Pierogi: Feel the food fear and do it anyway, episode 1
Pierogi: lovely, lovely Polish dumplings or secret creeping terrormongers in a dainty dough jacket?
Clearly, it's both. Yes, I've never made a pierogi, so intimidated have I been my their majesty. I used to eat pierogi back in my pregan days at a local Polish restaurant which is now long since closed, and I've been jonesing for their sweet, sweet goodness ever since.
Despite that, I've never been tempted to head to the kitchen to recreate them. I guess I assumed that I'd have to make the dough, then fill it, then fry the pierogi in some butter-free butter, then who knows? But it definitely seemed like too much work, so no pierogi graced this kitchen.
But with my New Year resolution to feel the food fear and cook the scary dishes anyway, I made me some dumplings. They looked like this:
They were stuffed with a mix of fried onions, mashed potato and sauerkraut, and served with a sour cream (Tofutti's heroic Sour Supreme in this case) and dill sauce.
I'll level with you here: this was my second attempt. My first attempt I didn't want to share with you, mainly as it looked like something you'd find in a hospital bin. Seriously. I tried boiling the pierogi and then frying them, as I seemed to remember that's how the ones I used it eat were cooked and a number of recipes suggested I should, but the dumplings fell apart and started oozing out all their filling in a most unappealing way.
Second time around, I cooked them gyoza style - fried them, added a bit of water, stuck a plate on top and let the steam do the rest of the cooking. Second time around = success.
What's that? You reckon I didn't make the pierogi dough myself, and you think I went gyoza style because the dumplings are just ready-made vegan wonton skins with a different filling? Well, I say to you, haters gonna hate. Or, in this instance, you've got me bang to rights, guv.
Yep, I cheated. You caught me. Still, I really like these pierogi-a-likes and they weren't a million miles from the real deal either.
So, anyway, I'm still chalking this one up as a resolution kept - look, I even made myself a little laurel out of dill to celebrate my first taking-down of a food fear.