Daring Cooks August 2010 / Pierogi

Living in Wisconsin, a place where European ethnicity is very common, food like pierogi, latkes, and schnitzel are all common place. Even if you have never eaten them personally, you have a good understanding about what they are. Living in Orlando, not so much. Here arroz con gandules, pan sid, and tamales are more commonly seen and heard of. Not that I mind, I love being exposed to foods of all cultures. When I first moved I couldn’t believe that a good majority of people had never herd of latkes…or schnitzel…or pierogi… One of my goals in this blog is to take my love of cultural food and be able to help expose you to some it. Today I’m going to talk about pierogies.

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The word pierogi, is plural, (referring to more then one dumpling), and translates into the equivalent of “little filled pie”. It is Poland’s national food. Once considered to be a staple of the poor, it evetunally won favor with all ranks. The dough used for the dumplings is unleavened, meaning there is no yeast and the dough doesn’t rise. It is cut into circles, filled, folded over and crimped to keep the filling inside during cooking. Traditionally fillings include farmers cheese, onions, potato, meat, and sauerkraut. The dumplings are then either baked or boiled and then fried in butter and onions. I decided to make my pierogi alittle upscale. I added lobster the traditional cottage cheese recipe given in my challenge.

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Lobster Cottage Cheese Pierogi

Dough:
1 cup milk
1 cup whipping cream
6 large egg whites
2 tsp (5 ml) salt
6 cups (450 gm) all-purpose flour

1. Mix flour and salt, add other ingredients, and knead dough until you have a smooth dough. (I kneaded this dough quite a bit, and it yielded a nice, pliable dough).
2. On a floured surface roll out fairly thin (1/8” or about 3 millimeters), cut into desired shape and fill with 1-2 tsp ( depending on size of dumpling) cottage cheese filling (see below).

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Filling:
Traditional
1 lb (455 g) dry cottage cheese (this is usually found beside the “wet” cottage cheese in the supermarket’s dairy aisle. If you can’t find it, please see below for how to proceed with the “wet” cottage cheese.)
3 large egg yolks
Salt to taste
1/2 pound lobster clean and rough chopped

1. Mix well all the ingredients for the filling.
2. Put 1 rounded teaspoon (5 ml) of the filling in each square, fold corners to form a triangle, seal edges well using your fingers or a fork
3. Cook in salted, boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and sauté or fry in butter or oil.

If you can’t find dry cottage cheese, simply drain normal cottage cheese by nesting the cottage in a few layers of cheese cloth or a fine sieve over a bowl.
Adapted from The Mennonite Cookbook

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These pierogi far exceeded my expectations. Oh man they were SO GOOD. I think I need to make them again.. hmmmm I wonder if there’s any lobster in the freezer still?
Dream. Bake. Believe.
Love, Steffie

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