Lithuanian Favorites: Potato Dumplings (Zeppelins) Cepelinai, Meat Dumplings Virtinukai (Koldūnai), Bacon Buns LašInėčiai, Potato Pancakes Bulviniai Sklindžiai (Blynai)

with Dana Siliūnas.


Versions of these recipes have appeared in earlier issues of this magazine. But some readers, particularly new ones, have been asking for them. So, here they are


10 lbs. raw potatoes
2 large boiled potatoes
3-4 lbs. ground beef 1 cup bread crumbs
1-2 tsp. onion powder
2 eggs (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and grate raw potatoes and strain through cheesecloth. Mash boiled potatoes; add to strained mixture; add salt and mix well. Brown half of the ground beef in a frying pan. Add the remaining beef. Add salt, pepper, onion powder, and bread crumbs. Two eggs may be added if desired. Mix well. Form Zeppelins by flattening a cupful of potato mixture on the palm of the hand. Then, place a tablespoon of meat on the potato, fold it, seal the edges, and form into the shape of a large egg. Boil the Zeppelins for 30-40 mins. Serve with fried crisp bacon bits, sour cream, or gravy.

Virtinukai (koldunai)

2 cups milk
1/3 stick butter
4 cups flour
1 egg

Meat filling
2 lbs. ground beef
2 Tbsp. bread crumbs
1 cup broth
1 onion, chopped and fried
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. marjoram (optional)
Salt to taste

Bring milk to boil; add butter. Mix well with 1 cup of flour. Let cool. Add eggs and remaining flour. Knead. Let stand 30 mins. before rolling. Mix meat with all ingredients and shape into small meatballs. Roll out dough. Place meatballs evenly on dough. Fold edge of dough over the meatballs. Press together and cut with a round cutter. Pinch edge of each dumpling to seal. Drop into boiling, salted water. Boil 5-10 mins. (depending on size).

Note: You can use a small drinking glass as a cutter.


1 1/2 lbs. bacon
1 large onion
2 cups milk
1/2 lb. butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg. fresh or granulated yeast
5 eggs
6 cups all-purpose flour

Cut bacon and onion into very small pieces. Put into frying pan, cover with water. Cover pan, let simmer until water has evaporated. Put complete mixture, excess fat and bacon (onion will have cooked completely) into loaf-pan and let cool in refrigerator. Heat milk and butter, add sugar and salt. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of this liquid (lukewarm). Beat eggs slightly, add to remaining milk and sugar mixture. Add dissolved yeast. Stir in sifted flour. Beat vigorously. Cover and let rise in warm place (82°) until dough is double in bulk — about 2 hours. When risen once, punch down with fist, cover and let rise again. Cut dough into four sections. Roll sections one by one with rolling pin on slightly floured board until dough is 3/8 inch thick. Cut with round cookie cutter. Put a teaspoon of cooled bacon mixture in center of each circle of dough. Fold sides of circle over bacon mixture lapping edges to enclose it completely. Place lapped side down on lightly greased cookie sheet or thin baking sheet. Let rise again until double in size. Bake in 375° oven for 15-20 mins. When rolls are slightly tan, brush each roll with mixture of egg yolk and 2 tsps. water. Return to oven and’bake until golden brown— about 10 mins. Serve rolls hot. (They may be reheated in oven). Makes 5 dozen rolls.

Bulviniai sklindžiai (blynai)

5-6 medium potatoes
1-2 eggs
1 Tbsp. flour (optional)
1 tsp. salt
Oil for frying
Peel and grate potatoes. Add eggs, salt and mix well. Heat about 1 Tbsp. cooking oil in frying pan. Drop spoonfuls of mixture into hot oil. Fry each side until golden brown. Serve with sour cream, apple or cranberry sauce. Serves 3-4 people.

Note: If fresh potatoes are used for pancakes, add one tablespoon of flour to mixture. Pancake mixture may also be made with milk. Remove juice from grated potatoes using a spoon, pour in one cup of scalded milk. Then add one egg, salt, and mix.