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Potato Knedliky (Dumplings) – or Klyotski/Klotski

This one is a popular Czech/Hungarian/German dish, though quite popular in other Post-Soviet countries as well. Traditionally made with flour or potatoes, knedliky can be served in a soup (stuffed with mushroom for Belarusian version), served with mushroom sauce, or dressed in any number of ways. In my family, we add one final frying step and serve with caramelized onion and bacon (salo more typically). This particular recipe calls for boiling the potatoes first, however there are versions of dish made from raw potatoes (grated and strained before combining with flour).

Ingredients

  • 4-5 baker’s potatoes
  • 1-1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 4-5 pieces of bacon (or enough salo to render about 0.25 cups fat)
  • 1 large sweet onion (finely chopped)
  • Salt pepper to taste

Peel the potatoes and place them in a pot of salted water to boil until soft (for mashing).

Drain the potatoes well and return to the pot. Mash them until uniform consistency. You may want to let the potatoes stand for a little while to cool down after this step if you plan on rolling the dumplings by hand. Otherwise, thoroughly mix in the 2 eggs, 1 cup of flour, salt and pepper.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Roll one dumpling for testing. Drop it into boiling water, it should drop to the bottom, and float to the top when it’s done. If it starts falling apart add another half cup of flour to the dough. Make the rest of the knedliky and drop them into the boiling water. Again, cook until they float to the top and remove using a strainer.

At this point, the knedliky are done and ready for serving whichever way you like. For the way my family served them. Fry some bacon in a skillet until crispy, let dry, and cut up into bacon bits. Drain and set aside some of the bacon fat.

It’s important to note that salo is used more commonly in Russia. Finely chop a sweet onion and fry in the bacon grease until caramelized, set aside.

Then using tongues or a spatula, fry the knedliky in the bacon grease (or butter  if you don’t want to use bacon) until lightly browned on all sides.

Serve with a side of the caramelized onions and the bacon bits.

Enjoy!

Khachapuri (vatrushka with cheese) – Georgian cheese stuffed dough pastries

Khachapuri is a traditional, Georgian (Caucasian) dish of leavened dough stuffed with cheese, typically suluguni. This particular recipe is adapted from a Russian recipe book called “Caucasian Kitchen” which describes the dish as a cheese stuffed vatrushka (usually stuffed with tvorog). We used a mix of mozarella and feta cheeses, but other cheeses can be used to taste.

The Khachapuri are light in texture but very rich in flavor, make a great appetizer or a snack.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 7 eggs
  • 0.25 oz packet of yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 0.5 cup milk (or water)
  • 4 oz feta and 4 oz mozzarella cheese (shredded)

Directions

In a bowl, combine warm milk with yeast and let sit for a few minutes. Add the salt, sugar, 3 eggs, and flour.

Mix the ingredients thoroughly until homogeneous, light dough that doesn’t stick to your hands is formed. Add a little more flour if it keeps sticking. Set aside and let rise (20 minutes is enough if using quick-rise yeast).

Combine shredded cheese with 3 hard-boiled, chopped eggs, and melted butter.

Once the dough has risen, split into 4 pieces and roll out each piece into approximately 0.5inch thick round sheets.

Spread the cheese/egg filling in a thin layer on the sheet and roll the edges together, pinching the ends together.

Lay out the khachapuri on a well oiled pan, and use the last egg (beaten) to coat the edges of the dough.

Bake at 425 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until done.

Enjoy!

 

Oladi – Russian Buttermilk Pancakes


This is a traditional Slavic dish that as old as the people. Like with other old recipes, there are quite a few varieties and ways of serving them, including the meat stuffed ones we’ve covered before.

These come out very soft, fluffy, and savory.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Kefir (or Buttermilk)
  • 2 cup all purpose flour (less for thinner, more for thicker)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions

Pour the kefir in a pot or a stove-safe metal bowl, and put on the stove on medium heat. Heat it while whisking until it’s warm to the touch, don’t bring to a boil.

Add the baking soda and whisk vigorously, and let the mixture froth up. Add the sugar and salt.

Begin to slowly whisk in the flour. The consistency you’re looking for is that of pancake batter or slightly thinner. The batter should almost be falling off in chunks off of the whisk but mostly liquid. Add more flour if you want thicker blini.

Heat a well oiled pan on medium heat. Use a large spoon or a ladle to pour the batter.

Let cook until you begin to see the edges of the pancake start to brown, this should take a minute or two, then flip.

Cook an additional 2 minutes.

Serve warm with some sour cream and or jam.

Enjoy!