Cabbage Rolls with Minced Beef: tasty and healthy lunch

…nothing could be more pleasant than to live in solitude, enjoy the spectacle of nature, and occasionally read some book…

Nikolai Gogol

Ingredients (for 12 cabbage rolls):
– 1 pointed head cabbage (it is more tender for this recipe than white cabbage)
– 4oog minced beef
– 120g rice
– 1 red onion
– 250g mashed tomatoes (tomato passata) 🍅
– 1.5 tsp salt
– 0.5 tsp black pepper
– 200g sour cream for serving

Directions:

1 Boil rice until ready
2 Carefully separate cabbage leaves and boil them for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a plate to cool down
3 Chop onion
4 Mix minced beef with boiled rice, chopped onion, salt and black pepper
5 Put 1-2 tbsp beef mixture on one cabbage leave and pack into a roll 🙂
6 Put cabbage rolls side to side in the saucepan and cover with water 1-2 cm above, then add mashed tomatoes: I cooked in 2 saucepans with 125g mashed tomatoes in each
7 Boil cabbage rolls for 30-35 minutes covered with a lid
8 Serve cabbage rolls with cooking broth, sour cream and chopped parsley!

Potato Zrazy with Minced Beef !

When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object.

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Potato Zrazy with minced beef

Dough ingredients (3-4 servings):
– 1kg (weight unpeeled) potatoes
– 2 eggs
– 6-8tbsp flour
– 1 bunch scallion
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 tbsp olive oil for frying

Filling ingredients:
– 300g minced beef
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp black pepper

Sauce ingredients:
– 200g sour cream
– a few sprigs chopped scallion

Method:

1 Beef filling
1.1 Cook minced beef for 40 minutes in salted water
1.2 Drain the broth in another pan
1.3 Mix boil beef with black pepper and salt
2 Potato dough
2.1 Wash and peel potatoes
2.2 Cut potatoes into 2cm cubes
2.3 Boil potato cubes for 20-25 minutes in salted water
2.4 Drain water and mash potatoes
2.5 Combine mashed potatoes+2eggs+6-8tbsp flour+1/2tsp salt+chopped scallion: mix until smooth
3 Zrazy (Potato Cutlets)
3.1 Preheat the non-sticking skillet with some olive oil
3.2 Shape a flat round out of potato dough and put beef filling in the middle: enclose with a second potato round 🙂
3.3 Fry each potato dumpling 3-4 minutes each side
3.4 Absorb extra oil with paper towels
4 Serve Zrazy (Potato Cutlets) with sour cream mixed with chopped scallion
5 Enjoy !

Vareniki with Potatoes and Champignons !

Patsuk opened his mouth, stared at the Vareniki, and opened his mouth wider still. At that moment, a varenik jumped out of the bowl, splashed into the cream, flipped over and leapt straight up into his mouth. Patsuk opened his mouth again, and another varenik went through the same performance. The only trouble he took was to munch it up and swallow it.

N.V. Gogol
Vareniki with Potatoes and Champignons

Filling ingredients (all ingredients for 4 servings = ~30 Vareniki):
– 500g new potatoes
– 200g champignons
– 1 onion
– 1 carrot
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Dough ingredients:
– 260g wheat flour
– 130ml water
– 30ml olive oil
– 1/2 tsp salt

Serving ingredients:
– a few sprigs of green onions
– 200ml sour cream

Method:
1 Prepare the filling:
1.1 Wash champignons, remove dirt from them with a paper towel and cut a thin slice off the bottom
1.2 Stew on olive oil chopped onion with grated carrot for 5 minutes
1.3 Add chopped champignons to onion & carrot and stew for another 10 minutes
1.4 Put the frying pan aside and let it cool down
1.5 Boil for 15 minutes peeled potatoes. Then mash them with 1 tsp salt.
1.6 Combine mashed potatoes with fried champignons and mix them well.
2 Prepare dough:
2.1 Add olive oil in the middle of flour heap and mix oil with flour
2.2 Stir in boiled water into the oily flour and knead the dough
2.3 Let the dough rest for 15 minutes
2.4 Separate the dough into 4 equal parts with a knife. Form a ~1.5cm diameter sausage out of each part
2.5 Cut each sausage into 1cm width pieces and roll out each piece into a ~5cm diameter round
3 Make Vareniki:
3.1 Put 1 tsp filling into each round, fold the round into a half-moon and pinch all the edges together strongly with fingers. Put Vareniki on the floured plate.
3.2 Put Vareniki into boiling water and cook for 5 minutes at medium heat
3.3 Serve immediately with sour cream, chopped green onions, miner’s lettuce and grated carrot !

Notes: one can make several servings of Vareniki (e.g., during a rainy weekend) and put them uncooked in the freezer. And then… enjoy the benefits of quick & delicious lunch during the week! 🙂

Vareniki with Cabbage !

Patsuk opened his mouth, stared at the Vareniki, and opened his mouth wider still. At that moment, a varenik jumped out of the bowl, splashed into the cream, flipped over and leapt straight up into his mouth. Patsuk opened his mouth again, and another varenik went through the same performance. The only trouble he took was to munch it up and swallow it.

N.V. Gogol
Vareniki with Cabbage

Filling ingredients (all ingredients for 4 servings = ~30 Vareniki):
– 400g pointed white cabbage or young white cabbage
– 1 onion
– 1 carrot
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp black pepper
– 1 tsp sugar
– 1 tsp vinegar

Dough ingredients:
– 260g wheat flour
– 130ml water
– 30ml olive oil
– 1/2 tsp salt

Serving ingredients:
– 1 grated carrot
– a few sprigs of green onions
– 200ml sour cream
– a few leaves of miner’s lettuce

Method:
1 Prepare the filling:
1.1 Cut cabbage into thin strips, chop carrot and onion
1.2 Fry on olive oil chopped onion with carrot for 5 minutes
1.3 Add striped cabbage, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp vinegar to onion and carrot and stew for another 15 minutes
1.4 Add salt and black pepper and mix everything well
1.5 Put the frying pan aside to let the vegetables cool down
2 Prepare dough:
2.1 Add olive oil in the middle of flour heap and mix oil with flour
2.2 Stir in boiled water into the oily flour and knead the dough
2.3 Let the dough rest for 15 minutes
2.4 Separate the dough into 4 equal parts with a knife. Form ~1.5cm diameter sausage out of each part with your hands
2.5 Cut each sausage into 1cm width pieces and roll out each piece into a ~5cm diameter round
3 Make Vareniki:
3.1 Put 1 tsp filling into each round, fold the round into a half-moon and pinch all the edges together strongly with fingers. Put Vareniki on the floured plate.
3.2 Put Vareniki into boiling water and cook for 5 minutes at medium heat
3.3 Serve immediately with sour cream, chopped green onions, miner’s lettuce and grated carrot !

Notes: one can make several servings of Vareniki (e.g., during a rainy weekend) and put them uncooked in the freezer. And then… enjoy the benefits of quick & delicious lunch during the week! 🙂

Happy Vareniki with cottage cheese

Tradition: one Varenik called “Happy” is made with a filling different from others (sweet if others are salty and salty if others are sweet). According to the tradition, the one who finds in his/her plate the “Happy Varenik” and eats it will be happy in love !

Vareniki with cottage cheese

Vareniki dough ingredients (for 2 servings):
– 260g wheat flour
– 130ml water
– 30ml olive oil
– 1/2 tsp salt

Vareniki filling ingredients (for 2 servings):
– 200g cottage cheese (you can also use Feta for salty Vareniki)
– 2 tablespoons sugar (for sweet Vareniki) / 1 teaspoon salt (for salty Vareniki)
– 1 small egg

Serving ingredients (for 2 persons):
– 200g sour cream
– 50g raspberry jam (only for sweet Vareniki)
– 10g orange zest (only for sweet Vareniki)

Method:
1 Add olive oil in the middle of flour heap and mix oil with flour
2 Stir in boiled water into the oily flour and knead the dough
3 Let the dough rest for 15 minutes
4 Mix filling ingredients (if you use cottage cheese, try to remove extra liquid from it)
5 Roll out the dough to ~2mm and make round circles out of it with a cup or a glass
5.1 repeat 5 with the rest dough until no dough is left 🙂
6 Put 0.5-1 teaspoon of filling in the middle of each circle
7 Fold the circles half in half and lock the ends of circles tightly with finger tips (I did it twice through the whole length), see result below

Vareniki with cottage cheese recipe

8 Carefully put Vareniki into boiling water, boil for 4-5 minutes and serve !

Vareniki with cottage cheese recipe