Saturday, September 27, 2008

My fabulous recipe for piroshki; it helps Ezra get a job...

I've been making this recipe for years. The dough is Russian and makes the best pie crust I've ever had, especially for small pies. It's easy to roll out and leftover dough can be rolled flat, cut into strips, and baked as an appetizer.

Mom's Excellent Piroshki
makes 24-30 depending on the size of coffee cup you use to cut the dough

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2+ cups flour
1 egg yolk (save the white for the glaze)
1/4 ts salt (1/2 ts if you use unsalted butter)
2/3 cup sour cream

I toss this all in the food processor and whip it till it hangs together. You could also grate the butter through a vegetable grater into the flour, add the other wet ingredients, and stir into a ball. It will be just a bit softer than ordinary pie crust. I press it about 3/4" thick and put it in a ziplock bag in the fridge to chill for a short while, but you don't have to. I have a canvas cloth which I flour, and I use a noodle pin but any rolling pin will do: roll it out thin and cut it into circles with a biscuit cutter or a coffee cup. You can stack the circles if they are dusted with flour. Meanwhile you, or a cooking partner, make the filling:

Fry and drain 3/4 pound - 1 pound hamburger. Set aside.

Next, chop (or pulverize in food processor) and saute in butter till soft and moisture is mostly evaporated:
2-3 onions
4-5 cloves garlic
handful parsley
parmesan cheese to taste
Mix with the hamburger. Put a modest amount of filling in each circle, fold it over, and moisten the edge with water and/or egg white to seal. Glaze the half-moons with the reserved egg white. Cook at 350 degrees 20-35 minutes.

Ezra applied for a job at Whole Foods, to be the guy standing behind a little table offering samples of foods he's cooked to the passers-by. He made this recipe, substituting "Smart Ground" texturized vegetable protein for the hamburger; he used cumin and coriander instead of dill. He took the lovely piroshki to his interview and got the job.

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