Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pelmeni recipe and some photos from Russia



My diet hasn't been an exemplar one during this holidays: although usually I had a good breakfast, my lunch and dinner were disastrous. I skipped lunch many times, or substituted it with a couple or three of sorbets: ice cream is incredibly cheap and it is sold everywhere (yeah, even in winter). When the weather was not good a cup of coffee would do. Nevertheless, I managed to make some shots of my decent meals.


My shopping. This was the only time I found soymilk. I also bough bread with dried fruits, kvas, beans and zucchini paté.


Fresh sauerkraut, bought in a market.


Zucchini paté.

I will upload the best photos of the trip on Flickr.  I have already uploaded some of them, but not all yet. Be patient ;) Although, I think that I have almost exceeded my bandwidth
limit xD

I definitely miss Russian food. Don ’t misunderstand me: there are some products which I discovered while living in Spain I couldn’t do without. But now many of them are even easy to find in Moscow: I saw in many supermarkets a bottle of Carbonell extra virgin olive oil, exported from Spain, and even a bottle of vine of Vilafranca del Penedès, a place 20 minutes from the town where I live (I don’t like vine, but I found it curious). And Spanish ham (jamón), which costs a fortune there (almost 100€/kg in some places) is obviously not a problem for me.


But Russian food is not as easy to find here. One possible solution is to cook it yourself. In Russia nobody would make pelmeni from scratch because you can find them in every supermarket or grocery store, as well as nobody would make  its own sauerkraut (it is sold in all the markets), kvass (Russian bread drink) or mors (a berry drink). But I am not living in Russia at this moment, so here is my recipe for veganized pelmenis. Enjoy.






From Wikipedia:

Pelmeni (Russian: пельмени — plural, пельмень pel’men’ — singular) is Russian national dish (Siberian cuisine), a type of dumpling consisting of a filling that is wrapped in thin unleavened dough. […]The filling can be minced meat (pork, lamb, beef, or any other kinds of meat), fish, and mushrooms. The mixing together of different kinds of meat is also popular.






Vegan pelmenis with seitan and adzuki beans

It must be said that this is a laborious dish. As laborious as it would be making raviolis or dumplings from scratch. You must make the filling, the dough, assemble it.  It involves some kneading, which some people fear so much (although I think it’s a good way to work out without visiting the gym). If so much steps overwhelm you, you can cook the seitan, the beans and make the filling the day before. Using canned beans also makes it easier. But all the work worth it. The filling is superb (although I should say it): I had to make a bid effort to don’t eat it by spoon, because after trying it I couldn’t stop. It was addictive. Traditionally it is served with “smetana” or sour cream, but you can try with vegan mayo, mustard or even ketchup. In my case is like having a plate of steaming homesickness.


-1/2 cup white flour
-1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
-4 Tbsp corn flour (*I used this because this flour is finest than wheat flour and it makes the dough more elastic)

-3/4  cup milk/water (*I used soy milk)
- 1 tsp salt
-1 Tbsp oil
- 2 Tbsp ground flaxseeds + 5 Tbsp water
- extra flour for kneading
-250 g cooked seitan (half of the recipe below)
-1 onion, finely chopped
-1 cup cooked adzuki (*you can use any beans of your choice. I think that chickpeas would taste great here)

- Breadcrumbs (*I used garlic and parsley flavored breadcrumbs)
-A few Tbsp of non dairy milk
-salt and black pepper to taste

Dough

Mix the ground flaxseeds with the water. Add the milk and oil. Set aside.

Now mix the dry ingredients: the flours and the salt. Make a hole in the middle and add the wet mix with flaxseeds, milk and oil, mixing with a spoon. The dough must be firm enough to handle it but not too much, because you will add more flour while kneading it.

Knead it very well on a floured surface. If it sticks too much, don’t fear adding flour on the surface and on your hands every time. To prevent from adding too much flour, add some vegetable oil on your hands: the dough will stick less to your hands and it will become more elastic. Knead it until it doesn’t stick to your hands and it is elastic enough to roll it easily. Leave it to stand while you make the filling



Filling

 Put the cooked seitan in the food processor, and pulse for a minute or so: it must ground, but you don’t want a seitan powder. It must have some texture.

Mix it with the finely chopped onion in a bowl. Add the cooked beans (adzuki beans in my case) and mix again.

Take 1/3 of the mixture and put it in the food processor again, adding a few Tbsp of milk, and a Tbsp or two of breadcrumbs. Process again, until it becomes a paste. Add salt (if necessary) and black pepper to taste. Return it to the bowl with the rest of the filling. That will give extra moistness to the mix, and it will hold better.

Assembling
Divide the dough in 4 or 5 parts and make a ball of each. Roll the dough: it should have more or less the thickness of a pasty.

Sprinkle some flour on a plate, and put the pelmenis as you make them.

With the help of glass make circles of it. Put about 1tbsp of the filling in each circle, and close the borders. Cut the remaining dough of that borders with a glass (see photo below). It also helps to close them better.

Now, you can freeze or cook them. Cook them as you would cook raviolis or any other pasta: put them in boiling, salted water. There must be enough liquid so they don’t touch (take in account that they will increase in size after cooked) or stick together. Cook them for about 5 min after they come to the surface. They keep very well in the freezer.

Photos: pelmenis step by step


The flaxseeds with the water.


Adding the wet ingredients to the dry.


Kneading


About 250g of seitan and one onion, chopped


The seitan in the food processor.


Mixing all the ingredeitns of the filling.


The dough circles for the pelmenis.


You can use any glass for it.


You should have something similar to this.


The pelmenis ready to be frozen.






Beefy (and nutty) Seitan

I don’t know if it really had a “beefy” flavor because I omitted so many things that I doubt it: I didn’t use a “beef” vegan bouillon, and I substituted the walnuts with sunflower seeds, the nutritional yeast with chickpea flour and omitted the onion powder, the marmite, the sage (I added a pasta seasoning mix instead) and the worchestershire sauce. I don’t know how it must have tasted, but mine was full of flavor (despite all the ingredients I skipped), the nuts added a nice crunchy texture and the baking gave to it color and firmed it outside, while inside it was still moist. Just how I think seitan must be. Definetly, a successful seitan recipe!

Inspired in this seitan recipe from Beans&Greens

1 boullion cube (or to taste, depending on how strong is the flavor of the bouillon. It would be great to use a “beef” vegan bouillon, but I couldn’t find any, so I used just a vegetable one)

1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
¼ ground sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp of chickpea flour
1/2 tsp pasta seasoning (you can really use any seasoning mix you like)

1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp tomato paste

Bring 4 or 5 cups of water to boil and add the bouillon and salt.

Mix the dry seitan ingredients: gluten, sunflower seeds, chickpea flour and spices.

Add the wet ingredients: one cup of the broth, 1 Tbsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of tomato paste.

Knead it well. I left it to stand for 10 min, and it firmed up a little bit, so it was easier to cut. Flat the dough.

Cut it. I cut mine in rectangular pieces (about 5cmx2cm), but you can make square pieces if you prefer it.

Simmer on very low heat for one hour. Turn off the heat and leave it to stand in the stock for 30 or 40 min (although if you leave it for a longer time it won’t happen anything)

Bake it for another 20 or 30 min at 170º (or 350ºF), on an oiled baking dish. Kristin recommends storing it in the fridge with the remaining bouillon. I used half of mine and froze the other half: it will keep in the freezer for month.



Seitan before baking


7 comments:

renae said...

I can't wait to try these! Thanks for the step-by-step photos; they will be a big help considering I've never eaten a pelmeni before. They look a bit time-intensive but worth it!

Navita (Gupta) Hakim said...

hi there my first time here...those pelmenis look great..thre is an indian dish called 'farah' (fa-ra) that looks like these and has a lentil feeling and is cooked in a thin lentil soup rather than water..

am so going to try this out coz hub loves dumplings and so do I :)

Henry said...

Looks delicious! I especially like all the pictures. It makes it extra interesting.

Kamran Siddiqi said...

Ksenia, I haven't been on your blog in the longest. Finally, I'm back... Yay! :D

I'm looking at what I missed and oh my! Your photos are awesome! So professional, now!

I wish my mom could invest in a dSLR for me, but she says "a camera is a camera." Sure, but that's like saying "a computer is a computer." All things are different, and there's definitely a HUGE difference between Point and Shoots and dSLR's.

Anyway, his is an awesome recipe that I need to try. Great post and great photos! :D

Kamran Siddiqi said...

Ksenia, I haven't been on your blog in the longest. Finally, I'm back... Yay! :D

I'm looking at what I missed and oh my! Your photos are awesome! So professional, now!

I wish my mom could invest in a dSLR for me, but she says "a camera is a camera." Sure, but that's like saying "a computer is a computer." All things are different, and there's definitely a HUGE difference between Point and Shoots and dSLR's.

Anyway, his is an awesome recipe that I need to try. Great post and great photos! :D

Philip Seyfi said...

What can be better than "kobachkovaya ikra"?? :) I love it, and it's nowhere to be found in Czech Republic :/

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