Reporter’s Notebook: Food in the former USSR is unknown to Americans and delicious

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By Tanya Nyborg 

One of my goals during a recent trip to Kazakhstan, Republic of the former Soviet Union, was collecting the best recipes of that land and share them with my fellow Americans.

I went from a party to party tasting different dishes and writing down the secrets of their preparation.

Kazakhstanian food is diverse. More than 100 ethnic groups live in that country, such as Kazakhs, Russians, Germans, Koreans, Latvians, etc. Because of that, every day menu of an average Kazakhstanian family may include dishes which have sources in different cultures.

It is a pleasure for me to share the recipes in this articles.

Shashlyk (shiska-bob) of Armenian pickling

 

Precut pork into pieces of 30-40 grams each. Put the meat in a cooking pan and fill with buttermilk. Chop spices, such as dill, cilantro, fresh coriander leaves, and add to the dish with salt and red or black pepper.

Let it stand for two hours so the pork can absorb the buttermilk and spices.

Then, put the pieces of meat on metal barbeque sticks and fry it on a barbeque grill using wood coals (the best coals and flavor come from apple and cherry tree wood.)

Salad Made from the Liver of Cod

 

Purchase a can of liver of cod and a can of cod at a supermarket. Mash the liver, cod, three boiled eggs, chopped green onion, dill, cilantro, powdered red and black pepper and mix it all. If the salad is too dry, add olive oil.

Russian Jellied Fish (Fish in Aspic)

 

Boil a pike-perch, remove bones and let cool down. Put pieces of the fish and halves of boiled eggs in a pan or plate with spaces between the pieces. Fill in the pan with gelatin (jelly) to cover the fish. Cool down the dish in a refrigerator.

Decorate the jellied pieces of fish with slices of fresh cucumber, put pieces of lemon on top of the fish.

Serve the jellied pike-perch with a garnish, such as mashed potatoes or without it. A sauce of horseradish with vinegar could be offered with the fish.

More recipes from Kazakhstan are coming in the next issues of The Connection.

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