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Kasha in Russia


   It is not by accident that Slavic people had grain and groats as a symbol of home and good housekeeping. russian kasha There are many Russian fairy tales, songs and proverbs about kasha. For example, "you never make kasha with him" means a stubborn and intractable person. Kasha was a necessary part of every feast, a symbol of wealth and well-being. Russian people say: "Schi and kasha are our principal meal". Kasha was a ceremonial dish. Baptizing kasha was given to a child with words "kasha is on the spoon, baby will walk soon." Kasha took a very important place at any holiday dinners. In general, the assortment of kashas was very large in the Rus: kashas of different consistency with meat, fish, onion, milk, water, sour cream, broth, or different juices. There was a special holiday consecrated by the church: "Babya kasha" (Women kashas). You can't imagine Russian cuisine without kashas. There is a proverb: "A Russian cannot be full-fed without kasha". There is no person who doesnít love kasha. Some prefer milk kasha, others - with butter or fruits, or cheese. But how to cook a good kasha? Is it not very difficult, but be careful to simplify things. Your family will get full up with your tasteless kashas very quickly. As a result, adults wonít eat kashas at all and kids will hate them with all their hearts. But all you need is a little knowledge, patience and fantasy and kasha will be a real holiday for you and your family. There are several kinds of kasha: rice, semolina, cereal, buckwheat, millet , oatmeal etc. You can cook viscous kasha on milk or crumbly kasha on water or broth. I would love to give you some advice how to make your kasha tastier. The best crock to cook kasha is a cast-iron pot. Kasha will keep the form of every grain in the cast-iron dish. If you are going to cook a crumbly kasha, it is better to fry the groats for a couple of minutes. Cover the bottom of the pan in no more than 2-3 cm of grains and fry, agitating regularly. Of course, donít forget to wash the groats and sort out the bad grains. The most important question is how much liquid we need for kasha. The rule is the same for all kinds of cereals: 1 cup of cereal needs 2 cups of water. Pour the cereal into the boiling salted water. When kasha is dense, put the cover on the pan. Never stir kasha by the force of habit. Put a piece of butter on the top and cover again. Then take a deep pan and fill it halfway with water. Put the pot of kasha on the pan and place them into a heated oven. The oven must have an average temperature. The kasha must be stewed there for 1-2 hours.
Well, as you see, we have cooked with you real Russian crumbly kasha.
And now I want to suggest you a couple of recipes to diversify well known dishes.

Rice kasha with mushrooms:
Yield: 3 servings
200 g rice
10 mushrooms
40 g butter
1 average onion

Wash mushrooms and soak in the water for 1-2 hours. Wash them again. Boil mushrooms until they are ready. Cool them down and chop finely. Chop onion and fry until light brown. Boil mushroom broth again, add salt, butter, fried onion and washed rice. After 15 minutes of cooking, add chopped mushrooms. Now let kasha cook on a very low heat or in the oven.

Gouryevskaya Kasha
Yield: 6 servings
1 c semolina
2 1/2 c milk
2 tb butter
2 tb sugar
2 c dense cream
2/3 c nuts
2 c canned fruits
1/2 c sugar
1/2 ea lemon
 vanilla, salt

Pour cream into a shallow pan. Put it into the hot oven. As soon as there is a pink skin on the cream, take it carefully away on the plate. Be careful not to tear. Do this until you have 6-7 skins. Boil a viscous kasha (mush) on milk. Add butter, sugar (2 tb), vanilla, salt and mix very well. Put kasha into the oven to warm up for 30 minutes. Add the rest of the baked cream to the kasha.
Caramelizing nuts: Nuts must be caramelized, otherwise kasha will be gray and not have a very good taste. Nuts must be tempered (fired) at first. Then put in very hot water for 10 minutes. After that take the skins off and dry and chop them. Put sugar (1/2 c) in the pan on the heat, add lemon juice, wait until red in color and add nuts. As soon as nuts are caramelized, take them out and let cool down. Prepare a baking form. Grease it with butter. Put a little kasha as first layer, then a skin and nuts with chopped canned fruits. Repeat until all the skins are used. The last layer is made of kasha. Decorate with sugar, fruits and nuts and put the form into the hot oven for 10-20 minutes. Gouryevskaya Kasha is served with apricot puree or any fruit juice.

Bon appetit,
Olga.

By Olga Timokhina




 
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