Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Borscht for Dinner

Rain came back to Seattle and I feel like soup. As a tribute to my heritage I made borscht. The recipe below incorporates making of your own beef broth. Alternatively, you can use already prepared beef or vegetable broth.


1 lb beef shank or rib eye steak
10 cups of cold water
3 potatoes, peeled
2 carrots, peeled
3 small beets, peeled
1 small onion, peeled
1 small cabbage
2 tomatoes
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon of sugar
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

For Serving:

Sour Cream
Fresh Italian Parsley/Dill


1. Combine meat and water in a large soup pot. Salt and pepper to taste, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium. Remove the foam with a spoon. Once there is no more foam coming to the surface, reduce heat to medium low, cover with a lid and let meat cook for 1.5 hours.

2. In a meantime prepare your vegetables. Cube potatoes. Shred carrots and beets. Finely chop onion. Quarter the cabbage and cut (leaves part only) into strips. Soak tomatoes in hot water for 3 minutes, remove the skin and dice into cubes.

3. After 1.5 hours add potatoes and cabbage to the beef broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover with a lid and let cook for 30 minutes.

4. At the same time pour 2 tablespoons of oil in a separate pan (that is at least 5 inches deep) and on medium high heat fry onion for 1 minute, add carrots next and stir. Cook for another minute. Add beets, tomatoes, vinegar, sugar. Stir all the ingredients together and pour beef broth just enough to cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, cover with a lid and let simmer for 30 minutes.

5. After 30 minutes transfer the beet mixture to the pot with beef, potatoes and cabbage. Stir. Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat. Taste for salt. Add if needed. Soup is done.

6. Serve soup with sour cream and chopped fresh parsley or dill.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Something New - Matsutake Mushrooms

I finally tried the beloved mushroom by Japanese people - the matsutake mushroom. I bought them at the U-District farmers market the other weekend. To cook I peeled the outer layer of the mushrooms, sliced and fried them in olive oil. Salted at the end. The mushroom has a distinctive fragrant aroma. Texture is a bit rubbery.

Family Outing to the Dr. Maze's Farm

October is the pumpkin patch month and this year we went to the Dr. Maze's Farm in Redmond. It used to be South 47 Farm few years back where they grew tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, berries and other produce including pumpkins. Now they have a pumpkin patch, a corn maze and a farm themed playground for kids that includes a hay ride and a tiny farm animal zoo. A fun outing to do with a kid.