THE RUSSIAN FOOD NETWORK

Project form

Please fill out the form below, print it, and turn it in, in hard copy, on the due date you selected on the signed up sheet.  The Russian Food Network Event as a follow up to your Russian cooking experience will take place on December 2 during class time, in the Whitman Commons.  Please duplicate your recipe and bring it in for the event.

Recipe: Cabbage with poppy seeds

Ingredients:

6 Tablespoons butter (unsalted)

1 small head of green cabbage (1-1.5 lbs), coarsly chopped

1 (yellow) onion, coarsly chopped

2 small tart apples, cored and coarsly chopped

Salt, freshly gound black pepper to taste

3 ounces (whole wheat) fettucine noodles

2 tablespoons butter (unsalted)

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Method:

In a medium sized pot, over medium heat, melt the 6 tablespoons butter.  Stir in the vegetables and apples, coating them well with the butter.  Add salt and fre4shly ground pepper to taste.  Cover the pot; simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft, adding a tiny bit of water if necessary to keep them from burning. 

In a larger pot, cook the noodles in boiling, salted water until barely tender.  Drain.  Stir in the remaining butter and coat the noodles well.  Stor the cppled vegetables and apples into the noodles.  Add the poppy seeds, and check for seasoning. 

Yield: 6 servings. 

A synopsis of your research on the recipe and the area where the recipe originated:

Stuffed cabbage has its origins with the Turks.  But cabbage, in its various preparations, was originally introduced to the Ukrainians (Who were then the only Russians in existence.) by the Greeks.  Cabbage was not grown or used further east.  The Hebrews and the Egyptians never had use of cabbage, a food they did not know.  The Greeks, evidently, introduced cabbage to the Russians/Kievans probably in the tenth or eleventh century.  Poppy seeds, as an ingredient was used early by the Poles.  Among other Polish dishes, such as Kovbasa and sauerkraut, it came to the Ukrainians, and was then added to the preparation of cabbage.  The recipe of cabbage with poppy seeds is probably a Ukrainian creation. 

There is a Hungarian recipe of cabbage with poppy seeds.  As its preparation closely follows the Ukrainian version, it suggests sharing.  Either the recipe was learned by the Hungarians from the Ukrainians, or vice versa.  As the Ukrainians had cabbage earlier than did the Hungarians, it is more likely the recipe originated with the Ukrainians.

Your description of the experience of preparing and the tasting the recipe (any ingredients you needed to substitute, any changes you made to the recipe… does it remind you of something you tasted before?  What would you serve to accompany it? Etc.

No problem preparing, and no substitutions were done.  I would serve it with mashed carrots and parsnips, flavored with fresh thyme.  A baked potato would make for a full dinner.

Like a wine recommendation to accompany a dish, make a recommendation of a reading from Russian literature that would accompany the making or the tasting of the dish you prepared.  Perhaps the reading would suit the mood of the dish, its spiciness or its sweetness… perhaps there was a mention of one of the ingredients or the dish itself in the reading… etc.  You may select from the stories read or presented in class, or some other Russian work with which you are familiar. 

Chekhov’s Three Sisters would be good to watch, or read, with this meal.  Chekhov does not mention food frequently in his writings, but the play is short, about the time the meal would extend, and it is about a spring day in an urban dwelling.