There were reasons we went to live in Russia and reasons that we chose to come back. Some of you wonder why I would miss a place that still has movie theaters without modern plumbing, but Omsk had its good points. To put my sudden nostalgia to good use I thought I would share a few of the things I miss about Omsk.
2. I miss the Siberian silver birch forests that surrounded the city. They presented a gorgeous view that I had never experienced before my first visit.
3. I miss hearing Russian spoken everywhere. Even though I didn’t understand everything and often got lost in a conversation, I enjoyed hearing it and trying to see how much I could catch.
4. I miss visiting my husbands parents and trying to get through whole recipes with my mother-in-law without Andrey’s help. And of course I miss the homemade vareniki and bellini she often greeted us with.
5. Finally I miss being the amerikanka. It was fun to be so special. Everywhere I went people wanted to ask me something about the U.S. or about why we were in Russia.
Russian Salmon Pie
Makes one 8x8 inch pie
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 sticks butter, cold
1 tsp. salt
½- ¾ c. ice water (as needed)
1 lb. salmon
½ c. cooked rice
2 hard boiled eggs
1 large shallots
1 large carrot
4 tbs fresh dill, chopped
1 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbs. butter
2 tbs. flour
½ c. fish broth or vegetable broth (low sodium)
½. c. white wine
1. Heat the butter in a small saucepan.
2. Add the shallot and sauté until cooked.
3. Use a fork to stir the flour into the mixture.
4. Add the broth and wine and simmer on low for 4-5 minutes to cook the flour.
5. If it is too thick you may add a bit more broth or cook it longer if it is too thin.
6. Set the sauce aside until the rest of the pie is ready.
1. Take the butter out of the fridge and cut it into small chunks in a bowl.
2. Add the salt to the flour.
3. Add the flour one cup at a time using a fork to mix it gently into the butter. Then continue using a fork and knife to cut the butter into the flour until it is pea sized, but avoid mashing the butter. This should be done as quickly as possible, so the butter does not begin to melt.
4. Remove the ice from the water and pour a half a cup into the flour and butter mixture. Mix it in and add the additional water if necessary.
5. After it is mostly mixed use your hands to bring it together. Use as few strokes as possible to kneed it and do not over-work the dough.
6. Once the dough has come together in a ball place it onto a floured piece of wax paper.
7. Split the dough in half and set one part aside.
8. Form one half into a square and set it on the wax paper. Flour it and place another piece of wax paper on top of it. Now use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into the correct size (using your pan as a guide).
9. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
10. Lay one rolled out piece into an 8x8 inch square baking dish pressing it into the corners and cutting off any that goes over the top. This will look a little rough, but it is a rustic style pie and no one will see it once it is filled.
11. Leave the second piece between the wax paper and use a cookie sheet to place it in the refrigerator until later.
1. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. When it is hot lay the pieces of salmon in skin side down and cover. After about 3-4 minutes flip the salmon over and peel off the skin. Recover and cook another 1-2 minutes or until done. Remove from the heat and flake the salmon. Set it aside.
2. Finely dice the carrot and shallot.
3. Heat olive oil in a small frying pan and add the shallot. Cook until it softens and add the carrot. Cook until the carrot is done being careful not to let it burn.
4. Dice the hard boiled eggs.
5. Chop the dill and parsley.
6. Mix the rice, egg, herbs, and shallot and carrot into the salmon using a fork. Avoid breaking the salmon into smaller pieces.
7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
1. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.
2. Reheat the sauce and pour half of it into the salmon mixture. Stir it in and add as much more as you think it needs. The rest can be reserved to serve on the side.
3. Spoon the salmon mixture into the bottom pie crust.
4. Take the top crust out of the fridge. Carefully peel one piece of wax paper off. Then flip it onto the baking pan and peel the other piece of wax paper off, so that the crust is left laying on top of the pie.
5. Use your fingers to press the two crusts together.
6. Bake for 30 minutes or until the curst is golden brown.