Posted by Mira | Posted in World Recipes | Posted on 13-11-2011
Tags: mushrooms, picnic, picnic food, picnic food ideas, pirojki, Russian
With this article I am planning to start a series of Russian picnic food ideas. Pirojki – a kind of pasty – is one of Russian national foods. This type of food is perfect for picnics. There are several ways of making dough for pirojki. Traditionally it is made with yeast, which takes at least 40 minutes to make the dough fluffy enough for baking. However I prefer a different dough recipe. This way preparing pirojki becomes less time consuming but no less tasty. I will be glad to share this dough recipe with you. By the way, if you would approve this dough recipe, you could use it for other pastry as well. Though there will be more national recipes on our website where you will be able to see the possible variations with this dough. So, let’s proceed with the Russian pirojki!
Use your favorite mushrooms, it can be even champignons. Any fresh or dry mushrooms will do, however you may try the marinated ones as well. Normally the pirojki are not made of marinated mushrooms – at least I haven’t heard of such. Overall preparation time is about 1 hour, cooking 30 minutes (for the whole batch); yields approximately 20 pirojki which may be enough for a company upto 10 people.
0.5 l fermented milk
1 level tsp baking soda
1 tsp vinegar
1 level tsp salt
400g fresh mushrooms (champignons or other)
2 medium onions
1 level tsp salt
black pepper and chilli powder to taste (or a bit more)
herbs (optional): dill, coriander
For frying: 150g vegetable oil
To make the dough you will need a medium size bowl. Blend together the fermented milk, 2 eggs and salt. Take a tablespoon, add there 1 level baking soda and vinegar. While the mixture bubbles mix it into the dough. Also, stirring continuously add the melted butter.
Gradually add flour, blend until smooth. When dough becomes tougher transfer it on the kitchen table.
Note: Lightly flour the surface before hand (!).
Knead the dough for a while – though it should remain smooth enough. Do not make it tough. When done, cover the dough with plastic file and leave it for 15-20 minutes to rise a bit. Meanwhile you may start preparing the filling.
Peel, rinse and finely chop the onions.
Add about 50g vegetable oil into a large frying pan. Pan-fry the onions with some salt on middle heat till golden brown.
While onion is being cooked prepare the mushrooms. For this picnic food I am using champignons.
Tip: I have read somewhere that it is preferable to leave mushrooms in cold salty water for some 10 minutes and then rinse them in cold water. Salty water detaches minor soil particles and thus rinsing becomes more effective.
Thus leave mushrooms for 10 minutes in salty water. Then rinse them and put on a paper towel to drain excess water. Cut the mushrooms into small pieces and add into the skillet to pan-fry together with onion (which is already golden-brown).
Add black pepper, chilli powder, and salt to taste. Pan-fry the mushrooms till cooked through. As I am using champignons it took me about 20 minutes. You may use the filling this way or add freshly chopped dill and coriander when mushrooms are done. Set aside to cool slightly.
Wrapping the Pirojki
Meanwhile the dough is ready. Cut a thick strip of dough. Then cut a smaller piece as shown on the picture. You may do without a rolling pin, roll the dough with your hands pressing it evenly.
Put a tablespoonful of the filling. Fold the pirojki, place with the seam side down on the floured baking board.
Note: If you have some spare time it will be good to leave the pirojki covered with a light towel for 10 minutes to rest before frying.
When you are done with the pirojki pour about 100g vegetable oil in a deep skillet. When the oil becomes hot on the medium-low heat carefully place pirojki. Turn over when one side is golden-brown. Each side will take about a couple of minutes to cook through. Oil should be enough to cover also the sides of the pastry. Fry in batches. When done place on the paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Leave to rest for 5 minutes. When you take pirojki from the frying pan they will be crispy becoming soft in a few minutes as they cool a bit. Better to serve this picnic food hot or at room temperature. Bon appetit!