Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore by Darra Goldstein

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Notes about this book

  • PQPantry on February 07, 2020

    Dara Goldstein crafted a book that takes the reader beyond the cities of Russia to the villages and hamlets where traditions are maintained despite weather, politics, and economic influences. I found the writing to be engaging, providing insights into the “real Russia”. Historical and literary information enhanced the stories of how different dishes were developed and why they remain part of the Russian culture. I was surprised at the number of fermented recipes and the varied use of buckwheat. Recipes that are now part of my repertoire include: Puff Pies, Twenty Minute Pickles, Beet Salad, Roasted Radishes, Hot Cranberry Sauce and Roast Lamb with Kasha. While this is an interesting book (I taught high school World History for many years), I don’t know that I will attempt many of the recipes as I don’t have experience using some of the ingredients. I received this book from @tenspeedpress to give my unbiased opinion.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Bird-cherry cake (Торт из черёмуховой муки)

    • EmilyR on February 04, 2020

      While I would have loved to have made this with lingonberries, unfortunately they are quite difficult to come by, so I went to IKEA and bought their jam to use in place of the jam recipe in the book. To increase the creaminess I also mixed sour cream with labneh. The cake comes together quickly and is really interesting with a flavor that is a bit almond / cherry / pumpernickel. I waited to see if guests had the same reaction without mentioning what I thought and they also mentioned those flavors.

  • Sasha’s grated apple cake (Пирог насыпной яблочный)

    • EmilyR on February 19, 2020

      I like the method of making this cake and now wonder what other cakes I can make using it. I definitely would use the granny smith apples, as it was sweet enough. This is simple, yet interesting and serving à la mode makes it extra nice.

    • Samotor on September 24, 2020

      This was very good and relatively easy to make.

  • Baked apples with caramel sauce and puffed buckwheat (Печёное яблоко с карамелью)

    • EmilyR on February 19, 2020

      I like all of the textures and elements that make this feel fancy. I wasn't able to get my buckwheat to puff up like little popcorn as depicted in the book, despite my multiple best efforts. I did attempt to deep fry it - even though I loathe doing so, and basically watched it incinerate before my eyes.

  • Blini (Блины половинные)

    • bching on January 10, 2021

      These were delicious. I have made various blini recipes in the past but going forward, II will stick with this one. Beautifully written instructions. I especially appreciate the relaxed tone and guidance. (The whole book is enchanting. I am a huge Darra Goldstein fan.)

    • mjes on April 29, 2020

      Yeasted buckwheat blinis with whipped egg whites adding volume - definitely not my usual blini recipe but definitely good. This is a recipe worth using fresh flour for ... but I did not go so far as to order Anson Mills toasted oat flour just for this recipe - sour cream and salmon roe served as a nice topping.

    • tges on December 26, 2020

      Following Goldstein's recipe did not yield a batter fluid enough akin to sour cream (as the Russians judge their batter) so I added water and other times, I added milk. I came to be accustomed to and even like...the buckwheat flavour but my children prefer the all flour version. Makes for a lovely side to soup, a light meal or a dish more substantial with an assortment of accompaniments. I prefer just cultured butter and wild salmon roe or sour cream and Beluga x Siberian caviar.

  • Six ways to serve kasha: with sautéed onions

    • lkgrover on November 23, 2021

      Easy whole-grain side dish; the onions & dill add flavor without overpowering.

  • Rassolnik (Рассольник)

    • meginyeg on May 09, 2022

      This was delicious. I used boneless beef short ribs instead of kidney. We will make again but use homemade lacto fermented pickles.

  • “Pickle” pies (Пирожки с начинкой из свежих огурцов)

    • meginyeg on February 21, 2022

      Easy enough to make. I liked the dough but not the filling. My partner really liked them. I'm not sure we will make them again.

    • Samotor on September 24, 2020

      Came together easily with a helper. Yummy. Fun way to use up extra cucumbers. P didn't especially like.

  • Cucumbers in sour cream (Огурцы в сметане)

    • mjes on May 21, 2020

      A typical Nordic cucumber-sour cream style salad but the leek is a very pleasant change from the usual onions.

  • Barley-rye cakes (Ячменно-ржаные хлебцы)

    • mjes on May 21, 2020

      I have fond memories of a great-aunt's Finnish barley-rye bread so I always have to try barley-rye recipes. This is a surprise winner especially with cultured butter and salmon roe. Yes, I known the cookbook says Whitefish roe but when one grows up near a major salmon run . . .

  • Sour cream honey cake (Сметанник)

    • tges on January 08, 2021

      Makes a nice but more on the simple side, smetannik cake, but on the very small side. You would need to slice very small slices to yield the eight servings - unless I'm just a glutton. For reference, the best medovik cakes I have ever made was using Simon Bajada's "Baltic" recipe and Olia Hercules' from "Mamushka" - sure, these are honey cakes - not a sour cream cake but if you're after that sort of thing, spring for the above recommendations. As a sour cream cake, this recipe came together beautifully and was happily welcomed as a quicker to put together and cook, honey cake. There is enough honey in the smetannik tort to satisfy a honey cake craving and will be warmly received by sour cream lovers.If you wait the prescribed four hours or so, allowing for the cream to soften the biscuits - you will still have some crunch but for me, I really love the transformation to almost a tiramisu if you wait a minimum of four days in the fridge.

  • Pelmeni, or Siberian dumplings (Пельмени)

    • tges on December 26, 2020

      I have a lot of pelmeni recipes and really thought this one would wow over the others. I bought prime beef eye fillet and pork loin chops for this and followed the recipe. Now, I make a lot of dumplings, regularly, and buy the minced meats - but I found by using these cuts, the end product strangely was sub in flavour than when I use the already ground. The dough for the pasta is wonderful; it made a very easy to work with and tasty pasta to wrap around the filling. But next time I will use just minced. I love pelmeni with cultured butter, cider vinegar and Russian Imperial mustard. Definitely pan fry them in a little butter and serve with sour cream and chives with any leftovers.

    • Nkrieda78 on February 28, 2021

      My only feedback is that I filled mine with 1/2 tsp for a 2 inch diameter of dough. Delicious.

  • Cold vegetable soup with kvass or kefir (Окрошка)

    • tges on December 26, 2020

      Undecided for which team I prefer; both kvass and kefir okroshki are delicious and help beat the heat. Just a side of black bread with sardine butter, fetta and tomatoes or salami and Gouda make this a light meal. Will be a regular dish for the Aussie summer.

  • Vatrushki (Ватрушки)

    • tges on December 26, 2020

      A fantastic recipe for a brioche-like pastry. Goldstein's recipe is accurate, reliable and easy to follow. These turned out brilliantly and can be filled with dulce de leche, a sweet ricotta (with chocolate drops or bits of citron or currants) or with jam if one does not want to follow using the cottage cheese filling.

  • Summer berry compote (Компот из летних ягод)

    • tges on January 08, 2021

      Have made with the summer berries and with cherries, alone. I felt flavour-wise, using cherries resulted in a better tasting kompot....very similar to kompot tasted in Georgia and Azerbaijan. If you add some Perrier, just a splash, it makes the kompot like the healthiest soft drink you could drink.

  • Classic cabbage soup (Суточные щи)

    • tges on January 08, 2021

      This is incredible. I love Russian cabbage soup, in all their variations but the extra time - work - and wait really results in a wonderfully flavoured soup. Do serve with real Russian Borodinsky black bread with a fresh garlic clove rubbed over with cultured butter. Seriously, this is too good and is authentic Russian food at its made at home finest.

  • Spruce salt (Еловая соль)

    • Rosalbltyourbooks1 on March 26, 2020

      I love juniper and this sounds like a fascinating flavor compound.

  • Russian hand pies (Пирожки)

    • jenburkholder on November 15, 2021

      We made these into four giant pies, instead of 24 little ones, and that worked fine. They were delicious - sweet, flavorful filling inside of a rich, buttery dough. My only critique is that the dough was a bit undersalted and I would bump that up another half teaspoon or so.

  • Scallion pie (Пирог с зелёным луком и яйцом)

    • Samotor on September 24, 2020

      Kids and I found the rye crust a bit dense and off-putting. Hubs liked it.

  • Marinated mushrooms (Грибы маринованные)

    • rhughes24 on December 29, 2021

      Love these. Very sharp and vinegary.

  • Beet salad (Свекольный салат)

    • rhughes24 on December 29, 2021

      This is so refreshing and makes a ton of salad - great to make at the start of the week and then eat with lunch all week. I use more horseradish, sour cream, and vinegar than called for, but you can adjust all of these to taste.

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Reviews about this book

  • Eat Your Books by Jenny Hartin

    ... is a chance to experience Russian culture that is approachable and exciting. Darra provides us a fascinating education in all things Russian and we are the better for soaking up her expertise.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 0399580395
  • ISBN 13 9780399580390
  • Published Feb 04 2020
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 304
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Ten Speed Press

Publishers Text

100 traditional yet surprisingly modern recipes from the far northern corners of Russia, featuring ingredients and dishes that young Russians are rediscovering as part of their heritage.

Russian cookbooks tend to focus on the food that was imported from France in the nineteenth century or the impoverished food of the Soviet era. Beyond the North Wind explores the true heart of Russian food, a cuisine that celebrates whole grains, preserved and fermented foods, and straightforward but robust flavors.

Recipes for a dazzling array of pickles and preserves, infused vodkas, homemade dairy products such as farmers cheese and cultured butter, puff pastry hand pies stuffed with mushrooms and fish, and seasonal vegetable soups showcase Russian foods that are organic and honest--many of them old dishes that feel new again in their elegant minimalism. Despite the country's harsh climate, this surprisingly sophisticated cuisine has an incredible depth of flavor to offer in dishes like Braised Cod with Horseradish, Roast Lamb with Kasha, Black Currant Cheesecake, and so many more.

This home-style cookbook with a strong sense of place and knack for storytelling brings to life a rarely seen portrait of Russia, its people, and its palate--with 100 recipes, gorgeous photography, and essays on the little-known culinary history of this fascinating and wild part of the world.

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