DANCE FROM THE OVEN: NEW RUSSIAN CUISINE
The most correct thing is to combine local Russian products and traditional tastes with the most modern culinary technologies.
Russian cuisine has finally got out of the shadow of the French and has become bold and daring! This is how it comes out from under the knife of young talented Russian chefs who are seriously concerned with the idea of its reconstruction. The long disputes about what is Russian, Soviet and French have been forgotten, and archaeological excavations of ancient recipes in dusty birch bark manuscripts have been suspended. The adherents of the “new Russian cuisine” decided that the most correct thing is to combine local Russian products and traditional tastes with the most modern culinary technologies.
FOR FOREIGNERS ON FREIGHT
Nobody says that this is some kind of short-term trend, which will be replaced by a new one in a year. Our country is finally beginning to move away from the Western style of thinking and return to its origins, reviving seemingly lost traditions. Including culinary. Modern cookers may be easy to use, but the taste of old-fashioned food is incomparably better. “More and more chefs are beginning to be interested in how our ancestors lived, how they ate, what and how they cooked,” says Alexander Volkow-Medvedev.
– Another important point: tourism is rapidly developing now, and foreigners who come to us want to understand Russian culture, Russian cuisine. It makes no sense for an Italian to come to Russia to try carbonara. And you, once in Southeast Asia, are unlikely to look for fried potatoes with mushrooms. Everyone there loves salad with green papaya … ”The opening of restaurants with a Russian wood-burning stove in the main tourist cities of Russia confirms the great demand for this concept both among visiting foreigners and local residents.
DOWN HEAT: UNIQUE HEATING
The trick of the Russian oven is that it retains the temperature for a very long time and can cook in several temperature modes at once. While it is being melted – fry, then – bake pies, smoke in smoke and cook on coals, and at the end, when it begins to give off heat, you can proceed to a long languor. “You put a product in it, say, at a temperature of 150 degrees, and this temperature gradually drops to 60 degrees during the day,” comments Volkow-Medvedev.
– At first, the product heats up very quickly, and then, as the oven temperature drops, it slowly simmering, letting go. This is a kind of Russian Slow cooking… All our ancestors ate dishes from the oven. This preparation has a lot of advantages. For example, proteins in different products are delicately broken down in it, as a result, the dishes are very tender. Vegetables can be simmered slowly, so that they come out of the oven soft, but at the same time retain their shape, which is important for serving … ”
“The Russian stove is something! – supported his colleague Georgy Troyon. – Our restaurant “Severance” is the only restaurant that uses the Russian oven one hundred percent, we have no stoves at all. We either cook some dishes on the grill, or we bring them completely in the oven.
For example, a year ago they introduced sea bass fillet into the menu. It would seem that it is not a very Russian product, but we have over 60 kilograms of it every month. We just marinate the fillets, then lightly sprinkle with butter in a frying pan and put in our oven. And there, due to the correct temperature, its own fat and marinade, the fish tastes fantastic. This is one of the most demanded items on the menu of our restaurant … ”
OVEN – UNIVERSAL MACHINE
The oven in restaurants operates in two modes. The first is the preparation of the dish. In the oven, the temperature is at the level of 300-400 degrees. The dish is prepared in advance and is brought to condition in the oven in a short time. “We have a chicken item 1.5 kg on our menu,” says Troyon. – We first soak it in a saline solution to marinate it. Then we cook for 1.5-2 hours in the oven and, finally.
Grease with butter and put in the oven for 20 minutes. It turns out the most tender juicy chicken with a perfect crispy crust … Another option – I have cast-iron pans in the oven all the time, which are hot up to 300 degrees. I fry the scallops on them and then literally throw them into the oven for a few seconds so that they come a little bit. Not everything is so simple, of course, but in two years we have mastered all the nuances of cooking in the oven and already feel very confident. ”
The second mode of operation of the oven is languor. When the wood burned out in the stove and the coals were cleaned out of it, a kind of oven turns out, which slowly cools down throughout the day. And you can simmer meat and other products in it.
“In Russia, the stove was heated during the day, then the floor of the firebox was wiped and bread was baked on it at a high temperature, about 200-300 degrees,” says Alexander Volkow-Medvedev. – Then they put soups there, which were cooked for 3-4 hours. And in the evening they put porridge in the oven cooled to 120 degrees, and by the morning it was just ready … ”
“It works great with vegetables too,” adds Georgy Troyon” We wrap two kilograms of vegetables (potatoes, carrots, etc.) in foil and put them directly on the coals. From time to time we turn it over like a shish kebab, and it turns out perfectly – the vegetables keep their shape and at the same time are delicate in taste. ”
You can cook a lot of food in the wood-burning oven. For example, any game, with the exception of venison (it must be cooked very quickly, otherwise it becomes dry, like a sole). Game meat is coarsely chopped with vegetables, pickles and placed in a thick earthen pot, broth or water is added there, and everything is put into the oven for long simmering. It cooks well in the oven and baked milk. With slow languishing, proteins are broken down into amino acids and caramelization occurs. It turns out a unique, primordially Russian product.