Instant Pot Sviachene – Ukrainian Easter Menu

Ukrainian food at Easter is just a polar opposite of the Sviatia vecheria – Christmas Eve menu.  Christmas Eve is about meatless and largely dairy-free dishes.  Easter is the opposite:  a lot of pork plus dairy.

They’re Christian holidays but have roots in pagan traditions.  Easter is a celebration of spring and family.

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Instant Pot Studenetz – Head cheese – Jellied Pork Meat

If you’re a vegetarian – look away and head over here now. Studenetz is a Ukrainian version of head cheese – with garlic. Studenetz is a staple all year round but mostly pops up at Easter.

A traditional recipe takes way over four hours to cook on the stovetop plus assembling time – but less than half that time in the Instant Pot. It’s not “instant” but end-to-end I made this recipe in 4 hours total (then refrigerated everything overnight). This recipe uses the same ingredients as my baba’s recipe.

You either love studenetz or don’t touch it.

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Instant Pot prune filling for varenyky or pyzirhky

Now that we’ve made pyzirhky (or perishke) with farm cheese, potato and dill filling, this is a sweet option for the baked perishke [pear-eesh-keh].  This needs the dough for pyzirhky.  If you’re making both sweet and savory at the same time, just double that dough recipe.

The Instant Pot makes this filling basically the easiest thing ever. Throw everything into the Instant Pot while the dough rises and you’re done!

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Instant Pot bread dough for pyrizhky – baked pyrohy

Pyrizhky were one of my grandfather’s favourites.  He loved the portability of these tiny buns with cheese, potato, onion and dill filling. And, he’d advise me to keep a few in my pockets to have a snack at hand later.  Sound advice.

This recipe will take you from the dough through filling then shaping and baking.  These are delicious – even better with a creamy dill sauce poured over top. Pyrizhky freeze well. The Instant Pot makes the dough rising more reliable but admittedly not faster.

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Instant Pot farm cheese and potato filling for varenyky or pyzirhky

Springing forward, it’s time to start making more spring and Easter foods.  Here’s a great filling for varenyky or pyrizhky.  Pyrizhky? It’s a bread-based dumpling-bun.

This recipe uses the easy dry curd cottage cheese I made.  The filling is full of spring green onions and fresh dill.

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Instant Pot Ukrainian Farm Cheese – Dry Curd Cottage Cheese

It’s easy to make your own dry curd cottage cheese.  This recipe makes a cottage cheese with small curd – perfect for nalysnyky (Ukrainian cheese crepes) or Easter cheese babka.  My homemade Instant Pot dry curd cottage cheese is destined for perishke (or pyrizhky, basically a bread-based baked perohe or pyrogy)

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Instant Pot Sour Cabbage Rolls – Holubtsi

Yet another variant of holubchi (holubtsi, golubchi, golubtsi, Голубцы).  There are as many ways to spell cabbage rolls as there are to make them.  These are vegetarian-vegan – it’s what I made for Christmas Eve.  If you’re looking for meat then check out my recipe for Instant Pot Buckwheat and Pork Cabbage Rolls

This uses sour cabbage which you can either spend a few weeks making in a barrel – or buy a sour cabbage head at a grocery store.

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Instant Pot Ukrainian Compote – Stewed fruit

With all of the hectic activity around the holidays, it’s nice to have something that’s super easy.  On Christmas Eve, a fruit compote (or stewed fruit) made with dried fruit is a traditional end to the meal.  The Instant Pot makes the dish amazingly easy and much less time consuming than soaking the fruit overnight.

I use prunes, dried apricots, dried apple rings and raisins.  But, you can use any combination of dried fruits.

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Pampushky – Ukrainian Donuts with poppy seed and raisin filling

Pampushky are a traditional Christmas dessert. Starting with a bread dough, they are deliciously filled with poppy seeds and dried fruit and deep fried.  My grandmother used to make prune pampushky.   But, here I’m making poppy seed and raisin filling.

It’s a recipe that only uses the Instant Pot for the rising for the yeast dough.  You can also put the dough in a warm place – like an oven.  But, this is not a quick recipe.

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Instant Pot Braised Red Cabbage

For Christmas Eve, I like to make braised red cabbage.  It’s not a Ukrainian recipe – but what Ukrainian doesn’t like cabbage?  (Ukrainians are allowed to not like cabbage)

This braised red cabbage is colourful and easy to make ahead of time.  Just refrigerate and reheat when you’re ready to serve it.

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