Saturday, August 14, 2010

Daring Cooks: Pierogi

I am not new to pierogi.  Since my Mother is Polish, we have been celebrating the traditional Polish meal at Christmas time which you can read about here.  We rarely have it at other times of the year.  Why?  I don't know because they are pretty darn good.  The dough is so similar to a Chinese dumpling but of the filling is obviously totally different.

I ran out of time this challenge.  These are the blueberry pierogi that I have always wanted to try. Eh.  They were okay. All you do is put about five blueberries or so in the pierogi.  I prefer the potatoes or sauer kraut ones.  Tomorrow I will be doing the potato filled ones.

The August 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale.

Today is the day to visit other Daring Cooks and see what their interpretations were for these pierogi wonders! I am sure you will find many interesting and delicious combinations. Click here for the blog roll.

Russian style pierogi (makes 4 generous servings, around 30 dumplings)
The recipe for the filling is my interpretation.

2 to 2 1/2 cups (300 to 375 g) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 large egg
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
About 1 cup (250 ml) lukewarm water
3 big potatoes, cooked & mashed (1 1/2 cup instant or leftover mashed potatoes is fine too)   
1 cup (225 g) cottage cheese, drained       
1 egg yolk (from medium egg)
1 tablespoon (15 g) butter, melted       
1/4 (1.25 ml) teaspoon salt       
pinch of pepper to taste    
1. Combine all the ingredients for the filling (it’s best to use one’s hands to do that) put into the bowl, cover and set aside in the fridge until you have to use it.
2. Place 2 cups flour in a large bowl or on a work surface and make a well in the center. Break the egg into it, add the salt and a little lukewarm at a time (in my situation 1/2 cup was enough). Bring the dough together, kneading well and adding more flour or water as necessary. Cover the dough with a bowl or towel. You’re aiming for soft dough. Let it rest 20 minutes.
3. On a floured work surface, roll the dough out thinly (1/8” or about 3 millimeters) cut with a 2-inch (5 cm) round or glass (personally I used 4-inch/10 cm cutter as it makes nice size pierogi - this way I got around 30 of them and 1 full, heaped teaspoon of filling is perfect for that size). Spoon a portion (teaspoon will be the best) of the filling into the middle of each circle. Fold dough in half and pinch edges together. Gather scraps, re-roll and fill. Repeat with remaining dough.
4. Bring a large, low saucepan of salted water to boil. Drop in the pierogi, not too many, only single layer in the pan! Return to the boil and reduce heat. When the pierogi rise to the surface, continue to simmer a few minutes more ( usually about 5 minutes). Remove one dumpling with a slotted spoon and taste if ready. When satisfied, remove remaining pierogi from the water.
 5. Serve immediately preferably with creme fraiche or fry. Cold pierogi can be fried.  Boiled Russian pierogi can be easily frozen and boiled taken out straight from the freezer.
*When preparing large batches of pierogi we heat the oven to the lowest setting and pile the pierogi in a large casserole pan.  Layering butter and fried onions in betweent eh layers.

I thought it was the perfect time to tell you about the Polish Festival that we went to last weekend.  It has become a tradition.  We always go with some friends of ours and the kids run wild!  Games are cheap, 25 cents for the most part.  So it is a pretty inexpensive evening but a lot of fun. 


Chow and Chatter said...

what fun I got my Russian neighbors mum to teach me this before he he

Barbara Bakes said...

I could have used an expert to teach me to make these. Mine were not good. Blueberry sounds like a yummy filling.

LittleRed said...

I love blueberry pyrohy, what an excellent choice! I had so much fun with this challenge....I have a hankering to make some more, now that I'm back home:)

Jacqueline said...

I've never had these before, I am very intrigued :)

Joanne said...

I made my first pierogis last year and really liked them! I am going to have to try this traditional filling.

Anonymous said...

Lori - I love the way you said you were looking forward to trying a blueberry pierogi, then stuck an exact number of blueberries (5) in each one, and came up with 'eh' lol Had a good chuckle - too cute. Regardless, they look yummy, and boy, would I love to attend one of your traditional Polish Christmas meals!

grace said...

just 5 blueberries, eh? what if i want 6 or, dare i say it, 16? :)

kat said...

I never thought to make a dessert Pierogi. I just love the potato & onion version. My college roommate was Polish & every now & then she & I would take over the dorm kitchen & make them.