It’s about time to talk about pierogi. Pierogi are Polish dumplings, similar to Italian ravioli. They can be stuffed with almost everything.
Pierogi can be savoury or sweet. One of the most popular pierogi are ruskie pierogi (Ruthenian pierogi) filled with curd cheese (twaróg), potatoes, and fried onions. They are definitely one of my favourites. Other popular fillings are sauerkraut and dried mushrooms, dried mushrooms (typically made for Christmas Eve Supper), ground meat. You garnish them with melted garlic butter, or fried chopped onion and bacon, or more traditionaly pork scratchings. The sweet ones are mostly made with fresh fruits like strawberries, blueberries, cherries and plums and served with a cream and sugar (I have never really liked them).
Anyway pierogi are delicious. In Poland you can find bars/restaurants specialised in serving only pierogi, they are called pierogarnie (singular pierogarnia). Every August in Kraków there is Pierogi Festival.
Pierogi can be treated as another Polish fast food as you can buy them frozen and cook in a just few minutes. Home-made ones are much better, but it takes some time to make them. If you have a pasta roller it will be easy peasy for you, otherwise it is good to have strong arms. There is nothing difficult about them, and you can experiment with them as much as you want.
Example of less traditional pierogi you see above. I found this recipe at Usagi’s blog, she organised Pierogi cookalongs.
Recipe is amazing. Pierogi taste like summer. Ask my friends for whom I made them, or just do them yourself. Photos are made on the next day, that is why you can see the golden crust. And yep pierogi taste nice boiled, fried or baked.
Green pierogi with curd cheese and dried tomatoes filling
recipe from Usagi’s blog
- 400 g plain flour
- 180 g frozen spinach thawed and drained (after draining I had about 75 g, feel free to use fresh spinach, just boil or fry it briefly)
- 2 eggs
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- pinch of salt
- water (I added around 100 ml, but it really depends on flour and spinach you use)
- 140 g curd cheese (twaróg, you can use ricotta)
- 200 g feta cheese
- 100 g dried tomatoes
- 1 egg yolk
- Italian spice mix (basil, oregano, thyme, garlic, anything you like)
- 80 g butter
- 2 garlic cloves
Sieve flour into a bowl. Add spinach, eggs, oil and pinch of salt. Mix together adding gradually water until the dough comes together. Knead until you get until firm and smooth. The dough should be quite firm, when you start rolling it shouldn’t be too easy.
If the dough is too soft add more flour, if it is too hard add more water. Cover the dough with a cling film and leave in a fridge for an hour.
Mix the curd cheese, feta cheese, dried tomatoes and egg yolk together. Spice it with pepper and Italian spice mix.
Split the dough into a few smaller parts and roll it very thin. If you have a pasta roller, use it.
Cut it with a glass or a round cookie cutter.
Place a small spoonful of the filling into the centre of each round.
Fold over, and press together. If the dough doesn’t want to stick brush the edges with water. To make nice seal just pinch it with your thumb and index finger.
Repeat procedure with the remaining dough.
Melt butter in a pan. Add finely grated/chopped garlic.
Boil water with a pinch of salt in a pot. Add pierogi and cook around 2-3 minutes until they float to the top. Remove them with a slotted spoon. Place on a plate and garnish with melted garlic butter.
Next day, simply fry them until golden on a non-stick pan using some butter or oil, they will taste good.