Little ears

December 17, 2011

(1952 Soviet poster, from here.)

A little while ago I decided to make pelmenis from scratch. I've always been a Russophile (many, many other countries keep catching my interest... Can't help it!) and thus I've taken a lot of interest into, obviously, Russian cuisine.

I find that Russian cuisine is very interesting, particularly because Russia is a country that faced many challenges, including a harsh winter climate and a history of famines, penury, etc. When I think of Russian cuisine in the past century, I have images of people waiting in line for hours at grocery stores to buy barely enough potatoes and cabbage to feed their families, of small individual vegetable patches, etc (even though things changed in the past 20 years). Yet, people managed, as one can't just live off Vodka, and created hearty dishes with quite a kick with very few types of ingredients.

Pelmenis are small ear-shaped (thus the name) dumplings generally filled with meat, although the recipe varies a lot. I can very much imagine a Babushka (Russian for grandmother) affectionately feeding everyone with her own  recipe, and one knows that a grandmother's food is always the best. I based myself on this recipe but changed it a little: instead of the traditional mix of ground beef and pork, I only used pork because I didn't have beef and I was too lazy to drive to the store and get some (not to mention, I find ground pork tastier than ground beef). I also added, with the fried onion, a few leaves of finely cut kale to make it healthier. I absolutely love kale, I think it's a great ingredient to cook with because it's not only healthy, but quite inexpensive, and very tasty.
The pelmenis were delicious and hearty, even though they were slightly bigger and not perfectly shaped. I made a side-dish of sautéed vegetables (red, yellow, and orange bell peppers, kale, zucchinis, eggplants, onions). Also (I hope I am not insulting Russian culture by saying this), they're very similar (if not almost identical) to Chinese pork dumplings. Just switch up the sour cream with soy sauce and the fork with chopsticks, and hello dim-sum!


Elizabeth said...

I'm so impressed! I'm really not much of a cook but I wish I was more adventurous because these look delicious!

Kalancea said...

I LOOOOVE pelemeni!!!!!!!!

^_^ wReY and R0bbY said...

They really looked like real ears! awesome! ^_^

cute blog, hopefully we can follow each other...

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