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By: | Posted: 05/01/2006
Zakuska are Russian tapas—oh, I hate that word but it works so well here—and in celebration of May Day, everyone should exercise their Constitutionally guaranteed right to make their opinion heard by making a call to their congressman and weighing in on the impeach/don’t impeach the president issue. Next step, go buy a bottle of Stoli, ice it down, and eat plenty of these classic Zakuska.
Marinovannye Griby (Pickled Mushrooms)
20 oz. cider vinegar1 c. water1/4 c. brown sugar1 T. black peppercorns6 cloves2 bay leaves4 garlic cloves, bruised4 dill sprigs4 thyme sprigs1 T. saltRed chili flakes to taste2 lbs. whole cremini mushrooms, trimmed and wiped clean with a damp cloth
Combine all ingredients except mushrooms in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add mushrooms. When liquid returns to a simmer, cook for ninety seconds, stirring once or twice. Cool mushrooms in the liquid. Discard cloves and bay leaf. Mushrooms can be eaten right away, but I like to place them in a tight-fitting container for a few days in the refrigerator before serving. Serves 8-10 as an hors d’oeuvre.
Rassolye (Herring and Potato Salad)
Salad2 lbs. pickled herring, rinsed and patted dry 6 beets, roasted, cleaned, and diced2 lbs. “red b” new potatoes, boiled until just cooked through, and diced1/2 c. sliced cornichons1 large onion, minced very fine2 T. minced parsley
Dressing3 T. brown mustard1 T. hot English mustard3 T. white vinegar1-1/2 c. sour cream6 oz. grated, prepared red horseradish
Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl, sprinkling with the parsley at the end. In a separate bowl, combine mustards, vinegar, and sour cream. Season dressing with horseradish to taste, and set aside. Serve salad, passing the dressing at the table.
Andrew Zimmern is a columnist for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and the host of Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.See bio
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