Saturday, August 14, 2010

Daring Time—Pierogi

Has anyone on the west coast ever actually made pierogi before? (And is pierogi the singular/plural? Pierogies?) I mean, I definitely have not—I've never even eaten one. Which meant that for this month's Daring Kitchen challenge, we had to judge solely based on if we liked them, since we had nothing to compare them to.

The required stuff: 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'm going to preface this by saying I believe that anytime you roll out dough, you are baking, not cooking. And say it with me here...I don't bake. At least this was a basic flour/egg/water recipe, which is ok because it's not's totally acceptable to add a bit more water or a bit more flour. That, I can handle. In fact, I used to make pumpkin ravioli from scratch the same way (but with tomato paste in the dough)...which, really, in my opinion, these are just ravioli. Or potstickers, actually, since there's no sauce. Anyhoo...

Shall I walk you through it?

First, I made a dough from 2 cups flour, an egg, salt, and about 2/3c water. Mixed with my hands, kneaded a million times, and let sit, covered with a damp towel, for about 20 min.

Chopped some mushrooms and shallots, sauteed them, and added 2 cups of sauerkraut and a shredded carrot. Cooked that all down for 15 min or so, added salt, pepper, and cumin, and let cool.
Rolled out the dough really thin. Used a glass to cut out 2ish inch circles. Combined the scratch pieces and kneaded back together. Had I made more, I would have repeated til gone.

Put a small scoop of mixture on a dough round, folded edges together, and pressed them with a fork to seal.

Once I got down the method, it went fairly quickly, but man...I was a busy girl.

Even KittyH helped by watching while keeping my placemat warm...Bad cat! I swear, we give her free reign of the house, and she wants to be the one place we don't want her. I kick her off the table all evening long. And every time I turn around...

In a large deep sauté pan, I boiled some salted water, then dropped them in one at a time. Cooked about 7 minutes.

In another sauté pan, I heated a bit of oil and tossed in the drained pierogies. Browned a couple minutes a side.

Kinda boring, so we concocted a dipping sauce from spicy mustard, rice vinegar and a bit of light mayo.

And...drumroll...the review:

Pammy: So? I think it's like a Russian Potsticker.
Hubby: yeah, the only difference is the dipping sauce.
Pammy: Well, yeah, but that was spur of the moment, it wasn't part of the recipe.
Hubby: It works, it's what goes...they're tasty. If you made these for a football fantasy draft party, the plate would be empty. that your way of telling me the draft is at our house this year?
Hubby:'s my way of asking you. Look at your thumbs go...are you writing all this?
Pammy: Oh, I have to get this.
Hubby: Ok...well...all the dough rolling, I mean, you could have used wonton wrappers.
Pammy: I knooow, I wasn't allowed to.
Hubby: ....who wants to do that?
Pammy: Not me. Back to the original question. I thought they were good, but not worth the time to make them. Not that good.
Hubby: At least we've expanded culturally...I always think of them more like a calzone, so I'm surprised they're so should have made some big meat, one cheese, one sweet, and one wildcard. Dominate that challenge, damnit!!

Yeah, I'll get right on that. So final verdict: Good experience, but I never need to make them again. And if I do...I'm doing meat and cheese, not sauerkraut. Or a sweet one. With wonton wrappers.

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