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.
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.
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.
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.