Cooking In Russia
December 6, 2016 2:15 PM   Subscribe

Greg Easter and his Youtube channel, CookingInRussia, are one of the internet's greatest (and growing) repositories of culinary knowledge. I was reminded again of his unequalled excellence when he recently posted his unbelievable recipe for Persian Rose Chicken. Everything he teaches is directed at the home cook, but he will never dumb it down or simplify anything to sacrifice flavor. If a stock cube will make it taste just as good as stock from scratch, he's absolutely fine with that. But if stock from scratch is what's required, he will quite directly tell you to start roasting those bones, buster.

He is the author of nearly 300 videos on Youtube, as well as multiple self-published books on Amazon, including a volume on food chemistry, a volume on cocktails that should be on every mixologist's bookshelf next to David Wondrich's "Imbibe", and a book on how to make vegetables taste as crave-worthy as meat without faking the meat.

Who else has the sheer temerity to tell Italians to their faces just what their grandmothers get right and wrong about making pasta? Who else knows as much about the cuisine of central Asia as he does his native Bay Area? Who teaches you food chemistry while making a meatball recipe or a recipe for sweet and sour sauce (yes, sweet and sour sauce) from the 1950s?

And who else has this man's biography? From a family of bootleggers, his grandfather fled to California to escape local organized crime elements in Missouri. He was raised in Oakland, California, at the knee of Trader Vic, who was a good friend of his father's and one of the people who brought Polynesian "exotica" restaurant culture to the United States on returning from WWII. Greg has cooked all over the world, including in Rome, Russia, and all over Asia.

He is, in short, a walking talking repository of the cooking and drinking lore of the last 3 generations.
posted by macross city flaneur (12 comments total) 64 users marked this as a favorite
Persian Rose Chicken link goes to ad portion only, use the slider to get to the beginning. I'm not keen on the presentation (his voice is so monotone) but I'll check it out. Thanks for the heads up, never heard of the guy.
posted by unliteral at 3:37 PM on December 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

This is definitely the DIY internet. The only thing "pro" about it is the food. Sorry about the link. Yeah, just drag to the beginning to see the recipe.
posted by macross city flaneur at 3:50 PM on December 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

This is very good actually. He has quite a lot of vegetarian recipes for me - albeit with some dodgy chicken stock and aspic thrown in - I'm looking at you Fresh Garden Vegetable Terrine (but I can always fix that with some agar-agar).

I've also fallen down a bit of a rabbit hole with his past e.g. Mark of the Mole - Atari game based on The Residents album from 1981.
posted by unliteral at 4:43 PM on December 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Meatball recipe looks good.
posted by tippy at 4:46 PM on December 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Next time I make pizza dough, I'm going to try his trick of sponge-rest-add remaining flour. Thanks, mcf!
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:47 PM on December 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Awesome, thanks.
posted by Huck500 at 6:10 PM on December 6, 2016

Re: Fresh Garden Vegetable Terrine

"I'm glad you made this, Piers -- you've reminded me why we never make vegetable terrine. It may look like a Von Gogh painting, but it tastes like a Neapolitan compost heap. Now throw it away before I make you eat it." (Lenny Henry, "Chef!")
posted by panglos at 1:00 AM on December 7, 2016

I watched the Persian Chicken recipe all the way through, but he never plated it. It just turned into a three minute commercial for his books. What do you do with the dried rose petals? Is this because I'm watching on a mobile phone?
posted by halfbuckaroo at 4:46 PM on December 7, 2016

I started watching the video called "POTAGE of LAMB and KASHA / Authentic Russian Recipe (каша) " and his description of kasha, in the annotation about 14 seconds in, is either wrong or very misleading in the way it's written. How accurate or the other descriptions? It's kinda weird.
posted by I-baLL at 10:12 AM on December 8, 2016

He doesn't explain it verbally, but at 12:29 there's an annotation:
Put the sauce down on the plate, then the meat. Sprinkle a little of the crushed dried rose petals over the top. You don't need much. Most of the rose flavor is an illusion from the combination of other ingredients! That's why this doesn't have the horrible problem of being perfume or soap-like. You have to taste this to understand how fascinating this flavor really is.
posted by mubba at 5:39 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

I-baLL - what do you feel is inaccurate or misleading about it?
posted by macross city flaneur at 9:08 PM on December 8, 2016

Vegetables for Carnivores sounds great - can anyone chime in?
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:03 PM on December 12, 2016

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