Thursday, October 25, 2012
Around the World in 80 Plates: Russia (cont)
Another dish from Russia that I couldn't resist were Piroshki! I am a huge fan of pierogi and these are similar but baked (or fried) in a yeasted bread dough instead. The idea was totally intriguing to me and Mac was on board as soon as I said they were like bread and potato together. My mom, however, was a bit skeptical. She wasn't sold on the whole mashed potato inside bread but I thought I could sell her on them once they were made and she saw how good they looked.
I searched online for a recipe and found a few for the dough that all varied. Most had egg, butter and milk so I had to put my veganizing skills to work. I went with this recipe in the end (http://russianrecipes.net/piroshki/) and it worked out well I think. I followed it to the tee subbing Earth Balance buttery sticks for the butter it called for, soy milk in place of milk in equal measure and for the 2 eggs called for, I went with a 1/2 cup of homemade yogurt (of course, recipe from Artisan Vegan Cheese). I mixed it up and let it rise and it really did make a soft, smooth dough that was easy to work with. Rolling it out and cutting the circles was exactly the same as making pierogi so I was all set for that. The fillings they suggest in the recipe I used were meat, mushroom or buckwheat but I decided to go with potato. I made a big batch of mashed potatoes using Yukon Gold potatoes and once they were boiled and drained I added a big handful of finely sliced green onions, a generous tablespoon of minced fresh dill and another 1/3 cup of homemade yogurt. It was seriously the most delicious mashed potatoes ever. I really recommend you try the combo of flavourings even if you don't want to go through the fuss of making the piroshki. The yogurt itself is the best thing to add since it gives you a slight tang in them like if you added sour cream or buttermilk. Seriously...amazing...you need to try it! I decided to bake my piroshki instead of frying so after stuffing and sealing them up, I placed them on a baking sheet that I sprayed with oil and then sprayed the tops as well. Usually they have an egg wash to give them a golden colour but I skipped trying to sub that so mine are lighter but you could totally do it. I know I have seen different types of vegan eggwash solutions in cookbooks and blogs from just using soy milk or oil or water. The recipes says to bake for 10 minutes, mine weren't done by then. They took about 15 but I'm sure it would depend on the dough and your oven so just set a timer for 10 and check them after that until they are starting to brown and feel like the dough is baked through. I also took them out at 10 minutes and sprayed them again with the spray oil to get them to brown a bit more.
They are super tasty and we all loved them. I even converted the doubter! The filling is flavourful and doesn't get lost in the dough which can happen. The dough baked up soft and tender too. I even pressed a little of the same homemade yogurt in my Tofu Xpress (lined with cheesecloth and just used the regular spring) for 30 minutes and added just a touch of lemon juice and salt to make some sour cream to dip them in. It was a nice addition to the plate. Mac said that they were awesome but that he still loved pierogi the bestest. He then asked if there were enough to have them again for lunch the next day so maybe we'll call it a tie!
Don't forget, I'm giving away a cookbook that you can choose from the list. All you have to do to enter is comment on this post (http://threeandahalfvegans.blogspot.ca/2012/10/around-world-in-80-plates-finland.html?showComment=1351004358748#c4746573022444667543) and you will be entered and it is open to everyone WORLDWIDE!