For years now I usually write about travel on my Wednesday articles. Lately due to the worldwide Pandemic travel has become difficult and many times ill advised.
Many of us have chosen to stay home this summer perhaps planning our next trip whenever we feel safe enough to venture further away from home. In our case I’m not really sure when that will be, specially since cruising is one of our favorite vacation travel. Sadly the cruising industry has canceled cruises thru September and will likely cancel cruises thru fall and possibly the rest of the year.
Yes we’re sad and even restless. We haven’t been able to visit our daughter and her family in Italy since last fall. And yes we miss traveling. That’s why I’ve been trying to bring a little bit of our travels in to our home. What better way to “re-live” some of our favorite vacation spots than thru food. I’ve decided to share some of our favorite cuisine which we discovered during our travels. Because isn’t food a big part of traveling anyway?
So for the next little while on my Wednesday post I’ll share a recipe for a favorite food we discovered during our travels. I hope it will inspire you to try something different and maybe make plans to visit one of the countries!
Today I’ll share this Piroshki recipe. Piroshkis are very similar to American meat pies, British Pasties, Middle Eastern Fatayer, and even Empanadas from Mexico, Spain, and other Latin countries.
Piroshkis are a popular street or comfort food in Russia and the Ukraine. They’re fried or baked oblong buns (I prefer the fried) filled with a variety of fillings including beef, chicken, pork, mushrooms, and cheese. In Russia they’re considered a main course when eaten with a soup or salad. It’s often served with sour cream.
Today I’ll share a recipe for Beef or Chicken filled Piroshkis. They’re not too difficult to make and if you’re not used to working with yeast breads this is a fine recipe to start with as it’s fairly simple.
Meat Filled Piroshkis
Ingredients for the dough:
4 cups flour
1 Tsp. Active dry yeast
1/4 Cup warm water
1 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
2 Tbs. Sugar
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Lb. Ground Beef, Turkey, or Chicken
1 Large Onion very finely chopped
1/2 Cup Mushrooms very finely chopped
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Pepper
2 Tbs. Fresh Dill
1 Tsp. Dried Dill
1 Tbs. Fresh Garlic – minced
Oil for frying
First prepare dough as follows:
Dissolve yeast in the warm water and place in a warm place until it’s frothy – about 10 minutes.
In a medium saucepan on low heat pour in milk and let warm up.
Whisk in the eggs, oil, sugar, and salt. This mixture will be warm and lumpy.
Remove from heat.
Place 1/2 of flour in bowl of stand mixer (or large bowl if mixing by hand). Using the dough hook gradually stir in the milk mixture until fully combined.
Alternately add yeast mixture and rest of the flour, be sure you mix well between additions.
Knead until the dough forms a ball and does not stick to sides of bowl. You may have to add some more flour (1 Tbs. spoon at a time) to get the dough to the proper consistency.
Cover with a cloth and set aside in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size. About 1-2 hours.
Meanwhile mix all the filling ingredients together in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
When dough has doubled in size place the ball into a lightly floured surface.
Pinch of pieces of dough to form a ball about 2″.
Flatten dough and using a rolling pin roll each ball into disks about 4″ in diameter.
Place a heaping Tbs. of filling in the center of dough. Form filling into a line across the diameter. Fold dough over meat and pinch both ends to seal.
Place filled piroshki on to a sheet with the seam side down and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
Heat enough oil in a pan deep enough so that the piroshkis will be at least halfway immersed in oil.
Place piroshki in hot oil seam side down. Fry until golden brown.
Gently flip over and fry other side.
Drain cooked piroshki on paper towels before serving.
My husband likes stuffed peppers, but my original recipe made too many servings. I cut it down to accommodate just the two of us. It helps to use a small casserole dish so the peppers won’t tip over while they bake. For color,This recipe is easy enough for family yet fancy enough for company.
Trying new recipes is one of my favorite hobbies. It’s also the most gratifying. What could beat the smiles and compliments of the ones you love?I serve steamed carrots to round out the meal perfectly.
2 medium green peppers 1/2 pound ground beef 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce, divided 1/4 cup uncooked instant rice 3 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese, divided 1 tablespoon chopped onion 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1 large egg, beaten
1. Cut tops off peppers and discard; remove seeds. Blanch peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; set aside. 2. In a bowl, combine beef, 1/4 cup tomato sauce, rice, 2 tablespoons cheese, onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and egg; mix well. Stuff the peppers; place in an ungreased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over peppers. Cover and bake at 350° for 45-60 minutes or until meat is no longer pink and peppers are tender. 3. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; return to the oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
My family, specially my grandsons Dion and Devon, love Katsu Curry. That’s what they order whenever we go to the Curry House for lunch or dinner. Their favorite, and mine too, is the Chicken Katsu Curry with cheese. OMG talk about comfort food! (and calories!)
You might be wondering what Katsu Curry is. Well it’s sort of a fusion of Japanese battered and fried food, the Katsu, and a spicy sauce that finds its origins in India, the curry. I guess you could say Katsu Curry is an Asian Fusion food that combines favorites from 2 Asian countries.
Judging by the number of franchised curry restaurants in Japan and the world wide proliferation of those franchises I’m reasonably certain the Katsu Curry is a favorite in Japan and in many other parts of the world. I know the Curry Houses here on the island are always busy. That’s why we hardly ever get to eat there. I hate long lines, specially when I’m hungry.
But Katsu Curry is so easy to make at home there’s really no need to stand in line. Or to go in search of a Japanese Curry house in your area. My recipe calls for store bought curry sauce mix, it cuts the prep time and you don’t need to stock your spice cabinet with expensive exotic spices.
My recipe just needs 4 other ingredients along with the concentrated cutty sauce. Chicken, Panko, Egg, and oil for frying. Try it out for dinner. Serve it over steamed white rice for an amazing meal!
If you prefer pork chops, batter and fry a thin slice of pork and you’ve got Tonkatsu Curry!
The other day I was looking for something easy to whip up to add to our Sunday night barbecue. I usually make garlic knots but didn’t have any frozen bread dough. I didn’t want to make a grocery run so I hunted around the kitchen to see what I could come up with. Well, I found a box of frozen puff pastry in the freezer and some shredded cheeses. That’s when I decided I’d make Cheese Straws!
These Cheese Straws are super simple to make and require just a few ingredients. Best of all they are too yummy!
For our Sunday night barbecue I served Cheese Straws instead of dinner rolls, the family loved them. But you can have them as a snack too! Because they’re made with puff pastry they’re light, buttery, and flaky!
Here’s how you make them!
makes 16 pieces
Pre-Heat over to 425°
1 Pkg. Frozen Puff Pastry sheets Thawed- each package comes with 2 sheets
1/2 Cup Melted Butter
1 Tbs. Garlic Powder
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/3 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 Egg Beaten
Melt butter and stir in Garlic Powder
Toss together cheeses
Unfold one sheet of puff pastry and brush with butter mixture
Evenly distribute 1/4 of cheese mixture on half of the pastry sheet
Fold pastry sheet in half over the cheese and brush with butter
Evenly distribute another 1/4 of cheese mixture on the top – lightly press cheese into the pastry dough to keep it in place
Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter cut the pastry sheet into 8 strips
Take the first strip in twist it a couple of times
Place twisted strip on parchment covered baking sheet
Repeat with the rest of the strips
Repeat this whole process with the other sheet of puff pastry
Brush beaten egg over all the strips°
Place twists in the PRE-HEATED oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.