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home > recipes > theme archive > christmas around the world > a russian christmas

A Russian Christmas
Russian Tea Cakes
1 cup softened butter or margarine
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, combine ingredients on low speed of mixer about 1 minute. Blend well. Gradually add flour at low speed until just combined; stir in nuts. Roll dough into 1 inch balls; place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 F for 8-10 minutes until firm to the touch but not brown. Do not overbake. While warm, roll in powdered sugar. Cool; re-roll in powdered sugar before serving.

Sauerkraut and Meat Soup
500 g (~ 1 1/4 lb) beef chuck roast
250 g (~ 1/2 lb) pork
500 to 700 g (~ 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups) sauerkraut
100 g (~ 1/2 cup) sour cream
1 large carrot
1 bunch parsley
2 onions
2 potatoes
3 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp chopped dill
8 black peppercorns

In a large soup pot, pour boiling water over the beef and ham. Add one onion, potatoes and half of the amount of the remaining ingredients, boil for 1 1/2 hours until the meat is half-ready. Then add the sauerkraut and chopped onion, and the remainder of the ingredients and continue to boil for 1 hour.

Duck Stuffed with Apples
2 ducks, 5 pounds each
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
6 green apples, peeled and chopped
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white wine
2/3 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Season the ducks with salt and pepper, then rub with thyme leaves. Stuff half the apple in the cavities of the ducks. Pierce the skin with a fork and dot the skin with butter.

Place the ducks, on a rack in a roasting pan. Pour the water and wine into the pan.

Roast in oven for 1 1/2 hours or until an instant read thermometer placed in the thigh registers 180 degrees F. Baste occasionally, adding water if needed. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, place rest of the apples in the pan. When the ducks are fully cooked, remove them from the oven and let them rest for 15 minutes before carving. Mix the pan apples with the sour cream and serve with the carved meat.

Tea-smoked Sturgeon
6 (6-ounce) portions fresh sturgeon
4 ounces olive oil
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 shallots minced
2 ounces chopped dill
4 ounces black Russian tea
4 ounces apple wood chips
1 red onion minced
3 ounces capers
2 hard boiled eggs minced
6 ounces creme fraiche

Marinate sturgeon in olive oil, coriander, shallots and dill for 8 hours, refrigerated. Soak tea and applewood chips in water for 2 hours.

In a stove top smoker place soaked tea and apple chips in bottom of pan and put over medium heat on stove. Drain of any excess oil and place sturgeon on rack and cover. Let smoke on stovetop until fish begins to flake, about 12 minutes. Remove from pan and garnish with onions, capers, and chopped eggs. Drizzle with creme fraiche and serve.

Vegetables and Walnut Sauce
Some amounts vary.

new potatoes
300 gr walnuts
half clove of garlic
2 cups pomegranate juice
2 cups mixed vegetables
boiling water
1 tablespoon xmeli-sumeli*
green onion

Boil the vegetables and chop them. Put them in a large bowl. Chop walnuts, add salt, garlic, coriander, and boiled water. Add pomegranate juice and spices and xmeli-sumeli, boil for a while, 2/3 minutes, then pour the sauce in the bowl with vegetables. Trim with coriander, green chopped onion.

* xmeli-sumeli: dried greens (97.9%) - coriander, bay leaf, wild fennel, basil, mint, celery, marjoriam, parsley; chili 2%; saffron 0.1%

Russian Christmas Coffee Cake
1 cup sugar
1/2 lb. butter (or margarine)
1 pint sour cream
3 unbeaten eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

Filling and Topping
3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Preparation: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Cream together sugar and margarine. Mix in the sour cream. Add the unbeaten eggs, one at a time. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Combine the flour mixture gradually into the butter/egg mixture. The dough will become stiff. Spoon half the dough into a well-greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Mix together the topping ingredients: sugar, cinnamon, and nuts. Sprinkle 3/4 of the topping/filling over the first half of the dough. Add the remaining dough and sprinkle rest of topping. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Cool 1 hour before removing from the pan.

1 pound wheat berries
1 pound walunts in the shell
2 cups granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, grated
Peel of 1 lemon, grated
1/2 cup raisins, optional
1/2 cup poppyseeds, optional
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped, optional
Confectioner's sugar

Shell the walnuts. Soak the wheat overnight, covered with water about 1 inch abpve the grain. Put the pot with wheat on the stove and boil it for 2-3 hours on a very low simmer. There should be just enough water in the pot to keep the wheat from burning. Be sure that the heat is low and watch very carefully. Add water if necessary. Pour off water and rinse with cold water. Pour off all liquid. Spread the wheat berries out on kitchen towels and dry for 2 hours. Place the wheat berries ina food processor and grind them. Remove the wheat berries to a bowl and then grind the walnuts in the food processor. Mix the walnuts with the ground wheat. Add 2 cups granulated sugar, lemon peel, vanilla and the optional ingredients. Mound in a serving dish and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.

Yabluchnyk - Russian Apple Cake
Serves 12.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup cream
4 large apples - peeled, cored and thinly sliced

Struesel Topping
2 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly butter an 8 inch square baking dish. Sift together 1 1/2 cups of flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut in 1/2 cup of butter until the mixture is crumbly. Stir together the egg with the cream and gently mix into the flour until a soft dough has formed. Press into prepared baking dish. Layer the apples into the dish overlapping, in neat rows. Prepare streusel by mixing the brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over apples. Bake in preheated oven until apples have softened, and topping has browned, about 25 minutes.

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