Yesterday was our book club gathering. Naturally, a bowl of fresh Aspirin seemed like a perfect breakfast choice this morning. Ohmmmm… Instead I went for one of my favorite Russian dishes – farmers cheese dumplings, called “vareniki”.
More often than not vareniki are made with a bit of sugar, but I prefer a savory version. To prove my husband (who says Russian food is bland) wrong, I added a little zing with garlic and red pepper, and used lots of dill to maintain that unique Russian flavor. The result is a whole a lot of yum!
FARMERS CHEESE DUMPLINGS
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- ½ cup milk
- 2 eggs
- ½ tsp salt
- 450 g farmers cheese
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp red pepper, ground
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 4 large cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1-2 stalks of green onion
- 1 bunch of dill, hard stems discarded
Prepare the filling: combine all the ingredients and blend in a food processor to reach a smooth consistency.
Prepare the dough: in a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Once incorporated, dump the dough on a floured surface and knead with your hands.
Roll the dough into a 1mm-thick sheet and cut out circles (about 3 inches in diameter) with a cookie cutter. Since we don’t have one, I used a wine glass, which worked just fine. Place about a teaspoon of filling in the middle of each circle, and fold the dough in half, pinching the ends.
Make ahead: at this point you can freeze the dumplings. Arrange them on a floured cutting board and leave in the freezer for about 30 minutes. After that, transfer frozen vareniki to a zip-lock bag and keep frozen for up to 3 months.
To cook: boil some water, add salt to taste. Dump the vareniki in, and cook for about 8 minute till they float up to the surface. Remove with a perforated spoon.
Traditionally served with butter and sour cream. I sprinkled mine with aspirin! Crazy delicious!
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