Sometimes I’m stunned by his partial food memory. He could have a delicious meal today and not remember a single component the following week. That’s my husband. Last year, he went to Krakow (Poland) and in true foodie style, I organised with staff at the hotel where he stayed to make sure he tried pierogi. On his return, I inquired ‘How was the pierogi’? hoping to hear some long description about the pastry and filling and all I got was, ‘Nice’.
Thankfully he brought back a Polish cookbook which I’ve opened up for this month’s Daring Cooks challenge – to make our own pierogi from scratch.
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.
- you have to make the dough from scratch (no ready made won ton wrapper etc. allowed!)
- you have to make filling from scratch
- you can choose your filling: be it sweet or savoury it’s your call!
It took me a while to decide on making fruit-filled pierogi.
The savoury option I most wanted to try called for a filling of cooked potatoes and Farmer’s cheese. Now while farmer’s cheese may exist in Poland I wasn’t able to find it in summery/wet Holland. At least, not in my corner of it. I ended up buying some cheese curds from ‘my’ Turkish shop but then didn’t have the time to cook the potatoes and make the dough and still take photos. And on the subject of photos, my days are getting shorter and my work hours seem to be growing longer. Where light, food and camera meet is fast narrowing and soon I’ll be relegated to weekend cooking (for blogging). The alternative is to get some lowel ego lights. I’m thinking. I think I’ll get the lights. We’ll see.
So in a hurry, having decided on a fruity filling of nectarines, I sliced up some nectarines, tossed them in icing sugar and grilled them.
Then I ground up some caster sugar with fresh mint from the back garden and set that aside.
While the nectarine slices cooled, I rustled up the dough which came together in minutes. I went on to roll out the dough, which made (at least) a dozen.
On top of each dough round went a slice of nectarine and a sprinkling of mint sugar.
Before I sealed the pierogi, I put on a pan of water to boil. I sealed the pierogi using a fork, which I found the easiest way to keep them shut. By the time I was done, the water was ready. Gently, I slid the pierogi into the pan, careful not to overcrowd them. Once they floated up to the surface, I put the lid on for a few minutes and then removed them with a slotted spoon.
I let them cool then in a pan laced with butter, I browned and crisped them as the sun went down and I hurried with the last of the sun’s rays bearing on the plate.
They were served with even more mint sugar and happily eaten by me as dessert. With red currants and sour cream.
Though I was happy I learnt to make pierogi, because I have no calibration/previous experience to compare this test with, I can’t say if it worked well. Who knows, I may have over kneaded the dough in a rush to finish before night fall. I liked them but I thought the dough to filling ratio was out of whack. There was too little of the delicious nectarines to balance the chewy cover. If I had to choose between these and Chinese dumplings, I would go for the latter but I will give it another go, this time with a savoury stuffing.
Overall, I was pleased with my effort – glad I didn’t miss this month’s DC and even happier because I have something to share, for all those who love mint. And pancakes with caster sugar and lemon j. I suspect my friend, M falls into this gang – she reintroduced me to lj (lemon juice) and sugar on pancakes when she visisted last summer. And the secret is – the mint sugar is delicious with lj on pancakes. Its out. Celebrate this news and share it with friends.
See what the other Daring Cooks created for this Pierogi challenge
Here are some other recipes which showcase mint sugar
Jamie Oliver loves the mint sugar on pineapple, he calls it pukka pineapple and you know Jamie, anything called pukka is delish
Merry-Jeniffer of the merry gourmet serves hers with a summery fruit salad
Ellie of Almost Bourdain serves her atop a Lemon Cheese cake mousse
Enjoy your weekend. Lots of love. Me.