Unusual Fact: Chechnya is not actually a country, it is a part of the Russian Federation. However they have been fighting for their independence for many years
Although Chechnya is not technically a country I am still cooking it as there have been other places I have cooked from that are not countries such as the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Antarctica. Both of these recipes of Chechnya are from the World Cook Book For Students.
First up the beef and potato salad. The beef we used in this was sliced corn beef from the Deli. I have changed this recipe from what was written in the book because they has very little peas for the amounts of every thing else. The pickles add a freshness that cuts through the sour cream perfectly. I accidentally cooked my potatoes for too long and so I couldn’t stir the salad as well as I would have liked for fear of the potatoes turning into mash.
Secondly the pumpkin tarts. There is a lot of pastry for the amount of filling. If you are serving four or five people then I would suggest halving the amount of pastry. But if you are serving six or more, I would suggest to double the amount of filling. Which in turn will make more pastries. With the amounts listed below (I have not changed these) the pastry will be too thick and overwhelming. Although the filling mix may seem to strong are unusual stick with it. The filling has an amazing different taste to nothing I have ever tasted before. This taste goes excellently with the pastry a the pastry does not have much flavour. They work really well together.
Beef and Potato Salad
Beef and Potato Salad (Vainakh Saladi)
8 ounces boiled beef (corned beef, we used about 12 ounces)
8 ounces boiled potatoes, diced we used 1 pound)
1 ounce freshly picked young green peas, or frozen and thawed (we used 3 ounces)
1 ounce pickled dill cucumber (we used 1 pickle)
salt and pepper to taste
2 hard boiled eggs, quartered
1 cup sour cream
In a bowl mix well the potatoes, peas, pickle, salt and pepper. Stir through sour cream. Arrange eggs on top.
Pumpkin Tarts (Khingalash)
1/4tsp baking soda
1 1/2pounds wheat flour
2 cups kefir (a sour milk availiable from Russian shops, or substitute for equal parts of yoghurt and water or butter milk), warm
3/4 cup hot water
5 ounces butter, melted
1 egg, whisked
1 1/2 pounds pumpkin, unpeeled, cubed
1 large onion. chopped fine
1 TBS oil
1 tsp salt
2 1/1 ounces sugar
Sift salt and baking soda with the flour
Pour in kefir gradually while mixing with a wooden spoon to make a dough
Knead dough for 10 minutes until soft
Divide Dough into 8 pieces and roll into 1/8inch (3mm) disks
Put filling (see recipe below) on half of one disk; fold over the other half to form a cresent.
Brush with egg
Press the edges well to seal with the fingers or a fork, and bake at 190˚C for 15-20 minutes until light brown
Using tongs dip the pastries quickly in hot water, and brush with melted butter
Serve with extra melted butter as a dip
Place pumpkin cubes in a microwavable container
Add 1/4 cup water. Partly cover and microwave in an 800w oven for 15-20 minutes or until pumpkin is very tender. So soft you can mash it with you fingers
Scoop out pulp from the peel and reserve. Discard peels
Meanwhile, fry the onion in oil until softened
Add to reserved pumpkin with salt and sugar, and mash together thoroughly