December 7, 2011

Это русская пиша!!! (That's Russian food!!!)

Hello again, dear friends!

I hope you all had a very happy Thanksgiving and I am sorry to have missed it. I have been most preoccupied with.. well, life lately; however, I am pleased to inform you that I have lots of fantastic eats to share with you!

Tonight, I am sharing with you a recipe from my dear friend Robby Sasser- the delightfully delectable Pelmini! Many of you have been asking about it and I love to make it, so let's go!

You will need for the dough:

1 1/2-2 cups(ish) of flour. I say about, because be prepared to add more.
2 eggs
1/4 cup of warm water (Robby says 1/2 cup, but I found 1/4 cup worked better for me)
Heavy pinch of salt (don't be shy)

You will need for the filling:

1/2lb of ground beef
1/2lb of ground pork
Heavy pinch of salt
Heavy pinch of black pepper
Two or three cloves finely minced garlic (more or less if you wish)
Two medium grated onions (optional. Trevor doesn't like onions, so I leave them out.)

You will need to make the dough first, because it will need to sit. Mix the ingredients of the dough together. If you don't have experience dough making, the first time might be a challenge for you (it certainly was for me). When I make pelmini, I am always prepared to add more flour. You don't want the dough to be sticky, but you also don't want the dough to be too dry either. You want the dough to come together to a workable consistency. The moisture and warmth in my hands tends to make my dough sticky, so flour is my answer. Yours may be different, so be prepared to make adjustments.

When your dough has come together, knead for ten minutes. Don't cheat this step! Then set your dough aside for an hour (Robby says at least 30 minutes, but advises 50 minutes to an hour is best. And I agree.).

About 15 minutes (or however long it takes your stove to boil water) before your dough has set time has elapsed, set a pot on the stove sizable enough to host your pelmini and bring water to a *rolling boil*. Again, can't stress that enough.

Whilst your water preps, mix the ingredients of your filling together and set aside.

Now, cut the dough into three equal sections, roll into logs about ¾ inch wide, and cut them into 2 inch segments. Squash each segment into a thin circle (about 2 ½ inches in diameter) and put a spoonful of filling in it. Keep in mind that you will then need to bring the "corners" (I realize circles don't have corners, but you'll see what I mean) of the dough together and pinch tightly, sealing the dumpling.

Boil for 6-8 minutes, or until they float. Think of this process like you would ravioli. Then serve! Robby and I like believe pelmini is best served sprinkled (liberally) with dill, but Trevor likes his plain. So can you :)

Tasty Tips for this recipe: The dough will be the trickiest part for beginners. The best advice I can give is the "workable consistency" I mentioned is very similar to that of fresh pizza dough. The best way to tell if it's kneaded well is to pinch off a section and rub it between your fingers. If you can make it thin enough for light to shine through without the dough sticking to your hands or breaking, you're set.

A tip for your meats: If you don't like or can't eat pork, two meats that complement each other are meant to shine in this dish. You can use beef and lamb or turkey and chicken.

Happy cooking and happier eating!

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