Thursday, July 14, 2005

International Cuisine ~ Russka

Our culinary journey around the world continued today with a stop off in Russia. Apparently, most of what we identify as "Russian Cuisine" is actually the food of the nobles and largely influenced by the French! Judging by the description of what the "great, gray masses" ate pre-revolution, I should be glad we were focusing on this dishes of the aristocrats. The first course, however, was a peasant dish. Borscht ~ and what a comedy of errors that was. Shon, one of my group members, decided he was going to do the soup. It was the easiest thing, so I figured it would be safe. I was wrong. HE started it 20 minutes before we needed to serve and I ended up refusing to let him add potatoes because they would never have cooked out... it came out okay in the end, much to both of our surprise!

The next course was prepared by one of the least communicative group members I have ever worked with. He did his bit and then prepared to pack up his tools while the rest of us slaved away!! I kindly suggested that he might work on one of the other dishes... Anyway, his dish was pojarski ~ a glorified Chicken Nugget!
Finally, the dish I got stuck with: Salmon Kubayalka (or something like that). Basically, it is spinach, mushroom and rice stuffing, hardboiled egg and salmon baked in puff pastry. My fish was perfectly cooked, but the puff pastry could have gone longer.

It was a bloody long day though, because after I finished class, I had to dash over to work and do a 2-7:30 shift. By the time I got home, I was exhausted and my feet were ready to explode. So it was a nice surprise to find a parcel from Nic of Baking Sheet. Inside was some drinking chocolate, some eating chocolate and some biscotti! What a wonderful surprise ~ and I must have that recipe!

To make the evening perfect, after a light dinner of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches (comfort food!!), Rob made a nice hot foot bath for me and finished it up with a foot rub. What a way to unwind, eh?

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