Monday, August 15, 2016

Popkoff's Palmeni

Popkoff's is a California-based company that has been making Russian-inspired pelmeni and vareniki for over 50 years. Vareniki are like pierogies that are stuffed with a variety of meats and vegetables. Pelmeni are similar, but smaller and round, reminding me a bit of tortellini. Popkoff's recently sent us a selection of their pelmeni to see what kinds of recipes we could come up with using them. I chose to start with the beef pelmeni and decided that a rich mushroom sauce would work nicely.

Popkoff's pelmeni come in freezer packs and cook up quickly. Add the contents of the packet to boiling water and they are fully cooked in about five minutes. As soon as they are rolling about on the surface of the water, they are done. The sauce recipe below is also quick and easy to put together. The most difficult part is making the roux, and that's not very hard at all.

Mushroom Sauce

1 medium onion chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup half-and-half
2 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the flour and olive oil in a pan over high heat. Stir constantly until the mixture becomes liquid and takes on a tan hue, about 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium high and add onions, garlic, and mushrooms to roux. Saute until onions are translucent. Slowly add the heavy cream and half-and-half, stirring constantly until everything is incorporated. Add thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

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