Cold starters

Cold starters of traditional Russian cuisine are much diversified: cabbage alone was used to cook dozens of dishes; Peter I added potatoes to the vegetable variety
Cooking time —
Complication —

Cold starters of traditional Russian cuisine are much diversified: cabbage alone was used to cook dozens of dishes; Peter I added potatoes to the vegetable variety and various holodets aspics were popular starters; Russian loved cold meat, fish under sauce or marinade. Caviar was especially popular, but mushrooms – dried, pickled, salted – were not less loved.

Quick Cabbage

1 white cabbage (1-1.5 kg)
2 small red beets
1 garlic
for marinade:
1.5 L water
2 tbsp salt
0.7 cup sugar
0.5 cup 9% vinegar
Chop cabbage and place it in a dish, alternating it with layers of boiled red beet (sliced or julienned) and garlic cloves. Boil water adding salt, sugar and vinegar, and pour the hot marinade into the prepared cabbage. Put it under some press and leave at room temperature. The cabbage is ready in 3 days. It is not subject to long storage.

Murom Salad

3-7 boiled potatoes
250g boiled or fried pork or beef
2 eggs and 2 pickled cucumbers
1 apple, herring
2-3 beets (optional)
4 lettuce leaves
1-2 tomatoes
several slices cucumber
sauce for salad:
1/2 cups sour cream
1 tbsp grated horseradish
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (parsley, dill)
Dice potatoes, peeled apple, cucumbers, meat, and herring. Make a sauce with sour cream, horseradish, mustard, vinegar and fresh herbs and mix it with the salad. Put the prepared salad on lettuce leaves, top with tomato segments, slices of eggs and cucumber.

Mozhaisk Salad

2-3 carrots
2 apples
1 radish
cabbage, fresh parsley
for dressing:
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice
sugar, salt, pepper
Grate peeled carrots, apples and radish coarsely, and put them in a bowl, adding chopped cabbage and parsley and filling with the salad dressing (vegetable oil, vinegar or lemon juice, sugar, salt and ground pepper).

Ural Salad

250g boiled elk fillet
2 pickled cucumbers
1 onions
3 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tbsp meat stock
fresh dill
ground black pepper to taste
lemon juice 
Dice meat and onions, slice cucumbers. Combine the prepared ingredients; add salt and pepper, mix. Dress with vegetable oil, stock and lemon juice. Put the prepared salad on a dish, and top with fresh herbs.

Carrot Salad with Nettle and Garlic

5 carrots
4 tbsp chopped nettle leaves
4 garlic chives
1 tbsp chopped walnuts
4 cups mayonnaise
2 tbsp finely chopped spring onions
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste
Grate raw carrots coarsely, mix with chopped nettle leaves, garlic, walnuts, add lemon juice and salt. Dress with mayonnaise, sprinkle with spring onions.

Chicken Roll

1 chicken
150g ham
2 eggs
1 onion
30g parsley root
10g fresh parsley and dill
4 cups milk
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp adzhika sauce
Prepare the chicken, make a cut along the backbone and remove skin, cut off wings and legs. Slice the remaining fillet thin. Put the bones into water and make stock. Whisk eggs with salt, gradually adding milk until homogeneous, then pour it in a heated frying pan with butter and fry until ready. Chill the prepared omelette.
Put the skin on a board, brush with adzhika, season with spices, put the fillet, then lay omelette and fine sliced ham. Roll it and tie with a thread. Pour in filtered stock, quickly bring to boil, add parsley root, onions, salt, lower the heat and cook until ready. Chill the prepared roll in stock, remove threads and slice 0.7 cm thick. Dress with fresh herbs at serving.

Mushroom Paste

450g pickled mushrooms
1 onion
3 tbsp vegetable oil
fresh herbs, pepper, salt
Grind pickled mushrooms with fried onions, add pepper and salt, mix thoroughly. Put the prepared paste in a salad bowl shaping it as a hill, sprinkle with chopped dill. The ancient recipe for mushroom paste offers us another method: chop mushrooms fine in a wooden bowl. Then the mushrooms fabric is not pressed like in a meat grinder, but is granular and elastic.

Meat with Horseradish

1.5-2kg meat
1 onion
1 carrot root and 1 parsley root
0.5 cup prepared horseradish
Put meat (fillet) in cold water and quickly bring to boil. Skim it and continue cooking at low heat. Add onions, carrots, parsley, salt, peppercorns. Chill in the stock, slice across muscular fibres, top with lettuce at serving.
Separately serve grated horseradish with vinegar.


2kg beef legs, ears, tails and other offal
300g beef (fillet)
2 eggs
3 carrots
2 onions
1 parsley root
5-6 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon gelatin (optional)
bay leaf
12 black peppercorns
for garnish:
3-4 pickled cucumbers
0.5 cup grated horseradish
Chop shank, brisket and other low-fat beef parts with bones. Burn and clean ears and legs, chop legs. Put offal and bones into cold water (about 4L per 2kg). Cook at low heat 6-8 hours, add meat. One hour before the end of cooking add vegetables and spices: carrots, bay leaf, pepper, onions, parsley and salt. Take out meat and offal, chill down a little, bone, chop fine, combine with filtered stock, salt, boil at least 20 minutes. You can add garlic after you finish. Chill studen and pour it into forms or plates before it thickens. Before that put circles of boiled eggs and stars of boiled vegetables on the bottom of the plate.
efore serving cover the student with another plate and turn over. Separately serve horseradish with vinegar and pickled cucumbers. Studen can also be made of beef, pork and bones with addition of gelatin.

Jellied Beef

800g beef (back leg, thick edge)
2 tbsp baked butter or margarine
1 onion
1 carrot
1 parsley root and 1 celery root
salt, peppercorns and black ground pepper
cloves, bay leaf
for jelly:
2 tbsp gelatin
for clarifier:
4 tbsp prepared ground beef
2 eggs
1 cup cold boiled water
for garnish:
1 carrot
1 bunch fresh herbs
2 pickled cucumbers
2 tinned tomatoes
2 tbsp black olives
2 tbsp grated horseradish
1 tbsp green peas
1 lemon
Cut beef coarsely, salt, pepper and fry in a frying pan or a stew pan with sliced onions, carrots and white roots. Put the fried meat in a deep saucepan, add 4 cups of prepared stock or water and stew at low heat under a lid. 15 minutes before the end add bay leaf, peppercorns and cloves. Chill the prepared stewed meat, slice across fibers 1cm thick. Filter the stock (meat juice) remaining after stewing. Jelly preparation: pour 1 cup of meat stock into a cup, add gelatin and leave for 1 hour to swell. Combine the swelled gelatin with stock and put on low heat until the gelatin is completely dissolved without bringing to boil. Clarify the well-heated stock. Clarifier preparation: pour water into raw ground meat, add salt, mix thoroughly and put in a refrigerator for 1 hour, then add raw egg whites and stir again. Add the clarifier to the stock and bring it to boil, then reduce the heat and leave for 1 hour without mixing. The clarifier will settle to the bottom. Filter the stock through a tissue or a double-folded gauze. Place salad bowls or special forms for jellied dishes on the table. Pour a thin layer of jellied stock on the bottom of each. Leave the stock to thicken, then put sliced boiled egg on the thickened jelly (or egg whites shaped as petals and stacked as a camomile), lemon slices shaped as pinions, stars of boiled carrots, a sprig of parsley or celery. Atop put slices of boiled meat, pour in the stock and leave in the cold until it jellies. Put the dish with aspic for 2-3 hours in hot water keeping the water from pouring into it. Then, overturn the dishes and put the aspic on the plates. Garnish with pickled cucumbers, tomatoes, green peas, black olives, fresh herbs, etc.

Bon appetite!
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