Do you know what a holopchi is? Before a few weeks ago, I didn’t know. And now I do, thanks to a cooking challenge. Holopchi is a Ukrainian peasant dish where leaves are stuffed with beef, rice or something else.
For this month’s Recipes to Rival, Kat from A Good Appetite and Equal Opportunity Kitchenselected a Beet Leaf Holopchi recipe. The beet leaves in this recipe are stuffed with bread dough and topped with a creamy dill sauce. I opted to make these with turnip greens instead…mostly because the beet leaves all looked frightful.
These took a lot of time due to having to make the bread dough from scratch. They were very different from anything that I have ever made. Since I’ve never eaten holopchi before, I can’t comment on how close to the “real thing” they came. Even if they weren’t exactly like a Ukrainian grandmother would make them, I enjoyed them… particularly with the garlicky dill sauce. My husband took one look at the holopchi and deemed them “weird”.
These would make a great dish to munch on while discussing the novel A Short History of Tractors in the Ukrainian. I read this book a few months ago for a book club and we all thought it was a great read. NO, it is not about tractors…it is about Ukrainian immigrants living in England.
Here’s the recipe…
Beet Leaf Holopchi
(from The Keld Community Ladies Club in Ashville, Manitoba. )
- 2 pkgs. yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 cups scalded milk
- 4 cups warm water
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 8 cups flour
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- 6 1/2 cups flour
- a couple bunches of beet leaves
1. Dissolve 1 ts. sugar in 1/2 cup tepid water, sprinkle with yeast and let stand for 10 minutes.
2. To the milk-water liquid add the melted butter, dissolved yeast and 8 cups of flour. Let rise in a warm place until double in bulk (about 1 hour)
3. Add salt, beaten eggs, sugar and remaining flour.
4. Knead well until dough is smooth and top with melted butter or oil.
5. Place in a warm place and let rise until double in bulk. It will take about 2 hours. Punch down . When dough has risen to double in bulk, place a piece of dough, the size of a walnut on a beet leaf and roll up (leaving sides open)
6. Place holopchi loosely in a pot to allow for dough to rise to double in bulk again.
7. Arrange in layers, dotting each layer with butter.
8. Cover tightly, bake in a moderate oven of 350 F for 3/4 to 1 hour. Serve with dill sauce or cream and onion sauce.
1/2 cup butter
2 cups whipping cream
8 small onions (I used chives)
2 handfuls of chopped fresh dill (this makes the whole dish)
2-4 large cloves of garlic, chopped fine
Melt butter in saucepan. Add onions (chives) garlic, dill and cream.
Let it come to a boil and then turn down the heat.
I like to cook the holopchi with the sauce but you don’t have to. You can add it later – just make sure you have enough butter in roasting pan before layering your beet leaf rolls.