FIFA 2018 Finals: 4 Russian Snacks To Amp Up Game Night

Rustling up French Beef Bourguignon or Croatian Manistra na pome (pasta with tomato sauce) in anticipation of FIFA 2018 Finals game night? #DSSCRecommends showing some love to the host country by preparing and savouring snacks from the Russian kitchen. Don’t forget to have sour cream, Russian salad, caviar, and vodka ready to accompany these stellar dishes for variety on the table.

 

Ponchiki

Image: Grab and go recipes

Ponchiki or Pyshki, the Russian style doughnuts are available at every nook and corner of the country. For many locals, these sweet treats invoke nostalgia, often from their student years. The good news is they don’t take much time to prepare, and are the perfect carb fix for all the excitement leading to the football finale. The recipe is for keeps as it makes for an amazing breakfast on winter weekends. #DSSCTopTip: Enjoy these dipped in condensed milk or with fruit preserves.  

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Caters To: 3 gobblers

Challenge Level: Intermediate

From The Pantry:

  • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • Oil for frying
  • Powdered sugar for garnish

Cook Away:

  1.   Lightly beat sugar, egg, vanilla extract, cinnamon powder, and ricotta cheese in a bowl with a stand mixer.
  2.    Add lemon juice to baking soda and let it fizzle for a few seconds. Add it to the cheese mix and stir with a spatula till well combined.
  3.    Add flour to this and gently fold it to form a homogeneous mixture that is soft and slightly sticky. If the mixture is wet, then add in some more flour to achieve the said consistency.
  4.    Add oil to a wok or a pan to deep fry the ponchikis.
  5.   Form the ponchiki by scooping the mixture using a medium sized ice-cream scoop.
  6.   Drop the ponchikis into hot oil and fry till golden brown. Drain. Dust with powdered sugar for garnish and serve hot.

 

Shuba or Russian Herring Under Fur Coat Salad

Image: mancare

Shuba, the traditional layered Russian salad is prepared with pickled herring, vegetables, mayonnaise, and cheese. When assembled, it mimics a fur coat and layers of a Russian dress on cold days. Prepare this treat at least six hours before the commencement of the match. It is typically served on a narrow rectangular plate, but can be served on a round one too.

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Caters To: 2 gobblers

Challenge Level: Beginner

From The Pantry:

  • 2 large potatoes
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 beetroot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 can pickled herring or salmon
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup shredded cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • Coarsely cracked pepper
  • Parsley for garnish

Cook Away:

  1. Take three pots and boil the potatoes, carrot, and beetroot separately. Drain and keep  aside.
  2. Finely chop the onion.
  3. Shred the boiled egg and keep aside.
  4. Chop the boiled potato, carrot, and beetroot separately while still warm and keep aside.
  5. Shred the herring and keep aside.
  6. Take the ring of a medium springform pan and place it on the serving plate. Place potatoes on the base and press them down using a spoon. Brush a layer of mayonnaise.
  7. Top the potato layer with onions and press them down. Brush another layer of mayonnaise.
  8. Top the onion layer with carrots and press it down. Brush another layer of mayonnaise.
  9. Top the carrot layer with shredded herring or salmon and press it down. Brush with yet another layer of mayonnaise.
  10. Top the herring or salmon layer with beetroot and press it down. Brush with mayonnaise.
  11. Top with thinly sliced boiled eggs. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
  12. Top with shredded cheese. Carefully remove the springform ring and serve.
  13. This recipe can be assembled in free form without using the ring. The order of layers can be changed. Adding eggs or cheese as the last layer ensures the dish looks like a fur coated salad.

 

Blinis or Russian style pancakes

Blinis are Russian style pancakes bigger and much thinner than the American pancakes. They can be sweet or savoury and the toppings can vary from sour cream, quark cheese to strawberries and cream, and fruit preserves. #DSSCTopTip: For Russian Pancakes, Ossetra or Russian Caviar is a good choice of topping.

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Caters To: 6 to 8 gobblers

Challenge Level: Intermediate

From The Pantry:

  • 1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour
  • ¼  teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ¾cups milk
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • Oil to fry

Cook Away:

  1. Mix salt and baking soda in a bowl and keep aside.
  2. Using a stand mixer beat together the eggs and sugar. Slowly add milk while beating the eggs and sugar. This mixture should be of pourable consistency.
  3. Heat the butter and add it to the batter. Whisk till smooth.
  4. Heat a pan and a little oil in the centre. Using a ladle scoop the batter in the middle of the pan and tilt it so that the batter forms a rough circle and takes the shape of the pan. Cook till the edges turn golden and leave the pan easily.
  5. Flip and cook the other side. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
  6. Fold each pancake thrice so that it forms a triangle. Serve with filing of choice.

 

Pelmeni

Pelmenis are traditional Russian style meat dumplings, and a favourite for family gatherings. These can be made ahead in huge batches (fit for matches) and boiled or fried when the need arises. Top them with a huge dollop of sour cream or dip them in your favourite hot sauce, and we’re match ready.

Prep Time: 1.5 hours

Caters To: 4 gobblers

Challenge Level: Intermediate

From The Pantry:

For the dough:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon oil

For the filling:

  • ½ kilogram ground lamb
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Coarsely ground pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons oil

Cook Away:

  1. Place the oil, egg, and salt in a measuring cup. Top with enough water to fill 1 cup. Pour the mixture into a bowl.
  2. 2. Add the flour to this mixture and knead into an elastic dough. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  3. In a pan pour 2 teaspoons oil and sauté the garlic for a few seconds. Add the onions and sauté them as well. Add the ground lamb, onions, salt, and pepper and cook for 10 minutes on high heat. Turn off the heat and keep aside.
  4. On a floured surface thinly roll out a tennis ball sized portion of the dough.
  5. Using a cookie cutter to cut 2-inch rounds of the dough. Place ½  teaspoon of the filling on one side of each circle.
  6. Fold the dough over to form a crescent shape and seal it with the tips of your fingers and join the ends by pinching them. Repeat the process for all of the dough.
  7. Dust a baking sheet with flour and place the pelmenis on it. Freeze the pelmenis for 20 minutes.
  8. Put a large pot of salted water to boil. Drop the pelmenis in the water in small batches. They will float to the top once done.
  9. Drain them. Serve immediately with hot sauce or sour cream.

 

May the best team win!