Posted by Jeanne on August 14, 2010
Second Daring Kitchen challenge – pierogi! Including homemade dough. I have never made pierogi before. But I have made ravioli, and I figured they couldn’t be that different, right?
Little different. Whoops.
But let me back up – I need to explain why these are Naomi-style. And to do that I have to talk about the tiny dog and why her name is Nettie.
Aw. The Nettie.
Anyway. So Curt used to work in Bellevue, which is… kind of a suburb of Omaha? And right on the edge between Omaha and Bellevue is Nettie’s.
Nettie’s is a Mexican restaurant. I don’t know about “authentic” and I hate the word authentic – like the other alternative is fake. Nettie’s salsa and guac and incredibly spicy chili may or may not be authentic, but they are definitely delicious.
Curt ate lunch there every Wednesday for… 3 years? 4 years? And then we named our dog after the restaurant. In our world, this is a high compliment.
Nettie’s has a potato and pea enchilada that may classify as an addiction. So: the potato and pea enchilada and Naomi’s addiction to said enchilada was the inspiration for these pierogis. We were making cochinita pibil and needed a side so I thought I would go for it.
First you make the filling.
This is three or four yukon golds, cubed and parboiled, and then sauteed with half a minced onion, garlic, salt & pepper, cumin, and oregano. I grated some sharp cheddar on top, mixed it all up, and set it aside.
Next – the dough. This is Anula‘s family recipe for pierogi.
2 to 2.5 C all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 tsp salt
About 1 C 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 water at a time (you don’t need to use it all – it was humid that day and I ended up using quite a bit more flour because I had put in too much water). 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.
Thus begins the difference between pierogi and pasta. Pierogi dough is sticky and soft and reminded me more of pizza dough than a pasta dough, which tends to be pretty dry to the touch. When you roll it out, it springs back at you.
You want to roll it out until it’s about 1/8th of an inch thick, and then cut it into rounds. When you cut it, the edges pull away – pasta dough just sits there and waits for you to move it.
Dough with a mind of its own.
Add filling, and either press with a dumpling or pierogi press (like this one) or fold over and close with a fork. I made some using each method.
Bring some salted water to a boil in a large sauce pan – I actually used the non-stick skillet, because I wanted them to have room to move. Drop a few dumplings in at a time.
When they rise to the surface of the water, boil for another minute or two, then pull out with a slotted spoon and drain. Serve immediately.
We topped the pierogi with Cholula hot sauce, and served them with pork tacos topped with pickled red onions.
And that, my friends, is how you bastardize an Eastern European dumpling – be inspired by your Norwegian friend’s obsession with Mexican food.