Kuldunai

I am not Lithuanian. I’m your generic east-coast stock — Irish, Welsh, English, German.

My DH, however, is Lithuanian — first generation American, to be exact. And, as with most cultures, that means he grew up eating traditional Lithuanian dishes — dishes that nobody ever bothered to write down!

So this is my first attempt at a Lithuanian dish. Now, granted, they’re not hard…most of the recipes are “peasant” style recipes, consisting of starch, meat, and onion…but when the last time your DH had them was when his grandmother (perfector of the recipe) made them — well, there’s bound to be some concern that you won’t get them “right”!

He tells me I did a PERFECT job on my first try, though 🙂

Now — education: Kulduna(Cull-doo-n-eye) are essentially meat-filled dumplings. Like the Italians have their ravioli, the Lithuanians have their kuldunai. They’re, admittedly, a little labor intensive (it took me 2.5 hours to make 60 of these suckers on my own) — but they are pretty tasty for a simple dish.

And next time, DH will roll out all that pasta dough by hand, and I’ll just do the filling – he’s been informed of such.

Kuldunai
(My own recipe!)

(1 “batch” of the fresh pasta recipe below will make approximately 30 kuldunai — but 1 “batch” of the mix is enough for 60-70 kuldunai.)

Filling:
1.5 lbs raw ground beef — finely ground if you can get it
1/2 to 3/4 cup finely diced onion
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

– Mix filling ingredients well (like mixing meatloaf) and set aside while you make the dough.

Fresh Pasta:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Other:
1 egg and 1 tablespoon of water, mixed

Making Dough By Hand Directions:
– In a large bowl (or on your countertop if you prefer — I do the “well” method of pasta-making in a bowl to keep my mess to a minimum), make a well in the center of the flour
– In a measuring cup, mix the eggs, water, oil and salt
– Pour the wet mixture slowly into the well in the flour and mix with a fork (or you can mix with two fingers) until all of the wet is incorporated (The dough won’t take all the flour — don’t force it! When the wet-doughy center starts to pull away from the flour around the edge, you are nearly there)
– When you have a tacky, wet-feeling dough, gently add a little more flour to the mix, then transfer to a counter top for kneading
– Begin gently kneading your dough — if it is still tacky and sticks, add a little more flour as you knead — until it is no longer tacky to the touch, but, if you push on it, it pushes back up at you
– Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes, pushing down and away on it with the palms of your hands, then folding it over on itself and repeating
– Wrap your dough tightly in saran wrap and transfer to the refrigerator for about 10 minutes (this is optional — I do it while I’m prepping the kitchen to roll the dough, get my filling in order, etc)
– Remove the dough from the fridge and the saran wrap and transfer it to a floured work surface. You may want to break the dough into two pieces to make it easier to roll out.
– Using a rolling pin, begin rolling it out — flipping it occasionally — until you’ve reached 1/8″ thickness (like a piece of cardstock, for example).

Making Dough Using A Pasta Machine:
– In a large bowl (or on your countertop if you prefer — I do the “well” method of pasta-making in a bowl to keep my mess to a minimum), make a well in the center of the flour
– In a measuring cup, mix the eggs, water, oil and salt
– Pour the wet mixture slowly into the well in the flour and mix with a fork (or you can mix with two fingers) until all of the wet is incorporated (The dough won’t take all the flour — don’t force it! When the wet-doughy center starts to pull away from the flour around the edge, you are nearly there)
– When you have a tacky, wet-feeling dough, gently add a little more flour to the mix, then transfer to a counter top for kneading
– Begin gently kneading your dough — if it is still tacky and sticks, add a little more flour as you knead — until it is no longer tacky to the touch, but, if you push on it, it pushes back up at you
– Form the dough into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour prior to rolling the dough out in your pasta machine

Assembly:
– With your dough rolled out, use a cutter, or a knife, or even the rim of a glass to cut 3-3 1/2″ circles out of the dough
– Lay the circles out, and place approximately 1 teaspoon – 1 1/2 teaspoons of the meat mixuture on the lower half of the circle
– Dipping two fingers into the egg and water mixture, run your fingers along the bottom half edge of the circle, making it wet so it will seal
– Pull the top of the circle over, making a half-moon shape, and firmly press the two pieces of dough together along the egg wash side

To Cook:
-Bring a large pot of water to a boil
– Gently add the kuldunai one at a time
– Let the kuldunai boil for 6-8 minutes
– Drain, and toss with butter, salt, and parsley (optional)
-Serve!

They don’t photograph well — they’re to be served tossed in butter, so there’s no sauce, per se — but you get the idea.


Advertisements

6 Responses to “Kuldunai”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Kelly, I can’t thank you enough for the recipe! My maiden name is “Eidenas” which is Lithuanian. I was raised on Kuldunai by my grandmother and like you, no one ever wrote down the recipe of the most loved meal! I haven’t attemped the feat yet but I plan to in the very near future. Again, Thanx!

  2. Menu Mondays « Kelly Cooks…and other Amazing Feats Says:

    […] italian pasta salad for work event on tues; kulundai for father’s day with […]

  3. 02.21.10/02.22.10 – Two Days In One! « Kelly B Well Says:

    […] – I asked DH what he wanted. This time he said kuldunai! So I cooked him up some kuldunai and set aside a few for myself as well […]

  4. Kelsey Says:

    Looks delicious!

  5. 03.25.10 – Almost-Friday « Kelly B Well Says:

    […] errands, and making kuldunai for Saturday night’s dinner with the in-laws. […]

  6. Menu Mondays « Kelly Cooks…and other Amazing Feats Says:

    […] Wednesday: kuldunai for the husband – it’s his birthday and that’s what he wants! […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: