Snack - an attribute of a festive table, cold or hot dish, served before main courses. Contrary to rumors, alcoholic drinks were not invented in Russia, and the ancestors did not eat anything stronger than kvass or full (a drink of honey and water). Wine, which appeared with the advent of Christianity from Byzantium, for a long time was considered only a ritual drink, and not an aperitif.
That is, in the snack, as a supplement to alcoholic beverages, there was no need for quite a long time, until foreigners opened the first taverns in Russia. “Our ancestors ate shortly” - this is no longer about the modern Russian culture of a festive feast. Now the classic ideas about holiday feasts and the rules for serving food have changed a lot: a buffet consisting of snack dishes has come into fashion, and sandwiches in general can be taken to work as a full meal.
Many of the dishes that existed in the old Russian cuisine on their own, without aperitifs, simply moved into the category of appetizers with the advent of the tradition of drinking strong drinks. But, apart from the above, there are other rules that do not recommend, for example, snack on wine with pickled mushrooms or pickled cucumbers. What is customary to serve as a snack in Russian cuisine? We'll figure out.
Russian snack - the basic principles of cooking
In order to talk about what to serve as a Russian snack, we must take into account the peculiarities of our cuisine, established many centuries ago under the influence of objective historical and geographical factors, as well as current trends in its development.
Extensive territory, forests and rivers - is the abundance of fish, game, mushrooms and berries, which became the basis of the ancestral diet. Harsh climatic conditions necessitated the need to take care of preserving stocks in the winter time - this is how the first Russian appetizers appeared: sauerkraut, pickled cucumbers and mushrooms, wet berries, puffed salted fish. Until now, in many southern countries there is no such method of cooking products as canning, pickling, fermentation. Therefore, there is reason to believe that foreigners called salted, fermented and marinated foods a Russian appetizer, which is very harmoniously combined with strong drinks. In addition to vegetable snacks, traditions of serving meat, fish, and cheese snacks have developed in Russian cuisine. Plain cutting with a beautiful design is a purely Russian tradition, because in ancient Russian cuisine even salads for a long time consisted of one component: pickled beetroot salad, cucumber salad, sauerkraut salad and so on. The preparation of such a snack was limited to one of the types of cold or hot processing: pickling or salting, or boiling or baking. An addition to such dishes was a sour dressing made of sour cream or vinegar, with spices and herbs, the assortment of which in Russia was already quite extensive in the ninth century.
Under the influence of Western cuisine, since the middle of the eighteenth century, the preparation of cold snacks has become more complicated: salads have become multi-component, and, complex in composition, the vinaigrette is still considered as Russian salad in the West. Sophisticated salads - a feature of modern Russian cuisine, along with simple cutting.
Vegetable snacks have also undergone profound changes under the influence of the cuisine of neighboring nations. Tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, peppers, zucchini, previously unknown products in Russian cuisine, are now served as a snack in fresh, fried or stewed form. Canned vegetables and salads are very popular on the Russian table.
The appearance of salads, complex methods of heat treatment and grinding products Russian cuisine is obliged to the French. Sandwiches - the influence of the German culinary tradition, but in the Russian version they are much more interesting, because they are not limited to two components. Brot and Butter - bread and butter, in the modern Russian version of the snack are decorated with salted fish or caviar, cheese, slices of pork, ham, and other components. In preparing sandwiches for a buffet in Russian, it was not without the influence of Italian, French, American cuisine, as evidenced by the appearance of canapés, crostini, bruschetta, sandwiches, tapas. As a snack dishes are served dishes from minced meat, fish and vegetables, in cold and hot form: sausages, meat and fish rolls, stuffed eggs, vegetables, pies, vegetable caviar.
Preserving its own traditions, Russian cuisine continues to evolve and be enriched by the variety of dishes not only from neighboring nations, but also collecting recipes for snacks already on other continents. This is the main principle of Russian cuisine - in the breadth of the range, generosity and hospitality, in the desire to understand and accept the culture and traditions of other nations. Therefore, if you need to adequately meet the guests, just serve up what is in the house at this moment, without forgetting to decorate the food, as was the custom in Russia.
1. Russian snack: stewed eggplants with tomatoes (sauteed)
Tomatoes (fleshy varieties) 1 kg
Eggplant 1.7 kg
Salad pepper 350 g
Sour apples 300 g (net)
Onion, 0.5 kg
Red carrot 400 g
Refined oil 125 ml
Black, fragrant, red hot pepper
Tomato paste 150 g
Eggplants, peeled from the sepals and skins, cut into cubes (2-3 cm), soak in saline solution for about an hour to remove the bitterness and rinse with clean water. Dry on a napkin. Grate the carrots and chop the onions. Select fleshy varieties of peppers and tomatoes for snack, blanch, remove the skin and seeds, cut into cubes.
Fry the vegetables until rosy color alternately, then using skimmers, transfer them to a sieve, allowing excess oil to drain.
Fried eggplants, tomatoes and peppers, put them in a saucepan, and return the onions and carrots to the pan. Grate the peeled apples, and also add to the pan. Passe the dressing for 10-15 minutes, then add tomato paste, spices and salt, stir and let boil. Kill the hot mass with a blender until smooth, pour into a saucepan and simmer the vegetables until tender, over medium heat, without covering with a lid. Before you remove from the stove, check the taste, lay chopped garlic. Now cover the saucepan with a lid and wrap it with a warm cloth for half an hour. The main point - the design and presentation of snacks, in the Russian style - is very beautiful. Saute is served hot and cold. Place a hot snack in bowls or a la carte snack plates. Put “petals” around - potato chips, slices of tomatoes or slices of fresh cucumbers. Sprinkle with chopped greens. Appetizer can be served in sand baskets or come up with your own design options.
2. Russian zucchini snack - “overseas caviar”
Eggplants and zucchini spread everywhere in Russian cuisine only in the twentieth century, during the Soviet period, but became a favorite ingredient for appetizers and side dishes.
Zucchini 1.3 kg
Carrots 300 g
Salad red pepper 400 g
Tomatoes 800 g
Garlic 0.5 heads
Vegetable oil 120 ml
Table vinegar (9%) 75 ml
Tomato paste 100 g
Salt - to taste
Red hot and black pepper
Chop the onion and rub the carrots. Fry vegetables in vegetable oil until soft. Peel tomatoes. To do this, cut and dip them in hot water for a while. Peel zucchini and pepper. Cut vegetables into cubes of medium size. Fill the tomatoes with tomato juice and boil until soft. Rub through a sieve to remove the seeds - so the caviar will look prettier. Add the pepper to the roast and simmer for five minutes, then add the tomatoes, and continue to simmer for another ten minutes. Send zucchini to vegetables, pour in vinegar, season with spices and salt. Cover and simmer for 40-45 minutes, stirring continuously. Kill the ready-made caviar with a blender. Serve cold, garnished with plenty of greenery.
3. Russian appetizer - pancakes with caviar
Classic - Russian pancakes, and in our time, unfortunately - a luxury, for very solemn occasions. But, if problems arise with caviar, use herring oil or chop up finely salted salmon, chum salmon, pink salmon. Ingredients:
Vegetable oil 150 ml
Boiled water 100 ml
Milk (3.2%) 300 ml
Eggs 3 pcs.
Salt 12 g
Flour 350 g
Soda 10 g
Butter, melted 125 g
Red caviar 250 g
Hard cheese 200 g
Green onions 80g
Combine flour, soda, sugar and salt. Beat the eggs in the foam, add water and milk. Pour the liquid gradually into the dry flour mixture, stirring the dough with a whisk. Pour in refined vegetable oil. Leave the finished pancake dough for half an hour to better dissolve the gluten.
Take a pancake pan with a diameter of 20-22 cm, heat well, and bake pancakes, pouring the dough in equal portions. Hot pancakes grease with melted butter.
Make a snack: wrap the caviar, putting one spoon in the center of each pancake; collect the edges with a skirt, tie with green feathers onions. Serve, beautifully sliced. Pancakes can also be rolled into tubes or buns.
4. Jelly - a cold Russian snack
Pig legs 4 kg
Chicken thighs 3 kg
Beef tails 2 kg
Beef tenderloin 3 kg
Carrots 0.5 kg
Onion 0.3 kg
Bay leaf 10 g
Salt 75 g
Black pepper (peas)
Water 8 l
Parsley (fresh leaves)
Mustard sauce, table horseradish - for serving
Soak the meat overnight in cold water, then wash it. Fillet and chicken temporarily set aside. Legs and tails put in a large pot, cover with clean water. Other carcass parts containing a large amount of cartilage tissue may be used.
Peel carrots, onions. Put the pot on the minimum heat, bring to a boil, removing the foam. Put the whole vegetables, boil the broth for three hours. The readiness of the broth is checked with a knife or fork, which should pierce the skin freely, and at the end of cooking, the legs and tails should be completely boiled soft. Add the prepared filet and chicken to the broth. Cook again in the same mode for up to 1.5 hours. With the pulp add fragrant spices. In the process of cooking the amount of liquid is reduced to 40%. Turn off the heat, put the meat in a dish, and add the peeled and chopped garlic to the broth.
When the broth and meat have cooled to 20-25 ° C, strain the broth (it should be transparent), cut the meat into cubes. Spread boiled carrot slices, parsley leaves into portion dishes. Put boiled meat cut into cubes on top, fill in the forms with broth. Put the jelly in the fridge, covering the form, until it hardens.
When serving form, warm slightly, dropping into boiling water, turn the plate or large dish onto a snack bar.
5. Russian appetizer: stuffed tomatoes with mushrooms
Products for cooking:
Tomatoes large 8-10 pcs.
Marinated champignons 250 g
Boiled potatoes 180 g
Onion green 50 g, onion -120 g
Boil potatoes and eggs and cut into small cubes. Crush onions and mushrooms. Mix and season with mayonnaise. Salt it. Cut the star shape at the top of the tomatoes and remove the core with a spoon, turn it over, leave it on for a while, until the juice flows. Spread the stuffing in the middle, chop the green onion and sprinkle on top.
Place a snack on a dish decorated with greens.
Russian snack - tips and tricks
If leafy greens, fresh vegetables, mayonnaise are used to prepare the snack, then it’s necessary to start cooking not earlier than a couple of hours before the start of dinner, in order to preserve the freshness and beautiful appearance of the dish.
Cutting, meat, fish or cheese can be prepared in advance, in order to have time to serve all the dishes by the appointed hour, but in order that the slicing does not wear out, put it in containers (separately!), Close the lids. You can put it beautifully on plates and wrap it with a film on top. Before serving, put the plates with the snack in the fridge.
Make sure that the snack dishes match the alcoholic drinks served on the table: To vodka - fat, spicy, salty: pickled mushrooms, cucumbers and other pickles, jelly. You can serve pies and pancakes, herring, forshmak, corned beef, balyk and other smoked meats;
For white wine - white meat and fish, some varieties of cheese;
To the red and tart wine - red meats, also cheeses;
For dessert wines - fruits, salads and fruit desserts;
Sparkling wines - seafood;
For beer - smoked cheese, salted fish, pizza, chips;
To cognac - cheeses, chocolate, fruit, lean meat.
For strong alcoholic drinks, serve cold snacks; for lighter types of alcohol, you can serve hot snacks.