Saturday, December 20, 2008

Russia & Eastern Europe

This night we made Russian and Eastern European food. Food from cold countries - not really up my alley.

Salmon Kulebiaka with Lemon Veloute

Poach salmon in cour bouillon to par cook, then chill. Cook rice, and mix with sour cream, lemon rind, and dill. Lay out puff pastry, and lay crepe over the pastry. Slice a hardboiled egg and lay over the crepe. Spoon rice over the egg. Spoon the duxelles over the rice. Lay salmon over the top. Fold remaining pastry to seal package - decorate with scraps of dough. Egg wash for seal and good color. Bake until golden brown. Make lemon veloute supreme using poaching liquid as stock.
As you can see, Nemo and I went all fancy. I cannot take any credit here - Nemo was the one that really wanted to do this, so I let him have at it. I thought he did a pretty good job - it made it more fun to break in to.
Being a huge rice fan, I really loved just eating the scraps of rice - I like sour cream a lot more than heavy cream, and it added a tanginess to it. Actually, really similar to the plain yogurt and dill we spooned over rice growing up. Yum!
Court Bouillon is just water, white wine, lemon with rind, mushroom trim, carrot trim, onion trim, celery trim, parsley stem, thyme stem, black peppercorn, and bay leaf. We actually used vegetable stock instead.
You remember duxelles, right? Nemo loves doing this, so this dish was all his. Melt butter, sweat shallots, add minced mushrooms and reduce cream.
The crepe should be rested for one hour before putting it into the puff pastry - so plan ahead when making this dish!
Goulash Soup
Ha. This does not look that appetizing. Mostly because I did not make the vegetables small enough. So partly I fault Chef here - he didn't give us any instruction on this dish, and I thought, well, once I actually get the seven sides for the tourne, I'm not touching them again - but, apparently, and this made sense once I saw the final dish, the vegetables should be much smaller.
Dredge beef in flour and paprika. Saute in olive oil until brown on all sides, remove and reserve. Add onion, caraway seed, and saute until onion begins to softn. Deglaze with stock and add beef back in. Bring to simmer. Simmer until meat is just tender, about 40 minutes. Stir potato, parsnip, carrots, and garlic into soup. Simmer until vegetables are just tender. Stir in tomatoes, celery and bell pepper. Simmer until vegetables and meat are very tender, about 15 min longer. Cool slightly. Reserve beef and transfer 1/2 of vegetables to blender. Blend until smooth. Return pureed vegetables to pot with beef and reserved vegetables. Stir in parsley, season to taste. Garnish with sour cream.

Cut core out of cabbage. Parboil cabbale whole in salted water. Drain and dry. Sweat onion in butter until translucent. Let cool. Combine raw meat, seasoings, cooked rice and eggs. Add sauteed onion. Stuff cabbage leaves and roll. Bake, basting with tomato juice. Tomato juice should be reduced to almost a sec.
Some tips - cook off a piece of meat mix before stuffing cabbage rolls to make sure it tastes right. Also, we stuffed the filled rolls in these tiny aluminum pans - that way they wouldn't unroll while they cooked.
For the sauce, render bacon in butter (wow, could it be any more unhealthy?), remove excess fat, add onion and mushrooms which are sauteed until golden and tender. Add stock and reduce to consistency. Season and serve with cabbage, under rolls.
We were also supposed to make pierogis, but nobody had the time. Too bad - I would have loved to have learned how to make them. I hear all the time from people of Polish ancestory who say no one makes pierogis like their grandmother...
Lessons Learned:
In lecture we learned about caviar - in France and the US, only roe of sturgeon can be called caviar, but the US allows it to be called caviar as long as the type of fish is printed on the canister. One of the reasons caviar is so expensive is directly related to the age and size a sturgeon must reach before developing the valuable roe. Beluga - as long as 20 years and weighing up to 2000 lbs; Osetra - 12 to 14 years and weighing 500 lbs; Sevruga - 8 to 10 years and weighing 150 lbs. I've never had caviar - is it good? Is it worth the expense?

No comments: