Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Celebrating Sochi with some Boozy Borscht!

So, in case you haven't heard, there's some winter Olympics going on in Russia right now...

Also in recent news, my hubby bought me a great little recipe book called Apothecary Cocktails: Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today for this past Christmas, and I've really been enjoying trying some of the concoctions in it.  One, in particular, seemed like a perfect fit for this event: Roasted Beet Borscht with Sour Cream and Vodka.  I mean, ALL THE RUSSIANNESS!!!!

Now, you guys know how I feel about beets.  Still not a huge fan.  But somehow, a little vodka seems to make things more appealing.  And the recipe was in the "Winter Warmers" chapter of the book, which seemed appropriate this polar-vortex-filled winter. Another nice thing about it: I already have more than half the ingredients for it in my freezer!  Kismet!

P.S.  Do not underestimate the staining power of beets, or this recipe!  I am currently pretreating the shirt I was wearing this morning after an unfortunate splash.

The recipe itself couldn't get much more straightforward:

Roast and puree some beets.  I thawed a cup of roasted beet puree from my freezer.  If you don't have that on hand, here's how to roast them:  Heat your oven to 375.  Remove the leaves and any long roots.  Rinse them with a quick scrub to remove any dirt.  Then wrap them in aluminum foil (I like to line mine with a sheet of parchment so that the foil doesn't touch the beets) in a tight envelope.  Chuck it into the oven and bake them until they are tender...usually between 40 minutes and an hour, depending on how big the beets are and how many you roast.  Then, you can usually rub the peels right off, chop them, and puree them with a food processor or blender.

Add beef broth.  I used 4 cups to the cup of beets that I had.  Because I like beef broth many times more than I like beets.  You can change this balance to your own liking of the consistency and flavor.

Grate in a little fresh horseradish  Again, to taste.

Spoon it into shot glasses.

Add vodka.  The recipe calls for a medicine dropper full, but the medicine dropper that I had held like 2 teaspoons.  I wouldn't recommend that much, and I don't think the shot glass could hold it.  Like 1/4 teaspoon, tops.  I tried 1/2 to start with, and it was not pleasant.  Just a smidge of vodka here.

Top with sour cream.

Shoot it back.

Sure, you could leave out the vodka and still have a perfectly nice cup (or bowl) of borscht.  But something about kicking back a bright, rosy, sour-cream-topped shot of the hard stuff while watching competitive ice dancing makes me smile a little more.

I'm thinking there's a winter Olympics drinking game there somewhere...

Oh, and also: Beets, bears, Battlestar Galactica.  Had to get that out of my system.  I feel better now.

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