Holiday Cooking with Stawnichy’s: Recipes for an Authentic Ukrainian Christmas

Posted: December 21, 2017 Category: Media Releases, Our Team, Vendor,

 

Ukrainian Christmas || Stawnichy's Mundare Sausage

Photo Credit: ThingLink.com

Food is arguably the best part of any holiday season – but especially during the Christmas holidays. ‘Tis the season when everyone digs out their old, dusty family recipe books to bring back the warm, nostalgic feelings of childhoods past.

Our Stawnichy family also has a few secrets that we’ve been using over the last few decades! This year, we’ve decided to share some of our oldest Ukrainian Christmas cooking tips with you. Ready to get started?

Ukrainian Christmas Dinner

Since Ukrainians traditionally follow the Eastern Orthodox Calendar, Christmas is often celebrated on January 7th instead of the more commonly celebrated Western date of December 25th. The entire week is usually filled with festivities where families come together, dress up and sing kolyadka (Christmas carols).

Ukrainians place a great deal of importance on the Sviata Vechera (Christmas Eve dinner). It usually features 12 meatless dishes that symbolizes the 12 apostles, and incorporates a smattering of borscht, pidpensky, kolach, pompushky, perogies, kutia, sauerkraut, cooked beans, and more deliciousness.

Though we can’t really release ALL our secrets, (gotta keep one or two tucked up our sleeves), here are two Ukrainian classics you absolutely can’t go without this season.

Kutia

Kutia || Ukrainian Christmas Dinner || Stawnichy's Mundare Sausage

Photo Credit: Akademia Smaku

Kutia is usually the first of the twelve dishes served on Christmas Eve. Each of the ingredients used in kutia traditionally hold a lot of symbolism. The poppy seeds stand for prosperity, honey stands for a sweet life after death, and the wheat stands for life after resurrection.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups wheat
  • 12 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup poppy seeds
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Pick out any foreign grains from the wheat.
  2. Rinse the wheat and soak it overnight in lukewarm water.
  3. Bring the water to boil. Add a teaspoon of salt, and then add the wheat.
  4. Simmer slowly for 4-6 hours until the wheat kernels crack open. Add more water during the process if required to ensure the wheat does not burn.
  5. Soak the poppy seeds in hot water for about 15 minutes and then drain well using a fine sieve.
  6. Grind the poppy seeds using the finest blade in a food processor or spice grinder.
  7. Add the poppy seeds to the cooked wheat.
  8. In a separate bowl, mix the honey, sugar, and nuts together. If the consistency is too thick, add a little boiling water.
  9. Add the honey mixture to the wheat. Stir in your chopped nuts, if desired.

Perogies

Perogies hold a special place in every Ukrainian’s heart, and everyone will claim their own Baba’s recipe is the best. We won’t argue with you, but here at Stawnichy’s, this is the one we follow.

Perogies || Ukrainian Christmas Dinner || Stawnichy's Mundare Sausage
Ingredients:
(Makes about 60 perogies)

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups warm water

Directions:

  1. Sift the flour and salt together until well blended.
  2. Combine warm water and oil together. Add the liquid to the flour in portions, mixing consistently to make sure no part is left dry.
  3. Knead dough until smooth. The dough should be soft, but not sticky.
  4. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let it sit for 20 minutes.
  5. Roll out the dough quite thinly on a board that is lightly floured. Make sure to not add too much flour when rolling out the dough.
  6. Cut the flattened dough into 2” rounds.
  7. Place a teaspoonful of your desired filling on each piece. Fold over the round to create a half-circle shape.
  8. Pinch the edges together to seal the perogy. Place the perogies on a tea towel, side by side without touching one another. Cover them with another tea towel to prevent them from drying out.  
  9. In a large pot, bring water to boil with salt. Drop the perogies into the water, and let them cook for 4-5 minutes until they’re puffy and rise to the top.
  10. Stir the pot gently to prevent any of your perogies from sticking.
  11. Once all your perogies are floating, drain and place in a casserole dish.
  12. Sprinkle with a little oil or melted butter and toss gently to coat.
  13. Serve with sour cream and chives, or fried onions and little pieces of bacon (shkvarky – optional). The next day, try frying the perogies for a crispier taste!

To Make Filling:

  • Potato & Cheese Filling
    • 4 cups of mashed potato
    • 2 cups cheddar cheese
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cheese Filling
    • 2 cups mashed potato
    • 3 cups cottage cheese
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fruit Filling
    • Frozen blueberries, saskatoons or strawberries

      NOTE: When scooping the berry filling into your dough rounds, you will need to work quickly to prevent it from thawing. Make sure you roll the dough slightly thicker as well. Place ½ teaspoon of sugar on the berries, and then pinch to seal.

 

 

What’s YOUR favourite Christmas recipe?

Do you have an absolute favourite holiday recipe in your family? Or, do you have a  particularly special way of making the traditional Ukrainian Christmas dishes? Let us know!

Follow @mundaresausage on Facebook and Instagram for more authentic Ukrainian delights!

 

Share This