BARLEY, BEAN, AND MUSHROOM CASSEROLE (chovlent, p. 224) with TRANSCARPATHIAN BUNS WITH MUSHROOMS (kolduny, p. 168) - Summer Kitchens
Another delicious stew from this book. Barley is a no-go for me (gluten), so I substituted whole grain sorghum. The beans called for are cannellini beans, and I cooked them in the Instant Pot instead of the stovetop, and did not bother with the soaking. Porcini mushrooms are rehydrated, and beans and barley (sorghum for me) are cooked separately. To make the stew, you cook down some onions, then add garlic, tomato paste, and paprika. Reserved mushroom soaking liquid is added, and then the beans, barley, and mushrooms. The stew is seasoned with salt and pepper and simmered for… well, the author says 10 minutes, but I found it took quite a bit longer. She suggests pan-frying some chanterelles to go on top. Having none, I rehydrated some morels, and sautéed them in butter and parsley.
The buns were more fraught. The dough for these is leavened only with baking soda, and kefir is the liquid. I had to adapt to be gluten-free, and I used a mixture of brown rice and tapioca flours, with psyllium husk added. I also had no kefir, so I thinned some plain vegan yogurt (almond-based) with some water. This came together nicely, after a little resting period, to make a dough I could knead, roll out and shape. The problem came with the shaping and cooking instructions. The dough is rolled into a rectangle, and the filling, a mix of fresh and dried mushrooms with dill, is spread over half. The dough is supposed to then be rolled into a log, and the log is cut into slices. Simple enough. To cook, the author gives two methods. One is to simple steam the buns in a steamer or colander. I did that with some of them. The other method, described in the headnote, is to put them on top of a simmering stew, and cook covered for 10 or 15 minutes. Since I was making the very stew she recommended for this, I decided to try that method with some of the buns. But the instructions called for them to be placed “cut side up.” That’s when I began to question the shaping instructions. If you cut a log of dough into sections, there are two cut sides! And I wondered if there wasn’t a step in the shaping left out. And would all my filling spill out into the stew? The only picture shows the buns in the shaping process, and they don’t exactly look as if they were just cut from a log. Google was no help here, nor was YouTube, because the other recipes for similar buns/dumplings were much different. Apparently this version is not the norm. So I just soldiered on and followed the instructions, and it was fine. The ones cooked in the stew came out a bit heavier than the ones that were simply steamed. But they held up fine and the filling did not spill out the bottom. They were all good! But I still have no idea the way I made them was right, or what these are really supposed to look like.