My family has a lot of different ancestry in it. We have russian (so we have been told), french, irish, as well as some Mennonites thrown in for good measure.. One of the good side effects of this is that I have a bunch of family recipes in our family cookbook. My favourite family recipe of all time is called, as the name of this post indicates, veraniky.

Veraniky is nothing more than a perogie, but with the filling replaced by dry cottage cheese. Not sure what part of my heritage that comes from, but I suspect it has something to do with the mennonite background. You boil them and eat them with fried butter, sour cream and bacon bits.

The recipe is pretty easy, but finding dry cottage cheese is, in Ottawa/Gatineau, not the easiest thing to find. Most of the dry cottage cheese that I have found is pressed together so much that crumbling it is difficult to do. I finally found some that looked like it had the right texture at the local Provigo, so I decided to give making it a shot.

Recipe

Dough
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup milk

Veraniky, flour ingredients

Veraniky, flour ingredients

Filling
1 lb dry cottage cheese
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 tsp salt

Veraniky, filling ingredients

Veraniky, filling ingredients

Preparing the dough
The recipe, as obtained from my mother, says to sift the flour into a bowl and make a depression inside the flour and pour the liquid ingredients into the depression and mix it. I was too lazy to look for the sifter, so I just dumped the flour into the bowl and then added the milk and cream. I grabbed a fork and stirred it until all of the liquid had been absorbed into the flour. I then set aside the fork and used my hands to knead the dough and mash it into a nice ball while at the same time picking up all of the flour that was still stuck to the walls. The dough should be somewhat firm. If it is too soft, gradually add more flour until it gets to the desired firmness.

Preparing the filling

The filling is relatively easy to make. Take all of the dry cottage cheese, add in the egg whites and salt, and then take your hands and thoroughly mix everything together. You want to gently mix it as you really don’t want to completely squish the dry cottage cheese into a paste. You want to have discrete pieces of cottage cheese in the mixture.

Veraniky, filling

Veraniky, filling

Preparing the veraniky

Start by throwing some dough down on the counter (or whatever clean and washed surface you plan on using) so that the dough doesn’t stick. Rip off a fist-sized chunk of dough, and using a floured rolling pin, roll it out until it is about as think as a pile of 2 or 3 quarters. This thickness will depend very much on your comfort and how much dough you want around the veraniky. Then, take a largish glass and use the opening at the top as a template to cut out a circle of dough. For me, the size of the cut-out fits nicely into my hand.

Veraniky, dough cutout

Veraniky, dough cutout

Take a tablespoon and put a small amount of filling into the center of the dough.

Veraniky, filling in dough cutout

Veraniky, filling in dough cutout

Fold it over and pinch the edges together.

Veraniky, folded over, edges pinched

Veraniky, folded over, edges pinched

If your dough is not sticking/pinching together well, you can help it sticking my wetting your finger in a bowl of water and then simply wet the edge of half of the dough. You want to make sure that you don’t have things like this happening:

Veraniky, poor pinching

Veraniky, poor pinching

Lather.
Rinse.
Repeat.

Note that the above recipe provides you with twice as much filling as you need compared to the amount of dough that you made. I found this out once I realized that I had finished off my dough and noticed that I had about half of my filling left. So, I took a couple of minutes to make another batch of dough and continued on making veraniky.

It took me about 2 hours in total, from start (collecting the ingredients) to finish (last veraniky placed on the cookie sheet) to make 40 veraniky.

Veraniky, finished product

Veraniky, finished product

These freeze extremely well once prepared. Just place them on a cookie sheet, throw them in your freezer, and put them in your long-term storage solution of choice when frozen. Cooking is simple, just boil them in salted water, similar to pasta. It doesn’t take too long, about 5-10 minutes.

They should be served with sour cream, bacon bits and fried butter. Given that my wife and children despise this meal with an unholy passion, look for a post next tuesday (the 20th of September, 2011) showing the cooking and eating.