"Uszka, (meaning 'little ears' in Polish), are small dumplings usually filled with mushrooms or minced meat. They are usually served with borscht, though they can be eaten alone. They are a part of traditional Christmas Eve dishes in Poland, Lithuania, and Ukraine, and are either floated in the soup, or eaten as a side dish." - by Wikipedia.org
Done, another thing I can cross off the list. They are very easy to make but it's quite time consuming - forming those little ears. You can freeze them, once you cooked them slightly just cool them and to the freezer. Then when you want to eat straight from the freezer into salted, boiling water and ready to be served. For Christmas Eve in Poland, we make them with meat free filling - sauerkraut and mushrooms. I can't imagine Christmas Eve feast without them swimming in a bowl of lovely ruby barszcz (beetroot soup)!
How to make it...
- 1 jar/bag 500 g sauerkraut
- 1 carrot, peeled and grated
- 1 onion, chopped
- a cup of wild mushrooms, chopped (if you're using dry mushrooms first soak them in warm water)
- salt, pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cups flour
- 1 whole egg
From the ingredients for dough make a nice, plasticine like dough - putting enough water, I didn't give exact measurements of water as it will depend of the flour type etc. Knead the dough for few minutes, cover with cling film and put aside.
Melt the butter and fry the onion. Add carrot, sauerkraut and wild mushrooms. Cover and simmer till the sauerkraut will be nice and soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Coll it before filling your 'uszka'. It should be a little acidic but not too much - sometimes when you buy the sauerkraut it's very acidic, to change it you have to rinse it through to loose that very acidic 'juices', before you cook it, make a salad with it etc.
Roll the dough very thinly and cut the squares. Put a teaspoon of filling in the middle of each square. Join the opposite corners together and seal the edges. Join the opposite ends to form that traditional shape of 'little ears'.
Put onto boiling, salted water and boil for few minutes. If you want to freeze them don't boil your uszka through completely, as you will have to reheat them/boil them again before serving.