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Enjoy Great Lent!
March 11, 2008 23:01

After the delicious pancake spree of Maslenitsa there comes the time for the Great Lent, the most significant and strictest fast for the Orthodox Christianity. It will last for seven weeks to prepare Christians for the greatest feast of the year, Pascha (Easter).
During this period the church prescribes special abstinence, confession, repentance, self-denial and intense prayer to its laymen, not only the clergy. In particular, meat, fish, eggs, butter, diary products and alcohol should be abstained from.
Though the Great Lent has certain differences from the Western Lent (mainly in their timing and ceremonies), they both have the same purpose: to purify spirit and body. So, if you are about to do this, take occasion to regale yourself on wholesome vegetarian dishes of traditional Lenten Russian cuisine.
Here are the recipes!


For a starter

Pumpkin Salad with Honey

 Ingredients: 300 g pumpkin, 2 apples or 1 turnip, 3-4 tablespoonfuls honey.

Directions: Dice raw pumpkin, mix it with honey and leave for 30-40 minutes. Chop apples or turnip, add to the pumpkin and mix it all well. The salad is ready!

Cabbage Salad with Prunes

 Ingredients: several prunes, 400 g fresh cabbage, 50 g carrot, salt, sugar and lemon juice to taste.

Directions: Preliminary soak prunes and when they are swollen remove the stones and chop the pulp. Chop cabbage, salt and sugar it and rub it till juice comes. Grate carrot and mix it with cabbage and prunes. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Decorate the salad with prunes and carrot slices and serve.

Kidney Beans and Potato Salad

 Ingredients: 500 g white kidney beans, 400 g potato, 1 teaspoonful vinegar, 1 glass oil, 300 g bulb onion, 1 bunch parsley, salt to taste.

Directions: Soak kidney beans for a night, then boil it and remove water. Dice and boil potatoes in slightly salted water. Mix boiled beans and potato, dress the salad with oil and vinegar, add a little bit of potato water and salt it. Leave for two hours in a cold place. When serving, richly strew each portion with parsley.


What is the first course?

Sauerkraut Borsch

 Ingredients: 500 g beetroot, 300 g sauerkraut, 2 bulb onions, 1 carrot, 1 tablespoonful tomato paste, 100 g sunflower oil, 3 liters water, 8 peppercorns, 1 laurel leaf, 2 cloves garlic, and salt to taste.

Directions: Chop beetroot, put it into cold water and boil soft in an open enamel saucepan. One can add a little vinegar for the beetroot to retain its colour bright. Fry finely chopped onion and julienne carrot, then add sauerkraut and sweat it all soft. Put the mixture into beetroot broth, add laurel leaf and garlic and boil till it is ready.

Before serving the soup one can season it with ground garlic and colour with some finely grated boiled beetroot. Borsch can be accompanied with boiled buckwheat sprinkled with finely chopped onion fried in sunflower oil.

Mushroom Borsch

 Ingredients: 20-30 g dried mushrooms, 1 large beetroot, 4-5 potatoes, 1 carrot, 1 tablespoonful tomato paste, 1-2 bulb onion, laurel leaf, vinegar, salt and sugar to taste.

Directions: Soak dried mushrooms and then boil. Separately boil beetroot soft. Remove it from the water, peel and grate. Fry finely chopped onion in vegetable oil and add to mushroom broth. Add there potato dices and chopped or grated carrot. When mushrooms and potato are almost ready, add sliced cabbage and boil it soft. Then add grated beetroot and tomato paste to the soup, salt and pepper it. One can also season it with little sugar, vinegar and a laurel leaf. Boil for 5 more minutes.

Lentil Soup

 Ingredients: 400 g lentils, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoonful tomato paste, red pepper, parsley, and salt to taste.

Directions: Rinse lentils, put into water, add garlic and boil. When lentils are almost ready add onion stewed with tomato paste. When serving, sprinkle soup with parsley and red pepper.

Buckwheat soup

 Ingredients: 3/4 liters water, 4 potatoes, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 1 glass of buckwheat, greens, and salt to taste.

Directions: Dice peeled potatoes and boil. Add buckwheat, chopped carrots, onion and vegetables. Add salt and simmer for half an hour.

Oatmeal Soup with Prunes

 Ingredients: 1 glass oatmeal, 5-6 prunes, 2 tablespoonfuls vegetable oil, 2 liters water.

Directions: Rinse porridge oat, add hot water and boil, removing scum now and then. When oats is perfectly soft and the broth turns thick, rub it all through a sieve or colander and add oil and salt. Boil well washed prunes in a small amount of water, then put them out onto plates and pour with hot oatmeal soup.


Something Substantial At Last!

Cabbage Rolls Stuffed with Boiled Buckwheat

 Ingredients: 1 cabbage, 2 tablespoonfuls oil, dill, parsley. Stuffing: 200 g (1 glass) buckwheat, 1 onion, 1-2 tablespoonful oil, salt.

Directions: Rinse buckwheat and brown it on a hot frying pan. Then boil it in a saucepan. Recommended: buckwheat should take up half of the saucepan; add oil, cover buckwheat with boiling water and put the saucepan on a frying pan into oven. Pour some water into the frying pan and later add some as it steams away. Flavour boiled buckwheat with onion browned in oil. Parboil the cabbage, put it on a sieve and take the leaves apart. Put stuffing in the middle of each leaf, roll them in form of envelopes, flour and stew them in oil. Strew with chopped greens when serving.

Mushroom Solyanka (Hotchpotch)

 Ingredients: 50 g dried mushrooms and 10 salted mushrooms, 400 g sauerkraut, various roots, 1 tablespoonful flour and some spices to taste.

Directions: Brown flour in a deep pan, then add chopped mushrooms (preliminary soaked), sauerkraut and roots. Add some water and stew soft. Spice to taste.

Potato Dumplings

 Ingredients: 5 large potatoes, 2 tablespoonfuls flour, 2 onions, and red pepper to taste. Directions: Steam two potatoes and gently peel it. Mash with flour. Chop onion finely and mix with mashed potato. Powder it with pepper. Finely grate the remaining three potatoes and add to the dough, knead everything into resilient stuff. Take out the dumplings with a dessert spoon and put them into boiling water or vegetable broth. Boil till ready.

Rice with Stewed Vegetables

 Ingredients: 2 glasses rice, 4 glasses water, 2 bulb onions, 2 tablespoonfuls vegetable oil, 2 carrots, 1 tablespoonful tomato paste, dill, celery or parsley, black pepper, and salt.

Directions: Boil rice for about 10 minutes, drop on a sieve and rinse in running water. Let water trickle down. Fry diced carrots and onion in oil, add water to it, bring to a boil, and season to taste. Add rice and mix it with vegetables and greens. Add salt or pepper. Serve hot.

Mushroom Cutlets

 Ingredients: 500 g mushrooms, 2 tablespoonfuls rice, 2 bulb onions, salt to taste, 3 tablespoonfuls vegetable oil, ½ liter water.

Directions: Boil chopped mushrooms in salted water. Chop onions finely and fry in oil. Boil rice until almost ready and cool down. Mix mushrooms with onion, rice, and salt to taste. Add pepper. Shape small cutlets, roll in flour. Fry in vegetable oil. Serve with fresh vegetable salads.

Red Beetroot Paste

 Ingredients: 500 g red beetroot, 500 g sauerkraut, 1 bulb onion, 1 tablespoonful tomato paste, 1 tablespoonful sugar, 4 tablespoonfuls oil, salt, and black pepper to taste.

Directions: Boil red beetroots, peel them, dice and fry all over with sliced onions. Cut sauerkraut and stew it, add tomato paste and stew again for some minutes. Add red beetroot to stewed sauerkraut, shuffle thoroughly, and add sugar, salt or pepper to taste.


To Make Lent Sweeter…

Prunes Stuffed with Nuts

 Ingredients: For 20 prunes take 20 shelled walnuts and 2 tablespoonfuls sugar powder.

Directions: Soak prunes in hot water till soft. Delicately remove the stones through the top of the fruit: the hole must be as small as possible. Put the nut stuffing inside. Stuffing: finely crush walnuts and mix well with sugar powder and some hot water (about 1 tablespoonful). Form little balls of the stuffing and put them inside of prunes instead of the stones.

Apples with Nuts

 Ingredients: 8 middle-size apples, 160 g shelled walnuts, 2 tablespoonfuls raisins, 1/3 glass of sugar, lemon juice.

Directions: Take core out of each apple to form a ‘cup’ and peel them. Stew them slightly in syrup of water, sugar and lemon juice. Remove apples from syrup and put on plates. Stuff each with mixture of crushed walnuts and raisins. Pour some berry syrup on apples and serve.

I bet you’ll lick your fingers!




Tags: Russian Cuisine Lent    

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