Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Daring Cooks August, 2010 Challenge: The World of Pierogi

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 are just dumplings to explain in a simple term. These are popular all over the world and have different names but basically dough rolled out thinly to make shells and stuffed with your favorite filling. Part of the challenge was to make the shells or the skin from scratch and that was my first time ever doing so. It was so easy and yummy. Also the endless choices for the filling makes this challenge extra fun. I chose to do the first one a savory one and I am sure I will be making some sweet ones soon as well.

Pierogi (makes 4 generous servings, around 20 dumplings)
(Traditional Polish recipe, although each family will have their own version, this is Anula's family recipe)

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
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.

This month we were given the choice to pick our own filling and I decided to go with a mushroom and cheese filling. I used regular white button mushrooms and smoked Gouda cheese.

The Filling

8 oz mushrooms, chopped into small pieces(about 2 C)
1 yellow pepper, chopped (about 1 C)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 TBS olive oil
1 1/2 cup smoked Gouda Cheese, shredded

Saute the garlic and peppers in olive oil for a few min till peppers are almost tender.

Add the mushroom and saute till tender.

Look how pretty the sauteed mushroom mixture is !!

Have your cheese ready.

Fill the pirogies.

Pan fry and ENJOY!!!