Russians tuck into hearty dishes to get them through the long, cold winters experienced in much of the country. Comforting foods stuffed with a variety of ingredients, including hard-boiled eggs, warm the kitchen as well as the stomach. Most of the dishes are easy to prepare and easy on your budget, so enjoy some of these traditional Russian recipes in your own home.
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Piroghi and Pirozhki
Sweet or savory, piroghi and pirozhki are the Russian version of turnovers. Stuffing for the piroghi (large turnovers) and the pirozhki (small turnovers) are only limited by your imagination. A traditional stuffing includes finely chopped cabbage sauteed in butter and then combined with chopped hard-boiled eggs. To these ingredients, try adding mushrooms, bacon, fresh dill or mashed potatoes. You can also make dessert piroghi stuffed with nuts and dried fruit stuffing. Or fill your piroghi with sweetened ricotta and top the turnovers with a fresh strawberry sauce.
Russian Stuffed Meatloaf
Prepare your favorite meatloaf recipe, and then spread the meat mixture on a piece of wax paper to form a rectangle. For the stuffing, you can add chopped hard-boiled eggs, halve them or leave them whole. Other stuffing ingredients include onions, breadcrumbs, cheese and fresh herbs such as parsley and dill. Spread your stuffing on the meat, roll it up, and bake it on a baking sheet with the seam-side down. The whole eggs make a beautiful presentation when you slice the meatloaf.
Pork and Eggs
Hard-boiled eggs and pork are a delicious combination: Just think bacon and eggs. The Russians join these two ingredients in dishes such as potato salad and stuffed pork loin. For a classic Russian potato salad, combine with the potatoes boiled, chopped pork hot dogs or bacon, chopped hard-boiled eggs, peas, carrots, fresh dill, mayonnaise, sour cream and horseradish. Before stuffing and rolling your pork loin, trim the fat and then butterfly it. You can also ask your butcher to do this for you. After butterflying, cover the pork in plastic wrap and pound the meat to an even thickness. A classic stuffing consists of onion, garlic, mushrooms, chopped hard-boiled eggs and cheese. After roasting, serve the sliced pork loin with a mixture of hot sour cream and heavy cream.
Russian dumplings, called "varenyky," are similar to Chinese wonton or Italian ravioli. The dough for varenyky differs from piroghi in that it's unleavened, which means it does not use yeast. Chopped hard-boiled eggs are commonly used in the stuffing. Other typical stuffing ingredients include mashed potatoes, mushrooms, cabbage or sauerkraut, cheese, ground pork or beef and fish such as salmon. Once the varenyky are stuffed and formed into small-size dumplings, they are boiled, drained and typically served with melted butter or sour cream.