Wednesday, November 02, 2011

My Pelmeni - Seiberian Meat Dumpling Adventure

The name of this dumpling caught my attention - "Siberian".     How often do I cook Siberian dish? This is my first try.    One of my favorite blogger, Nobleva made this.    When I saw the photos, I wanted to try.   Nobleva is a great cook, I can tell from her recipes.    And her photos are gorgeous.   Check them out at: 
To make this Pelmeni, I was bit amused  to see how 'familiar' this dish is.    I think you know what I mean without me explaining.    And I noticed my 'learned way' of folding the Pelmeni kicked in as soon as I held the rolled out dough in my hand and filling it with the meat mixture.    I could not help myself, but fingers just start forming the supposedly the Pelmeni the Chinese style.... geeweez!  give me a break.    It's Pelmeni, not GYOZA, but my fingers won't form it the way I want to like Nobleva's.    I think the next time, I will try to make it much smaller like the small wonton size.    That might work.    And also to purchase a much fatter meat.    I used half pork and half beef.   But I am so accustomed to grab a lean meat package when I shop, it was a mistake.   I forgot that the natural meat fat gives this dish its mouthfeel and taste.    It will also alter the looks of the meat filling of the final product.    Mine definitely looks dry.  

When I found out about it after making the first batch, I improvised to mix the meat fillings with vegetables - chopped up napa (liquid squeezed out) and the other half with cooked eggplants.     Luckily I was able to redeem it.
Pelmeni with Eggplants  Medley, I baked previously.

 Then, I made Bechamel sauce, sauted chopped mushrooms with garlics, and I added chopped fresh cayenne pepper from my garden.

Okay, so the whole cayenne on the top as a garnish is a bit overkill.    Maybe a chopped cayenne sprinkled on top would have been better.   The taste?   The bechamel sauce gave the dry meat due to 'lean' meat I used a better mouthfeel.    The fresh cayenne pepper gave it some kicks to open your appetite and wants the second and third bites to counter the bechamel sauce that sometimes would give the 'full' filling right away before the next bite.    Sauteed mushrooms added the interesting textures and enhanced  the taste of the creamy bechamel.

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