Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks, feeling grateful, and sharing food with friends and family. Thanksgiving is often stereotyped as a day where American people stuff themselves with turkey and then pass out on the couch while watching an entertainment programming on TV. That may be true for the average American, but little did they know, in Russian culture, Thanksgiving takes on a whole new meaning.
As for the preparation, there are several things that have to be considered now that plenty of families are blending into one, yet still striving to continue their unique traditions. Families are expected to come all together to celebrate the holiday and get to know each other.
At the risk of coming off too American, Russian wives really have to find a balance between their Russian recipes and standard American Thanksgiving dishes. In this article, I have rounded up 5 popular menus during Thanksgiving in Russia you could try during the celebration. Check them out.
1. Stuffed Turkey Roll
Let us call all turkey lovers around the world! The stuffed turkey roll is perfect for Thanksgiving or even Christmas or any other celebration which requires you to serve a delicious dish. The dish is also a good alternative to roasting a whole turkey during the holiday season. The recipe is quite simple, yet incredibly delicious. It is best served alongside Russian favorite holiday side-dish like as kale pomegranate salad with apples.
The stuffing is what makes the turkey so delicious and flavorful. Russian wives usually stuff the turkey breast with a combination of smoky bacon, garlic, mushrooms, shallots, and even add a bit of Parmesan cheese to the mixture. It all results to the smoky flavor from the bacon, the moist and juiciness from the turkey with a tasty filling.
2. Pan-Seared Garlic Potatoes
The pan-seared baby potatoes with garlic butter may be not the main dish for the occasion, but it is still the side dish for any meal. The garlic butter inflicts on it an oven-roasted garlicy flavor and apparently makes the potatoes even more irresistible. It is best served alongside barbecued meats, salads, steaks, and chicken. It is a great side dish for the summer months, but you can also try it with your average Thanksgiving turkey.
Also, if you have a large garden in the backyard, try to plant potatoes. The young baby potatoes that are just taken out of the ground taste so good and have a unique flavor that you just do not get with store-bought potatoes. All you need to do next is par-boil the potatoes, pan sear them with loads of butter and a bit of garlic.
3. Stewed Beef and Potatoes
Жаркое, or Stewed Beef and Potatoes, is a delicious Russian comfort food that every Russian child eats so often growing up (also read: 7 Popular and Tasty russian Beverages for Children). You can serve it on Thanksgiving Day to bring back the warm and beautiful memories of childhood. It is best served alongside Russian pickles, marinated tomatoes, and sour cream. The stewed beef potatoes recipe is prepared with the most aromatic tomato sauce and seasoned with fresh dill. If you are tight on budget, you can use a cheap cut of meat like chuck roast which works very well for the dish. Once the beef is well braised, it will be super soft and easily falls apart when you bite into it.
4. Cucumber Cabbage Salad
The refreshing cucumber cabbage salad will impress your taste buds. The key ingredients of the salad are cucumber, cabbage, toasted almonds, fresh dill, and green onion. Those ingredients bound to become a Russian family favorite. It is a versatile salad that is super easy to make. It is also great as a side dish, by that, I mean any side dish such as stewed beef, barbecued chicken, or even grilled fish.
In Russia household, the refreshing and crunchy cucumber cabbage salad is served at least twice a week during the summer with garden-fresh vegetables. Many Russian families grow their own cabbages, cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, and even dill. For special occasion like Thanksgiving, they usually consider adding toasted almond slivers for extra crunch. And, to finish the salad off, you can add a bit of freshly-squeezed Meyer lemon juice for zestfulness.
5. Kale Pomegranate Salad
Kale pomegranate salad is actually crunchy kale and broccoli tossed together with crunchy apples and pomegranate seeds, and also dressed with a zesty champagne dressing. Appearance wise, the salad looks so bright, colorful, and also diverse in flavors and textures. Every bite of it is packed with incredible flavor. Another plus is that it is packed full of nutrition. It is best served alongside mashed potatoes or garlic baby potatoes.
The salad often makes its appearance in many Russian holiday parties as it goes so well with almost everything, ranging from oven-roasted turkey to steak to ribs or even lamb chops. It is all because the flavor is not overwhelming. It is one of those salads that refreshes your palate and will have you craving for more. Russian wives usually make a huge batch of kale pomegranate salad for big parties and on the rare occasion like Thanksgiving. If you have left over of the salad, do not worry, you can always store the salad overnight in the fridge for the next day. It will still taste good and be great for next day lunch.
For some, the holiday is particularly touching, because it is a time to remember how fortunate they are to be in the land of the free. Surely everyone loves Thanksgiving because it is a time of year to spend more time with your family and enjoy those 5 popular menus during Thanksgiving in Russia you could try. So, which one would you like to serve first for next Thanksgiving? Let me know. I hope you all find this article helpful.