leather pouches on their saddles, I add to smoothies or liquid salads/cold summer soups (amazingly, we are BIG on the cold summer soups). Quark (or, properly, tvorog), I eat on its own, eating straight with salt or mixing in coconut milk before eating if it is a bit too acidic. My standard breakfast growing up was tvorog with home-made jam (mom watched to make sure it was not jam with tvorog). I also make salads with it, tomato, or radish-cucumber and dill and onions. Finally, I used to make syrniks by adding a bit of non-glut flour mix to it and forming patties, browning them and baking. It's great as a base for fruit just like cottage cheese too. I also add it as a filler in the meatballs and meatloaves.

      Making Quark (Tvorog):

      I throw kefir grains (~ 2 cups of grains) into 2-2.5 L of milk (organic, no raw available here, but if you can get raw go for it!) and leave for a couple days in a quiet, low traffic spot on the counter till curd and whey separates. I always cover it with a clean kitchen towel as well, for aesthetic purposes.

      I mix it once in a while with a wooden spoon (2x a day, unless I forget!).

      Once the curds separate, I fish out kefir grains, and put the pot on the lowest setting on the stove for ~ 20 min to 30 min, just to promote separation again. Then I take a BIG colander (Okay, I know, BIG is a recurring theme with me), line it with the paper towels, and pour the content of the pot into it.

      I place colander on top of the kefir-making pot and put in the fridge overnight to drain. I turn out the ready quark from the towel into the plastic container & store in the fridge.

      iI used to do it the old fashioned Russian way, straining in the cheesecloth, but I like the paper towel method better, since no cheese cloth rinsing is involved; you do not need to find a place to hang it to drip, and it turns softer and yummier imo. Oh, and I really do not like warming it up too much either, since I like the softer version better.

      I will provide the Syrniks recipe eventually. And, if you mastered the art of the egg&cream-cheese crepes, you can fill them tvorog for a wonderful impact!
      Last edited by Leida; 09-07-2012, 07:43 AM.
      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
      When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

      Comment


      • #4
        Now if only you could primalze pyrohy!! Or holobtsi. My mothers side is Ukrainian.

        Comment


        • #5
          I have Primal Golubtzy. It is actually laughingly easy. You substitute rice for boiled eggs! It's perfect.

          For pirohi I was thinking lately to take a leaf from various lazagna subs and do them either deconstructed on tuber base, or think about rolling in bacon or rolling vegetables, like zucchini or eggplant slices.
          Last edited by Leida; 09-07-2012, 09:17 AM.
          My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
          When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by snoops View Post
            Now if only you could primalze pyrohy!! Or holobtsi. My mothers side is Ukrainian.
            I would think holobtsi could be primalized without too much trouble. Of course, if you don't mind eating rice, you can enjoy it in the traditional way

            Comment


            • #7
              Yessss I have been waiting for this thread forever
              My chocolatey Primal journey

              Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Leida View Post
                "Moscovite" Bortsh

                The key is a BIG pot. Really BIG pot. And really good beets. If you have beets with beet leaves attached, that's even better!

                Make a bone broth by browning good 3-5 lbs of soup bones with copious meat on them and lot of bone marrow inside, YUM. If there is not enough meat on a bone, make sure to add a couple of pounds of browned stewing beef. Then throw them in the BIG pot, cover with boiling water from a kettle (to fill up the pot) and put on a low heat, do not let boil and skim the yukies till the foaming stops. Then put on low (right at slow simmer) and let it start thinking about life and stuff.

                Meanwhile, prepare a herb pouch. I tie into a cheese cloth about a tbsp of black peppercorns, same amount of coriander seeds, a red chilly pepper and a couple of stalks and leaves of celery and 4-6 bay leaves, a few cloves of garlic. I do not bother with carrots at this stage, but I cut a medium onion in half, and bury the pouch and the onion under bones.

                In about 2-3 hours once meat starts falling off the bone, I take the meat out, foil it up, and leave everything else on the warming zone of the stove overnight or over-day if I intend to have bortsh for supper.

                When the broth is ready, drain via colander, get marrow from the bones and add to the meat pile, discard bones, squish the spice bag with a back of the spoon to get the best flavor. Chill and skim off fat if desired.

                Next, the veggie stage. The amount of veggies and meat should make the bortch that is very thick, so nobody ends up chasing a cabbage thread in a sea of broth.

                About 1/3 head of the green cabbage fine slice, the finer the better but long... 2-3 stalks of celery (this replaces parsley root that we use back home), 2-3 carrots, 1 small onion, and 1 meaty red pepper. Normal bortsch would also use white potatoes, but after taking them out I like potato-less version better!

                Chop up cabbages and peppers, put into the pot, slow fire. Meanwhile, sweat onions, celery and carrots with fat of your choice, add to the pot once they smell really good.

                Then, to the queen of the bortsh: 3 to 4 medium beets (heck, add five if you have room!), the bestest, the sweeter they taste, the better! Peel, and dice about 1/4 inch, and here comes the timing thing. Have diced beets on the board ready to make the dive and a bottle of your favorite vinegar on hand (I don't recommend balzamic, it spoils color, but I love raspberry red wine). Dump beets in and follow up with 1 to 3 tbsp of vingar right on the beets, and mix it in. If using plain white vinegar, I'd throw in a tbsp of brown sugar. Mix well, and you will see that beet red color. It may go into brown-er shade as it cooks, but it will get restored back to beet-red once it chills (LATER).

                Anyway, let it cook on the low till veggies are tender (about 1 to 1.5 hrs), then add a tomato cut into half, a can of rinsed red beans if you like, and all the saved meat (try to keep the hungry progeny away from the meat, or you might end up browning an extra batch!). If you are using beet greens, they will go into the pot a wee bit earlier than that, though if you have thicker stems the stems can go in with the cabbage, and the tender leaves with the tomato.

                Bring back to boil, turn off.

                You can serve it right away with sour cream & parsley, dill or for bread eaters with pumpernickel smothered in mustard. BUT! For best results, let the pot stand till it goes down to room temperature, then chill overnight in the fridge. Eat cold or hot with the above add-ons.

                Bone Appetite!
                Hi Leida! I just discovered this thread and yum!! I will try this it sounds wonderful. I love hearing about different cooking and kitchen traditions so this is bookmarked!!

                Thank You for sharing.
                A Woman's Place Is In The Revolution.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Other favorites in my Eastern European family: cod liver/hard-boiled egg salad (just those 2 ingredients + mayo) and grated hard cheese/egg/horseradish/mayo salad.

                  Holodnik is another good veggie soup (cold version of bortsch).

                  I know this jellied fish dish you're talking about, I'm afraid even I couldn't stomach it...haha

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Paternal half-blood here. Grew up anticipating trips to grandma"s house to gorge on peroshki, borsht, pelmini, eggplant caviar and all sorts of other lovelies. :0)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thank you for kind words, everyone. Now, I am taking a break from cabbages and beets (though I have plenty of cabbages and beets up my sleeve!)


                      Bulgarian Lecho (Really, it is likely to remind you of the antipasti, but that’s what it’s called in the Byzantium part of the Roman Empire)

                      2 large (regular) or 3 medium (Japanese) or ~ 2 lbs of small round Eggplants
                      2 ‘meaty’ red bell peppers
                      1 small jalapeño pepper (don’t use in conjunction with cayenne!)
                      3-4 garlic cloves
                      2 medium carrots or 8 -10 baby carrots, diced into ~ ½-1/4 inch pieces
                      1 large onion
                      ~ 2 cups of diced or plum tomatoes or 3 to 4 large beefsteak tomatoes
                      Spices: black peppercorns (~ ½ teaspoon), coriander seeds (~ ½ teaspoon), cumin (1/4 teaspoon), cayenne pepper (1/4 teaspoon or to taste), mild paprika (~ ½ tbsp)
                      Coconut oil (as needed, up to ¼ cup, normally)

                      Directions:

                      Preheat the broiler. Get a couple of large baking sheets and line them with foil. Put ~ 2 tbsp of coconut oil into micro and let it melt into liquid. It takes about 30-40 sec for my micro, but you know yours! Take a brush and brush the foil on the sheets.

                      Cut the bell peppers in half, clean them out, press to flatten on the foiled sheet. Chop onion into large pieces (think stir-fry). Cut eggplants into long stripes about ½ inch thick and 3-4 inches long (I like that more than rounds, you can fit more on the sheet that way). If using fresh tomatoes, cut them in half. Arrange on the foiled sheets in the artistic fashion. Or non-artistic fashion. The main thing it all should fit. Brush with coconut oil. Set under the broiler until peppers’ skin blackens.

                      Get the peppers out. If the rest of the veggies look like they need more tan, slip them back in. Wrap the peppers in the Cyrano or throw into a plastic bag squeezing out excess air. Let them dream pepper dreams for a while.

                      Meanwhile, toast the spices, and give them a whirl in the grinder, just to break them up (woo-hoo, fragrance!)

                      Now, get a really BIG pan. Throw in coconut oil, the broiled eggplants and the onions, and the carrots (but reserve the broiled tomatoes, if using). Dump spices on top of it, crush the garlic cloves (alternatively, you could have rolled garlic in foil and let it bake with other veggies, then you’d squeeze it in), and braise on low, mixing it once in a while.

                      Meanwhile, peel the blackened skins off the peppers and slice them. Add bell peppers in, stir. When it looks too dry, dump the can of tomatoes in, breaking up the plum or broiled tomatoes as you go, diced will go as is. If it looks too dry, add more tomatoes.

                      Cover up and simmer on low till it looks and smells good and before it turns to mush (Eggplant caviar recipe comes latter! That's when you want mush).

                      Store in the containers of your choice (I love glass jars), in the fridge and serve cold as a side to meats. It works great hot as well if you throw in ground beef or stir-fried beef.
                      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                      When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks a lot for this thread and the recipes - lush! I had forgotten about "lecho" - will have tomake it one day. A similar favourite of mine is Balkan "Ajvar".

                        I am originally from Latvia (and a very Russian part of it) and our everyday cuisine is not too far off North-East Slavic cuisine but I haven't really tried to adapt much of it to Primal, except what has been already mentioned - golupci, borsht, holodnik. It's a shame pelmeni or blini can't be adapted quite as successfully. I love grechka too. Oh well
                        I do indulge into dryaniki (potato pancakes) from time to time - they work well without any flour. Tried them with sweet potato but it's really too far from the real stuff.

                        How about what is often called "shaslik" - marinated, grilled lamb or pork? (ok, that's Caucasian, not really Russian) Strogonoff? Dressed Herring under Fur? (that relies heavily on tubers but at least potato can be left out). Do you like (and can you get it) tvorog/cottage cheese? I like using that in "pastry", like little cakes with raisins, pancakes etc.

                        Home-made sausage? I plan to try that some time soon but have to find some good casing. With some sauerkraut (I make it at home and now I am trying to convert my "Western" BF to eat it, home made sausage would probably help)?
                        One more thing is different cold meats you get over there - like "rulet" - that would fit Paleo well, since different types of meat/fat are used.
                        Last edited by inesenite; 09-11-2012, 01:22 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Heya, Inesenite! I make my own quark (tvorog) from home-made kefir, one of the posts covers it. I tried to use cottage cheese in place of tvorog, but it was all wrong. Ricotta is the closest, but far too sweet. So, I just make my own.

                          On that note, I am going to go dairy free (again, lol), so I am making the whole fresh batch of tvorog into Syrniks tonight for my folks, which will give me a chance to get that recipe straight, so it will be the next one posted. Wee! To bad I am not gonna be eating it
                          My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                          When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Leida View Post
                            Heya, Inesenite! I make my own quark (tvorog) from home-made kefir, one of the posts covers it. I tried to use cottage cheese in place of tvorog, but it was all wrong. Ricotta is the closest, but far too sweet. So, I just make my own.

                            On that note, I am going to go dairy free (again, lol), so I am making the whole fresh batch of tvorog into Syrniks tonight for my folks, which will give me a chance to get that recipe straight, so it will be the next one posted. Wee! To bad I am not gonna be eating it
                            Thank you, Leida! I somehow skipped the quark recipe, sorry (prob because I didn't know what quark was ) - I will certainly try to do that myself. And syrniki too - I gad forgotten the name of those yummies Good luck going dairy free - I am on/off it but cannot seem to stay off long enough because of all the temptations - I just love all sorts of cheeses and living near France doesn't help

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Bigos and Golabki

                              Hi Leida,

                              Was wondering if you had a favorite version of Bigos, which is also know as Hunters Stew. Since cooler days are coming soon, I am starting to think of these types of dishes. I know you said it was time for a break from cabbage recipes, but the other recipe I am wondering about is Stuffed Cabbage or Golabki. My dad is Polish so I grew up eating lots of Golabki. I learned about Bigos from a Polish restaurant in London.

                              I have made several different versions of Bigos and love to learn how others spice the foods and the slightly different variations of components and then serving ideas, like whether to use sour cream or not. Also, recipe variations like types and amounts of paprika (smoked, hungarian, etc), different vegetables (fennel maybe???), meat prep (whether to sear before adding), etc, etc.

                              Thanks for your previous posts - very inspiring.

                              - Mike

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X