Russian Shuba Salad Verrines
AKA Fur Coat Salad
My Nana (paternal grandmother) was born in Kiev in 1894. She was an excellent cook, but she never served a Shuba Salad…most likely due to the fact that it was invented after the time her family fled to escape the pogroms when she was a young girl.
The story has it that sometime in the early 1900s, a restaurateur in Moscow named Anastas Bogomilov created the dish to calm and satiate his rowdy vodka-drunk customers.
Striking, super-flavorful, layered Shuba Salad is often served for Christmas and New Year’s now, and traditionally made with chopped pickled herring. Although I am a fan of pickled herring, here I substituted an appetizing fish with broader appeal, smoked salmon. Today, January 7th, is Orthodox Christmas – celebrated in Russia, Ukraine, and many central and eastern European countries as well as other parts of the world. It’s time to enjoy some Shuba!
The dish’s intriguing name “Herring Under a Fur Coat” is translated to English from seledka pod shuboi or shuba. Shuba means fur coat in Russian, here the fish is nestled under a coating of fluffy soft vegetables and dressing.
Nana did wear a fluffy Russian Sable Fur Coat to protect her against Chicago’s harshest winters, but alas, despite my Russian ancestry, there was no Shuba Salad in my youth…but I am more than happy to have discovered it now.
Fur Coat Salad Recipe
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Basque Pumpkin Cheesecake
We’ve made Basque Burnt Cheesecake several times, and it is always a big hit. With no fruit topping, no crust and five simple ingredients – cream cheese, sugar, salt, eggs, and cream – it is astonishing how absolutely fabulous the original cheesecake actually is…it is baked in a very hot oven so the top and bottom caramelize where the insides remain soft and luxurious.
For Thanksgiving this year, I decided to make a pumpkin version of the Basque Cheesecake instead of serving pumpkin pie. Whoa! Another big hit. It’s rich and ultra creamy; earthy, sweet and pumpkin-y; and flavored with the warm spices of the season.
The cheesecake recipe was originally developed by Santiago Rivera, Chef of La Viña in San Sebastian, Spain. The Chef says, “Its popularity amongst our clients have become La Viña Restaurant’s Cheese Cream Cake a great classic of the San Sebastian cuisine.”
Basque Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
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Fast & Fabulous Duck à l’Orange
Over Braised Carrots and Leeks
White Pekin duck has a delicate flavor that is not at all gamey. Maple Leaf Farms White Pekin ducks hail from the original Long Island Pekin ducks brought over to the US from China in the 1800s.
They are now raised humanely and sustainably in Northern Indiana on family farms by mostly Amish farmers. The ducks eat a healthy balance of grains and veggies and are free to roam in cage-free barns.
I was thrilled to discover Maple Leaf Farms fully cooked Roast Half Duck at Costco. The delicious half ducks can be prepared in less than 20 minutes and paired with a myriad of sauces and sides. Here, the lean, succulent roast duck is served over savory carrots and leeks where the colors and flavors harmonize perfectly with the French inspired Duck à l’Orange recipe.
My orange sauce is citrusy, sweet, and tangy where soy sauce adds depth and umami notes while cider vinegar adds a brightness. Fast & fabulous, the sauce takes about 5 minutes to prepare.
Fast & Fabulous Duck à l’Orange Recipe
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Saumon Cru, Beurre Blanc Grenade
🌸 🌸 🌸
Raw Salmon, Pomegranate White Wine Butter Sauce
The inspiration for this easy, elegant dish comes from a charming bistro in Paris that serves pan-fried trout with a pomegranate white wine butter sauce.
Here, the star of the show is pristine raw sockeye salmon that is bathed in the warm sauce. The result is a mind-blowing silky-rich dish where pomegranate arils add fruitiness, crunchy texture, and pops of color.
We often serve raw salmon drizzled with olive oil and some citrus, adding richness and brightness. In this French version, imagine how butter is substituted for olive oil and where white wine and vinegar add the tangy bright notes. Shallot adds complexity, while butter sauce paired with bold sockeye brings a luxurious mouthfeel.
Crudo or raw salmon is typically served cold, but here, to add another interesting dimension, the butter sauce gives warm kisses to the raw salmon. It is unusual, and unusually fabulous.
Recette de Saumon Cru
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Basque Burnt Cheesecake
Served with Oloroso Sherry
#5ingredient #glutenfree #crustless #stunning #simple
With no fruit topping, no crust and five simple ingredients – cream cheese, sugar, salt, eggs, and cream – it is astonishing how absolutely fabulous this cheesecake actually is… Perhaps it is the extremely high baking temperature that coaxes those 5 ordinary ingredients into a synergistic masterpiece with a striking blackened top and a creme brûlée-esque caramelized flavor. And as if the cake itself wasn’t enough, the scorched parchment ruffles that surround this cake make for a beautiful unique presentation.
The recipe was originally developed by Santiago Rivera, Chef of La Viña in San Sebastian, Spain. The Chef says, “If I had to mention a key influence, which has determined the personality and the evolution of my cuisine, I would undoubtedly point at the movement of the New Basque Cuisine, starting in 1977.”
Oloroso Sherry from Jerez, Spain has wonderful aromas of nuts, vanilla and caramel plus rich nutty semi-sweet creamy flavors. Oloroso sherries offer a terrific balance between sweet and dry. This cheesecake and this sherry are a heavenly Spanish pair.
Basque Burnt Cheesecake Recipe
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