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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ukrainian Cuisine

Ukrainians in their cooking use black and red pepper, salt, bay leaf, parsley and dill (usually in spring and summer), garlic and onion. Staples include potatoes, cabbage, fish, pork, beef and sausage.The cuisine of Ukraine has a rich history and offers a wide variety of dishes. Ukrainian recipes are also influenced by its neighbors like Russia, Germany, Turkey, Poland, Lithuania and the so called Soviet cuisine (dishes of mixed origin popular in the USSR). Ukrainian food is intended to be filling and should be served in large quantities.

Solyanka (Russian and Ukrainian) – a thick, spicy and sour soup. The are three basic kinds:
Meat solyanka is made with ingredients like beef, ham, sausages, chicken breasts along with cabbage, salty mushrooms, pickles, tomatoes, onions, olives, capers, allspice, parsley and dill.
Fish solyanka with fish like sturgeon, salmon and freshwater crayfish. At the end lemon juice is added to the soup.
Mushroom solyanka – cut cabbage heated in butter with vinegar, tomatoes, pickles and a little brine. The cabbage and mushrooms then are put in layers, breadcrumbs and butter are added and baked.
Borscht (mostly Ukrainian and Russian) this type of soup is served hot there are also cold borscht varieties. Ingredients may include various vegetables such as beans, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, beet root and meat such as chicken, pork or beef. May be eaten as a meal itself served with thick dark bread.
Rosolynk (Ukrainian Kidney Soup) made with carrot, celery, parley root, onion, potato. Vegetables are cooked in stock until tender. Meanwhile a veal kidney is cleaned and cut into thin slices then cooked with onion. The kidney and onion is added to the soup. Dice pickles and sour cream are added and garnished with dill.

Main meals:
Varenyky are boiled dumplings. They are usually made of unleavened dough and stuffed with sauerkraut, cheese, mashed potatoes, cabbage, meat, hard-boiled eggs or a combination of these.
Stuffed duck or goose with apples.
Fish (ryba) fried in egg and flour; baked in the oven with mushrooms, cheese and lemon; marinaded, dried or smoked.
Stuffed zucchini or eggplant oven-roasted, stuffed with tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms and/or rice.
Kasha hrechana zi shkvarkamy which is buckwheat cereal with chopped, fried bacon and/or onion.
Bosartma – lamb is fried and combined with chopped onion, sliced tomatoes, tomato paste, cherry plums, greens and seasonings, a little broth and stewed until done.
Fish Baked a la Russe – fish such as pike, cod, catfish, or perch is used. Boiled sliced potatoes are placed around fish slices in a baking pan. A mixture of sour cream, oil and flour is poured over then sprinkled with cheese and baked.
Fish Tolcheniki - fish fillet is finely chopped and mixed with flour, salt and pepper. Shaped into small balls and boiled in salted water. Served with finely chopped onion.
Golubtsy – a cabbage head is boiled just enough to separate leaves from it. Boiled rice is mixed with grated carrots, chopped tomatoes and minced meat. This mixture is then stuffed in each cabbage leaf making cabbage rolls. Some broth mixed with tomato sauce or ketchup is poured into a baking pan into which the golubtsy are placed and baked.

Ailazan – Thinly sliced eggplant in salted and left to sit for 15 minutes. Then squeezed. Potatoes, onion, tomatoes, sweet peppers, green beans are sliced. Spices such as basil, thyme, cilantro, parsley, garlic, ground black and red pepper are combined. The eggplant and vegetables are layered in a deep pan with a layer of spices sprinkled between each layer. Oil and water are poured over, covered tightly with a plate and then the pan cover and stewed until done.
Cauliflower with Potatoes – Finely chopped onion is fried in lard. Half-cooked cauliflower pieces and sliced boiled potatoes are put on lard pieces in a baking pan. Beaten eggs with flour and salt are poured over and baked.
Potato Pie – Cottage cheese is ground in a food mill. Mashed potatoes are combined with the cottage cheese. Then sour cream, eggs, salt and chopped greens are added. This mixture is put in a greased mold and sprinkled with grated cheese then baked.
Spinach in Breadcrumbs – spinach is washed and dried then rolled in flour, soaked in beaten egg with ground garlic, pepper and salt, then rolled in breadcrumbs and fried.

Salad from Cucumbers and Olives – seeds are removed from cucumbers. They are sliced, sprinkled with mint, chopped olives, sliced pickled red peppers are added the dressed in a mixture of oil and vinegar.
Ukraina Fish Salad – canned fish in oil is combined with macaroni, sliced tomatoes and dressed with mayonnaise.
Ukrainian Corn Salad – canned sweet corn is combined with grated crab sticks and chopped boiled eggs. Then dressed with mayonnaise.

Among alcoholic beverages used are strong spirits (horilka, vodka in Russian; Samohon (moonshine) is also popular, including with infusions of fruit, spices or hot peppers. The largest producers of beer are Obolon, Lvivske, Chemihivske, Slavutych, Sarmat and Rogan, which partly export their products. Wine (vyno) come from Europe and Ukraine (particularly from Crimea). Regaining popularity is mead (mid or medovukha) which is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from honey, water and yeast. The taste is similar to cider but the flavor depends on the plants frequented by honeybees, the length of time and method of aging and what yeast is used.

Among non-alcoholic beverages used are kompot which is a sweet beverage made of dried or fresh fruit and or berries boiled in water, kvas – a sweet and sour sparkling beverage brewed from yeast, sugar and dried rye bread, kefir which is milk fermented by both yeast and lactobacillus bacteria and having a similar taste to yogurt. Best known mineral water brands are Truskavetska, Morshynska and Myrhorodska. They usually come strongly carbonated, rvazhanka is another kind of natural yoghurt made of baked milk.

300 gr Beef chunk
200 gr Smoked Bacon, sliced
2-3 Smoked Pork Sausages, sliced
400 gr Salted Cucumbers, diced
1 Onion, diced
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 cup Olives
3 Bay Leaves
Sour cream
Lemon slices
Fresh Dill, chopped

Step 1 Place the beef in a pot, adding 5 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer untill done. Remove the meat, cut into small cubes and return to the pan
Step 2 Cut bacon slices into squares, fry until lightly brown on each side. Add to the pot.
Step 3 Fry onion with bacon fat until translucent. Add tomato paste, cucumbers, stir and fry a few minutes
Step 4 Add a cup of stock to pan and simmer about 5 min
Step 5 Pour tomato-cucumber mixture into the pot together with sausages and bay leaves, bring to slow boil. Simmer about 10 min
Step 6 Turn the heat off, add olives. Leave for 20 min
Step 7 Serve with sour cream, lemon slices and capers
Step 8 Sprinkle with dill and enjoy!

500 g Eggplant.
500 g Potato.
4 ea Onion.
100 g Oil.
4 ea Tomato.
1 c Green Beans.
1 c spices (Basil, Thyme, Cilantro, Parsley).
1 ea Garlic head.
1 ts Ground Black Pepper.
1/2 ts Ground Red pepper.
4 ea red Sweet Peppers.

Slice Eggplant finely, salt and leave for 15 minutes, then squeeze extra juice.
Slice finely other vegetables and mice spices.
Put in a deep pan in layers, beginning from Eggplant, sprinkle every layer with spices and a bit if salt.
Pour over oil and 1/2 c water, cover tightly with a plate and then with the cover.
Stew on low heat until done. By Rasma Raisters

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