Golden. Delicious. And mine, all mine.
If you know me in real life, which you may, then you may know my love of pierogies. It's a lot like my love of samosas. I want to eat a zillion of them and would, if only I were able. It's like I don't like wraps or things - seriously, guys, I cut them open like surgery - because I say I "don't like compressed food" which sounds stupid, when you realize that things like grilled cheeses and sammich presses and quesadillas/enchiladas/taquitos are all compressed foods as well. But seriously, no, I don't like things that feel too layery or something in my mouth. Or maybe I ate some bad wraps once and now the memory stays, but either way, if I eat a wrap - even a delicious one - I tend to feel like I'm gonna be sick.
But a samosa or a pieroi? Those are not under the "compressed foods" category.
I don't know why I've shared this story with you, but I have, so onward and upward. Do you feel closer to me? Let's hold hands.
Anyway. DRUMROLL PLEASE
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.
I'll be honest. I shrieked and told my roommate who, in a manlier way, shrieked as well. We were super excited and I tackled it fairly early, excited to press on and create all sorts of things.
I made two types and, as I wrote this, managed to put together in my head like four other delicious ideas and you best believe I am going to do at least one of them.
Using the traditional Russian style dough, I made a filling of potato and cheese as well as a filling of sausage/carmelized onions/mushrooms. And that second one was pretty bangin'. I also felt that it wasn't a poor choice for a Chicago one, although I just thought of pizza (we're a deep dish town! sorry!) and that's gonna be a fun little attempt.
I will blog you all about it.
These keep really well, actually, in the freezer before being finished up or after being cooked for leftovers. Well played!
The dough recipe I used was the one given in the challenge and happened to be Anula's family recipe, which I found to be pretty awesome. I don't know why I had a hard time working with it at first, but later it snapped to me, and even after being (wrapped tightly in plastic wrap) kept in the fridge for a day or two. I was spacing it out since I kept doing late night ones and would get tired.
A portrait of hard work.
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
Instructions (as directly copied from the post, entirely, even the parenthesis - well, not these ones, but those ones.)
"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.
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."
Now. For the first filling, potato and cheese, I boiled a few red potatoes and then used a mixture of butter, sour cream, and milk to make them delicious mashed potatoes that I totally ate some of first. Then, I mixed in a few handfuls shredded cheddar cheese. Then, I shooed away my roommate from eating it all.
Now. Follow the instructions given ("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." if you forgot), and make however many you'd like. Then boil them in salted water, then, if you like, pan fry. I like to pan fry.
Sausagey and Delicious.
Not so much healthy though.
But the mushrooms help, right? Right?
My sausage ones were
- half a packet of sasuage
- pepper, salt, oregano
- half an onion, thinly sliced, then cut those in half so make them each short
- a handful of mushrooms, chopped up quite well
- three cloves garlic, smashed and chopped to pieces. minced. shall we say.
I cooked the onions down in some butter and cooked and cooked and cooked until they were soft and gold and delicious. Then I added the mushrooms and some pepper and salt.
In a seperate pan, I cooked the sausage with oregano and pepper, until it was well cooked, and mixed them all together before filling my pierogies and tossing them in the buttered pan to cook them up.
Serve with sour cream.
I realize these are not the best filling instructions but firmly think that it's better that way. What do you want to eat? Make it! Put it in! Eat it!
Although I will work on the other ideas I have much more dillegently. I have a notebook now. Which is bangerang.