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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ukrainian Dinner

A great taste of an ethnic cuisine and yes I am a Ukrainian Canadian.

The most popular Ukrainian dish of course is the perogy or Varenyky the best are made with a potato dough and filled any way you want, here are the ones my grandmother would make.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup cold mashed potatoes
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 cup cool water (approx.)
melted butter

Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Add the egg yolks, mashed potatoes, melted butter and just enough of the water to form a medium-soft dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. (Too much kneading will make the dough tough)

Divide the dough in half and cover with an inverted bowl.

Let stand for 10 minutes.

Roll out the dough until it is quite thin and cut rounds about 2 to 3 inches wide with a large biscuit cutter.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a little salt.

To each round of dough, add a spoonful of filling ad fold over to form a half circle.

Press the edges together with well floured fingers, making sure the varenyky are well sealed.

Transfer them to a lightly floured surface and cover them with a clean tea towel so that they do not dry out.

Drop a few at a time into the boiling water, stirring gently with a wooden spoon to separate them and keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Boil for 3 to 4 minutes, at which point they should be puffed and bobbing on the surface. (The thinner the dough and the smaller the pyrohy, the quicker they will cook).

Transfer with a slotted spoon to a colander, drain thoroughly and place in a warmed bowl.

Drizzle with melted butter and toss gently to keep them from sticking together.
Cover and keep warm while you cook the remaining varenyky.

1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups warm mashed potatoes
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup cooked bacon bits
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sauté the onion in the butter until softened, about 6 minutes.
Combine with the potatoes, cheese and bacon mix well.
Season with salt and pepper.
Let cool thoroughly before using.
(The filling can be made a day ahead and kept covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.).

These are really great skewers they would make any occasion loads of fun alone.

3 pounds veal
3 pounds lean pork
6 cloves garlic
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon Chef K curry seasonings
2 eggs
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tablespoon butter, softened

Cut veal and pork into 1-inch cubes and place cubes in a large bowl. Chop garlic. In a small bowl, mix garlic water, wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pour over meat cubes and stir. Marinate meat cubes for at least 3 hours, or overnight, to allow flavors to blend.

Leaving about 2 inches at the bottom of each skewer, arrange pork and veal cubes alternately on wooden skewers. Squeeze cubes together. Continue to add meat until all the meat is used. You should fill 12 skewers.

In a shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs, Chef K seasonings, salt, and pepper. In a second shallow bowl, beat eggs. Dip skewered meat cubes in breadcrumbs. Coat with egg, then dip in crumbs again. Press sticks with your hands and form them to look smooth.

In a large skillet, heat about 1 inch of cooking oil. Fry skewers of meat cubes, a few at a time, until meat is lightly browned. Combine onions and butter and spread in a large shallow baking dish.

Place meat sticks on onions and bake in 275 degree F. oven for about 45 minutes (do not cover), or until meat is tender and no longer pink. Serves 12.

The great Ukrainian soup: Borscht

8 cups beef broth*
1 pound slice of meaty bone-in beef shank
1 large onion, peeled, quartered
4 large beets, peeled, chopped
4 carrots, peeled, chopped
1 large russet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
3/4 cup chopped fresh dill
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring 4 cups of the beef broth, the beef shank, and onion to boil in large pot. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until meat is tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes.

Transfer meat to work surface; trim fat, sinew and bone and discard. Chop meat; cover and chill. Cool broth slightly. Chill in pot until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.

Spoon fat from top of chilled broth and discard. Add remaining 4 cups broth, beets, carrots, and potato; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Stir in meat, cabbage and 1/2 cup dill; cook until cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in vinegar.

Ladle soup into bowls. Top with sour cream and remaining 1/4 cup dill.

Serves 6.

You can't have a Ukrainian dinner without Holubtsi (Cabbage rolls)

1/2 lb of cooked ground beef or pork
2 cups rice
2 cups or less of boiling water
1 medium onion diced
2 teaspoons salt
4-5 tablespoons butter or other type of fat
salt and pepper

1). Add the rice to the boiling water. Stir in the salt. Bring it to a boil again and let it cook for one minute. Cover, lower the heat and allow it to stand long enough to absorb the water. The rice is only partially cooked at this point since it will finish cooking in the holubtsi.

2). Cook the onion in the fat until it is slightly golden. Mix with the cooked ground beef or pork and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Season well because the cabbage leaves will absorb some of the taste. Cool until ready to use.


1 large cabbage head


1 large can tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste to thicken sauce (if needed)
2 tablespoons or more of butter or bacon fat
salt and pepper

1). Remove the core from the head of the cabbage by cutting around it with a sharp knife.

2). Place the head of cabbage upside down in a large pot and pour boiling water into where the core was. Cover the head completely.

3). Let it stand until the leaves are soft and easily removable. Drain and remove the leaves from the head very carefully. Do not tear them! Cut off some of the hard center rib of each leaf without removing it from the leaf.

4). Cut the largest leaves into two or three sections and line the bottom of a large pot with them.

5). Place a generous spoonful of the meat and rice filling on the end of one leaf and roll lightly. Tuck in the ends.

6). Place the completed rolls in layers in the pot and sprinkle with some sauce and some salt, but do not add too much. Combine the fat with the sauce first. The liquid should barely fill the gaps between each holubets.

7). Protect the last layers from burning by covering it with a few large leaves.

8). Place a lid on the pot and bake in a moderate over at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until both the cabbage and the filling are thoroughly cooked.

Serve hot with chopped crisp bacon and onions, large spoonfuls of sour cream or a mushroom sauce.

For dessert why not Nalysnyky (Rolled pancakes) with Orange filling. Nalysnyky are thin pancakes, which the French renamed crepes. AKA Blintzes

2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup thoroughly sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups fruit compote (optional)

Beat the eggs until they are light. Add the milk, water, and the remaining ingredients. Beat this mixture until smooth. Use a small, non-stick frying pan about 6 inches in diameter on the bottom. Butter it lightly and heat well. Don’t allow it to burn! Pour a few tablespoons of the batter into the pan, just enough to give it a thin coating. Tilt the pan back and forth to spread the batter evenly. Cook the cakes over a moderate heat. When they are lightly browned on one side and firm to the touch on top, remove the cakes to a warm plate and keep them warm. In order to assure tenderness, the cakes should not be turned over. This is the secret of tender cakes, but they may be turned over if you don’t plan on filling them and desire a slightly harder "nalysnyk". Continue baking in this manner until all of the batter is used up. Butter the pan lightly each time.

Spread the cakes with the fruit compote if not using the orange filling. If the cakes are not turned over in baking, place the browned side on the outside in rolling. Arrange the cakes in a buttered baking dish, dot each layer with butter, or sprinkle with browned buttered crumbs. Heat in a moderate oven for several minutes and serve hot.

Orange filling

3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind

Mix all of the ingredients until smooth and creamy.

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