Russian Mushroom Madness

Tonight I made some traditional wholesome Russian dishes for the family. I have never really made or eaten Russian food before, but I was inspired by this recipe Veg Russbiff from Veganwiz.com. I have been wanting to try these cutlets for ages and today was finally the night to do it. I am not sure of the origin of this dish or its name, as the boyfriend of the blogger  found this recipe somewhere. I slightly adapted this recipe and worked out the amounts for all the ingredients. Marco and I both really loved this recipe. These cutlets are made with primarily mushrooms, onion and rice. No it doesn’t taste like meat, but it does have a great taste and texture, that will not leave you feeling like you are missing out. I would love to make this again with a delicious sauce or gravy to make this even more spectacular.

The side dishes I made to go with the Veggie Cutlets are also typical Russian dishes, that complemented them well. The recipe Buckwheat Pilaf with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onion is by Bois de Jasmin. This traditionally dish is from Belarus and uses butter and is served with boiled eggs on top, but this was omitted to be vegan. Many recipes also use vegetable liquid stock to cook the buckwheat, or you can just use water as I did. This is a great nutritious dish that will leave your tummy very content on a warm winters night.

The last dish was adapted from Sweet-and-Sour Cabbage from Bon Appetit. This is a popular dish in Russian and throughout the Balkans. The sweet and sour flavours are strong, but they really complemented the rest of the meal.

The only other Russian dishes that I have attempted are Borscht & Pirozhki. I just love Slavic food and I can’t wait to bring you all some more dishes. Tomorrow I should hopefully be learning to make a Serbian bean dish… ??????????????????????????????? Russian Veggie Cutlets (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

200g mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 onion, finely chopped

1 cup medium grain rice

2 teaspoons sweet hungarian paprika

2 tablespoons diced italian parsley

sea salt & black pepper to taste

3/4 cup oat milk (whole soy milk if you can tolerate)

1 cup unbleached plain flour

1 cup quinoa crumbs or other gluten free bread crumbs

olive oil or grapeseed oil to fry

Method:

1. Cook rice in a rice cooker or on the stove. Cook 1 cup of rice with 1 1/2 cups of water. Leave on warm until ready to use.???????????????????????????????

2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan, then sauté mushrooms for 5 mins or until browned. Remove from pan and place in a large mixing bowl.

3. Add another tablespoon olive oil, then sauté onion for 5 mins or until browned. Remove from pan and combine with mushrooms in the mixing bowl.???????????????????????????????

4.  Add cooked rice, paprika, parsley, sea salt and black pepper.  Mix well and taste to make sure there is enough salt.

5. Place the mixture in a processor and add soy milk. Blend so the mixture is thick, but the contents have been broken down. Add more soy milk if you need. If its easier do in two batches.

6. Place mixture back into the mixing bowl and add flour and quinoa crumbs.

7. Make 10 – 12 large balls with the mixture.

8. Place them one at a time in a hot pan with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Press them down while they are in the pan with a spatula or with your fingers, so they are flat. Cook on each side for 2 mins. Repeat until you have cooked all the patties.

*Makes 10-12 Veggie Cutlets ??????????????????????????????? Buckwheat Pilaf with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

2 cups raw buckwheat

6 cups water

2 onions, sliced thinly

8 cups thinly sliced white or brown mushrooms (about 450 g)

5 tablespooons vegan butter

sea salt & black pepper to taste

3 tablespoons minced parsley

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees.???????????????????????????????

2. Place buckwheat in a bowl and stir through 3 tablespoons of vegan butter. Then place buckwheat on a tray and toast in the oven 20 min. During this time give them a stir, so they toast evenly. If you have pre-toasted buckwheat you only need to toast for 10 mins.???????????????????????????????

3. Bring a large put with 6 cups of water to the boil and add salt.

4. Add toasted buckwheat and stir through. Bring to the boil, then place on a low heat and cover. Cook for 20 mins or until the water has absorbed into the buckwheat.

5. Heat a pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the sliced onion for 10 mins or until browned. When finished remove from pan and set to the side.

6. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and sauté mushrooms for 10 mins or until they have absorbed any water they have released and browned.

7. Add onions, mushrooms, sea salt, pepper, parsley and 2 tablespoons vegan butter (omit butter if you prefer) to pot with the buckwheat (water should of absorbed). 8. Fluff buckwheat with a fork, then cover pot and leave on the lowest flame for 15 mins. After this serve.

* Serves 4-8, depending if it is a main or side dish serving. ??????????????????????????????? Sweet-and-Sour Red Cabbage with Apple (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

2.5 tablespoons vegan butter

1 onions, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup applesauce

2 tablespoon raw sugar

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 bay leaf

2 whole cloves

1/2 head red cabbage , sliced into 1/2-inch-wide strips

1 large green apple, cut into thin slices

1/4 cup apple juice

Method:

1. Melt butter in a  heavy large pot, over medium-low heat.???????????????????????????????

2. Add sliced onions and sauté  for 10 mins or until they are translucent.???????????????????????????????

3. Add red wine vinegar, bay leaf, raw sugar, sea salt, black pepper and cloves.

4. Add red cabbage and cook for 5 mins or until it starts to wilt. Stir often.

5. Place on a simmer and cover pot for 15 mins or until cabbage is tender.

6. Remove lid and add apple sauce, apple juice and apple slices. Cook for 10 mins or until apple is tender.

*Serves 4-6 as a side dish ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

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Borscht & Pirozhki

I bought Poh’s Kitchen over a year ago and I haven’t cooked anything out it. Poh Ling Yeow is a Malaysian Australian, who came second in the first Australian Master Chef. She is a really talented cook and in my opinion, should of won Master Chef. I really loved her TV series and recipes. Many of which are traditional Asian and European recipes. Now I am a trying to stick to a vegan diet there are many things in her book and other books I can’t cook. So I’m going to try to make the vegan version of them.

I have made Borscht before, but not Poh’s version or Pirozhki’s . I adapted these recipes to be vegan and different serving sizes.  For the soup I had to use different amounts of ingredients and just used tofutti and soy milk to make the sour cream. I also used arrowroot flour instead of wheat flour, so that it would be gluten free. For the Pirozhki I used tvp soy mince and beef stock instead of beef mince, soy sauce to give the filling more richness, mashed cannellini beans instead of hard boiled eggs and puff pastrey instead of making the Sour Cream Short Crust Pastry. I managed to make 19 of the pastries. I could only get 4 out of each sheet of puff pastry so I combined the scraps and rolled it out. It is takes a while to roll out the dough again, but I ended up getting an extra 7 pastries.  As for the filling I ended up with an extra 2 cups or more. I will keep this to make burger patties or maybe a Thai basil mince.  Anyway both were really delicious. It took a long time to make but worth the wait. The original recipes are Poh’s website as well: Beetroot Borscht & Pirozhki.

Borscht (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

50g vegan butter

1 small brown onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

250g beetroot, peeled and diced

1 carrots, peeled and diced

3 cups vegan beef stock (I use Massel)

1.5 tablespoons arrowroot flour (tapicoa flour)

90ml tinned crushed tomatoes or passata sauce

300g washed potatoes, peeled & diced

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon raw sugar

1 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

4 tablespoons vegan sour cream (or 2 tbsp tofutti cream cheese + 2 tbsp soy milk mashed) (optional)

4 tablespoons italian parsley, diced

Method:

1. Take a large pot and on medium heat, melt butter. Then add onion & garlic and cook for 2 mins or till soft.

2. Add beetroot and carrots and cook for 4 mins. Then add beef stock to the pot.

3. In a small bowl take tapioca flour and mix it with 2 tbsp of crushed tomatoes. Then add the rest of the crust tomatoes and mix and add to the pot.

4. Cover and bring to the boil. Then add potatoes, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Put it on simmer and cook for 30 mins, or until the vegetables are soft.

5. Take off the heat and blend with bar mix or in a processor, so that it is no longer lumpy.

6. Reheat on the stove and add more beef stock or water, if it drys out before serving. Serve with 1 tbsp of sour cream and 1 tbsp of italian parsley

* Serves 4

Pirozhki (vegan, gluten free option, nut free)

Ingredients:

40g  vegan butter

1 tablespoon olive oil (plus more for basting pastries)

1 white onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

160g of carrot, cabbage, mushrooms (1 carrot, handful mushrooms & small segment of cabbage)

160g soy tvp mince soaked in beef stock (combined weight of 300g)

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

3 tablespoons shoyu/soy sauce

4 tablespoons cannellini beans,  mashed

3 tablespoons italian parsley, chopped

sea salt & black pepper to taste

3 sheets of puff pastry (use gluten free puff pastry if you prefer)

Method:

1. Preheat oven 200 degrees (fan-force)

2.Take a pot and melt butter and olive oil on medium heat. Then add onion and garlic, and cook for 2 mins or till soft.

3. Add the rest of vegetables and cook for 4 mins, or until soft.

4. Add mince, caraway seeds, paprika, soy sauce and cook for 2 more minutes.

5. Take off the heat and stir in cannellini beans & parsley. Then place on a large plate to cool.

6. Take 3 pastry sheets out of the freezer and allow them to defrost.

7. Take a large chopping board and use a small bowl to cut out small circles. You will get 4 out of every sheet. Use the left over pastry to roll out and make more circles.

8. In the centre of the circles put 1 1/2- 2 tbsp of the mixture, then fold over into a half moon shape and close with a fork. Place them on trays with baking paper.

9. Brush with olive oil and cook in the oven for 15-20 mins.

* Makes 18-20 ( I made 19)