Ham & Cheese Piroske + A Place At The Table Review

This post is sponsored – I received a complimentary copy of A Place At The Table for review. All opinions are mine alone.

How many of you are cooking up a dish tomorrow that’s been passed down? One that celebrates your heritage? It’s no secret that America is a melting pot and one of the places it’s most evident is in our culinary culture – and that’s exactly what’s on display in The Vilcek Foundation‘s new cookbook.

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A Place at the Table is a beautiful celebration of the diversity that makes America such a beautiful place.

This book is part cookbook, part story. It includes the stories of 40 chefs that were born in other countries and have made the United States their home. It is fascinating to read about their backgrounds and the trajectories that put them where they are today – and after you’re introduced to each chef, they share a few recipes celebrating both their heritage and current home.

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When flipping through, I was immediately drawn to Miroslav Uskokovic’s Ham and Cheese Piroske – a dish his mother would make. He noted that “According to most Balkan moms, piroske are not considered appropriate for lunch, the most elaborate and ceremonious meal of the day, because the are almost embarrassingly easy to make!” It made me laugh, because my first reaction was, “my kids would love these for lunch!”

Like the vast majority of recipes in this book, the piroske took a bit of time and attention. These aren’t necessarily dishes you’ll whip up for a weeknight dinner, but they’re also ones that give you a great pay off for the time you spend.

These were delicious. Yes, involved, but the end result was better than I had anticipated and we all really enjoyed them (dare I say it?) for lunch. I can’t wait to play with this again and try different fillings!

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Ham and Cheese Piroske

Makes 12

For the Dough:
4 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 lbs. crumbled feta
4 large eggs
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. sugar
5 tsp. baking powder

In a food processor, combine ingredients for dough and blend until a dough forms. Transfer to a floured board and knead until the dough comes together. Place the dough ball in a greased bowl and cover with an upside-down plate. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

To make the piroske:
12 sticks mozzarella string cheese
12 slices deli ham
Canola oil, for frying

Wrap the ham slices around the cheese and set aside.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll out into a large rectangle with a rolling pin. Cut into 12 large rectangles, about 4×6″ each. Place a ham-and-mozzarella stick on each rectangle. Roll each one up to seal the cheese inside – a little water on your fingers will help close them up!

Place the filled logs on a baking sheet, cover with a tea towel, and refrigerate for an hour.

Heat several inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot to 325 degrees. Gently add piroske in batches and cook 5-6 minutes until golden.

Ham & Cheese Piroske

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