May 27 ...
Cookery is a constantly evolving and adapting art and science, and it can be difficult if not impossible to determine the roots of many dishes – even the fiercely national ones. Most dishes are like mongrel dogs, with a little bit of a lot of influence. Often the Anglicised names of dishes are a clue. There must be twenty different spellings of ‘pilau’ in old English cookbooks, for example. Sometimes a recipe would simply be designated ‘in the Spanish style’, or ‘the French way’, or ‘Italian fashion’. By the nineteenth century, a few cookbooks started to appear that proudly demonstrated and promoted ‘foreign’ food.
A ‘coulibiac’ is, according to the OED ‘A Russian pie of fish or meat, cabbage, etc.’ The cabbage appears again, I see – which is ironic as this post arose out of my need to balance Pushkin’s ‘national monotonous diet’ idea.
Here are a couple of ‘Russian pies’ à la English-language cookbooks - one simply named, the other accurately enough. Both without cabbage.
Chop some cooked trout and white fish, and mix with ½ cup of boiled rice. Season with salt, pepper and all kinds of herbs minced fine. Then make a rich pie-paste and roll out very thin. Fill with the mixture and make into a roll. Sprinkle with bits of butter and let bake until brown. Serve hot with wine-sauce.
[365 Foreign dishes, a foreign dish for every day in the year. 1908]
Make a paste as for baba pudding or Savarin, and roll it very thin. Cut into a large square, fill it with a forcemeat of veal, rice, eggs, herbs, butter, stock, and mushrooms, and roll it up like jelly cake. Dust the top with crumbs, and bake it 1 hour. Serve with hot wine sauce, in slices.
[With A Saucepan Over The Sea; Quaint And Delicious Recipes From The Kitchens Of Foreign Countries,
Tomorrow’s Story …
Equal to an Egg.
Quotation for the Day …
Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.