Start EVERYTHING with a Vodka Tonic
There are many versions of Borscht. This is one that I imagine is the closest to the one I ate. It is like a bowl of liquid jewels! Catherine the Great would have approved.
I love cooking beets in the oven. They usually take much longer than one expects, I always count and hour either which way, unless you have a pressure cooker.
4 beets, washed, or 2 cups sliced canned or jarred beets
4 cups meat or vegetable stock
1 minced clove garlic
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
Salt and black pepper
Chopped fresh dill for garnish
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap beets in aluminum foil and roast until tender, about 30-45 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel and slice into strips or julienne.
In a medium pot, bring stock to boil, add beets, garlic, sugar, lemon juice or vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 10 minutes.
Serve hot with boiled potatoes and chopped dill for garnish, or cool quickly in an ice-water bath and refrigerate to serve cold garnished with dill and sour cream.
The menu served at "Frank" coinciding with the Chagall exhibit had this on the menu. The brisket served with potatoes and sauerkraut was as inspiring as the art work!
[Apologies to Lauren A. and all those who HATE beets! :) ]
recipe credit: http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/polishsoups/r/beetsoup.htm