Varenyky (Ukrainian Dumplings)
Dumplings can be found the world over, and varenyky are the Ukrainian version. They’re very like Polish Pierogi or Russian Varenyky or Piroshki – which in turn are not all that different from wontons!
There are different recipes for the dough (some have milk, some have eggs, some only use water…) Like many regional dishes, the recipes change from family to family or even from generation to generation. The fillings change too – sometimes reflecting holidays. We’ll be making a basic potato and cheese filling, and we’re using cheddar cheese which isn’t Ukrainian, but they’ll still taste good!
**Louisa will be demonstrating this recipe live on Facebook, Thursday, April 28 at 5pm. In addition to honoring the food culture of Ukraine by making this traditional dish, we will also be donating 10% of all sales made over the weekend of Friday, April 29 – Sunday, May 1 to the non-profit organization, United Help Ukraine, which is an organization currently focusing on sending medical supplies and humanitarian aid to the areas of greatest need in Ukraine.**
For the Dough:
5 C All Purpose Flour
1 teasp Salt
2 Tbsp Butter, softened
1 C Evaporated Milk (not condensed milk!)
½ C Water
Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.
Make a well in the center and add the softened butter and evaporated milk.
Stir gently until all the liquid is absorbed – only add water if your dough is too dry, and only add a tablespoon or less at a time.
Place dough in a greased bowl and let rest for 30 minutes.
For the Filling:
6 Medium Potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 Large Onions, finely chopped
½ C Butter
1 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 minutes, Drain well.
Melt the butter in a skillet. Add onions and saute until tender and translucent.
Mix onions and cheese into the potatoes and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
To Form the Varenyky:
Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about ?” thick, and cut into 3” circles. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each disc.
Fold the halves together and press the edges to seal.
Place finished varenyky on a floured sheet pan or cutting board and keep covered with a kitchen cloth.
You can cook the dumplings now, or freeze on the sheet pan overnight, then store in the freezer in an airtight container.
To Cook the Varenyky:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Add the dumplings one at a time so they don’t stick together. (If you’re cooking a lot of them, you’ll have to do them in batches 10 – 15 at a time.)
Cook for a few minutes, until they pop up to the top of the water. Remove and drain.
Place finished varenyky in a lightly oiled bowl and turn them to coat so they don’t stick.
Serve with sour cream and fried onions.
(If you’d like, you can fry them in oil or butter for a crispy golden finish after boiling.)