Kaleenka featured good Russian hearty fare, traditional cooking from the Ukraine,
Uzbekistan, and Georgia. The name "Kaleenka" was derived from a ubiquitous
shrub that grows all across Russia, which is revered since ancient times as a symbol
of the land and culture. The Kaleenka notes that "piroshky" is derived
from a Russian word pronounced "peer," which means "feast."
Many different fillings are common, including chicken, fish, and fruits, but this
beef and cheese filling is the favorite.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 packages yeast
- 4-5 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons additional vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 pound cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- In a skillet, brown the onion in oil, about 7 minutes; remove and set aside.
- Brown the ground beef in the skillet, drain the grease, then add in the cooked
onion, garlic, salt, and pepper; set aside.
- In a small ceramic or glass bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let
stand for 11 minutes.
- In a large bowl or using a large stand mixer, place 4 cups of the flour, sugar,
salt, egg, the remaining oil, water/yeast mixture, and the milk; mix together (use
a dough hook attachment if you have one), adding additional flour as needed to make
the dough soft but not sticky.
- Knead, either for about 10 minutes by turning
out onto a floured board and doing it by hand or by using a dough hook in a mixer
on slow speed for about 6 to 7 minutes.
- Place in a large bowl, cover with a
towel, and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour; punch down.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- To fill the piroshky, pinch off a piece of dough about the size of an egg and
roll it out to 1/8-inch thick, then place a cube of cube of cheese and 2 tablespoons
of meat filling in the center.
- Lift up the edges of the dough and bring it up
to the top, pinching together tightly to completely enclose the filling and so that
the dough knits together.
- Place the piroshky on a microwave-safe dish or tray, seam-side down, and microwave
for 10 seconds; set aside and let rise for 10 minutes.
- Repeat the piroshky construction, microwaving, and rising with remaining ingredients.
- Place risen piroshky (all of them) on a non-stick baking sheet and bake at 350
degrees F until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes depending on your oven; alternately,
you can deep fry them at 300 degrees F until golden.
Source: Dining Ethnic Around Puget Sound published in 1993
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