Pillsbury-assisted Pirozhki with Georgian Red Bean Filling

I am usually resistant to TV commercials. In fact, I am less likely to buy a product if the ad for it is still buzzing in my ear. However, when it comes to the Pillsbury Doughboy, all resistance is futile. Sooner or later, a day had to come when I’d make those puffy rolls in a can. This day is finally here. Instead of twisting them into croissants, as Pillsbury suggests, I made them into stuffed pirozhki, which are Russian-style savory pastries. Pirozhki are one of the most popular Russian foods, and for good reason. When done right, they are delicious! They are a traditional accompaniment for soups, and they also make a great snack.

All done!

The most common fillings are ground meat, eggs with scallions, and cabbage. In this case, I used a red bean filling described in Please to the Table: A Russian Cookbook by Anya Von Bremzen and John Welchman. (If you enjoy making Russian food, then I strongly recommend this book. It is comprehensive and very well written.) The recipe for the filling comes from the country of Georgia, a former republic of the Soviet Union which is known for spicy and strongly flavored food. These pirozhki made a great dinner together with a fresh vegetable salad, which will be the subject of a later post.

Filling

1 onion, finely chopped

1 can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

½ cup cilantro, finely chopped

Salt and pepper, ¼ teaspoon of each

Olive oil for sautéing

  • Coat a frying pan with a thin layer of oil and heat the oil for 2-3 minutes. Sauté the onion for 15-20 minutes, until most of the onion is dark brown.
  • While the onion is cooking, place the beans in a bowl and mash with a potato masher or with a fork until the beans look like a paste.
  • Add the onions with their cooking oil, cilantro, and salt and pepper. Mix well.

Pastries

For the dough, I used 1 can of Pillsbury Crescents.

  • Start preheating the oven to 375 °F.
  • Open the can and unroll the dough triangles on a flat surface, such as a cutting board.
  • Place a heaping teaspoon of the filling into the center of the triangle.
  • Wrap the dough around the filling and press the edges together to seal.
  • Place the pastries onto an un-greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastries look light-brown. (Direction on the can of dough call for 12 minutes of baking, but more time is needed when a filling is used.)

Filling in a bowl.

Filling in a bowl.

Filling on top of dough.

Filling on top of dough.

Wrapping up!

Wrapping up!

pirozhki4

Ready to go into the oven.

Ready to go into the oven.

All done!

All done!

A close-up view.

A close-up view.

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