Petersburg cuisine

The Petersburg cuisine it not just a mix of European and Russian national cuisines, it is a very special phenomenon so organically combining the features of these cuisines that it is now impossible to separate them from each other. It concerns not only individual products and dishes, but also utensils and cooking technology
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The Petersburg cuisine it not just a mix of European and Russian national cuisines, it is a very special phenomenon so organically combining the features of these cuisines that it is now impossible to separate them from each other. It concerns not only individual products and dishes, but also utensils and cooking technology. Moreover, the master/servant division started to disappear as the culinary novelties appearing on the court table gradually distributed throughout all classes. However, these cuisines were still developing independently, as the noble cuisine was very much influenced by German and French cuisines thus borrowing cutlets, sausages, omelettes, mousses, compotes, etc.
This was happening approximately until the mid-19th century when the interest to the Russian culinary traditions started to revive. Typical of the Petersburg cuisine of that time were German, Dutch and French dishes, as well as dishes made of fish living in the Finnish Gulf and the rivers flowing through the city and its nearest suburbs. (One of the best examples is smelt whose "cucumber" flavour many Petersburgers associate with spring.) Finland – the closest neighbour – lent us pies with wild berries (bilberries, cowberries, cranberries), as well as wild berry garnishes.

Vinaigrette "Petersburg"

4-5 potatoes
1 beet
1 carrot
2 small pickled gherkins
1-2 onions
100g sauerkraut
30g vegetable oil
50g fresh dill and 50g spring onions
Boil beet, potatoes, and carrots separately, chill them down and then peel.
Slice, dice or julienne the boiled vegetables, onions and pickled gherkins, put them in a bowl and add sauerkraut. The sauerkraut should be pressed out thoroughly, and also washed if it is too sour. Mix everything well and dress the vinaigrette with vegetable oil.
Put the prepared dish into a salad bowl and decorate it with fresh herbs.

Petersburg Rolls

1kg pikeperch filet
700g filet of gorbusha (hunchback salmon) or keta (Siberian salmon)
1 lemon
fresh herbs and tinned black olives for decoration
ground red pepper
salt to taste
Cut the pikeperch filet into portion pieces, and flatten them 1/5 inch thick with a mallet. Lay the pieces on a wet cloth so that the end of one piece covers another thus shaping them as a single solid rectangular. Sprinkle with salt and chopped fresh herbs. Lay flattened gorbusha filet in the same manner on top the pikeperch filet, salt and pepper it. Roll the filet up carefully, wrap it into parchment greased with vegetable oil, and tie it up with twine. Put the roll into a tray with low boards, fill it with fish broth (or water), bring to boil, and stew 40-50 minutes at low heat. Take the ready roll out of the broth, pierce the parchment in several places to let moisture out, and chill the roll down in a fridge. Before serving, remove the paper, remove fiber from the roll surface, slice it into rings, and lay them on a dish shaping as a fan or stairs. Decorate them with fresh herbs, lemon slices and black olives.

"Fluffy" Caviar

300g fresh caviar of pikeperch, carp or crucian carp
1 small onion
fresh parsley and dill
salt to taste
Carefully select caviar removing membranes. Salt to taste. Whip it with a fork removing the remaining membranes. Mince onions and fresh herbs and add them to the caviar.
Sprinkle with vinegar and mix. Cover with a lid and put into fridge for 30 minutes. Serve on toasts or white bread with dry white wine.

Noodle Soup on Mushroom Broth

60g dried (500g fresh) mushrooms
100g carrots
100g onions
30g parsley (root)
40g vegetable oil
2l broth
fresh herbs, black ground pepper
salt to taste
for noodles:
150g flour
1 egg
30g water
5g salt
Wash dried mushrooms and soak them in cold water (1l per 1 kg) for 3-4 hours. Filter the water, add the soaked mushrooms, and boil without salt until ready. To make noodles, sift flour, make a flour hill with a small deepening in the center, pour water with egg and salt into the deepening, knead dense dough. Leave to rest 20 to 30 minutes, then roll it out 1.5 mm thick, cut it into stripes 1.5 inch wide, and chop as noodles. Dry them on board sprinkled with flour. To make the broth clear, put the noodles into a colander, lower them in hot water for some seconds, and then immediately into boiling mushroom broth. Slice vegetables, simmer them in oil, add to the broth, add salt and pepper, cook until ready. Serve sprinkled with fresh herbs.

Tsar Noodles with Caviar

200g noodles
200g 20% cream
300g salmon smoke-cured
100-150g red caviar
50g butter
ground white pepper, salt to taste
Crush fish with a fork and fry in butter. Add cream and pepper, and stew 10 minutes at low heat under lid stirring slowly. Boil noodles in salted water, Put them into a colander. Add caviar to the fish, mix it, and add the prepared noodles. Mix again and serve to table.

Venison in Smetana Sauce

200g venison
40g parsley (root)
2-3 onions
meat broth
2 tbsp smetana (sour cream) or ready sour cream sauce
1 potato
fresh dill or parsley
black peppercorns
salt to taste
for marinade:
50g water
50g vinegar
6 black peppercorns
2 buds of cloves
bay leaf
sugar, salt to taste
To prepare the marinade combine all ingredients, boil the mixture and chill it down. Cut meat into portioned pieces and marinate it with roots. Then dry it and rub with salt.
Fry the prepared meat in oil until half-ready, put them into a stew-pan, add chopped onions, potatoes, pepper, a little meat broth, and stew 10-15 minutes under lid. Add sour cream and stew at low heat until ready. Serve sprinkled with fresh herbs.

Tsar Rhubarb

1kg rhubarb
1kg sugar
cherry leaves
Peel and cut rhubarb, and put it into a saucepan. Add a handful of washed cherry leaves, fill with hot water so that it covers the rhubarb completely, and leave to rest for 6 hours. Remove the leaves, filter the water, add sugar and cook syrup. Add rhubarb to the prepared syrup, boil it 15-20 minutes at low heat, and leave to rest for 4 hours. Add another handful of washed cherry leaves that will remain in the jam. Heat the jam for another 15-20 minutes. Serve hot or pour into jars.

Baltic Cookies

200g margarine
0.5 cup beer
320g flour
120g sugar
Chop margarine, rub it with flour so that the mass resembles breadcrumbs, add beer, and make dough. Wrap it into parchment and keep 1 hour in fridge. Sprinkle the table with sugar and roll out dough 1/5 inch thick. Cut out cookies shaping them as you like and puncture them with a fork. Bake 4-6 minutes in the oven at 220 degrees until goldish.

Petersburg Baba

18 eggs
35g fresh pressed yeast
15 shelled bitter almond
1 lemon
200g butter
0.65 cups sugar
2 cups sour cream
400g wheat flour
0.3 cups milk
salt to taste
Separate yolks from whites. Whip yolks with sugar until foamy. Rub lemon peel and almond, whip butter, put everything into the whipped yolks, mix well. Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Whip egg whites. Into the bowl with yokes add the dissolved yeast, sour cream, flour and, in the end, egg whites stirring constantly. Put the mass into a baking form (or several forms) filling one third. Cover the form with a towel and leave it in a warm place until the dough rises (approximately twice the volume). Put it into a heated oven and bake 1 hour.

Kvass "Peter"

800g dry rye bread
15g yeast
100g sugar
100g honey
100g horseradish
4l water
Brown dry bread pieces a little in the oven, put them into a large bowl, fill with boiled water, and leave for 3-4 hours in a warm place.
Filter the bread infusion well through a gauze, add sugar, yeast dissolved in a cup of water, and leave in a warm place for 10-12 hours. After the wort has fermented, carefully filter it again, add honey, grated horseradish, mix everything well, cover with a tight lid, and place into a fridge for 3-4 hours. Filter again before serving.

Bon appetite!
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