Monday, February 17, 2014

Date Night Dinner: Pelmeni (Russian Dumplings)

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I absolutely love the Olympics - there's drama and intrigue, politics and personalities, and 2 weeks where everyone you know is saying "did you see that last night".  I love, love, love, love it.  A lot of love, I know.  When we were younger, my parents loved to watch the Olympics and it passed onto us as easily as some of my mom's favorite dishes. 

When the Olympics rolled around this year, I knew I wanted to celebrate with a real Russian themed dinner.  John got us the best cabbage rolls down the street (we have a large Eastern European contingency in our neighborhood).  But, he also wanted to surprise me with something else.  YES!  John made these adorable little dumplings you see below.

He told me as we ate them that he could change diapers now that he had "swaddled" so many "pork balls".  I'm not 100% sure that swaddling pork balls is akin to swaddling children but luckily for us, we're in no hurry to find out if his skills are transferable or not.  Best part of all?  You make the dough in the food processor!  As we head into the last full week of the Olympics, why not celebrate with a little piece of Russian cuisine?
Pelmeni (adapted from here)
Serves:  4 (20-25 pelmeni)
1 egg
1/3 cup water
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour + more for dusting
1 onion, grated
4 ounces ground pork
4 ounces ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 bay leaves
4 peppercorns
Sour Cream, as desired
Butter, as desired
Red Wine Vinegar, as desired
Parmesan Cheese, as desired

Dough:  In a food processor, combine egg, water, oil, salt, and half the flour.  Slowly add the remaining flour and process until a smooth dough forms.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is no longer sticky (5-7 minutes).  Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. 

Filling: In a medium bowl, combine onion, pork, beef, salt, and pepper.  Mix thoroughly.

Dumplings:  Cut dough into 4 equal pieces.  Cut each quarter into 6-8 pieces.  Roll each into a 2-inch circle.  Spread 2 teaspoons of filling onto the circle, almost to the edges.  Fold to create a half-moon, pinching the edges together and making sure there is no trapped air.  Place on a baking sheet.  Repeat until all the dough has been used and they are all filled. 

Boil a large pot of water with bay leaves and peppercorns.  Drop the pelmeni in the boiling water, about 12-15 at a time so as not to overcrowd the pot.  When they rise to the surface, boil an additional 2-3 minutes, until the filling is cooked through (on average, it took our pelmeni 8-10 minutes to be done).  Boil the remaining dumplings in batches. 

Serve dumplings with sour cream or butter, with or without parmesan cheese.  You can also serve them with red wine vinegar.  John's sister-in-law who is from Eastern Europe loves them with sour cream and parmesan cheese! 

Until the next time my oven is on...


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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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