November 09, 2008

Pierogi, (and pizza and pasta)

pirogi with a grind of black pepper
As soon as I saw Maureen's post about pierogi, I knew I was going to have to make some. In fact, you might say I became a little obsessed. She claimed Ukrainian ancestry and I claim Russian. Either way, these dumplings make great eating.

Back in the days when I was young, and before I became lazy, I used to make my own noodles on a regular basis. I had, (and still have—somewhere) a hand crank Atlas pasta machine. Mostly the noodles were really successful, but there is one horror story that pops into my head when I contemplate stuffed noodles. It involved a very large dinner party and homemade ravioli assembled before the guests arrived, and stacked in a big bowl. Of course, the ravioli stuck together and turned into one massive bowl-shaped noodle. I'll let you imagine the poor frantic hostess salvaging what she could ... And I can't help thinking about the leftover pirogi in the refrigerator dish as I write this. But, of course, they are cooked and not sticky ... Right?

pierogi in the refrigerator— not sticking together
I followed Maureen's dough recipe with the following exceptions. I used white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose, and I used two teaspoons of salt instead of two tablespoons. Also, instead of rolling out the dough and cutting the circles the traditional way, I took small pieces of dough and rolled each into a circle like I would a tortilla or chapatti. I rolled them pretty thin and made each circle about 4 to 5 inches in diameter.

I had some leftover Bolivian cabbage and potatoes that I made into a filling. I sautéed three chopped onions and eight ounces of mashed-up tofu until it started turning brown, and mixed it with the cabbage and potatoes. If I hadn't had the leftovers, I might have sautéed shredded cabbage to mix with the onions, or baked some potatoes to mash with the fried onions.

pierogi happily boiling at the water surface, refusing to sink.
I boiled the dumplings five at a time in a big stock pot of water for 10 minutes. I guess they are supposed to sink and then rise to the surface when done, but mine never sank, thus the timer.

I made at least two dozen good-sized dumplings before I ran out of filling, and still had a chunk of dough left over that I'll probably make into noodles. (I ran out of patience long before the filling ran out, but that's another story.) I guess my dumplings don't look like "real" pierogi but so what. They were good, good, good! Thanks, Maureen.

The stock left over from cooking the pierogi was so tasty that we used it to make soup for dinner. (Couldn't eat any more pierogi - or much of anything else.)

I seem to be on some sort of carb-fest lately. Here's a glimpse of another item I've recently cooked. I used the last of my refrigerated no-knead bread dough to make a mushroom pizza with vegan cheese. The dough had been in the refrigerator almost two weeks and developed a nice sourdough tang which bumped up the flavor.

Ever since I roasted our garden tomatoes and made ranchero sauce, I've been using Muir Glen fire roasted crushed tomatoes instead of plain ones. I actually used them straight from the can for the pizza with just a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of oregano. Using roasted tomatoes makes a big flavor difference.


  1. mmm yum yum yum. i love empanadas and calzones... so excited to hear it works with ww!! a must try after the pantry challenge is over (or maybe i can find a way to use it!!)

    thanks for such gorgeous pics! you got me hungry and excited to make those hand holds!!

  2. Oh my goodness--I *love* pierogi! It has been years since I have had them...yours sound amazing!


  3. That looks seriously delicious. I'm with you; as soon as the weather got cold I began eating carbs.... way too many.... and making soup all the time, when I'm not too tired. I really love the descriptions. Reminds me of my own kitchen horror stories...

  4. Hunt's now makes fire roasted tomatoes. They are a little less expensive, but not as good as Muir Glen. I think your pierogies look great! The cabbage and potato stuffing sounds perfect.

  5. thanks for all the pierogi positives! This was the first time I've had them so I can't compare them to any others. I'm so glad I saw them on Mad About Udon and tried them.

    I especially like Muir Glen products because they taste great and are organic, but it's good to know about alternatives. Thanks, Diann.

    Claire, I think I deserved that noodle disaster. I was probably feeling a little too proud of my homemade ravioli.

  6. I am half polish and my grandma lived in chicago, so I always ate pirogies from the polish deli.

    I haven't had them since I have been vegan though. Those look very good.

  7. Yay! Now we're even for your Gingery Bars recipe! Your pics look phenomenal.

  8. Thanks, Maureen. BTW, I was thrilled to see those bars on your bars. They looked really good!


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