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Sunday, 14 December 2014

UKRAINIAN CHRISTMAS FOOD . . . VUSHKA


Marta Pisetska Farley says that “Ukrainian vushka are served in clear broth and specifically with borsch on Christmas Eve.”  She compares Vushka (Little Ear Dumplings) to Italian tortellini or Chinese Wontons.
Savella Stechishin says, “Vushka are tiny varenyky (dumplings) filled with a savory filling of meat, fish, or mushrooms. . . Two or three vushka are placed in each serving.”  As instructions, she adds, “Roll the dough very thin, cut into 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inch squares.”  
I tried Marta’s Mushroom Filling and it was REALLY good.  So I won’t be trying anyone else’s Mushroom Filling.  You can’t improve on PERFECT.

MUSHROOM VUSHKA

From Festive Ukrainian Cooking by Marta Pisetska Farley

First make Marta’s Mushroom Filling – you’ll only need 1 cup so you could make half this recipe, but it freezes well so make the full amount and use as needed.  J You can use the rest for making Mushroom Gravy or Mushroom Turnovers.

MUSHROOM FILLING
2 pounds fresh mushrooms
2 pounds onions
1 cup oil or ½ pound butter
2 teaspoons black pepper
3 teaspoons salt
½ cup dry bread crumbs
¼ cup fresh lemon juice

·        Chop mushrooms fine.
·        Chop onions and cook in oil or butter in a heavy frypan for 15 minutes at medium high heat.
·        Add chopped mushrooms.  Increase heat to max and cook , stirring, until dry.  (It took me 30 minutes.)
·        Stir in salt, pepper, lemon juice, and bread crumbs.  Remove from heat, and keep stirring for 5 more minutes to allow steam to escape.

Now make the dough:  Use Mary Stadnyk’s incomparable recipe and method: 

Cut small sections of the dough at a time and roll into a rectangle 1/8 inch thick.  Cut it into 1 ½ inch squares (I actually used a ruler J) and fill with a teaspoon of Marta’s Mushrooms.





Half of Mary’s dough recipe and one cup of Marta’s Mushroom Filling will make 65 vushka. 

(They do freeze well so don’t hesitate to use another cup of filling and the rest of the dough.  Serve the extra vushka in a clear pork stock for an absolutely incredible soup on another occasion!)