For those who don’t know, I’m currently in the process of developing a cookbook based on my grandmother’s travels around the world. Jerrie Mock, first woman to fly around the world, wanted to write the cookbook herself, but she never got to do it. So, I’m taking up the mantle and doing it now myself.
As I develop the cookbook, I’ve decided to share some of the recipes through my outlets as a sort of sneak peek for the book.
I hope you enjoy.
Pelmeni, a Russian Staple
The first time I had Pelmeni – or Russian dumplings – was in St. Petersburg, Russia, while visiting with my best friend, Elizabeth, in 2007. We were staying at a missionary agency office and had free reign in the kitchen. So, not wanting to miss out on eating what locals do, we popped into the grocery nearby and found things that looked good, even if we didn’t know exactly what they were.
Pelmeni was one of those finds.
I’ve been in love ever since.
But since going gluten-free for health reasons back in 2012, I hadn’t eaten any until recently when I decided to develop my own gluten-free version.
Traditionally, standard wheat flour is used, so I chose to work with a one-to-one flour to make the translation work for anyone.
About the Recipe
Typically, I get about 40 Pelmeni from this recipe, meaning servings for about 4-5 people.
It takes a while to prepare, admittedly, so if I’m going to be in a hurry, I whip up the stuffing and dough ahead of time, and then put together the Pelmeni and cook when I’m ready to serve.
Raw Pelmeni can easily be frozen, if placed in an air-tight container.
- 12 ounces ground turkey, browned and drained
- 3 ounces sliced mushrooms, cooked or raw
- 2 cups raw spinach
- 3 ounces Bulgarian white cheese, drained (or substitute lower salt Feta)
- 1/4 large white onion, raw
- 2 cups gluten-free flour (1-to-1 ratio)
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- Add 1 cup of water to the saucepan, along with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Bring the water to a boil.
- Add in the flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring as you add.
- Once all the flour has been added, continue stirring throughout, until the water is completely absorbed and a dough is formed.
- Next, sprinkle your gf flour to a flat surface. (I just use my cleaned and sanitized kitchen counter.)
- Transfer the dough from the pot onto the surface. Let cool for a couple of minutes to avoid burning your hands.
- Knead the dough until all the flour on the surface is absorbed and you have a more workable dough texture. (If the dough is still tacky or sticky, sprinkle more flour out and keep kneading it in until it’s no longer sticky on the surface.)
- Roll the dough out into a thin sheet, about 1/4 inch in thickness. This thickness is very important for multiple reasons. If need be, break the ball of dough into multiple lumps and roll out until you get the dough this thin. (I have to do this on smaller counter sizes.)
- Then, use a glass or biscuit cutter to cut the dough into circular pieces.
- Combine spinach, ground turkey, cheese, mushrooms, onion, and seasonings into a mixing bowl and combine together until everything is thoroughly coated with the seasonings.
- Place a small amount of the turkey/veggie stuffing into each pelmeni. Fold the circles in half and pinch the edges together to seal. Then join the two edges together.
- Bring a pot of water to a gentle simmer.
- Add Pelmeni to the water in small enough batches that they don’t touch each other in the water. In larger pots, this will be between 8 and 10. In smaller pots, more likely 4 to 6.
- Cook the Pelmeni until they rise to the surface.
- Serve immediately.