Sunday, July 12, 2009


Have I mentioned yet that our summer so far has been an extremely wet one? I don't mean to be such a grouch, but when will the sun come out and play? With all this damp dreary weather I find myself sitting at the kitchen table and preparing more fall seasonal foods, instead of sitting by the pool catching some rays. Peroshki is another one of my Mother-in -laws recipes. Pyrohy, Pyrizky and Peroski all refer to a filled pastry made of yeast raised dough. The name stems from an archaic word ,PYR, meaning banquet which indicates that this pastry was more than likely featured at banquets in days past. Ukrainian dishes are neither spicy nor bland, they are subtle and pleasing having their own indefinable qualities. But the good thing about the fillings that go into these pastries is that you can spice them up any way you like them.

As with most Ukrainian dishes that involve dough, you might as well clear your day, because you might as well make a whole batch and freeze them for that occasion when you want to pull out something for an after school snack, or a quick lunch or snack. They also make a lovely appetizer . Fillings can either be savoury or sweet. Favourites in our house are mushroom fillings, sauerkraut, meat fillings (beef, pork, veal,saugage or combination of these , or chicken and turkey) .
I had a kilo of sauerkraut still in the freezer and thought that as it was another rain day again today I would use it up and make some peroski. First i boiled the sauerkraut in it's own juices and covered it with a little water, a bay leaf and some juniper berries, to soften it up and expel some of its bitterness, Then I drained it and in some oil sauteed some onions, double smoked bacon and added some chopped kielbasa. To this I then added the drained cooked sauerkraut and let it saute and simmer for about 45 minutes on low heat until tender . Make sure that it does not burn , you may add some white wine, or some more oil to prevent burning. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a bowl, and let it cool completely, I usually prepare the fillings the night before. I realize that a sauerkraut filling is not to everybodys taste buds, but as I said you can fill it with whatever filling you desire. A very quick meat filling that I make in a pinch when I don't want to boil and shred my beef is to fry up ground hamburger meant in onions and seasonings ,when cooked through I add a can of Campbell's mushroom soup ( without the added milk), cool this meat mixture and use that as a filling.Seasoning can be whatever you feel like from simple salt and pepper to more intense flavouring like chili and hot sauce.
1 pkg. yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 lb. tenderflake or crisco
1/2 tsp. salt
3 T sugar
4 Cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water with 1 tsp sugar and let stand for 10 minutes to proof.
Beat eggs and add the cup of sour cream to them.
Mix together the lard or vegetable shortening with the remaining sugar salt and flour. Add the yeast and egg sour cream mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon , beat well. Place dough in an oiled bowl cover with wax paper and top with a dinner plate and refrigerate overnight. In the morning roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick with a cookie cutter cut out circles, place about a heaping teaspoon of filling in each circle. Pinch together sided , form in an oval and place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Let rise for about 15 minutes, brush with an egg wash and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until the tops are golden. Place on rack to cool. These can be frozen and reheated in the microwave.(Depending on the size of your circle cut out this recipe should easily yield 6 dozen, I also made a meat filling with 1 kilo of hamburger meat and doubled the dough recipe , needless to say my freezer is starting to get full of goodies with all this rain weather) Oh my gosh I'm still complaining about the weather.

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