Wednesday, January 04, 2012


It's 2012 y'all! Isn't that amazing? If you are like me, perhaps you indulged a bit on New Years Eve. If you do that and then stay up really late, you'll probably get hungry. And if you're a lucky duck in Juneau, Alaska (or the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle or in Bellingham) you can fill up that need with an order of pel'meni. Unfortunately I don't live in any of those places, so not too long ago, Aaron and I decided it was high time that we made our own. Once you get addicted to that stuff, you just need to have it. And it's the perfect end of the night food. Or whenever, really. Aaron found this recipe (or one very similar. We can't remember.) and we made it ourselves and it was wonderful.
A note of caution, before you start. Remember the photo of my rings I included with this post? That is what I usually do with them when working with doughs so they don't get all messy. This dough was really sticky. Like really, really sticky. I had to yank it out of the stand mixer because it was just not behaving. I took off my rings part way through, rather carelessly, and the entire counter was covered in a ton of flour. See picture above for how messy I and everything else got. Fast forward to the next day and I realize that my rings aren't on. So I check the counter and they are not there. My only thought is that crap, they got swept up into the sink. And we've been using it a lot since then. Aaron takes apart the sink and the garbage disposal. Can't find them. He digs through the garbage and the compost. Still not found. We get really sad. I start to resign myself to the idea that I might have to get a new ring. We go to the store where he bought my engagement ring to see if we can get a replacement (turns it out it's only for the stone, not the whole deal). I am very sad. Later Aaron is rearranging the fridge and he lifts up the carton of eggs and plink, plink, my rings fall off of it. Yeah. They got stuck to the bottom of the egg carton while we were working on the recipe. SO! If you wear rings, PUT THEM SOMEWHERE SAFE!

And now, to the recipe. We also made a potato filling, not included in the recipe, because I love the potato ones. As such, we reduced the meat filling by half. The sauce was from delicious memory.

Pel'Meni modified from

Serves 4 with leftovers

210 ml cold water
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
400 gram flour (see note of caution. I used a lot more to unsticky this stuff)

Meat Filling-
¼ lb beef ground
¼ lb pork ground
½ medium onion, chopped
Salt, pepper,and spices to taste

Potato Filling-
1 large potato
Hunk of butter
Dried dill, to taste

Equal parts sriracha and rice vinegar
Melted butter

Curry powder
Sour Cream
Bread slices

To make your dough, sift flour and salt together in the bowl of your stand mixer. Make a dimple in the top and crack the egg into that. Adding the cold water gradually, knead the dough vigorously 15-20 minutes. Add in enough flour until it stops sticking to absolutely everything. This might take awhile. Set aside while you get your fillings together.

To make the meat filling, mix together all of the ingredients and set aside. To make the potato filling, peel and chop one large potato. Boil in a pot of water until fork tender. Mash with butter until slightly creamy and mix in dried dill to taste. Set aside.

While the potato mixture is cooling, get your dough ready for assembly. Roll the dough into a long snake. At about one inch intervals, cut the snake into balls. Roll these balls into circles. Then add a teaspoon of filling to the center of the circle, pull over the sides, and pinch the edges down firmly. Curl in the corners of the half circle and pinch together.

Get a large amount of water boiling. When at a vigorous boil, drop them in. They are ready after they float at the top for 3-4 minutes. Pull them out of the water with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Mix together sriracha and rice vinegar, enough to lightly coat four orders. Make it as spicy as you like.If you've had pel'meni before, you'll know when it's right. Melt enough butter in a skillet over medium heat to cook all of the pel'meni in. Cook until they are all buttered up and add into the sriacha and rice vinegar mixture. Spoon into individual bowls. Sprinkle on curry powder and some cilantro. Serve with a slice of bread (rye preferred, but we had challah here) and enough sour cream to have a little with every bite.
These were not exactly the same as what I've had in Juneau, but they were close enough without actually being in styrofoam and without me being surrounded by drunks. Aaron and I are definitely going to make these again. I'll just stick my rings in a box upstairs. And maybe put some caution tape around it.

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