Cheese Shlishkes (Lazy Kreplach)

If you recognize them as cheese gnocchi, I won’t argue. But I grew up knowing them as Farmer Cheese Shilshkes in Yiddish or Galushki in Ukrainian. I also knew them as Lazy Kreplach  – lenivye vareniki (Kreplach is a Yiddish word for ravioli).  I thought it was just my grandmother’s name for them. Think about it: instead of making dough, rolling it thin, cutting circles, preparing cheese filling, putting filling in the center of those circles, and gingerly but firmly pinching them shut, you just dump all ingredients into a bowl, dough and filling ingredients together, mix them up and cook for a few minutes in bite size pieces. As my great-uncle used to say, it’ll all mix in your stomach anyway!

Watch Patzyuk, a character in Evenings on a Farm Near Dikan’ka by a Russian classic Gogol trying to improve on this process in his own way.

If you want to watch the entire film – and it is very funny! – Youtube has it with English subtitles.

It took me quite a few years to realize that this was what the Russians named this Ukrainian dish when first introduced to it in 17th century. I choose to interpret it as more admiration for ingenuity than offense!

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Dump farmer cheese, flour, eggs, a little bit of butter, salt, and sugar into a bowl in no particular order. Mix well until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

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The dough will be soft but not sticky. Dump it onto a floured surface and generously dust it with flour. Divide the dough into four to eight parts, depending on the number of kids you want involved in the fun and their ages.  Issue separate boards to your kids and let them roll their own round bands. The length and width of them doesn’t matter. They don’t have to be even. If they are more flat than round, that’s even better because eventually you have to flatten them anyway.  Don’t forget to snap a photo of your kids covered in flour from head to toe!

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Once the bands – or strips, if you will – are ready and flattened a little, cut them into squares, or rhombuses, about 1/2 square inch (about 2 sq cm) each. Cover and refrigerate. If you don’t plan to serve them right away, though, freeze them and don’t defrost before cooking.

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Bring a pot of water to boil, add salt and a splash of oil. Place refrigerated or frozen shlishkes into boiling water, stir, reduce heat to medium. If they had been refrigerated, they are ready as soon as they pop up to the surface. Frozen, they have to cook for about four – five minutes after they have popped up.  Do not crowd the pot! Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately toss with butter.

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Serve with sour cream. They will melt in your mouth, but don’t expect them to jump into sour cream and then into your mouth on their own. Sorry, but you’ll have to use a fork!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb farmer cheese
  • 1 cup self-rising flour plus some more for dusting
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of butter plus some more before serving
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of sugar (to taste)
  • a pinch of salt

PROCEDURE

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix thoroughly until soft dough pulls off the sides of the bowl.
  • Turn dough onto a floured surface, dust liberally with flour. Divide into 4 – 8 parts, make round bands.
  • Flatten bands slightly, cut into 1/2 square inch (about 2 sq cm) square shapes or rhombuses. Cover, refrigerate or freeze. If frozen, do not defrost before cooking
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil, add salt and oil. Place dough squares into boiling water, stir gently, reduce to medium heat. Cook refrigerated shlishkes until they pop up. Cook frozen shlishkes 4 – 5 minutes after they pop up. Remove with slotted spoon, toss with butter.
  • Serve hot with sour cream.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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34 Comments Add yours

      1. I never knew about this before. You have inspired me.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Come on – it’s just the old country background! I am sure that you know lots of things which I never knew.

        Like

      3. I have a deep appreciation for traditions and family. Plus, I love when something goes back several generations. There is something very grounding about it.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Very much so, and its good to remember it especially now, during the three weeks, when we have to remember how many generations we go back and what we go back to! That’s what helps us go forward.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I feel like my kids would love to help make (and eat) this one! Gotta give it a try..thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, this is definitely something to be done with kids, and take lots of pictures, then show those pictures to their kids when they yell at their kids for being too messy!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. theturtle says:

    So happy I met you at “CookingForTheTimeChallenged” 🙂
    Every single one of your posts that I’ve read so far is a lesson to me (and I’m not referring to the cooking 😉 )
    Turtle Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thank you so much for your kind words, they mean a lot to me!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. theturtle says:

        You’re welcome 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. We do have a similar recipe in India but without cheese and eggs. The dough bits are deep fried in oil. They are known as Sharkarpara. It’s a must in most Indian households during festive occassions especially Diwali. Your recipe looks interesting and delicious!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How interesting! We also have one without cheese, and we have one fried in oil, but without eggs, what is binding the flour?

    Like

  5. Eartha says:

    Hi Dolly! Parts for this recipe reminds me of Jamaican boiled dumplings, only yours has a little bit more substance. We make our dumplings with literally just flour, salt, water, but it’s delicious with all kinds of fish and meat on the side. We also add butter to it while it’s hot. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Eartha, we also make dumplings like yours, with just flour, salt, and water. They are called KLYOTSKI. In addition to used them as a side, we also throw them into clear soups before serving. Amazing, isn’t it, how different cultures come up with the same ideas! Thank you for telling me about it.

      Like

  6. payel says:

    I find this recipe is compleate new to me ,looks delicious and also easy to prepare.I will make it for my family,I’m sure they would love the dish.I have watched the video you have uploaded ,it is very funny,but I couldn’t find it in youtube.If you have the link of the video,could you please give it to me,cause I love watching funny movies.Many thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, you are so kind! Here is the link https://youtu.be/w8nlYLb2E4I?list=PL5MEYjc5Ow6B9XQpcabGpYPPATAqn9iTi
      It is subtitled in English – enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. payel says:

        Thank you so much madam.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! These are not my pictures, though, I am not that good of a photographer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nevertheless… They look delish. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you kind sir – I am glad you like them!

    Like

  8. This recipe is so good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, I am glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. randyjw says:

    I haven’t heard that term, “Shlishkes”, in the longest time. Wow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hang out with me, you’ll hear all kinds of things!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. randyjw says:

        Yeah; it’s a good thing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You think so, do you? You think you can only learn good things from me?

        Like

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