Diddle Diddle Dumpling

Tonight we enjoyed a bonus meal from Miss A’s cooking destination, Russia. Typically we only spend two weeks on each country, but with the holiday and weekend travels we needed something that we could make up quickly. Actually this meal, the traditional Russian Pelmeni, is anything but a quick recipe. It’s a lengthy process that took all hands on deck. What made it work for us this weekend is that we actually prepared the Siberian dumplings last weekend, froze them and were able to quickly cook them up tonight.

The Russian pelmeni is a meat dumpling similar to potstickers or pierogies. According to RusCuisine.com, the dumplings, popular all over Russia, are believed to have originated in Siberia as many could be made at once and frozen for the long winters. The first step to making the pelmeni is to create the dough from flour, salt, sugar, egg and water. It’s a very tough dough to knead at first, but eventually becomes soft and resilient. Once we were satisfied with the consistency of the dough we chilled it in plastic wrap for 40 minutes before rolling it out on a floured surface. Continue reading

It’s Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Spring…in Russia

Last week we celebrated spring Russian style with the traditional recipe from Shrovetide, Blini. Then, yesterday we woke up and wondered if we weren’t in Russia – snow covering the ground in April?! It somehow seemed fitting to be cooking up yet another dish from the country that’s home to Siberia. This time we chose a healthy version of a traditional Russian dish – Chicken Kiev.

We began by mixing melted butter with freshly chopped dill, garlic, salt and pepper. We then refrigerated the mix for an hour. In the meantime, the kids got to use a meat mallet again (yes, we finally bought a real one!) to pound the chicken breasts to a quarter of an inch thickness.

They take their pounding very seriously! Continue reading

Welcoming Spring Russian Style

Miss A is our tour guide for the next two weeks and she’s taking us to the largest country in the world (and the largest pink country on her globe) – Russia. While there are Russian recipes a-plenty from which to choose,  today we picked a traditional dish to commemorate the start of spring (and one that was sure to please Mr. N and Miss A) – Blini.

Blini is a yeast-leavened, buckwheat pancake traditionally eaten during Shrovetide, an ancient Russian festival celebrating the beginning of spring and the god Volos. Today Blini is served anytime of the year, but is especially common at holiday celebrations. Continue reading