After I left my first job in Singapore, I got an offer to move to Moscow. “Oh brilliant,” I thought, “I will spend my weekends snacking on caviar at the ballet and reading Tolstoy." My mother, the voice of reason, was not down with the new plan. “I think you will find you will be eating at McDonalds and living in a purpose built apartment block on your meager salary. I would also like to remind you that every Russian girl is six foot, stunning, and less dramatic than your good self.” It’s so annoying when she is right.
Last time the Dobenecks were in that next of the woods, we were visiting Rifat, a foreign exchange student who my mom “adopted” when they paired him with the worst family on record. From a prominent family, my brother from another mother had successfully navigated the Russian business climate and was on the scene. He was kind enough to usher us through palaces, churches, and some of the nicest restaurants in town. My greatest discovery was that Russian food isn’t terrible. Actually, some of it is quite good if you wash it down with enough vodka. Their classic beet soup, borscht, was not my favorite… these little meat dumplings, pelmeni, were. We made a batch last time he was in the States and I made another batch last weekend. They are perfect to make en masse as they are a treat fried in butter the day after.
RECIPE: enough for 8 as an appetizer
1 lb minced pork
1 lb ground beef (not the fully lean kind)
1 large onion, chopped and sweat in butter until light brown
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 packs wonton wrappers (about 60-80)
To dress: sour cream, butter, chopped dill
1. Combine all filling ingredients and refrigerate
2. Cut wonton wrappers into circles. Put a little pile of filling into center. Fold over to look like a triangle then wrap around your finger to look like a tortellini. Boil for four mins, coat in butter, and serve.
**PLEASE NOTE: Making your own dough is a million zillion times better but these will do when you are running low on time. **