At the height of summer, we want to delight you with fruit and vegetables. This is especially important for residents of Taimyr, because the warm season is not that long. But what if we combine the gifts of the mainland nature with northern products? A professional chef knows how to do it.
Ruslan Asanov, chef of the Malina cafe, is in the profession for more than 17 years. He studied a variety of approaches to cooking, saw how products were made and how to serve them best. Northern cuisine plays a special role in his work, to which Ruslan has a sincere affection.
“It would be nice if both young people and experienced Norilsk residents maintain an interest in local products”, Ruslan admitted. “I noticed that young people, for example, do not like fish soup. They prefer dishes from the Japanese cuisine and other countries. Meanwhile, the meat, fish, poultry, mushrooms and berries that the tundra gives us are incredibly useful, besides their unique taste. This is a wild cuisine. If properly prepared and served, a dish based on northern products will create a real sensation even among those who, for some reason, have not yet appreciated these products”.
Meet venison with lingonberry sauce and smoked fruit.
“As befits a dish made from wild meat, it is better to cook it outdoors”, Ruslan said. “To do this, instead of the usual dishes, it is best to use natural material – tree bark or wooden boards. If we are talking about meat, then while the fire is burning, it must be fixed on the surface of the bark and placed next to the fire. This will infuse the product with the aromas. Resin and smoke make an incredible combination. When it comes to home cooking, we can make the dish “wild” too. A burnt board, preferably spruce, will help the cook. If possible, cook by hand without using cutlery.
Pour spicy herbs – rosemary, thyme, tarragon – over the fire with a burner to char them to a dusty state. Then roll the deer fillet medallions in these herbs and fry in a pan in vegetable oil and butter in proportions of 60 to 40. Frying time – seven minutes on both sides. This medium roast is called Medium Rare.
Then we move on to fruit. We need plums, peaches, nectarines. You can take cherries or other fruit that contain sugar (glucose). They need to be smoked or fried for the fruit to caramelize. Then sprinkle them with chopped herbs, add spicy freshness.
The next step is lingonberry sauce. Mix lingonberries (800 grams), sugar (200 grams), grated ginger (60 grams), sweet red wine (250 milliliters), and bring the mixture to a boil. Then punch through a sieve, add salt and pepper to taste and boil down to thicken the sauce. With the indicated proportions, you will get about 600 grams of the sauce.
You can use boiled millet as a garnish. Put the reindeer fillet in herbs on a plate, add smoked fruit and millet. Pour the lingonberry sauce. Decorate with fresh herbs and lettuce. Enjoy your meal!”
For more recipes using Taimyr products, check our Taste of the North section.
Text: Yulia Gubeladze, Photo: Nikolay Shchipko