“Have you ever made pierogies before?”
“No, well yeah, er…from scratch? A long time ago…”
“‘Cause I’m gonna make pierogies tonight.”
…I’m sure you can guess who my mom is, and who I am in the above dialogue. I mean…I guess the simple response of “really.” could be a good response if it was one filled with excitement, hope, and joy at being made pierogies from scratch.
Except, this wasn’t a really that was filled with excitement, hope, and joy.
This was a “really,” as in – “Yeah, I bet you are, and I bet the horses are going to spread wings and fly, too.”
I mean, I can’t blame my mom for doubting my pierogi-making abilities. I, who cannot make bread in a breadmaker for Pete’s sake (okay, only partially true. it tastes great, it looks…wrong.), am going to be rolling out dough (homemade dough, thank you) into 1/16″ sheets, stuffing them with filling (homemade filling, thank you) and then boiling and frying them.
Did somebody say frying?
Yeah, another thing she doesn’t often see.
When I read the challenge prompt for Foodbuzz’s Project FoodBlog, I was puzzled at first. What could I do that is unique, a challenge for myself, and something I’ve rarely, if ever, done? And not just a dish, but a cuisine.
You see, I am sort of a mish-mosh of heritages, but Polish is probably the one that is most celebrated. And by that, I just mean we’d just have pierogies and kielbasa at Easter, Christmas, and…I don’t know when else. Whenever we feel like it, I guess. I’ll probably be shunned that those pierogies have always been from a box – Mrs. T’s to be exact – and I’d never made or had made for me, pierogies from scratch.
I am never going back.
I even woke up pumped to get it done.
And then I reread the challenge prompt:
…Try to keep the dish as authentic as the real deal…
and thought better of it. Although, I will say I added a “without selling out” tidbit to the end of that sentence.
And hey, they’re vegan and not too bad for you but mom and mom bf approved so you know they’re a winner.
for the dough:
- 1 1/2 c. White Whole Wheat Flour
- 1/2 T. milled flaxseed
- 1 1/2 T. + 1/4 c. warm water
- 1 T. blended silken tofu
for the filling:
- 1 medium sweet potato, mine was about 3/4s of a pound
- 1/4 of a large red onion, should yield between 1/2 – 3/4 cup
- 1/2-1 T. olive oil
- 1 T. blended silken tofu
- 1 t. sea salt
- the leaves from 1–2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- dash of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
for the rosemary sour cream “sauce”:
- 3/4s of a pack of silken tofu, blended
- 2 T. lemon juice
- 2 T. maple syrup
- 4-5 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 large clove garlic, mashed
- 1 t. olive oil
- 1/4 t. salt (or more)
- pinch of ground pepper
First, work on your filling. Puncture your sweet potato with a fork or knife, and microwave (probably around 5 minutes on the potato setting) until soft and baked. While it is baking, finely dice your red onion and rosemary and blend all the tofu you’ll need (for the sauce, dough, and filling).
Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan and sautee your red onion and rosemary together until the onions are tender. While they are cooking, your potato should be just about ready. Let it cool and then pull the skin off and transfer to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mash it with a potato masher, and season with salt and optional crushed red pepper flakes. Add in the onion when it is ready and the silken tofo. Combine everything well, cover, and set aside.
Next, work on your dough. Combine the flaxseed and 1 1/2 T water in a small dish, stir, and let to sit while you measure out your flour. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, flax egg (that you just made) tofu, and warm water. Start with 1/4 c. and if you need more, add it a tablespoon at a time. I think I added another tablespoon or two total. Your goal is to get a soft dough. When it looks like this…
Cover it and let it just be a cool dough ball for 30 minutes or so.
To make the sauce, I am going to assume you have already blended the tofu and taken out what you need. So, heat the oil in a pan and lightly brown your garlic. While it’s browning, to the blender with the tofu, add the lemon juice, maple syrup, and salt and pepper. Blend. Add in the lightly browned garlic and what’s left of the oil, and blend quickly again. Add in the rosemary leaves, and blend until just about smooth. It will turn to a pale green.
To assemble the pierogies, fill a large pot with water and add a pinch of salt and drop of olive oil. The olive oil will keep them from sticking (or so I am told, I haven’t ever tried it otherwise, though.) Place it over medium heat and wait to boil while you start preparing the pierogies.
Separate your dough into two balls, and then divide those into two. Roll it (the individual balls) out so it’s very thin – about 1/16th of an inch. Using a large glass, cut out circles. Drop between 1/2-1 T. of filling, and fold them over. Seal them wither with your fingers by pinching, or pressing with a fork, or “braiding.” I liked the fork or braiding method best! Continue this until all the dough is gone, re-using the “excess” from each roll-out. You’ll get into a rhythm once you start boiling them – say, drop some in, by the time you’ve made another set, they’re done, switch, so on and so on.
Drop them into the boiling water, and leave in until they start to float. Note that some will float right off the bat – for some reason, the fork-pressed ones floated, and the braided ones didn’t float until they were done? Either way – if they float let them boil for about 5 minutes anyway. When they’re done, remove with a strainer and let cool on a plate.
At this point, you can either freeze them, fridge them, or fry them. If you’re eating them right away, move on to frying them:
heat 2-3 T. olive oil in a pan, and add in some chopped onion and then some pierogies. You don’t want to crowd the pan. Fry until they get a nice golden crust, and then remove and drain on a paper towel.
Serve with the sauce!
My mom agreed. What we didn’t finish is in the freezer to be consumed at the next holiday!
The dough recipes I found all pretty much seemed to be some sort of variation, so I mixed and matched, as I did with the filling. The sour cream is an adaptation of a Cilantro Sour Cream sauce from Veganomicon.
Does your heritage have a big impact on what you eat? I guess it’s sort of funny how proud of the fact that I have Polish blood I am…because I’m really not that Polish – just enough, I guess! haha