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Daring Cooks - Pierogi

Saturday, 14 August 2010

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.

Pierogi 7
Pierogi served with cherry tomato sauce. Sauce made by boiling a can of cherry tomatoes, dried mixed herbs and a bit of garlic, seasoned to taste with worcestershire sauce, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Pierogi are essentially boiled or baked dumplings of unleavened dough. They remind me of Chinese potstickers which have a thicker and chewier skin. The most common stuffing being potatoes and cheese which I thought might be a tad too heavy, so I made some with mushroom and caramelised onion filling and another batch with sauerkraut and minced pork filling.

Pierogi 4
Pierogi with brown butter & mixed herbs.

Dough

Pierogi 3

For the dough, I substituted some plain flour with cake flour in an attempt to make a lighter skin.

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour - sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour - sifted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbs melted butter
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Directions:
  • Mix all ingredients and knead until smooth and elastic (dough will be quite soft).
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for at least 30 mins.
  • On a floured surface roll out fairly thin. I used a pasta machine and stopped at no.5 thickness setting.
  • Cut out rounds or squares and fill.
  • Boil in a large pot of salted boiling water until done. Remove one to check for doneness, should take about 5 mins.
  • For freezing, place fresh filled pierogi on a baking tray (put them apart so they won't touch each other) and freeze. After they are frozen, place them in freezer bags. To cook frozen pierogi, do not thaw, throw frozen pierogi straight into boiling water to cook.

Creamy Mushroom & Caramelised Onion Filling

Pierogi 2

Would be better if the onions and mushrooms were finely chopped or blended.

Ingredients:
  • 2 onions
  • 25g dried mushrooms
  • 1 cup water
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream

Directions:
  • Soak dried mushrooms in 1 cup of water until softened. After softened, remove mushrooms and squeeze dry (reserve the soaking water for later use). Chopped into small pieces.
  • Heat up a little bit of oil in a pan. Add onions and a dash of salt. Cook on low heat until softened and browned.
  • Add chopped mushrooms to caramelised onions, stir-fry until fragrant.
  • Pour in all the mushroom water, leave to simmer until almost dry.
  • Season with worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
  • Mix in cream and season again to taste.
  • Leave to cool before filling.

Pierogi 6

Sauerkraut & Minced Pork Filling

Pierogi 1
Ingredients:
  • 4 shallots - finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic - pressed
  • 200g minced pork
  • 1 cup sauerkraut - drained
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
  • Heat up a little bit of oil in a pan. Add shallots and fry until soft and translucent.
  • Add garlic, fry until fragrant.
  • Add pork, fry until dry and browned.
  • Mix in sauerkraut, fry until warmed through and dry.
  • Season to taste.

Pierogi 5

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