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Cottage Cheese Vareniki (Ukrainian Dumplings)

 

Vareniki are a kind of stuffed dumpling associated with Ukrainian cuisine. Some variants are also found in Belarusian, Russian, Lithuanian and Polish cooking. Vareniki are believed to originate from Chinese and Siberian influences, although sometimes they are said to be of Turkish origin. Vareniki are similar to Polish pierogi, Russian pelmeni, and Italian ravioli.

Dough
Flour
2-3 cups
Egg
1
Salt
1/2 tsp
Water
150 ml
 
Stuffing
Cottage cheese 500 g
Egg 1
Salt 1/4 tsp
Sugar 3 tbsp

First make the dough and leave it to rest for 30 minutes:

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In a bowl, combine the cottage cheese with the egg, sugar and salt. The filling should be thick enough to hold its shape in a spoon:

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Roll out the dough quite thin on a floured board.Cut rounds with a large biscuit cutter or with the rim of a glass. Place a spoonful of the cottage cheese filling on the dough, fold it over to form a half circle or triangle, and press the edges together with your fingers. The edges should be free of filling.Be sure that the edges are sealed well to prevent the filling from running out.

Place the vareniki on a floured board or a kitchen towel (don't crowd them), and cover with a kitchen towel to prevent drying:

 

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Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to a boil and add a few drops of vegetable oil to the water. Drop a few vareniki at a time into therapidly boiling  water.Do not attempt to cook too many at a time.

Stir very gently with a wooden spoon to separate the vareniki and to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.Continue boiling for 3 or 4 minutes. If cooked from frozen, vareniki are boiled for 5 minutes.

Vareniki are ready when they are well puffed.Remove them to a colander and drain thoroughly.

 

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Place in a deep dish, sprinkle generously with melted butter, and toss very gently to coat them evenly with butter.

Serve in a large dish without piling or crowding them.The traditional accompaniment is sour cream or honey.

 

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Vareniki can also be made to the same recipe but without any sugar. This type of  savoury vareniki is served  toppedwith bread crumbs, sour cream and/or crumbled bacon.

 

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