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Is it possible to “take a bite of history?” That’s what we like to think we’re doing when we serve Vereneke and Ham Gravy. This Low German dish enjoys a long history with our Mennonite ancestors. Pasta dough pockets filled with a dry cottage cheese mixture are boiled and fried, then topped with a rich ham gravy. Yep! It tastes a little bit like history!
For the dough:
Mix together eggs, egg whites, milk and vegetable oil. Add flour, baking powder and salt a little at a time until everything is mixed well. Knead briefly. Dough should be fairly soft.
For the filling:
Mix ingredients well.
To assemble vereneke:
Take approximately 1/6 of the dough and roll out thinly, 1/8 inch or less. You want it thin, but not so thin that the filling breaks through. Using a cookie scoop or spoon place about 2 tablespoons of filling on the dough.
Pull the dough over the filling, then cut each vereneke into a semi-circle using a tuna can. Make sure the seams are sealed. If necessary, use your fingers to crimp around the edges. With a toothpick, poke a few holes in the vereneke. Vereneke can be refrigerated or frozen at this point until needed.
To prepare the vereneke:
Into a pot of boiling water, carefully place several vereneke. If they are frozen, it is not necessary to thaw. Don’t crowd the pot and allow to boil for several minutes until the vereneke rise to the top. Using a slotted spoon, remove carefully and allow to drain. Then, fry in butter until golden brown.
To prepare the gravy:
In a large frying pan, melt butter. Add ham and fry slightly. Add flour and mix well to make a roux. Slowly add half-and-half, sour cream and milk and mix well. Heat until gravy thickens.
Serve vereneke and ham gravy separately.
Recipe adapted from the Central Christian Cookbook, possibly published in the 1970′s, contributed by Helen Adrian (mother of Lowell and Marlin).
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!