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Siberian Pelmeni

3 c flour
1 tsp salt
2 egg yolks
2/3 c water; +or- 1 tblsp
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
2 onions; mince
2 cloves garlic; mince
1/4 lb fresh mushrooms; chop fine (opt)
1 pepper vinegar (opt)
1 sour cream (opt)
1 brown butter (opt)
1 spicy tomato sauce (opt)

Put flour in bowl. Press hollow in middle and add salt and egg yolks and 1/2 cup water. Using knife or big spoon, mix egg yolks first with water and then some of flour. Slowly add rest of water until mixture forms dough. Knead dough with both hands until workable and free of lumps. If dough is too sticky, add some flour. Dough should form solid ball. Sprinkle thin layer of flour onto flat surface. Divide dough into 3 pieces. Roll out 1 piece of dough until thin. Keep remaining dough covered under damp towel. Cut dough in circles about 2" in diameter. Repeat with remaining dough. Combine beef, pork, onions, garlic and mushrooms in bowl. Place 1 ts meat mixture on each dough circle, then bend other side and press to seal, forming half-moons. Use some water, if necessary, brushed lightly on edges to make them stick. Keep finished pelmeni either on wax paper or board sprinkled with flour. Pelmeni can be frozen at this point and cooked later. Cook 20 to 25 pelmeni at a time, uncovered, in plenty of rapidly boiling lightly salted water, about 5 minutes. Repeat until all pelmeni are cooked. Serve pelmeni either in clear soup (beef or, preferably, poultry) or as main course with pepper vinegar, sour cream, brown butter or spicy tomato sauce. Makes 60 pelmeni.

Siberian Pelmeni are of Mongolian origin. As a delicious main course for lunch or dinner, they can be served drenched in butter or Siberian Style - sprinkled with vinegar and spiced with freshly ground pepper. In the old days, the Siberians made them by the hundreds and stored them outside throughout the seemingly endless Siberian winter.

Alaskan Amber and Cheddar Soup

1 small onion, finely shopped
4 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp freshly chopped garlic
1/2 cup instant mashed potatoes
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp hot sauce
sprinkle of nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
1 bottle Alaskan Amber Beer

For our taste the sharper the cheddar the better the soup! Saute onions in the butter at low heat in a two quart saucepan until transparent. Add the garlic and increase heat to medium. Add stock and milk. Stir well and whip in the instant mashed potato mix (if you are a purist by all means use fresh mashed potatoes, about a cupful). Stir until smooth, let simmer, say a good 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle in cheese, stirring constantly. Season with the hot sauce, salt and pepper. Keep stirring until the cheese in all melted. At that magic moment add your beer. Serve immediately. Good with toast or Alaskan Amber Pesto Biscuits.
Recipe From: the fine folks at Van Winkle and Daigler, Frontier Cuisine, located in Sitka, AK : from the Alaskan Brewing Company website.

On a cold, Alaskan winter night a steaming bowl of this soup is just the ticket. Alaskan Amber Beer adds the richness that makes this recipe extra-special.

Fabada -- Asturian Ham And Beans

1 lb fabes (dried white beans)
1 lb morcilla
1 lb chorizo, smoked
1 lb cured pork hand (shoulder) or ham
1/4 lb streaky salt pork
1/2 tsp saffron
1 bay leaf

The day before; put the beans to soak in plenty of water. Put the lacon or ham to soak overnight in hot water. blanch the salt pork in boiling water for five minutes.

The following day: wash the sausages to eliminate excess smokiness. Drain the beans and put in an earthenware cassarole or large cooking pot and add water to a depth of two fingers. On a hot fire, bring to the boil and skim off the froth. Toast the saffron in a frying pan, crush it in a mortar and dissolve in a little water and add to the beans. Add the lacon, ham and salt pork to the cassarole, pushing them to the bottom of the beans. Cover and cook five minutes and skim again. Now add teh chorizo and morcilla, boil five minutes and skim. Add bay leaf, cover and cook very slowly, two or three hours. Add cold water occasionally just to keep the beans barely covered so they don't dry out and split. Do not stire, but shake teh casserole from time to time. When beans are quite tender, let them sit for 20 minutes to blend and mellow the flavours. If too much liquid remains, puree some of the cooked beans in the blender and add them to the casserole to thicken the sauce. Serves 4"
Recipes From: Cooking in Spain by Janet Mendel.

For Asturians (Asturian, Spain), fabada is a winter staple. You can't go anywhere without finding it as part of the menú del día. To say that Asturians love this dish is an understatement. What exactly is fabada? Fabada comes from the Asturian word fabes, or beans. The dish is a type of bean soup, slow-cooked with different cuts of ham, chorizo, and a blood sausage called morcilla. The whole thing is seasoned with saffron and sometimes supplemented with onions and other vegetables. Almost everyone makes it just a little bit different.

The fabes are big, fat white beans which cook up soft without disintegrating. Where unavailable, substitute the bigger dried lima beans or butter beans, or any large white bean. The morcilla and chorizo should be, if possible, from Asturias, where they are oak-smoked. Lacon is cured pork hand. If not available, use ham. Salt beef, salt-cured pig trotters and hard longaniza sausage are also used.

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