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.
It was REALLY GOOD!
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.