- A pot of Borscht
- Beef Stroganoff
- A mystery vegetable, which I will only find the identity of the day of the exam, prepared in an Eastern European fashion of cooking
How fun for me, right? And it's fun for you, because you get to learn while I'm learning. Also I figured out that the best way for me to study is to write and re-write it down. But what's the point of writing if nobody else is going to read it?
According to Wikipedia.com, Borscht is defined as a soup of Ukranian origin, that is made of beets as its main ingredient. According to UrbanDictionary.com...well, let's not go there. The point is that borscht is kind of this iconic dish that we think of when we hear "Russian cuisine" that we have little to know real knowledge about. It has just always been the first thing I think of when I think of what Russians eat... That, or wolf milk. (I have no idea if Russians drink wolf milk. It just seems funny enough to be true.)
I remember the first time I even heard the word 'borscht' was when I was, like, six or seven and watching that episode of "Rugrats" where Chucky got sprayed by a skunk and the only thing that worked was bathing in Borscht. Gross, but effective, apparently.
|Never thought Russian food could be tasty, did you, you anti-Marxist jerk?|
The cold variety is, apparently, a big staple in many culinary traditions, including Ukranian, Latvian, Polish and Lithuanian cuisines. (I have to say that this doesn't phase me much, considering I don't even know where Lithuania is.)
The preparation for the cold stuff involves mostly young beets being cooked together with their leaves(when available) and, when cooled, they are stirred up with sour cream, yogurt, or soured milk, depending on the region. A garnish happens with more sour cream and some dill, and some more raw, chopped veggies like cucumbers are added, along with some chopped, hard-boiled egg. So kind of like an Eastern European gazpacho, in a way? Only instead of being emulsified with olive oil, you use dairy. And there's no bread. Kinda.
What was I talking about again?
Anyway, Borscht is awesome. I found lots of fun recipes via Bing.com(best search engine EVAR), and it just so happens that Epicurious.com has a great selection of recipes for this tasty dish. Here's the recipe for the Borscht we prepared in class:
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 oz bacon, 1/4" dice
- 4 oz onion, diced
- 1 crushed, minced garlic clove
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 1/2 cup carrots, diced
- 2 cups beets, peeled and diced
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes, canned
- 4 cups chicken or beef stock
- 1 cup green cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 cup potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 sprigs parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- Sour cream and Dill for garnish