Sunday, January 20, 2013

VARENIKI


Vareniki or perogies as some would call them are a traditional meal for our families.
These would be served on special occasions, New Years Day celebration for sure. I remember a few occasions where my Mother would hide (pennies wrapped in plastic) inside a few of the hand made Vareniki and the person who gets the one(s) with the penny inside makes a wish - it meant good luck in the new year to come.
Growing up in our family meant getting together with Aunts, cousins many times a year to make huge batches of Vareniki that we would freeze for later, but of course that meant we had Vareniki to eat for supper that night! These were served with some melted butter that we had made from our very own milk and sour cream (homemade of course) along with a green salad or freshly steamed vegetables from our vegetable gardens. These 'sessions' of Vareniki making would be a lot of fun for both kids and adults. The adults would have a day of catching up on family events and the kids would get to play (and do the running of errands) for our Mothers and Aunts and older cousins.
This kind of 'family time' was so precious now that I think back, the bonds that were formed continue be just as strong today. At first we just watched (as children are always doing) how the dough was made, how the fillings were made. Then slowly we were encouraged to participate and then as we grew older we had our designated 'job's for this gathering. Sometimes we sang while we worked which made the day move much faster..... but the best thing I remember was the warmth - the love - in the kitchen with everyone present.......ahhhh such good memories.


VARENIKI

A delicious meal.....comfort food.


 You need to beat the eggs and add the milk.

The flour and baking powder have been added.

All ingredients have been incorporated - dough is resting
and will be ready to be rolled out in about 10 minutes.


Potatoes are cooking for the potato filling

Potatoes cooked and drained waiting for 
the minced garlic to be added.

 Potatoes, minced garlic are mashed together, freshly
ground pepper is added and mixed in.

Ingredients for the potato filling.


Dry cottage cheese that is waiting for the eggs and salt
 to be added.


The dough has rested and is rolling out  very nicely.

I use a glass (the size I want) to cut my circles of
dough out.

Dough is cut and placed onto a floured tray.


I have moved everything over to my 'assembly station'
 *see video below for filling and sealing tips

 Vareniki all stuffed, sealed and ready to be boiled.


 Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then drop in
Vareniki and let water come to another boil.


  Once Vareniki have floated to the top, continue
to  boil for 1 minute and remove with a slotted
spoon to a butter platter.


I have prepared these with melted  butter and some
cream and will be putting them into a 300 degree oven
for about 20 minutes  - we will be eating them later.
This will bake and the Vareniki will become nice and
puffy and they will melt in your mouth.

The pans of Vareniki ready for the plate or the oven 
if you would like to serve them later..
Enjoy

Short video clip on 'the method ' of sealing the Vareniki
Hope this helps......have fun


VARENIKI RECIPE


Vareniki
Vareniki dough:
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
3 cups all purpose flour (approx)
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

Vareniki Fillings:

Cottage Cheese:
2 cups dry curd cottage cheese *(see note)
1-2 whole eggs (depends on how dry the cottage cheese is)
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a medium sized bowl combine the ingredients and set aside.
NOTE:  *(I like to freeze the dry curd then thaw and squeeze the liquid out very well)
(the freezing breaks down the cheese curds to a nice fine texture) - this my Mother taught me
Potato Garlic:
2 cups boiled salted and mashed potatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced
Put peeled and cubed potatoes into a pot, cover with water add salt and boil until tender
Drain and add minced garlic, mash until smooth
Set aside to cool.

Method:
In a large bowl beat eggs, add milk and mix well
In another bowl add flour and baking powder and mix well.
Pour egg mixture into flour mixture and mix until it comes together in a ball.
At this point you will see if you need to add a bit more flour, if dough is very sticky, add
only 1/8th cup at a time and gently knead it into the dough. I like the dough to be a bit on the
stickier side as I find it makes a nicer dough, easier to fill. You will be adding more flour when rolling out dough
On floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out with a cookie cutter ( I use a glass ) if you like smaller
Vareniki use a smaller cutter/glass. Set aside onto a floured tray until all dough is cut and used up.
Take one dough cirlce and add 1 Tablespoon/teaspoon to the dough. Fold dough over to make a half cirlce, pinch edges together so they seal.
set on a floured tray and continue until the filling and dough is all used.
\In a large pot add water and salt and bring to a boil. Drop filled Vareniki (do not crowd ) into pot and cover. When it comes back to a boil, uncover and continue to gently boil until Vareniki float to the top - approximately 1-2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon onto buttered plate/platter and continue until you have cooked all the Vareniki. Serve with butter and sour cream.
A nice green salad or coleslaw is perfect with this meal.
Enjoy




"We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection." _ Dalai Lama