A Russian Feast At Encampment at the Castle VII There was a quite noticeable lack of source material for this feast. The only period reference that I could find was ‘Domostroi’, written during the reign of Ivan the Terrible. Most of the book deals with the accepted interaction between the various members of the society at that time and expected social and religious behavior. There was very little mentioned of cooking. The book includes only a handful of recipes (7). Of those, three were for alcoholic beverages and the others for turnips or cabbage. What was somewhat more useful were two ‘books’ included in ‘Domostroi’ that detail the ‘foods that are to be placed on the table’ at various time of the year. It was from these lists that the menu dishes were drawn. Many of the dishes mentioned are still found on Russian tables today. I sourced as many recipes as possible from ‘A Gift to Young Housewives’ by Elena Molokhovets, written in the late 19th century. This is the oldest recipe source that I was able to find. Some others come from more modern sources that claim the recipes are traditional. A few of the recipes are simple enough that they were probably not written down in period. These will have no reference mentioned. The modern (post 1600) recipes were ‘aged’ either by removing post period or new world ingredients, or by substituting a period, old world ingredient that would have the same effect. Many of the dishes were altered to represent what could have been served in period in Muscovy. One recipe actually came from a period Italian source, but provides a dish that would probably have been served almost universally across Europe by cultures that consume a large amount of dairy product. The 1st course features a fast day menu. This type of food made up about 40% of the Muscovite diet at the time. This course contains no meat or dairy ingredient. If these dishes were served on a meat day, they would probably have been prepared using meat stock in place of water, or served with a sour cream garnish. In order to create a more vegetarian friendly feast, vegetable dishes that call for meat stock as the liquid were prepared with vegetable stock or water instead. Since the vegetation in these dishes has a stronger flavor on its own this will have very little impact on the overall flavor of the dish. Look for notes in the recipe listing and menu to identify these dishes. I apologize that this is not a true period feast. I have endeavored to provide what might have been served in Muscovy during the reign of Ivan the Terrible. I believe it to be a reasonable reproduction. Enjoy, Giles Menu On the Table Творок (сыр горшка) * Tvorog Pot Cheese Ржаной Хлеб Rzhanoi Khleb Rye Bread Квашеная Капуста * Kvashenaya Kapusta Brined Cabbage Кислые Репы * Kislaja Repa Brined Turnips Соленые Грибы * Solenaja Griby Salted Mushrooms First Course For a Fast Day Щи * Schi Cabbage Soup Лосось с Укропом Losos’ s Ukropom Dilled Salmon Каша * Kasha Grain Second Course Борщ * Borshch Beet Soup Тхушоное Мясо С Подливкои Из Хрена Thushonoye Myaso S Podlivkoi Iz Khrena Venison Stew with Horseradish Пирожкы # Pirozhky Small Fried Pies Блинчикы * Blinchiky Cheese-filled Crepes Third Course Пельмини # Pel’meni Dumplings filled with Meat or Cheese Вареники с вишнями * Vareniki s vishnjami Dumplings filled with Cherries Копченая Утка, Испеченная Kopchenaja Utka, Ispechennaja Baked Smoked Duck Заварной крем Zavarnojj krem Rennet Custard * These dishes are suitable for ovo-lacto vegetarians. # Cheese and mushroom versions are suitable for ovo-lacto vegetarians. Творок (сыр горшка) Tvorog Pot Cheese 2 qt fresh whole milk ¼ - ½ t salt ½ t Flora Danica culture or 1 c very fresh buttermilk Warm milk to 86° F in a non-corrosive pan. Add culture, mix well. If using buttermilk, blend with the fresh milk before heating. Allow the milk to sit at room temperature or slightly warmer, for 24 hours. At this point if should resemble thick yogurt and will pull away from the sides of the pan when tilted slightly. Set the pan of curd in a pot of hot water (180° – 195° F) and maintain that temperature for 30-45 minutes without stirring. Allow to cool to near room temperature. Ladle into a colander lined with cheesecloth. Tie the corners of the cheesecloth and hang until the cheese is the desired consistency. Reserve some of the whey to blend into the cheese if needed. Blend in salt. Makes about 2 cups. Ржаной Хлеб Rzhanoi Khleb Rye Bread 1 ¼ c whey 1 1/3 c bread flour (approx) ¼ c lard or shortening 1 T wheat gluten 2 T blackstrap molasses 1 t salt ½ c buckwheat flour 1 T caraway seeds 1 ½ c rye flour 1 T (pkg) active dry yeast Heat whey to 110° F, add fat, molasses, and yeast. Let stand 10 minutes (until yeast doubles). Add buckwheat and rye flours, beat into a thick batter. Add bread flour, gluten, salt, and caraway seeds. Knead until satiny, about 20 minutes. Let rise until doubled, punch down. Repeat. Shape into an oblong loaf, let rise until doubled. Bake at 360° F for approximately 40 minutes. Brush with butter or other fat to soften top crust. Квашеная Капуста Kvashenaya Kapusta Brined Cabbage 5 lb. cabbage Water or whey (if needed) 3 Tbsp. pickling and canning salt Shred or slice the cabbage. Layer the cabbage and salt in a corrosion resistant food safe container. Place a plate or other similar object on top of the cabbage. Place a 5-8 lb. weight on top of the plate. A gallon jug full of water works well. The salted cabbage should for enough brine to cover the vegetation in 6-8 hours. If this does not happen, add enough water or whey to cover the cabbage. Place the container in a cool (about 60ºF) place. It is very important that the cabbage is immersed in the brine. Cabbage not covered with brine will mold and spoil. Start checking the kraut after about 4 days. I prefer it after a week or 10 days. After the sauerkraut is fermented to your liking you can store it in the refrigerator to slow the action. The kraut can be stored in the crock if desired, but it will continue to sour as time passes. Makes 3-4 quarts. Кислые Репы Kislaja Repa Brined Turnips 5 lb. grated turnips Whey or water as needed 3 Tbsp. pickling and canning salt Layer the grated turnips and salt in a corrosion resistant container. Place a plate or similar object on top of the turnips, and place a weight on the plate. The weight serves two purposes; to gently press the roots to extract some moisture, and to keep the roots under the forming brine. Sufficient brine should form within 6-8 hours to cover the roots. If this does not happen, add enough water or whey to cover the roots. Wait 4-5 days. Check daily after this time. If mold or slime forms on the surface of the brine simply skim it off. This is normal and does not mean that the roots have spoiled. When the roots have soured to your liking they are done. I prefer them after about 10 days. The roots may be stored in the refrigerator (this will slow the fermentation) or left in the crock. If left in the crock they will continue to sour. It is essential that the brine cover the roots. Roots not covered by brine will mold and spoil. Immersion in brine makes the difference in soured roots and spoiled roots. Makes about 3 quarts. Соленые Грибы Solenaja Griby Salted Mushrooms A La Russe, Darra Goldstein, p. 208 1 lb whole button mushrooms 2 T fresh dill or 2 t dried dill 2 T pickling and canning salt 9 whole cloves 3 bay leaves ½ c hot water 1 t peppercorns Rinse mushrooms. Place a layer of mushrooms, stems up, in a 2-quart crock or canning jar. Sprinkle them with a portion of the salt and spices. Continue layering the mushrooms (always stems up) until you’ve used them all. Pour the hot water over all, shaking the container gently to dissolve the salt. Try not to disturb the mushrooms Place a plate or similar object on top of the mushrooms, and place a weight on the plate. Place in a cool, dark place. After a few days, check to see that the mushrooms are immersed in liquid. If not, add a little more salt water. The mushrooms will be ready in a month. Щи Schi Cabbage Soup Adapted from A La Russe, Darra Goldstein, p. 156 2 T butter salt 1 lg onion, julienne sliced pepper 5 c stock or water dill ¾ lb white cabbage, cut up sour cream for garnish ½ c sauerkraut Saute onion in butter. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Add cabbage and sauerkraut. Cover and simmer for about 50 minutes or until the cabbage is tender. Check seasoning. Serve with sour cream. Serves 8. Note: Schi for this feast was made with water to produce a vegetarian dish. Лосось с Укропом Losos’ s Ukropom Dilled Salmon 1 ¾ - 2 lb salmon ½ t pepper 1 T olive oil 1 clove garlic 1 t salt 1 t dried dill weed or 1 T fresh Brush salmon with oil; sprinkle with spices. Broil for 4 minutes per side or poach for 18- 20 minutes. Serves 4. Каша Kasha Grain 1 c buckwheat groats 1 t salt 2 c stock or water ½ t pepper Bring stock to a boil; add salt and pepper. Add groats; cook until moisture is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Serves 8. Note: Kasha for feast was made with water to produce a vegetarian dish. Ворщ Borshch Beet Soup Adapted from A La Russe, Darra Goldstein, p 158 1 ½ lb whole beets ½ t salt 1 qt meat stock or water ¼ t pepper 1 onion 2 c sour cream for garnish 1 c sauerkraut Clean beets, boil whole, reserve 1 ½ cups water. Dice onion small. Peel and shred beets. Add beets, onion, and reserved beet liquor to stock. Simmer until onions are soft, season. Add sauerkraut. Serve with sour cream. Serves 8. Note: Borshch for this feast was made with water to produce a vegetarian dish. Тхушоное Мясо С Подливкои Из Хрена Thushonoye Myaso S Podlivkoi Iz Khrena Venison Stew Adapted from A La Russe, Darra Goldstein, p 172 3 lb stewing meat 2 T butter ¼ c butter 3 T flour 2 lg onions, finely chopped ½ c prepared horseradish 4 cloves garlic, crushed 3 T prepared mustard 2 med carrots, finely chopped ¼ c sour cream 2 c beef broth Salt and pepper to taste 2 c dry white wine Minced parsley 2 bay leaves Brown the meat in ¼ c butter, remove from pan and keep warm. Cook the onions, garlic, and carrots for about 15 minutes over medium-low heat. Spread the vegetables into an even layer over the bottom of the pan and place the browned meat on top of them. Pour the beef broth and wine over all; add the bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 1½ hours, until meat is tender. Strain broth. Reserve the meat and vegetables. Return broth to pan and reduce to about 2 cups. Make a roux of the butter and flour. Stir into the reduced broth, and horseradish and mustard. Gradually stir in the sour cream; do not allow the sauce to boil. Check seasoning; pour sauce over meat and vegetables and warm through. Serve garnished with parsley. Makes 8 servings. Пирожкы Pirozhky Small Fried Pies Dough The Russian Cookbook, Barbara Norman, p 90 ¾ lb butter 1 t salt 6 c flour 2 c sour cream 3 egg yolks 1 beaten egg Crumble butter and flour together with fingertips. Stir in egg yolks lightly beaten with salt. Add enough sour cream to make a dough that can be rolled easily. Chill dough for at least 1 hour before rolling out. Roll dough out on lightly floured surface. Cut it in large circles (4” – 5” in diameter), place about 1 T of filling in center, fold over and pinch edges together. Brush pastries with beaten egg, prick the top crust with a fork and bake at 350° F on a lightly greased baking sheet for 20-25 minutes or until browned. Makes about 60. Начинка из Рубленого Мяса Nachinka iz Rublenogo Myasa Meat filling for Pirozhky Adapted from The Russian Cookbook, Barbara Norman, p 90 2 med onions, minced 4 hard-boiled eggs, minced 2 T bacon fat 1 c beef broth 3 lbs ground venison salt and pepper to taste Sauté onion in bacon fat until soft but not brown. Fry venison with onions; mix in eggs. Add enough broth to moisten slightly and season to taste. Грибная Начинка Gribnaya Nachinka Mushroom filling for Pirozhky A La Russe, Darra Goldstein, p 71 8 T butter 6 T fresh parsley, minced 2 med onions, minced 1 t salt 1 lb mushrooms, minced black pepper to taste 2 hard-boiled eggs, minced 2 T snipped fresh dill or 2 t dried dill ¼ c raw rice, cooked Sauté the onions in the butter until soft but not brown. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients, mixing well. Let cool slightly before using. Makes enough filling for about 48 pirozhky. Блинчикы Blinchiky Cheese-filled Crepes Блины обыкновенные Bliny obyknovennye Crepes A Gift to Young Housewives, Elena Molokhovets, p 316 2 ¼ c flour ¼ t salt 2 eggs butter to fry 2 ¾ c milk Mix all ingerdients until smooth. Allow to stand for about 2 hours. Strain batter. Fry in butter until lightly browned on one side using about 2-3 T batter for each crepe. Makes 24 crepes. Наполнение Сыра Cheese filling The Russian Cookbook, Barbara Norman, p 107 1 ½ c tvorog 2 T honey or sugar 1 ½ T butter 1-2 T cream or sour cream 1 egg, beaten Cream cheese and butter together. Add sweetener and egg. Mix well. Thin if required with cream or sour cream. Consistency should be like soft icing. Makes about 24 blinchiki. Assembly Put about 1 T of cheese filling on the browned side of a crepe. Fold opposite edges of the crepe over the filling, then fold remaining ends over, making a square packet. Fry in butter about 90 seconds per side, folded side first. Пельмини Pel’meni Filled Dumplings Noodle Dough A Gift to Young Housewives, Elena Molokhovets, p 325 2 1/3 c all-purpose flour 4 T water, approx 2 eggs For noodles, mix flour, eggs, and enough water to make a stiff dough. Roll to 1/8” thick, but into 2” circles. Place ½ -1 tsp of filling or ½ cherry on each circle. Fold in half into a half-moon shape, then bring the corners together to form a hat-shaped dumpling. Freeze if desired. To cook, bring salted water to a boil and cook about 15 minutes, stirring gently to keep from sticking. Serve with sour cream. Makes approximately 100 pel’meni. Заполнение Мяса Venison Filling Adapted from A Gift to Young Housewives, Elena Molokhovets, p 327 1 lb fat ground venison (70% lean) 1 t salt ½ c minced onion ½ t pepper Blend all ingredients well. Наполнение Сыра Cheese Filling 1 ½ c Tvorog 1 egg, beaten 1 T chives Mix cheese, chives, and ¼ of the beaten egg. Вареники с вишнями Vareniki s vishnjami Cherry Pel'meni A Gift to Young Housewives, Elena Molokhovets, p 328 50 large cherries 4 T sugar If using fresh cherries, pit and sprinkle with sugar. Allow to stand 3-4 hours. Drain well, reserving juice. If using frozen cherries, cut cherries in half, coat with sugar as needed. Cook in reserved juice diluted with water. Копченая Утка, Испеченная Kopchenaja Utka, Ispechennaja Baked Smoked Duck Inspired by Domostroi 1 whole smoked duck, split ½ t pepper 1 clove garlic, minced 1 t dill Sprinkle spices on duck. Bake at 350° F until done (about 40 minutes). Serves 4. Заварной крем Zavarnojj krem Rennet Custard Gallo, Agostino Le Vinti giornate dell'agricoltvra et de'piaceri della villa Originally translated June - September 2005 by Mistress Helewyse de Birkestad Vinc. Come fate ancora il vostro capo di latte? Scal. Primamente pniamo la panna al fuoco in un caldarino ben netto, la quale moviamo di continu con un bastone bianco, fin ch’ella si gonfia, & levat all’hora dal fuoco, vi mettiamo due oncie di zucchero per libra di quella; non mancando a moverla col medesimo bastone, fin che vi si possa tener dentro il dito picciolo; facendola poi passare per lo sedaccio, òpezza di lino rara. Et fatto questo mettiamo dentro il caggio distermperato con l’acqua fresca, ò piu tosto con l’acqua rosa; e tutto ad un tempo poniamo ogni cosa ne i tazzoni, òpiatti, acioche si raffreddisca, e pigli corpo. Et a questo modo facciamo il capo di latte molto delicato; il quale nonpur voi altri nobili mangiate cosi volentieri coi cannoni freschi fatti di farina, & di zucchero, ma èanco assai migliore di quello che si fa in Venetia & in Padova. Vinc. And how do you make your head of milk. Scal. First we put the cream to the fire in a well cleaned casserole, the which (cream) we move continually with a clean (white) stick, until it starts to enlarge (the point just before a simmer when the volume of cream appears to increase), then we take it at that time from the fire and put to it two ounces of sugar for each pound (the Italian libra or pound is 12 oz) of it, not forgetting to move it with the same stick, until you can hold into it your little finger. Then pass it through a hair strainer or piece of linen rag. And when this is done put inside it the rennet (coagulant) dissolved/mixed with fresh water or better still with rose water, and all at one time put everything in little cups or plates, in order that it cools and takes body. And in this way we make our head of milk very delicate, the which you other nobles eat willingly with the fresh rolled wafers made of flour and sugar, but it is also better than that made in Venice and Padova. 4 c milk ¼ t rose water 1/3 c honey ½ t rennet Heat milk to 160° F. Add honey and rose water. Cool to 112° F. Add rennet and mix very well (about 2 minutes). Pour into serving cups, if desired. Chill for 3 hours to set. Makes 8 4 oz servings.
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