Thursday, March 31, 2011

Heirloom Foods: World's Best Pirohi (Pierogi)

Regular readers of this blog know that I've been following my friend Daniel's highly successful attempts to pickle his own cabbage.  I've tried it straight out of the crock and fried in a kielbasa sandwich.  But my favorite use of sauerkraut is when it's stuffed in homemade pirohi.

I love pirohi-- especially Daniel's pirohi, which I consider to be the best in the world.  When I was pregnant and would get sick at the mere thought of eating, Daniel tempted me with offerings of potato and cheese pirohi, topped with sour cream.  I don't know what I would have done without him (or the pirohi).   So I am especially excited to be able to bring you Daniel's recipe for Pirohi.  Or Pierogi.  Or Perogi.  However you spell it, they're delicious.
Daniel's pirohi with homemade sauerkraut, March 2011.



Without further ado, Daniel's recipe for Pirohi.  (It is worth noting that Daniel's notation about sifting flour to remove beetles may seem extremist, but Daniel Marlos is also known as The Bug Man and this note is well within the realm of his personal and professional experience as a bug expert.)

Daniel's Pirohi in Close-Up, March 2011.
Pirohi
by Daniel Marlos


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose, unbleached flour, sifted to remove beetles
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Iced Water

Instructions:

  • Put on a large pot of boiling salted water.  This warms up the kitchen  
  • nicely in the winter.
  • Thoroughly mix flour and salt.  Put flour mixture in a bowl and make a well.  Crack egg into the well and incorporate the egg into the flour thoroughly.  Add enough ice water to get the correct consistency.   
  • This depends upon the heat and humidity as well as the quality of the flour and the size of the egg.  If you must have an exact amount, it is 6 tablespoons to a half a cup.
  • Knead dough very lightly on a floured surface.  This should take less than 30 seconds.  Then divide the dough into two balls and roll them in flour.  Place back into bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.
  • Roll one dough ball until you can cut at least 12 round pieces the size of a martini glass.  Cut out the 12 pieces with a martini glass.   
  • Fill with your favorite filling and pinch shut.  Cook six at a time in boiling water.  Repeat with all remaining dough.  Make halushki with the remains of the dough.


Favorite Filling #1:  Sauerkraut

  • Chop an onion and fry in corn oil until transparent using a cast iron skillet.  
  • Add finely chopped sauerkraut.  Season with black pepper.   
  • Fry for about 5 minutes.  
  • Place by spoonfuls onto martini dough round.  Be careful to keep oil from pinched edge or pirohi will open during cooking.


Favorite Filling #2:  Potato and Cheese

  • Peel and boil potatoes in salted water.  
  • Mash with cubed sharp cheddar cheese and season with black pepper.  Form into balls.
  • Serve with onions carmelized in corn oil.  Add a dollop of sour cream.

Pirohi can be reheated by frying in a cast iron skillet until crispy.