Xenia has been with BLUE since 2017.
She was born in Kazakhstan and loves the hearty food typical for Eastern Europe. This is a recipe from her grandmother:
For the pastry:
500ml boiling water
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp vodka (optional, but makes the pastry nice and crisp)
For the filling:
1 kg mixed minced meat (beef and pork)
salt and pepper for seasoning
a little hot water
Mix boiling water, 1-2 tsp salt, oil and vodka.
Sieve the flour into a bowl, make a well in the middle, add the egg and the liquid and mix with a fork as the liquid is still hot. Continue with your hands when cool enough and knead the pastry well until smooth. Add a little flour or water if necessary.
Cover and leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Chop the onions finely.
Mix the meat and the onions, add seasoning and some hot water. Only add a little water at a time, as the mixture must be neither to liquid nor to firm (you will need about 1-3 tbsp).
Roll out the pastry and cut rounds by using a medium-sized plate.
Place some of the meat filling on one half of the round and flatten a little, then fold over the other half. Make sure the edges are clean, otherwise they will not stick together. Using a fork or your fingers, press the edges together well to seal them (if they are not sealed properly, the juice will leak when you fry the turnovers).
In a large, deep frying pan, heat plenty of sunflower oil (you will need about 1 litre, as the turnovers must be covered completely).
As soon as the oil is hot, turn the heat down a little. Place the turnovers in the hot oil (normally two fit into a normal size frying pan at a time).
Fry the turnovers for approx. 3-6 minutes on each side. Turn several times, but be careful not to damage the pastry case. When they are golden, take them out and place them on a plate with kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.
Serve the Tschebureki with a dip of sour cream and freshly chopped dill, salt and pepper.