Lifestyle

Calming ‘Pierogi’

Any experienced housewife owns a secret notebook full of secret recipes, which very often were hard to find but once received from their grandmothers, aunts or work mates are always handed over onto future generations.

Add comment

Any experienced housewife owns a secret notebook full of secret recipes, which very often were hard to find but once received from their grandmothers, aunts or work mates are always handed over onto future generations. Recipes which were handwritten with lots of mark-ups, drawings and amendments. This kind of notebook means so much to its owner that is always treated with a big care and it usually means so much more than any cookbook. It is very valuable because it contains a lot more than a list of ingredients and the way of preparation a particular dish. It keeps human emotions and feelings.

For me having such a culinary jewel  is always associated with the love to my  family simply because it  deserves to keep the most beloved and tastiest recipes.

Every time I visit my hometown  I desperately seek for the flavours and fragrances from  my childhood. I love the smell of yeasted pancakes stuffed with apples, the smell of homemade apple wine vinegar, the taste of vegetables picked from my Mum’s garden and the aroma of a strong coffee with a splash of milk, which we all love. And it does not matter how busy I am, I will always find a spare time to go through my Mum’s culinary treasures. I love her binders full of culinary clippings from old magazines and the notebook full of hand written recipes collected over the years.  Each page has its own unique  smell. The smell of passion and love for homemade food.  The smell of love for the family.

I am writing down another portion of tasty inspirations before leaving and taking them with me just to minimize the longing for what had passed long time ago .

A piece of passing moments can always be restored. Just simply think of a dish that had stolen your child’s heart  and try to make it yourself at home. Every time I want to bring my memories back, I make Russian pierogi,

I make them only at night.

I put on my headphones and play soothing songs to myself.

Making  pierogi keeps me calm and relaxed.

Have you ever tried?

 

CALMING ‘PIEROGI’

Stuffing

800g potatoes, boiled and chilled

200g curd cheese

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 large egg, beaten with a fork

10 fresh mint leaves, cut into small pieces

salt

mixed pepper

For the filling heat the oil in a large frying pan over a low heat, add the onion and fry for 10 mins until golden and starting to caramelise.

Roughly mash the potatoes and mix them well with the fried onion, egg and mint.

Season well with salt and pepper and roll into balls, approx. 4cm.

 

Pastry

3 cups pasta flour, plus extra for kneading and dusting

1 – 1.5 cups hot water

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp olive oil

large hint of white pepper

Put the flour in a stand mixer bowl or a mixing bowl.

Make a well in the centre then add the water, salt, pepper and the olive oil.

Mix together with a dough hook or a wooden spoon until you have a soft dough then knead for about 10 minutes until silky, light and soft.

Wrap in cling film and leave in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

Lightly flour a work surface. Take out the dough, cut it in two and keep one half covered with a tea towel.

Using a heavy rolling pin roll out the other half of the dough as thinly as possible.

Stamp out rounds using a ravioli cutter or a 6cm biscuit cutter – work quickly so the pasta doesn’t dry out.

Put a dough circle in your hand with a potato and cheese ball in the middle.

Stretch the dough around it and pinch the edges together. The dough is stretchy, so gently pull it around to seal it well, with no holes.

Store the pierogi on a tray lined with baking parchment and continue with the next batch.

 

Preparation

Cook pierogi in a large pan of gently boiling salted water for 4-5 mins.

Do not use a full rolling boil as it is likely to make pierogi split.

When they float to the top, leave for 30 seconds then scoop them out with a slotted spoon.

Drain and serve immediately with a splash of soured cream or olive oil and fried onions.

Pierogi must be stored in a fridge overnight and fried over the medium heat until the skin is crisp and brown before serving (they always taste better the day after).

 

Bon Appétit!

Photos © Ewelina Majdak – Around the Kitchen Table

Share