Food Friday: Women’s Day and Pirozhki

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March 8

Happy International Women’s Day!!

 

In Russia International Women’s Day is a big deal.  Everybody gets the day off!  Women receive flowers and chocolates and have a day of rest.  The day before, co-workers give presents and have parties bringing cakes and snacks to work.  One yummy snack the Russians make is Pirozhki.

These are small pies made with bread dough.  They can be eaten as a snack, a light lunch, or an appetizer.  This is the traditional version, however, my mother in law taught me a shortcut.  Here in the USA, she buys the Pillsbury Grand biscuits in the refrigerated section of the super market.  She splits each biscuit dough section in half, flattens it out, puts filling in it, and folds it over.  I have to admit, it is much easier!  But the real thing always tastes the best.

 

Basic dough

1 package active dry yeast (1 Tbsp.)

1/4 cup warm water

1 cup milk

8 Tbsps. butter, cut into bits

1 tsp. salt

2 tsps. sugar

1 whole egg

2 egg yokes

4 1/2 to 5 cups flour

1 whole egg, beaten

Yield: 4 dozen

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Heat the milk to lukewarm and add the butter to it. Stir the milk and butter mixture into the yeast. Add the salt, sugar, egg and egg yolks, mixing well. Gradually stir in enough flour to make a soft dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead it lightly until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turning dough to grease the top, and cover with a clean towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down the dough and divide it into 48 balls of equal size. On a floured board roll each ball out to a circle 3 1/2 inches in diameter.

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Place a heaping Tbsp. of filling on each circle, then press the edges of the dough together firmly to seal. Gently shape the pies into elongated ovals.

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Place the pies seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until they are just doubled in bulk, about 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Brush each pie with the beaten egg. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.

FILLINGS

Beef

2 large onions, minced

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2 Tbsps. butter

1 lb. lean ground beef

2 tsps. salt

pepper to taste

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Sauté the onions in the butter until transparent. Stir in the beef and cook until done. Add the remaining ingredients, mixing well. Cool.

Cabbage

4 Tbsps. butter

2 large onions, minced

1 lb. cabbage, finely shredded

1 tsp. dill

2 tsps. salt

pepper to taste

Sauté the onions in the butter. Add the cabbage and continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes more, until the cabbage is tender but not browned. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cool.

Mushrooms

2 Tbsps. butter

2 medium onions, minced

1.5 lbs mushrooms, chopped  (wild or tame)

6 Tbsps. minced fresh parsley

2 tsps. fresh dill

salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the onions in the butter until soft but not brown. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients, mixing well.

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Cool and Enjoy!

 

 

6 thoughts on “Food Friday: Women’s Day and Pirozhki

  1. These look delicious, and I love how the Russians really CELEBRATE this special day. Everywhere else, it seems to only be paid lip service. 🙂

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