Fried Pies with Cheese and Green Onions – Placinte cu branza la tigaie
Romanians love any kind of pastries and pies, but these savory fried pies with cheese are definitely my all-time favorites. I’ve always loved any type of pie or pastry that’s filled with cheese – some of our most popular pastries are called merdenele, a type of flaky puff pastry filled with a salty cheese filling. You’ll find them at almost any pastry shop in Romania.
My savory fried pies with cheese are traditional Romanian appetizers that you’ll most probably find a lot in the Moldova region of the country. The type of cheese pies that I made today is something that you’ll not always find at local pastry shops; the pies’ dough has the texture of doughnuts, fluffy and cooked in oil. They’re filled with telemea cheese, which is a bit similar to feta, and I also added some green onions to bring out the flavor in the cheese. You’ll need some fresh yeast for this type of dough, and you’ll have to do a bit of kneading.
In other parts of the country, for example Dobrogea, the place where my grandmother grew up, you’ll find that locals prefer to use a puff pastry-like dough for the cheese pies. My grandmother has her own recipe for these puff pastry savory pies – I remember how she used to make the pies from scratch, stretching out a dough that was as large as our kitchen table, then folding it several times to make the puff pastry layers. Making that kind of Romanian cheese pies always seemed really complicated to me, even though I probably watched her make them hundreds of times.
I discovered these Romanian cheese pies in a Moldovan restaurant in Romania, and since I’ve also seen the recipe on many Romanian cooking blogs, I wanted to give it a try and make these at home. The recipe for the dough is from a Romanian cooking book, but that specific recipe was for a large pie that was supposed to be baked in the oven. The name of the recipe was ‘pie with onions, sauerkraut or cheese’, so you can use any of these ingredients for the filling. Even so, I used the dough for small pies, fried in a pan in vegetable oil.
They turned out so good that I just had to share the recipe with you. The fluffy dough with that melted cheese and green onions flavor was almost too good to be true! It takes a bit of time and patience to make them, but I promise they’re worth it.
600 g flour
25 g fresh yeast
½ teaspoon sugar
100 g melted butter
300 ml oil
350 ml milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
300 g telemea cheese (or feta cheese)
1 green onion bunch, chopped
- In a small bowl, using a fork, mix the fresh yeast with the sugar until the mixture liquifies.
- Warm up the milk (try it with your finger to make sure it’s not hot).
- Add 100 ml warm phentermine no prescription milk and about 130 g flour to the yeast and sugar, mix and then let everything rise for about 15 minutes.
- Transfer the risen mixture to a large bowl, then add the melted butter, the egg yolk, the salt, the rest of the warm milk and gradually add the rest of the flour.
- Start mixing with a spoon, and when the mixture can’t be mixed with a spoon anymore, start kneading with your hands for about 7-8 minutes. The dough should be similar to the one we use for bread, not too soft.
- Leave it to rise in a warm place for about 30-40 minutes or until it’s doubled in volume.
- Spread some flour on the work surface and invert the dough from the bowl, then spread it into 8 equal parts, then shape them as balls.
- Grate the cheese and chop the green onion bunch.
- Take one piece of dough and roll it into a round, flat form with a floured kitchen roller.
- Place in the center of each pie a bit of grated cheese and some chopped green onion.
- Close the edges of the pie by bringing them together towards the center, completely covering the filling.
- Using the roller, lock the filling in the interior by flattening the pie.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil until it sizzles when you drop a bit of dough in it.
- Transfer the cheese pie into the skillet and let it cook on each side for about 2-3 minutes, or until it’s golden brown.
- Take the pie out of the skillet and place it on a platter with absorbent kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.
- Repeat with all the remaining dough and filling.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
Recipe in Romanian – Re?eta în român?
600 g f?in?
25 g drojdie proasp?t?
½ linguri?? de zah?r
100 g unt topit
300 ml ulei
350 ml lapte
1 linguri?? ras? de sare
1 g?lbenu? de ou
300 g brânz? telemea (sau brânz? feta)
1 bucat? de ceap? verde, tocat?
Mod de preparare
- Într-un castron mic, folosind o furculi??, amesteca?i drojdia proasp?t? cu zah?rul pân? când amestecul se lichefiaz?.
- Înc?lzi?i laptele (încerca?i-l cu degetul pentru a v? asigura c? nu este fierbinte).
- Ad?uga?i 100 ml lapte c?ldu? ?i aproximativ 130 g f?in? în amestecul de drojdie ?i zah?r, amesteca?i ?i apoi l?sa?i totul s? creasc? timp de aproximativ 15 minute.
- Transfera?i amestecul de drojdie într-un castron mare, apoi ad?uga?i untul topit, g?lbenu?ul de ou, sarea, restul laptelui cald ?i ad?uga?i treptat restul de f?in?.
- Începe?i amestecarea cu o lingur? ?i apoi începe?i s? fr?mânta?i cu mâinile timp de aproximativ 7-8 minute. Aluatul ar trebui s? fie asem?n?tor celui de pâine, nu prea moale.
- L?sa?i-l s? creasc? într-un loc cald timp de aproximativ 30-40 de minute sau pân? când ?i-a dublat volumul.
- Pres?ra?i f?in? pe suprafa?a de lucru ?i r?sturna?i aluatul din castron, apoi împ?r?i?i-l în 8 p?r?i egale, din care forma?i bile.
- Rade?i brânza ?i toca?i ceapa verde.
- Lua?i o bucat? de aluat ?i aplatiza?i-l într-o form? rotund? cu un f?c?le?.
- Pune?i în centrul fiec?rei pl?cinte un pic de brânz? ras? ?i ceap? verde.
- Închide?i marginile pl?cintei, aducându-le spre centru ?i acoperind complet umplutura.
- Folosind f?c?le?ul, aplatiza?i pl?cinta.
- Într-o tigaie mare, încinge?i uleiul.
- Transfera?i pl?cinta cu brânz? în tigaie ?i l?sa?i-o s? se g?teasc? pe fiecare parte timp de aproximativ 2-3 minute.
- Scoate?i pl?cinta din tigaie ?i pune?i-o pe o tav? cu hârtie absorbant? de buc?t?rie, pentru a absorbi excesul de ulei.
- Repeta?i cu tot aluatul ?i umplutura r?mas?.
- Servi?i calde, cu mult? poft?!