Did you know how much food you can prepare with just a few vegetables and some meat? Well, I took some time to preapre my favorite dishes for a few of my friends on St. Patricks day. Oh, and next time you would like to be invited to my dinner party, make sure to let me know in advance. Would be fun to have you around to share fooding experience.
Rice (I used healthy brown rice)
Chicken Thigh Filets
Fresh greens (dill and parsley) – I forgot to buy it so I didn’t use it
First and foremost you need to prepare dough. It must rise for about 2 hours. So, within 2 hours you can be working on other things. To make dough you need to add sugar, flour, yeasts, and warm water into a pan. Then cover a pan and put it in a warm place. Let it rise for while.
Then you need to prepare a pot with hot water so you can start boiling some cabbage in it. Basically, you are just softening the leaves of the cabbage so you can later add stuffing in them and wrap them and cook them.
Cook 2 cups of rice. Make sure it is a little under cooked, because you will continue cooking later when it is wrapped in the cabbage leaves. So, turn down the fire and let it stay in a slightly boiling water for a while.
Wash potatoes and cut them up on small cubes for Borstch.
Typically for a traditional Ukrainian borstch we use Beef. However, because I love chicken very much, I substituted my Beef with chicken filets. Still tasted yummy.
Before actually boiling cabbage, you need to make sure that the heart of it is cut out, as shown in the picture.
Wash beets and put them in the pot. They will need to cook for about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, you can continue making your other dishes. You will need to learn how to multitask if you want to feed a group of people in two-three hours with a very nice delicious 5 course meal.
Once your dough arosed (about 1 hour), you will need to add more flour, eggs, warm milk, butter and mix it until the dough does not stick to you fingers.
After your dough does not stick to your fingers, you can splash some oil on the top of it and using your knockles, fist it down. After you have done so, you will need to cover your dough and let it stay like that for another hour.
Cut onions and start frying them until caramel folor.
Meanwhile, while onions are frying, dough is rising, beets are boiling, cabbage is cooking, prepare carrots by shredding them through the cheese grader. You will need to add them eventually into the frying pan with onions.
Once your rice is half way cooked, mix it with your ground beef and spices.
Add carrots into the frying pan with onions. After carrots become slightly soft, add your favorite spices.
Shred cabbage for borstch and add it to a pot with hot boiling water where you first added salt.
Wash beets branches and cut them up into small chunks.
After 5 minutes of cooking cabbage, add beets stems, onions with carrots and potatoes into boiling water.
Meanwhile, you also have to spare some carrot-onion mix for our cabbage wraps. So, add your mix into rice-beef mix and add additional spices as needed. Mix it well.
Add tomato paste into your boiling water with vegetables..
Check if your beets are cooked by poking them with a fork. If the fork goes easy through them, then it means that beets are cooked. Put the pot under the water to cool them down so you can easily shred them through a cheese grader.
Turn down your range and add two teaspoons of vinegar and spices as needed. Vinegar and tomato paste is needed so borstch preserves the color from beets.
Add mushrooms almost at the end of your cooking. I typically add them at the end of every dish I cook because they remain crunchy at the end of cooking.
At the end of your borstch cooking, add beets and garlic.
So, borstch is done, now we have to roll our cabbage rolls called holubtsi. Have you leaf of cabbage on your palm, then add a tablespoon of your stuffing (rice, ground beef, vegetables).
Put some leaves at the bottom of your slow cooker and start laying down cabbage wraps tight to each other.
After your slow cooker is filled, add tomato paste at the top and hot boiling water, so it covers fully the pot.
Turn on your slow cooker and cook on high for about 4:30 hours.
Meanwhile, watch your dough, to make sure it does not run away from your pot.
Lay down nicely dough and start rolling long strips so you can lay them around your dough for decorations.
Prepare the dough for vareniki and pelmeni (raviolis with cooked potatoes and ground beef).
Cut small circles with a glass and add stuffing in each, then stick it with your fingers together. Because I had a special tool to do that, I made a bunch of them very quicly.
Check on your bread if it is cooked by poking through with a long wooden fork or knife. If the dough does not stick, then bread is cooked.
Because I had so much potatoe mix left. I had to make something out of it. So, I added two eggs and some flour into the potatoe mix. Made small rolls and added meat inside.
Then I rolled those potato rolls in flour and put on the frying pan with oil in it.
Right before your guests come, boil some water and add some salt in it. Then cook your vareniki and pelmeni.
Serve your meal to your guests. The table should be full with dishes.
Here is the list of dishes: borstch, stuffed potato cuttlets, cabbage rolls, spinach salad with fruit in it, Ukrainian easter bread, pelmeni, vareniki .
At the end of the day, after a few hours of cooking, everyone should be happy. There was enough meal to keep feeding everyone in the group of 5 for entire week. Buene Appetite!