- Food and Cooking
Recipe of Belyashi. Russian Recipe with Pictures
This is true that when you grow up, you cook the same foods what you saw your mother and grandmother cooking. In countries like Israel and America, that are immigrants’ countries, there are all kinds of cuisines, brought in and adapted to everyday life. I was born Jewish in Kazakhstan (one of the 15 republics in former Soviet Union). My aunt was cooking yiddisher food (of European Jews), my mother used to cook mostly Russian recipes, I enjoyed Kazakh food at my friends’ houses. As a result, I cook all this, when I am in a right mood. My son’s friends love when they happen to be in our house at those times. Very often I just tell my son to call them and invite for a dinner. Then my son calls a friend and says, “Hey, my mom is cooking Russian food, come over.” Nobody ever refused yet.
Mediterranean food is always healthy, balanced and nutrient. You don’t have to worry about extra calories there. When I cook Russian food, I don’t think about calories, I just go to a swimming pool for an extra time, or go for a long walk after it, but I never refuse myself the pleasure of eating it. I like to make pirozhki and belyashi.
So, to make a long story short, this is one of my favorites, one of Russian basics- belyashi. This a plural of belyash, a kind of round donut from dough with meat inside, fried on a pan.
A real Russian cook will make the dough from scratch (flower, sugar, butter, eggs, water or milk, pack of yeast, salt. Kneading it is the most hassle). It’s too much of a job for me; that’s why I’m using a lazy version of it- just buying a couple of bags of dinner rolls dough. The effect is the same, so why not to go the easier way?
- Put 24 pieces of dinner roll dough on a plate and let them thaw until they are soft and fluffy. Cover the plate with a lightweight clean piece of cloth, it will keep the dough from drying and building a dry crust. I was told a "Russian secret"- you should cover the dough with a white cloth. Maybe it has something to do with harmful colors that might have been used in fabrics.
- Make meat filling. Put 1.5 Lb of ground meet into a bowl (I use beef, but it may be pork, or half beef-half pork). Finely chop two big onions, salt them a little bit and fry them in olive oil until they are slightly brown. Don’t over fry them. Mix fried onion with meat, put salt and pepper according to taste, garlic powder, add dill weed (I put a lot, I love the flavor that dill weed gives to food), add a tablespoon of vegetable oil and a little water(just a table spoon). Mix the mass thoroughly with your hands. It should be soft.
- Flatten each piece of the dinner roll dough with a rolling-pin. Use flower to dust it so that the dough won’t stick to a roller.
- Put a spoon of meat in the middle of a dough circle.
- Fold dough edges around the meat, pinching and sticking it with fingers. There should be an open area on the top of a belyash.
- Slightly flatten the raw belyash with a palm of your hand. It will spread meat inside and let excess air out.
- Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan. The oil should not be too hot, as belyashi will burn before meat is fried through. Pure vegetable oil is better for frying this stuff than any other oil. Don't use olive oil for frying belyashi or pirozhki. Olive oil is good for salads, not for frying.
- Put belyashi in the pan, with the open side of the belaysh down and slightly press belyash, so that meat will touch the bottom. Oil should reach half of belyash. After the open side of belyash is brown, turn it over with the help of a spatula and fry the bottom. Belyash will have juice inside and if it runs out, it will make the oil sprinkle.
- If you want, you may cover the pan when you turn belyashi over, this way meat will cook better.
- Put belyashi on a paper towel to dry excess oil, and then put them on an oven sheet, cover with foil and place in a warmed oven for 10-20 minutes. The oven should be preheated to 300-325F.
- Then pile belyashi in a bowl (or a pot) and cover. When they cool this way, they will become soft.
The Best Part
Eat belyashi cool or heated, with ketchup or mayonnaise, as they are or as an addition to mashed potatoes. They are very good with vegetable soup too.
In short, enjoy!
P.S. Making belyashi is not as complicated as it seems.