Pelmeni or pelemeni are dumplings from the former Soviet Union. Today they are considered the national dish of Russia and are eaten among a lot of Slavic countries. Traditionally they are filled with meat, I took a mix of beef and pork. My dough contains butter, which makes is easier to work with. We will first “burn” the flour, which may sound a bit crazy, but bear with me, I tell you, even beginners managed to make the most beautiful pelmeni. Pelmeni require a lot of work as they are small and are prepared by hand, often an entire family will sit together and form these. But I promise, they are worth the effort.
Combining cheese with a sweet component such as jam, seems to be a Latin American thing. Needless to say that they also serve their turnovers called empanadas with cheese and quince paste. Originally these are actually served with guava, but that is very hard to come by in Germany. Of course I have a recipe for homemade quince paste on my blog. So when I first tried out this recipe, I made a small amount as I was not sure if we would like it. However, it literally took second and people asked for seconds, so I knew this recipe would make it on the blog. So let me introduce you to empanadas with cheese and quince paste filling!
Let me introduce the perfect snack from Latin America to you: empanadas! Empanadas are turnovers with many different types of fillings. This version is with beef and potatoes from Argentina. But the options are endless. Of course I have introduced empanadas from different countries on my blog. How about Uruguayan empanadas with beef filling, Bolivian chicken empanadas, which are called salteñas, empanadas from Colombia, which are traditionally fried, or sweet empanadas with dulce de leche filling. Empanadas from Argentina and Uruguay are often made with wheat flour and are usually baked. I personally like this version the best. Empanadas can be easily frozen, you just need to make sure to bake them longer, they will taste just as freshly made.
I think it is about high time to get something savory in between all these sweets here. Today I brought something from Bolivia, chicken turnovers or salteñas how they are called locally. Normally turnovers are called empanadas in Spanish. However, for some reason, the Bolivians decided to call these salteñas. Of course I have presented empanadas on this blog. First I showed you the typical beef empanadas from my country Uruguay, followed by classic Colombian empanadas that remain to be a hit. Bolivian “empanadas” differ slightly in the sense that a) the dough is sweetened, and b) gelatine is used for the filling in order to ensure that it remains juicy and moist. When I tried them for the first time, I was a bit surprised that I liked them much better on day 2. I had prepared two batches, one which was baked immediately, and one which was baked after the fully prepared salteñas had chilled in the fridge overnight, tightly covered. Maybe it was the fact that the ingredients could get friendly with each other, I don’t know, but I loved them on day 2.