Friday, November 7, 2008

Russian Dinner Date!

Disclaimer: I am not Russian, and I know nothing about Russian cooking. Abby picked a Russian cookbook out at the library, and I was fascinated - I expected it to be "101 ways to use beets" (and... it kind of was), but it was full of flavors that looked good. So I adapted a few things here and there to come up with this kid- (and adult-) friendly dinner for Abby and Neko. My husband and I happily polished off the leftovers.

Beef and Mushroom Pirozhki with Sweet and Sour Beet Puree

Beef and Mushroom Pirozhki

Dough:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 T sugar
1/2 c butter, cut in pieces
6 Tbsp sour cream - I used low fat sour cream

In a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Pulse once or twice to combine. Sprinkle the butter on top, and pulse a few times, until mixture begins to resemble cornmeal. Add the sour cream, and pulse until moist crumbs form. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it comes together. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for a few hours (or overnight)

Filling:
1/2 lb ground beef
2 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
1 Tbsp sour cream
salt & pepper

In a skillet, brown the ground beef and mushrooms together over medium heat, until beef is cooked. Transfer to a bowl and add egg and sour cream; stir to combine and add salt and pepper to taste. Let cool.

Preheat oven to 375F; line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll dough out to about 1/4 inch thick. Use a large biscuit cutter to cut out circles of dough; place a heaping tablespoon of beef filling in the center of each circle. Pinch and seal the edges of the circle together to form a half moon shape. Place pirozhki on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, until pirozhki are puffed and golden.

Sweet and Sour Beet Puree

2 medium size beets (unpeeled)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
¾ cup marinara sauce
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 425F. Combine carrots and beets in a casserole dish with 1/4 inch water across the bottom. Roast for 40-45 minutes, until vegetables are quite tender. Allow them to cool, and then rub beets with two paper towels to remove peel. Put the beets and carrots along with the cooking water into a food processor; add the marinara, vinegar, and sugar. Blend until smooth, adding additional water if needed to achieve desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste; chill before serving.

Sour Cream and Jam Mini Pies
Dough:
1 cup flour (I used half whole wheat, half all-purpose)
pinch salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp cold lemon juice

In a food processor, pulse flour, salt, and butter together until mixture resembles cornmeal. Add egg yolk and lemon juice; pulse once or twice, and then transfer mixture to a bowl and knead until a smooth dough forms. Shape dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap; chill for a few hours.

Filling
1/4 cup walnut halves, finely ground
1/4 cup sour cream
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
splash almond extract
1 tsp sugar
apricot jelly

In a bowl, whisk together the ground walnuts, sour cream, egg yolk, cinnamon, almond extract, and sugar.

Preheat oven to 375F. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Use a small biscuit cutter to cut out rounds. Top half of the rounds with a small amount of apricot jelly and a bit of the filling. Top with another round and pinch and seal edges together, rolling the edges a bit to create the look of a pie crust. Bake "pies" on a parchment-lined baking sheet for about 15 minutes, until golden.

1 comment:

Mama to a diva said...

I love your blog!!! I am going to spend some time delving into later for new ideas!