Sunday, 7 October 2012

From Russia with Love ... Double Oh Pelmeni

My name is Bond, James Bond and my friends would call me Bond, James Bond - that is, if I had any.
Yes, this month, Bond is back, for the 23rd time on the movie screen. This is the longest-running film franchise of all time. Well, that is at least what they say on the official movie website. 
You may even have seen the trailer of Skyfall or heard Adele perform the theme song of it. I just saw a small video blog on the official side about London. It's nice to see a few places and you go: "Ah, I know that place ..."
BUT - and this is a big BUT as you can see (not just because I've used capital letters).
What is James Bond without Sean Connery? I, personally, that is me, prefer the movies that Sean played in.
That brings us straight to the year 1963 and maybe a bit later also to some food.

From Russia with Love was the second Bond movie and according to Wikipedia 'it is considered by many as the best film in the James Bond series.
Whatever, you have to judge for yourself. Before we go on, a few shots from Skyfall (I don't know why - maybe for confusion).

Again, we do not dwell on it. Maybe later we have some time to talk a bit about bond movies.
As you may expect, this has nothing to do with the following. We were talking about From Russia with Love anyway. Just after Q has filled in 007 with his new briefcase we can go on.
We have no Q here, so you have to deal with me as I bring you some love from Russia - food love that is. To be precise, it will be Russian Pelmini.

Things, your Q should provide for you:
200 g flour (should be about that much - you can also play with the water)
1 egg
Pinch of salt
Water (you will see about the amount as you go)
200 g minced beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
More salt, and pepper
A tsp of freshly crushed fennel seeds (I thought I like it)

How to solve the mission:
At the beginning, things should not be too hard - we are not having a cold war, although we start cold, if that makes sense. But then again, what makes?!
Oh well, it's just a bit difficult to write this up and watch James Bond at the same time.
Let's try again, to get started.
Pour the flour on a (preferably) clean kitchen surface and make a well in it. There goes the egg and a pinch of salt.

Then ... there is a fight in the gypsy camp ... what?
Rather start mixing the flour and egg together, adding water on the way to make a nice lump of ... the fighting stopped ... eh, of dough.
Wrap the dough in cling film and put it in the fridge for half an hour. Shall we call this Russian pasta then? 
Meanwhile, Bond is together with Kerim Bey to ...
No! Meanwhile, you prepare the minced meat. Mix it together with the onion and season with salt, pepper and the fennel seeds.
When the time is right ... just get the dough back from the fridge and roll it like a long sausage.

Then you can cut it into pieces and make small balls from it. That is the point were a bit more work and endurance comes into play. No, it has nothing to do with James and Tatiana Romanova at the Hagia Sophia. That would make things even more complicated as they already are.
First of all, as you can glean from the picture, I tried to use the rolling pin to make small round flat disks, but later I decided to just use my hands and fingers.

As you go, put one teaspoon of minced meat on every piece of dough. Then close it. That's easier than understanding how the Lektor cryptographic device works ... argh!
So, just fold one side over to the other edge to close it. Make sure, it's properly sealed. then turn the ends towards each other to make them look like little ... UFOs.

When you are ready to eat, heat up a large pot of water or better, let's say ... oh, they managed to get the Lektor and have to escape now ... let's say vegetable stock.
As things get boiling, add the pelmini to the water and cook them.
Now it's time for the Orient Express.

This time, we seriously got carried away ... it's the wrong section anyway.
The pelmini should be ready, when they start floating at the top. Remove them with a slotted spoon.
Done! Now eat! How? I couldn't quite remember so I asked Natasha, a friend of mine.

She likes them with a tablespoon of sour cream and ketchup. In Germany you would maybe call it Pelmeni Rot-Weiss (red-white).
On the other hand, you could eat them also as a soup together with the stock you used to boil them in or you get an even nicer stock with some other things in ... up to you.
We can rather conclude here ... before the fight in the Orient Express starts.
What is your favourite Double Oh food and/or Bond movie and/or Bond actor?


  1. Another fabulous post Chris! Where is Rosa Klebb when you need her?

    1. Thank you! Rosa is a little bit disappointing. Not even her shoes could help her.

  2. Your pelmeni look delish, Chris! I've heard a lot of buzz about this movie from my family...I think we'll be seeing it as soon as it's released :)

    1. Thank you! Did I mention, that it takes a while until you have filled all the pelmeni? Anyway, it was worth the effort.

  3. My fave Russian villainness is Xenia Onatopp, the name is so hilariously non-Russian. I actually like Daniel Craig as James Bond because he is human. As for Sean Connery, the only film with him that I can watch is Highlander.
    Pelmeni look good, mate!

    1. Thank you! It's good to hear that about the pelmeni from an expert.

    2. I am only an expert on eating them, not making them from scratch. They are actually a speciality of the area I grew up in, but as my parents come from the South, my Mum somehow never made her own pelmeni, so I never learnt how to do them. :)

    3. So at least you can judge, whether they look right.
      Then you have the chance now to try making your own according to this recipe, that is if you manage to get through this confusion I made.


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