It's Monday, the weekend is over. This means 1 more week of my second year of residency, 1 more week in the New Jersey hospital and 1 more week of ease before Hell Rotation starts again. Also 1 more week of Boyfriend's residency before his fellowship (Hell Year!) starts. I started Saturday by commuting in and out of New Jersey for only 3 hours of work and made it to the gym in time to watch The Next Food Network Star. I managed to run 7.5 miles!
Quick exercise note: I am lucky to have a gym that has TVs mounted on the treadmills, so I time my workouts according to good shows to watch on TV. They have more channels there than we do at home and I don't have to feel guilty for taking up the TV with Food Network! So when there's a good long show on, I can run a lot more.
Just before I left for the gym, I made THIS: BORSCHT!!
Two weeks ago Boyfriend's Mom made some vegetarian summer borscht as part of dinner and it was soooo good (and garnished with yogurt instead of sour cream!). It was just the right amount of sweetness, acidity and heartiness for a summer soup. I asked her for the recipe but like all Russians (and me, sadly) she mostly eyeballed it. So though I did go on the net and search out borscht recipes, I used her advice for garnish and other things. Here's a mish-mash of lots of different internet recipes made to resemble and taste just like Boyfriend's Mom's Borscht. BMM =)
The picture here is of me grating a beet. I used 2 giant beets and grated them using the large holes on my grater.
Into the pot I added about 10 cups of water and set it to boil.
So far: 2 ingredients.
There's a lot of variation out there for what to put into borscht aside from beets. A lot of countries make their borscht with meat and potatoes, some with onions, some with cabbage and the list is endless. I saw a lot used eggs? Mine was a summery cold borscht (cold=no meat, otherwise it would get all gellied) with cool cucumber and refreshing dill.
As it boiled I began to add acidity: 2 tbsp lemon juice and maybe 2-3 tbsp rice vinegar to start. You can use any sort of light-colored vinegar but I happen to have a lot of rice vinegar so there you go.
It didn't last, I kept going. More lemon juice, more vinegar (maybe up to 4 tbsp each? It's a BIG pot kids. I also added approximately 2 tbsp sugar and a few sprinkles of sat (maybe up to 2-3 tsp?). I even cracked in some black pepper (which on tasting later was really fun!)
I basically just kept taking little sips of it throughout the seasoning process to get it to the right level of acidity. Don't worry about the SLIGHT bitterish taste, a little dallop of yogurt takes care of that easily.
I chopped up about 3 of these big scallions all the way to the bottoms and threw them into the soup probably about halfway through.
I knew it was done when the beets were the consistency I wanted (a little al dente but fairly soft). I feel like that's pretty subjective. It took me about 30-40 minutes total.
This is what the soup looks like when it's still warm from the pot with the cucumber tossed in.
I set this out to cool in the refrigerator and when I came home from the gym, I put it into a little bowl for a snack.
Dipping the bread into it was HEAVENLY. A word of advice: add yogurt and any dairy product as you eat. Otherwise it doesn't last and gets a little grainy.
Next Post: Chicken Wings!! A La Jules =)