So it’s that time of the month again. Another Daring Cook’s challenge. For August the spotlight is on the humble pierogi – a Polish sweet or savoury crescent-shaped dumpling. A selection of traditional fillings (potato, meat and cabbage, sauerkraut) were given but I wanted something less stodgy. A quick search on the web led me to this appealing mushroom-stuffed version from epicurious. The pierogi pastry was one of the easiest doughs I’ve made and the resulting dumplings were really quite delicious – soft yielding pastry, earthy mushrooms, sweet caramelised onions and refreshing sour cream. I chose to briefly pan-fry the pierogies in the onion butter instead of just coating them in the mixture which gave them an attractive golden colour. Thanks Liz and Anula for turning me onto these beauties, I will most certainly be adding them to my repertoire!
Wild Mushroom Pierogies
1 cup boiling water
18g (2/3 oz) dried porcini mushrooms
1 medium onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, crushed
170g (6 oz) cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1 portion pierogi dough (recipe below)
450g (1 lb) onions, chopped
55g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
sour cream (to serve)
First, make the filling. Pour boiling water over porcini in a small bowl and soak until softened, 10 to 20 minutes. Lift porcini out of water, squeezing excess liquid back into bowl, and rinse well to remove any grit. Pour soaking liquid through a paper-towel-lined sieve into a bowl and reserve.
Finely chop onion and garlic in a food processor, then add the cremini and porcini mushrooms and pulse until very finely chopped.
Heat butter in a skillet over moderate heat until foaming, then cook mushroom mixture, stirring frequently, until mushrooms darken and excess liquid has evaporated (about 8 minutes). Add reserved soaking liquid and simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture is thick, dry, and beginning to brown, about 15 minutes (there will be about 1 cup filling). Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Leave to cool completely.
To make the pierogies, Halve the dough and roll out 1 piece on a lightly floured surface into a 15-inch round (keep remaining dough wrapped). Cut out rounds with a floured cutter and place 1 tsp filling in centre of each round. Moisten edges with water and fold in half to form a half-moon, and pinch the edges together to seal. Transfer made pierogi to a flour-dusted kitchen towel and repeat with remaining rounds.
Cook onions in butter in a large heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
Cook pierogies in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the skillet with onions and lightly pan-fry for a minute or two on each side – be careful as the dumplings will be fragile. Serve immediately.
Note: Filling can be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. Filled pierogies can be frozen 1 month. Freeze on a tray until firm (about 2 hours) then freeze in plastic bags. Thaw before cooking.
1 3/4 cup plain flour
2 large eggs
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
Stir together flours in a bowl. Make a well in flour and add eggs, salt, and water, then stir together with a fork without touching flour. Continue stirring, gradually incorporating flour into well until a soft dough forms. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead, adding only as much additional flour as needed to keep dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. (Dough will be soft.) Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Note: Dough may be made 2 hours ahead, wrapped well in plastic wrap and chilled. Bring to room temperature before using.