Traditional Ukrainian recipes spice up the holidays > III

Posted On January 7, 2007

Filed under Festive Recipes

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Holubtsi
Cabbage rolls can be stuffed with either rice or buckwheat. Although no meat or dairy products are used Christmas Eve, at other times ground seasoned meat can also be used.

Core a large head of cabbage and blanch it in a deep pot of boiling water, just long enough so the leaves soften and separate easily.
Sauté onion and a crushed garlic clove in oil until onion is tender and transparent.
Line a greased baking dish or roaster with the outer cabbage leaves. Put a tablespoon of filling (rice or buckwheat see below) onto another leaf and roll it, tucking in the ends as you go. Arrange the holubtsi in layers, adding some onions and garlic in between. When the dish is filled, you can place some extra cabbage leaves on top. Some people pour some tomato juice over the top for flavor. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 1.5 to 2 hours, until the filling is tender.

Ingredients >
Rice filling >
2 cups rice
2 cups water
2 tsp. salt
1 medium onion, chipped
4 tbsp. olive oil
salt, pepper to taste

Parboil rice in just enough water to cover the rice. The rice may still be a little hard; it will finish cooking later. Sauté the onion in oil, then add to the rice.

Buckwheat filling >
2 cups buckwheat groats
2 tsp. salt
1 medium onion (chopped)
4-5 tbsp. olive oil
4 cups water

Brown groats slightly in the oven, then place in a pot with boiling salted water. Add olive oil. Cook until water is absorbed, then cover and bake at 350 degrees for half an hour. When buckwheat cools, sauté the onion and add to buckwheat.

Varenyky (Pierogies)
Varenyky are often served several times a week. While the traditional stuffing is mashed potatoes, sauerkraut is another favorite. You can even make dessert varenyky, stuffing them with prunes or other fruits.

Ingredients >
4 cups flour
2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 eggs, well beaten (some recipes call for 1 tbsp. butter and 1 cup evaporated milk instead of eggs)
1 cup water

Combine flour and salt. Make a well, and slowly add the eggs and oil. Then add water as needed, and knead on a floured board until dough is smooth and elastic. Let rest five minutes, then divide the dough into two. Roll each half on a floured board until about 1/8 inch thick. Cut rounds with a 3-inch cookie cutter or glass. Then stuff each circle with 1 tbsp. of potato filling (see below). Crimp the edges together to seal. Drop the stuffed dumplings into boiling water and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and place in lightly oiled pan. Serve with onions sauteéd in butter and top with a dollop of sour cream.

Potato filling >
2 cups mashed potatoes
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
salt, pepper to taste
Optional: 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

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