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.
Oh yummy yummy dumplings type food. I love pierogies. There are a few Russian and Polish restaurants in Montreal and when I go I make sure to include some pierogi. I love eating them hot wit a large quantity of sour cream and chives. So hearty. For this challenge I enlisted my friend Karyn (she moonlights as a pastry chef btw). When I told her to come over I think she assumed we were having pierogies for inner. After a glass of wine and chat I suggested we get started. ‘what we are making them from scratch?’ Ah, yes, it is a challenge and you can cook!
It turned out o be quite an endeavour to start so late on a week night he he. We ate kind of late but it was so worth it. I had leftovers for another meal. I fried those and I preferred them even better that way actually. I know the challenge asked us to go local…but I am part Russian so I went traditional which remains local for me. We did attempt a sweet version with pineapple and cottage cheese but it got messy and the dough refused to stick with that mixture.
Our challenge was to make the dough from scratch and a savory or sweet filling of our choice. I chose the potato and cheese pierogi.
Makes around 30 dumplings.
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 or milk
Potato and cheese Filling:
4 – 5 boiled potatoes
4 table spoons butter (60 g) or olive oil (60 ml)
50 ml (3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon) milk
1 egg white (from medium egg)
about 120 ml (½ cup) farmers’ cheese (any unripened cheese like Indian Paneer)
salt and pepper
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. Mix well all the ingredients for the filling. Set aside.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
- when sealing pierogi don’t allow any filling to seep .. it should seal by itself very tight
- if your dumplings stick to each add a tablespoon of oil into the water
- when boiling your pierogi try to boil each type of filling separately
- Boiled pierogi can also be fried after boiling for a nice crunchy dumpling
Another dough recipe:
½ cup (125 ml) milk (can be whole milk, 2% or skim milk)
½ cup (125 ml) whipping cream
3 large egg whites
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
3 cups (450 gm) all-purpose flour
1. Mix flour and salt, add other ingredients, and knead dough until you have a smooth dough. (I kneaded this dough quite a bit, and it yielded a nice, pliable dough).
2. On a floured surface roll out fairly thin (1/8” or about 3 millimeters), cut into 2” (5 cm) squares, and fill with 1 tsp (5ml) cottage cheese filling (see below).
Other types of fillings:
1 lb (455 g) dry cottage cheese (or wet drained for a few hours)
3 large egg yolks
Salt to taste
Russian style pierogi (Pelmeni)
3 big potatoes, cooked & mashed
1 cup (225 g) cottage cheese, drained
1 onion, diced & sauteed in butter until clear
3 slices of streaky bacon, diced and fried till crispy
1 egg yolk (from medium egg)
1 tablespoon (15 g) butter, melted
1/4 (1.25 ml) teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper to taste
Meat and cabbage
200 g (7 oz) cooked meat (minced or cut very finely)
500 g white cabbage (chopped and simmered in a little bit of water, until soft)
1 onion (diced and fried)
1 whole medium egg
1 tablespoon (15g) butter
dry breadcrumbs (add as much to hold the filling together, about 2 tablespoons)
salt and pepper
2 cups (500 g) sauerkraut
1 big carrot, grated
1 shallot, chopped and fried with a tablespoon of butter
few (about 3) wild mushrooms (I used dry ones, you can use fresh but chop them and fry on some butter before adding to the sauerkraut cabbage)
salt, pepper and cumin
– Saute all the ingredients together until soft, cool before filling pierogi.
You can also fill pierogi with whole seasonal fruits for example- strawberries, blueberries, morels, grated apples etc. To prevent the fruits from ‘sogging’ just add a little bit of potato flour inside with the fruit and sweeten them after the boiling on the plate rather than putting sugar inside.
Thanks Karyn for cooking with me! Coming over soon again?
Thank you, that wasreally interesting. I was born in Moscow in 1980 but my parents fled the country and settled here in the UK. Honestly, I didnt really care much about my russian history until my mother died recently, now I’ve been trying to find out as much as I can. Seemed like cuisine was as good a place as any to start ! You dont generally hear much about russian cooking do you? Anyway, I found a lot of russian recipes here that your readers might be interested in too.
It was a pleasure to make the pierogies with you, even if I had no idea that’s what we were doing! Even though it was an ambitious task for a Thursday night, it was well worth the effort as they came out great! Paired with your great company, I’ll be back anytime you want to make more. Next time, can we try chocolate pierogies?
I am so IN for chocolate ones hehe
Everything looks so incredibly flavourful and tasty.
I am however wondering if I’ve had Pierogies before?
If I have…they certainly didin’t sound as good as yours ;o)
Great job Evelyne…another succeeded challenge.
Ciao for now,
I love pierogies! My mom used to buy them homemade from a woman at our church in Ohio and homemade is soooo much better than the boxed kind. Yours look delicious!
And you call me a pro! They look great!
The pineapple and cottage cheese sounds like it’d taste yummy, if they’d only stayed closed.}:P
Thank you all for your comments.
Yes I am lucky to have many fellow foodie friends who await invites to come and participate in a challenge he he
I love pierogi! How wonderful to make them from scratch!
Looking good! A side of sour cream, wish I’d thought of it! Too bad the pineapple version didn’t pan out, it sounded like a good idea…
It’s always fun to cook/bake with someone else, especially a pal, and it shows in your gorgeous pierogi. Perfectly, formed, perfectly golden brown (unlike my over browned messes). Beautifully done, Ev!!
They look amazing! I made mine all by myself – lucky you to have had some help!!!
These pierogies look so perfect, one would think you spend your days making them! Bet they taste wonderful too.
Great looking pierogies! They look delicious!
Yum!!! I love the look of the fried ones. They look buttery and delicious. Great job on this challenge! Your pierogi are beautiful!
Your pierogi look beautiful! I must have overcooked mine…
Awesome ninja-hijack skills on snagging the sous chef! I’m jealous! 🙂 You guys did a great job, and it sounds like you had a good time, too! 😉
Ohhhh! I LOVE pieroguies! (and yours look perfect!)
Thanks for the detailed recipe and great tips!!
(The ones with red fruits are to die for!!!)
Your pierogi look great! Potato and cheese – yummy!
Thank you for participating this month 🙂
I love making dinner with friends before eating it! This was the perfect way to do this challenge, as there was lots to do. Your pierogis look wonderful.
It must have been great havinghelp for the rolling, cutting and filling! It is always a lot more fun with someone in the kitchen with you! Your potato and cheese filling looks yummy – but then again, I love both potatoes and cheese! I will happily come help you make these next time if it means I can share in the goodness!! 😉
Hey, can’t go wrong with the traditional, classic pierogi – they look fantastic! And how cool that you had some help. That must have made for a very fun time cooking! Awesome job.
Nice one! They look very successful, and frying them does make them more visually appealing. I tried whole wheat dough for mine. Well done.
A savory pierogi hits the spot. They are also good with applesauce. 🙂