Looks Russian, Not Russian #NotVegetarian

So #4 Daughter, the amazing Sara Marian, came to dinner on Sunday, and I made these things. She said, “That looks like a very Russian meal! Except the cucumbers — they don’t do spicy.” She would know, too, because she did a work-study one summer in St. Petersburg (Russia, duh) and stayed with a Russian hostess.

Here are the cucumbers, sliced thinly and sprinkled with Pico Fruta spice blend (sugar, ancho chili pepper, cayenne, lemon peel, citric acid, salt, cilantro) from Penzeys Spices. It was too spicy for Charlie, so he ate the ones from underneath, where the spice didn’t penetrate. The cucumber was from the farmers market, and it was GOOD.

And the second is like unto the first, except, you know, not. Or, as my grandpa would have said, “Same thing, only different.”

Made this in the Instant Pot, which I LUUURRRRVVVVV!

I put the rack in, added 1/2 cup of water and some shallots. Washed and cut some red potatoes in half and put them on the rack. Sprinkled them with ol’ store-bought Beau Monde seasoning (salt, dextrose, onion, celery seed). Washed and de-stemmed some big mushroom caps and sprinkled them with the same. Topped that with Amish chicken thighs (insert joke here) and sprinkled with the same. Put on the lid, turned the cock to Pressure, and punched in 20 minutes. After the time was up, I let the steam reduce naturally for 10 minutes, then released the pressure.

I flipped the chicken/mushrooms over so the mushrooms were on top and arranged those in the center of the plate, with the potatoes around them. Then I sprinkled it all with a little Italian cheese blend.


I did made an additional dish that Charlie liked the best and Sara said was genuinely Russian: plain ol’ fried cabbage with nothing in it but a little oil and salt. No picture, because just cabbage.

There was about a cup of liquid in left in the bottom of the pot. I saved that, and will use it as a base for soup. Yum!

I’m posting today at Fatal Foodies about vegetarian masala that I liked but Charlie didn’t.

A PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: A character tries a new spice.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Looks Russian, Not Russian #NotVegetarian

  1. pm laberge

    July 24, 2018 at 2:25pm

    What? No beet soup?
    You know what they say about beet soup……


    I am NOT a spammer. It only looks like spam!

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 24, 2018 at 4:08pm

      I think of that joke every time I see a recipe for borscht. Every. Time.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
      • pm laberge

        July 24, 2018 at 4:11pm

        Me too.
        Although, most people who read Pete’s comments have on thing to say about them:


        Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Deborah

    July 24, 2018 at 5:45pm

    I make a potato and chicken dish in my pressure cooker, but only in the winter. You’re a better woman than I am cooking like that in the summer! The potatoes and cucumbers look and sound delicious!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 25, 2018 at 8:03am

      We’ve had a cool spell this week. Besides, the Instant Pot doesn’t heat up the house the way a pressure cooker on the stove does; all the heat is inside it, not radiating through a stove top. In the HOT weather, we often just eat cold cereal for supper!

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  3. joey

    July 24, 2018 at 7:22pm

    That looks yummy! I totally wanna try the cucumbers with spices 😛

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 25, 2018 at 8:04am

      Oh, Joey, last night I had sliced avocado drenched in fresh lime juice and sprinkled with those spices (picture next Tuesday!). SO GOOD!

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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