Doctor Zhivago: At The Czar's Table
Doctor Zhivago is the perfect film for a romantic winter night....
...and we'll match it with a dazzling spectacle from the kitchen that recalls a "Hollywood" version of Russian cuisine.
This dinner requires a few items you might not yet have in your kitchen. You'll need a pastry bag (for decorating the fish), a pastry brush (ditto), and a whisk or electric mixer.
At the heart of our meal is a modern version of dish of the Czars: Koulibiac.
Traditional koulibiac is a luxurious dish: salmon, stuffed with egg and mushroom, baked in Brioche. I've prepared both traditional and modern versions of Koulibiac, and most of my guests have preferred the updated, lighter version I present here, inspired by Julia Child. Following Julia's approach I use puff (sometimes called "choux") pastry, hence the puny renaming of the dish to "chou-libiac". I omit the chopped eggs, and substitute several kinds of fish, plus shrimp and a delicious salmon mousse in alternating layers.
We'll serve each portion with some asparagus.
Before the main course we'll have blini and caviar.
Borscht will remind us of the peasants.
We'll also serve a traditional cucumber with sour-cream dill salad.
Desert will be another Czarist dish: Strawberries Romanoff.