Meatless Dishes—For Kūčios and Other Days: Cranberry Pudding Spanguolių Kisielius, Fish Dumplings Žuvies Kukuliai, Mushroom Buns Pyragėliai su Grybais, Cottage Cheese Potato Puffs Kepti Bulviniai Varškėčiai

with Dana Siliūnas.

Meatless dishes —for Kucios and other days

Some of the foods eaten at the Kucios dinner (cranberry pudding, fish, herring, hard biscuits with poppy seed milk, etc.) are traditional and no Lithuanian table will be without them on this day But other meatless dishes can also be served, such as these taken from “Lithuanian Traditional Foods, ” a new cookbook published in Lithuania

Spanguoliu kisielius

2 cups cranberries
1 cup sugar
2 sticks cinnamon
4 whole cloves
Place cranberries into a pot, pour enough water to cover, add cinnamon and cloves, heat until cranberries begin to break up. Remove from heat, put everything through a food processor. There should be about 4 cups of juice and pulp. Return juice and pulp to pot, add sugar. Dissolve starch in chilled cranberry juice and add to pulp and juice. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly, heat until the mixture becomes clear. Pour hot pudding into individual glass bowls, cool until it gels. This is a favorite dessert.

Žuvies kukuliai

2 lbs. fish (cod, pike, flounder or other)
2 slices white bread, soaked in milk
3 onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsps. butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
6 Tbsps. bread crumbs
Salt, pepper and marjoram to taste
Oil for frying

Clean fish, bone, fillet and grind. Fry onions in butter, add to ground fish. Soak bread in milk, squeeze dry and add to ground fish. Beat eggs, mix with sour cream, seasonings and add to fish mixture. Make medium-sized fish dumplings, roll in bread crumbs and fry in hot oil until crisp and browned. The fish dumplings can also be cooked, about 15 minutes, in salted water. Hot fish dumplings are eaten with cooked potatoes and dill pickles. Fish dumplings are also eaten cold. They are then served with horseradish mixed with sour cream or finely chopped dill pickles in sour cream.

Pyrageliai su grybais

1 lb. flour
2 cups milk
1 oz. fresh yeast
4 Tbsps. sugar
4 oz. butter
1 egg
Salt to taste

4 cups cooked mushrooms
2 oz. oil or butter
2 onions, finely chopped
2 Tbsps. bread crumbs

Blend yeast with sugar and dissolve in warm milk. Add half of flour, mix well. Sprinkle dough with flour, cover and let rise for 2 hours in a warm spot. Beat dough and add remaining flour, melted butter. Knead dough about 30 minutes, until dough does not stick to hands.

Let rise for another hour.

To make filling: fry onions, add finely chopped mushrooms, continue frying for 5 more minutes, add bread crumbs and heat for 3 more minutes.

Roll out dough to Vi-inch thickness, cut dough rounds, place 1 tsp. mushroom filling, fold round in half, press edges together, place on baking sheet. Let rise for about V2 hour, then brush with egg wash and bake in preheated oven at 350°, until browned, about 25 minutes.These buns are eaten hot or cold.

Kepti bulviniai varškeciai

8 raw potatoes, peeled and grated
1 cup dry cottage cheese
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsps. sour cream
Salt to taste

Drain some potato juice from grated potatoes, add cottage cheese, egg, salt and mix well. Make small buns and place on a greased cookie sheet. Paint buns with an egg wash and bake in a preheated oven at 350°, until nicely browned. Place baked buns in a deep baking dish, cover with hot butter and sour cream sauce. Cover and place in a warm oven for 10 minutes.