Hurrah, holidays – picnics and shashliks!

May in Russia is a row of everlasting holidays. Spring keeps pampering us with good weather, while the sun is getting warmer with each day
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May in Russia is a row of everlasting holidays. Spring keeps pampering us with good weather, while the sun is getting warmer with each day. You always want to spend a weekend for your good so that you do not feel sorry about the opportunities you missed. The May holidays are a good time to make your dreams come true. You can go for a walk in the nearby park, read a book you have been putting aside, visit some friends, or work in the garden. However, you should spend one of the four days in the country on a picnic with shashliks singing songs to the guitar (a tape player will do as well) pleasing yourself and your family. The more so, on a picnic you can indulge yourself to delicious Russian dishes.

Caviar Snack

300 g red caviar
1 small onion
3 tbsp unrefined sunflower oil
1/4 lemon

Pour the oil over the caviar and drizzle it with the lemon juice. Leave to rest a few minutes and combine with the finely chopped onions. Put the snack in a glass bowl and garnish with the onion rings.

Lamb on Spit

1 kg lamb shin
2 cups vinegar
100 g pork fat
100 g soured cream
1 tbsp flour
0.5 tsp salt
0.25 tsp ground black pepper

Trim the meat. Heat the vinegar and blanch the lamb half a minute on each side. Remove the meat, reheat the vinegar just to the boil, pour it over the lamb so that it is just covered, and leave to chill down completely. Slice the pork fat finely, sprinkle it with salt (or substitute salted salo or smoked spick) and pepper, and lard the lamb with it. Wrap the meat in foil and keep it in the fridge. Cook it on a spit spreading with the soured cream. Five minutes before end of cooking sprinkle with the flour and pour with the cooking juices.

Lamb Joint

1 kg lamb
6-8 cloves garlic
1 tbsp adzhika
pomegranate juice

Trim and rinse the lamb joint (breast, shoulder or loin), insert garlic slivers into incisions, season with salt, put in a bowl and leave for 1-2 hours in a cold place. Put the meat on a spit and cook over hot coals. Combine the adzhika with the pomegranate juice or red wine and pour the mixture over the meat periodically while cooking. Serve garnished with chopped coriander and a spicy sauce.

Smoked Gammon on Spit

500g smoked gammon
2 bottles milk

Keep the gammon for 2 days in water and then for 2 days in milk, changing it daily. Dry with paper towel, thread on a spit and fry turning occasionally. Carve and serve with red sauce.

Russian Pickles

boiled potatoes
pickled cucumbers
pickled mushrooms
pickled tomatoes
pickled onions
boiled carrots

Slice the potatoes and the carrots, cut the pickled cucumbers into circles and chunks, halve the large mushrooms, take the whole tomatoes, cut the onions into rings. Arrange the vegetables on a plate, sprinkle with oil and garnish with herbs.

"Field" Salad

800g cabbage
100g spring onions
1/4 cup 3% vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
2-3 tbsp sunflower oil

Slice the cabbage finely, put it into a large pot, pour with the vinegar, and heat stirring continuously till the cabbage sags and becomes matt. Chill the cabbage quickly, add the oil and sugar and stir thoroughly. Put the salad into a salad bowl and sprinkle with the finely chopped spring onions. You can add fresh or pickled apples, pickled beetroot or cherries, grapes, cranberries, carrots, etc. to the salad.

Pickled Gherkins

1kg gherkins
3-4 black currant leaves
1 bunch dill stems
4-5 cloves garlic
grated horseradish
salt (50g per 1L water)

Keep the cucumbers in icy water for a few hours, rinse thoroughly, remove stems, puncture with a fork, put into an inoxidable container, interlaying with grated horseradish, sliced garlic, dill stems and black currant leaves. Pour the cucumbers with hot saline and leave for 1 day. The cucumbers are especially tasty if served with boiled potatoes.

Burbot Ukha

400 g burbot (or sterlet, sander, or toothfish)
1 tsp butter
1 carrot
1/4 lemon
dill and parsley
2 L fish stock

Prepare the stock based on small fish. Simmer the prepared portion pieces of large fish in a little amount of strained fish stock, skimming occasionally. Add the prepared stock to ukha. Julienne the carrots and fry on butter and add to the prepared ukha. Serve lemon and chopped herbs separately.

Sturgeon Skewers

1 kg sturgeon
1 tsp butter
400 g tomatoes
150 g onions
150 g spring onions
2 lemons
salt and pepper

Remove the skin and gristle from the fish, cut it into 40-50g pieces. Mix the fish with the grated onions, salt and pepper, thread it on to the skewers and grill for 10 minutes at 190 C. Serve with fresh tomatoes (better grilled), onion rings, coarsely sliced spring onions and lemon slices.

Chicken Skewers

Joint a chicken into 30-40 g pieces, add chopped onions. Marinade about three hours in lemon acid solution or 3% vinegar or fruit vinegar. Keep it in a cool place. Thread the pieces on to the skewers and cook over coals brushing with sunflower oil and pouring the remaining marinade over them. Serve hot garnished with fresh vegetables.

Bon appetite!
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