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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steam pudding with sliced fuyu and chantilly cream flavored with brandy
verrine layered with hachiya pulp, steam pudding, chantilly cream
hachiya & fuyu
Hachiya is heart-shaped. Fuyu is tomato-shaped. And the differences don’t end there.
The hachiya must be completely ripe to be palatable, or else the taste is astringent and off-putting, reminiscent of chalk. But when it is ripe it is sublime – a not-too-sweet apricot-like flavor, with a hint of honey, and unique slippery texture. The fuyu – on the other hand – can be eaten like an apple, diced for a salad or salsa, or sliced into wedges when it is softer and served with dessert or cheese. Persimmon has the pizzazzy flavor of Fall!
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Caprese Verrine with Heirloom Tomato Gelée, Burrata Cheese, Olive Oil, Basil
Camembert with Edible Flower Wine Gelée
Espresso Gelée with Coffee Liqueur Cream
Entertain with Gelée!
Another dinner party at Lori Lynn’s, but this one starts off differently…my friends join me in the kitchen as we film the first ever video for Taste With The Eyes. On the menu is a gorgeous Camembert Cheese decorated with Edible Flower Wine Gelée to be served with grilled bread as an appetizer. Our Sunken City Supper Club signature amuse bouche, the Caprese Verrine, kicks off the dinner as a vibrant 2 oz. bite. And for dessert, we serve a petite 3 oz. Espresso Gelée topped with Coffee Liqueur Cream.
All three gelée incarnations are perfect for entertaining with their enigmatic texture, the shimmering gelatin captures the essence of the flavor and melts in the mouth. They are easy to prepare, easy on the pocketbook, and feature a unique presentation that is certain to delight. They’re most likely not something your guests are preparing every day at home…
I couldn’t wait to start this project. We had a blast making the video! With my dearest friends encouraging me while we filmed the video, sipping Champagne, they gave their best advice: Fix your bangs! Look at the camera! Don’t look at the camera! Talk slower! Talk faster! Smile! CUT! This was a riot! And the dishes, they speak for themselves.
After the final cut Chip asks, “Can I taste it?”
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Roman-Style with Orange Peel and Sage
We recently hosted another Sunken City Supper Club event. Featuring a five course fixed menu, this season showcasing “The Winter White Dinner.” The decor was all white, and we playfully incorporated white foods into the menu.
The Sunken City Supper Club is a fresh, local and secret place to periodically mingle with friends and neighbors – to enjoy the camaraderie, great food, wine, the awesome intimate jazz standards (and perhaps a little dancing too) performed by local musicians Barry Anthony and Bill Ryan.
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Fresh lychee, candied ginger, and freeze-dried rambutan
with mascarpone cream.
“Lychees on the Windowsill”
My contribution to CLICK
The theme: au naturel (food in its natural state).