Russian Shuba Salad Verrines

Russian Shuba Salad Verrines

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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Smoked Salmon Tostadas, Baja White Sauce

Smoked Salmon Tostadas

Smoked Salmon Tostadas, Baja White Sauce

It’s a riot of colors, textures, and flavors! Silky-smoky-salty salmon, crunchy shredded cabbage, nutty-buttery avocado, peppery-crisp radish, bright-green-vegetal jalapeño, screaming-hot habanero, zesty-sour lime, herby-citrusy cilantro, sweet-tangy pickled red onion all happily combined atop crispy-charred corn tortillas. And all dressed with Baja White Sauce, that classic sauce served on top of those crave-worthy fish tacos in Baja, California.

Smoked Salmon Tostadas Recipe

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Norwegian Smoked Salmon Toast

Norwegian Smoked Salmon ToastNorwegian Smoked Salmon Toast
Poached Egg, Steamed Baby Beets, Wild Arugula
Horseradish Cream Cheese, Pickled Red Onion

How many colors, textures, and flavors can fit on one piece of toast? Well, lots. But to be worth the effort, they must harmonize and have a natural affinity for each other. That is the beauty of this Norwegian Smoked Salmon Toast. It is pleasing to the eye with pretty hues of orange, yellow, red, pink and green. And it has a balanced variety of tastes and textures: earthy and sweet, creamy and pungent, silky and buttery, peppery, jammy, fresh, crunchy, sour, toasty, rich, salty…all this makes for one delicious piece of toast.

Norwegian Smoked Salmon Toast Recipe

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Ringing in a Dazzling and Delicious New Year!

New Year's Eve Appetizer

Ringing in a Dazzling and Delicious New Year!
Beggar’s Purses
and
British Cheese Toasts

Happy New Year Friends! May it be filled with dazzling and delicious dishes. And no shortage of exceptional adult beverages either. We are ringing in 2018 with a couple fabulous appetizers…pairing them with outstanding Champagne and Single Malt Scotch.

Champagne, smoked salmon, and caviar are an undisputed flavor trifecta. Here, premium smoked salmon is stuffed with a dollop of creme fraiche, then tied into an adorable bundle and topped with caviar.  Toasted brioche is the perfect vehicle for serving these little beggar’s purses, although a knife and fork are required. Forever elegant NV Billecart-Salmon Rosé is totally enchanting, with flavors of sweet spice and wild strawberries, it continues to be the Champagne that should be married to smoked salmon. And not just because of the name.

Our second appetizer is designed to pair with Scotch Whisky. Rich salty cave-aged English cheddar heightens the sweet notes in the Scotch. Peppery arugula and pickled watermelon radish offer the perfect counterpoints. Talisker Single Malt is from Carbost, Scotland on the Isle of Skye, it’s full-flavored and wonderfully peaty, with compelling flavors and brisk scents of the seashore in every luscious sip.

New Year's Eve Appetizer

Beggar’s Purse and British Cheese Toast Recipes

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Smoked Salmon Pizza, Chive Blossoms, Fried Capers, Horseradish Cream Cheese

Smoked Salmon Pizza, Chive Blossoms, Fried Capers, Horseradish Cream Cheese

Smoked Salmon Flatbread Pizza
Chive Blossoms, Chives, Fried Capers
Dill, Lemon, Maui Onion, Horseradish Cream Cheese

Smoked salmon pizza was one of a trio of flatbreads we served for lunch aboard Oasis on a recent cruise over to Two Harbors at Catalina Island. Lunch on the aft deck could not have been more delightful – with perfect weather, breathtaking scenery, and wonderful company.

Our three light and crispy flatbread pizzas (smoked salmon, roasted brussels sprouts, and a version of vegetable with arugula) were accompanied by a lively chopped Israeli salad and refreshingly cool sangria.  Flatbread pizzas make for a super-satisfying lunch on board. They are fast and easy to cook in the galley, and they’re not as filling as traditional pizza – so after lunch we were buoyant and ready for a fabulous 6 mile hike around the island.

Cruise to Catalina Island

Smoked Salmon Pizza Recipe

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