Authentic Russian Recipes, Cuisine and Cooking
We always try to surpass ourselves preparing a holiday table. We dig out grandmother's cook books, invent new dishes and we exhaust ourselves just for silent approval and "harmonious mastication" of our guests. So let's try to compose a holiday menu without too much effort.
Appetizers take a very important place on a holiday table. Cold appetizers are often represented by pickles, salads, fish or meat in aspic, smoked products. You can chose anything you want, only don't forget to decorate and serve in a beautiful way. Even tinned fishes or vegetables can look tempting. Fish in oil is served with lemon slices and fish in tomato juice is decorated with green parsley and onion springs.
Smoked salmon, sturgeon are considered the most delicious appetizer.
As to vegetables, "Baklazhanaya Ikra" (Eggplant caviar) goes well with the holiday menu. Pickled Mushrooms can, also, join any table. drain them through the sieve, add chopped onion and dress with oil. Fresh vegetables and fruits in winter is a real dainty.
And few words about butter, which is a necessary attribute for appetizers, it must be taken from the fridge 10-20 minutes before serving in order to be spread well on the bread. Put it on the butter-dish and decorate with an attractive pattern with a help of a teaspoon.
Soups, as a rule, is not a dish for the banquet. So, it would be preferable to include "light" soups or broths in the menu. Clear broth with small pies will go fine. Plus to it, the meat from the broth can be used as a filling for pies. Broth is served in large cups. Red broth - Borschok is considered a very appetizing dish. In summer, it is better to serve cold soups like Svekolnik or Kholodnik.
The main dish for dinner can be fried, stewed or baked meat or poultry. It must be cooked at the day of the guests' visit. All we understand a natural wish to surprise visitors with a rarer delicious dish, but there is no need to risk in vain. The best thing to cook is your speciality. But the success of the dish doesn't only depend on the chosen recipe.
Never fry meat slices, if they are nor supposed to be served at once. It is better to cook a whole piece of meat in the oven. To make meat tender and impart it a savoury taste and a pleasant smell, use vegetables, spices and sometimes fruits carefully. Slice cooked meat (across filaments) only before serving, place the garnish in the centre of a deep plate and slices around.
The choice of the dessert depends on the ambiance of the dinner and the number of guests. If the question is about the dish completing the dinner, then you can cook Kisel, Compote, Jelly, Mousse, Sherbet or Cocktail. Such dishes must be cooled as they are supposed to be refreshing after substantial meal.
The decoration of any table at any season serves fruits in a beautiful vase or basket.
Traditional Russian dessert is ice-cream. It is usually dressed with jams, berries, syrups, whipped cream, chopped nuts or raisins.
A wonderful addition to the holiday table after 1-2 hour break can be a cup of tea or coffee. In this case, you can serve cakes, biscuits, candies or other pastry with it.
Choosing beverages, don't forget to provide non-alcoholic drinks at first place. Here goes different fruit drinks, cocktails with lemon juice and mineral water.
As to alcoholic drinks, take care of the quality of vines and check if they match with proposed dishes. vine reflects different nuances of taste, bouquet of aromas much better than vodka. But sometimes vodka is a perfect drink for a simple but rich meal.
At any case, the essential rule for the consummation of alcohol is moderation. This will give you a chance to eat with appetite, derive a pleasure from unforgettable tastes and, the most important thing, be in a good mood at the holiday table.
By Olga Timokhina
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