Dumplings Fit for a Polish Prince

Pierogi


Tools:

large bowl

medium bowl

sifter

wooden spoon

rolling pin

pasta maker (optional)

biscuit cutter, or glass with 3-in mouth

fork, or dumpling making tool

finger bowl filled with water

large pot

skimmer, or large slotted spoon

frying pan

tongs, or spatula


Ingredients:

3 eggs

8 oz sour cream

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp baking powder


How:

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and sour cream until smooth. (1) In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder; (2) stir into the sour cream mixture a little bit at a time until dough comes together. (3) Use your hands if necessary. (4) Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until firm and smooth. It will be very sticky when you start. Don’t panic; keep kneading. Allow to rest, in refrigerator, lightly wrapped in plastic wrap for 2030 minutes. (5) Divide the dough in half, (6) then roll out one half to 1/8 inch thickness. (7) You may use a pasta maker if the rolling pin is not your style. With the dough rolled out, (8) use the biscuit cutter to cut 3-inch rounds.


(9) Place a small spoonful of any filling into the center of each round. (10) Moisten the edges with water, fold over, and press together with a fork to seal. ((11) If you have a tool to help you fold pierogi, by all means use it. It’ll save you some time and effort, but you still must moisten the edges.)


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pierogi and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the dough becomes slightly translucent. The pierogi will float to the top.  Remove with a slotted spoon or skimmer.


You can stop here, but we recommend frying the pierogi in butter until golden brown on each side. (12) Serve with sauteed onions and mushrooms, and a dollop of sour cream, if desired.


Makes about 3–4 dozen pierogi.

(inspired by a recipe from allrecipes.com)


Andouille–Prune Filling


Tools:

medium bowl

sharp knife

food processor

frying pan

wooden spoon


Ingredients:

12 oz Andouille sausage, skins removed*

16 prunes

1/4 cup panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)

1 egg

1 tsp Kosher salt

1/4 cup Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine* *

1/8 cup neutral spirit (such as legal moonshine or vodka)


  1. *With a sharp knife pierce the sausage skin at one end and slice gently using only the tip all the way down and back up the sausage; the skin is then easily removed.

  2. ** If Catdaddy is not available, you can substitute another sweetened liquor, such as vanilla vodka or a flavored brandy.


How:

In a food processor, mix the first five ingredients, but so the filling is not too mushy. Add to a frying pan that has been heated with 1 tablespoon oil (preferably Canola). Heat (on medium) until sausage and prunes are cooked, about 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally, deglazing the pan every 5 minutes with 1/8 cup of water, and adding the liquors, halfway through cooking.


Allow to cool before using as pierogi filling.

Pierogi can be stuffed with a seemingly endless array of fillings, but traditionally, Poles have filled theirs with combinations and variations of potato, cabbage, pork, sausage, and cheese. (Paul’s favorite were the ones his babci made — sauerkraut and brown-sugared bacon.) Jon and Barbara prepared a traditional sauerkraut filling soaked in beer, and one with shredded short ribs. We decided to make one traditional filling of prunes, and another with a recipe we came up with for a special project we’ve been working on that pairs a cocktail with an appetizer: andouille sausage and prunes. Andouille (pronounced ahn-dwee) is a cajun-spiced pork sausage that packs just a little heat. We decided to mix in some prunes to add a new texture, plus some Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine to add a little sweet kick. Ride ’em, Cowboyski! There are many steps involved and lots of utensils used, but do not despair. This is an easy surefire recipe that will bring smiles to the faces of all who chow down.

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Before diving in to your pierogi dinner, why not nosh on some polish sausage, known as kielbasa. There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of different varieties, some smoked, some uncooked, some fatty, some lean. If you live near a Polish deli, you’re in luck. Serve with some sliced boiled new potatoes, some pickles, and a little rye bread with spreads of horseradish and mustard.

Bonus recipe:


Creamed Cucumbers . . .

or Large Marge Cucumber Salad

                            . . . an old family favorite


Tools:

medium bowl, colander, kitchen towel, whisk.


Ingredients:

2 large cucumbers

1 medium onion

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tbsp cider vinegar

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp dried dill

salt

ground black pepper



Prepare the cucumbers and onion:

Peel and slice cucumber to approx. 1/8-inch thick. Slice onion very thinly. Heavily salt in strainer or colander set over bowl and cover with a kitchen towel; Drain for at least 1/2 hour and up to three hours.

Rinse well and drain.


Whisk sour cream, vinegar and sugar in medium bowl. Add cucumbers and onion; toss to coat. Add fresh ground pepper, dill and more salt if needed. Serve chilled.


Serves 4–6 as a side dish.





(recipe from Steve’s Mom and Aunt Jean)

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