Saturday, August 14, 2010

Daring Cooks August Challenge - Pierogis!

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.

Although I have been a Daring Bakers for many months now, this was my first time completing a challenge with the Daring Cooks. Being that I have quite a bit of free time in the kitchen here in Missouri, I thought it would be a good time to try out some new skills.

My first Daring Cooks challenge was sponsored by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen. We were to make pierogis with one of two dumpling recipes and a filling(s) of our choosing. Being from the Westside of Grand Rapids, I grew up around many Polish families. One of my dear friends, Amanda, makes pierogis several times a year with her in-laws, and I was so excited to tell her about my venture into her world!

Since this would be my first Daring Cooks challenge, I decided to try quite a few fillings.

Potato and Roasted Garlic

Caramelized Onion and Cabbage

Rum and Orange Juice Grilled Pineapple

Pumpkin with Marshmallows and Maple Syrup

Personally, I wasn't crazy about the sweet pierogis. They weren't sweet enough for me even though I put a Gran Marnier cream sauce over them. I felt that the dough was too overpowering in its lack of flavor and slimey texture.

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 filling.

Originally, the dough came together really well for me. It rolled out perfectly and I was able to easily form the individual pierogis. Once I started working with it longer though, I found that the dough would shrink up after I cut into circles, and it really made a mess!
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. 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.

5. Serve immediately preferably with creme fraiche or fry. Cold pierogi can be fried. Boiled Russian pierogi can be easily frozen and boiled taken out straight from the freezer.

Pierogis waiting to be pan fried!

Caramelized Onion and Cabbage Filling
Potato and Roasted Garlic Filling

Sweet Pierogis with Gran Mariner Cream Sauce

Pineapple Filling


Maranda said...

Looks great to me lady! Great job on this challenge! I'm jealous of your caramelized onion and cabbage pierogi!

Stephanie said...

Where are these right now?!?