Polish Pierogies {GF & Vegetarian} and Red Cabbage {GF & Vegan}

Homemade pierogies are absolutely delicious; cheesy, potatoy, and doughy, you can't go wrong!

Homemade pierogies are absolutely delicious; cheesy, potatoy, and doughy, you can’t go wrong!

In this latest edition of Cooking Around the World, our letter was “X.”  Much like “W”, there is no country that begins with this letter.  So, this week, we’re featuring the X-Factor.  We opted for Poland for the sole purpose of making pierogies.  You see, being gluten free it can be a bit difficult to find these.  Sure, there are some that you can buy frozen, but my grocery store fails to provide.  If we wanted pierogies, we had to make them ourselves. And so we did!

Without a doubt, this was one of the more labor-intensive meals I’ve made for cooking around the world.  Pierogies, which are essentially potato filled dumplings, require you to make the dough, and the filling, and roll out the dough, and stuff the dough, and boil the dumplings, and pan fry the dumplings.  By the end of the process, our kitchen looked like a minor disaster area.  There were dirty pans all over the place, and a fine layer of flour covered most of my counter.  Despite the work, though, it was absolutely worth it!

The dough itself was slightly chewy, but firm; the way a pierogi should be.  And the filling?  Oh my goodness, it was cheesy mashed potato deliciousness.  When we ran out of dough, my husband and I just ate the filling with spoons.  Don’t judge us.  All together, these dumplings were pretty much perfect; I think my favorite part was the slightly crispy edges that came from pan-frying them after the boiling stage.  Coupled with the tangy red cabbage, we were absolutely thrilled with our Polish dinner!

***As I wrote this, I realized I’m not exactly sure the proper grammar of pierogi.  Is pierogi itself plural, making the singular pierogo, similar to the Italian cannoli/cannolo?  If you know, please educate me!!***

Pierogies

Adapted from http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gluten-free-potato-pierogi/

A bowl full of pierogies!  This recipe made enough for 5 or 6 servings for my husband and me!

A bowl full of pierogies! This recipe made enough for 5 or 6 servings for my husband and me!

Ingredients

  • Dough
    • ½ cup sour cream
    • 2/3 cup milk
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 2 ½ cups gluten free flour, with xanthan gum
  • Filling
    • 1 lb russet potatoes, peeled and chunked
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 2 tbsp butter
    • ½ cup sour cream
    • ½ cup shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
    • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  1. Prepare the dough, by whisking together the sour cream, milk, egg, and salt in a large bowl. Add the flour in three parts, mixing to thoroughly combine after each addition. The dough will come together slowly. After the final addition of flour, knead the dough for a few minutes on a floured surface until it is a clearly cohesive dough. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set aside.
  2. While the dough rests, make the filling. Bring the potatoes to a boil in a pot of salted water. Cook for about 15 minutes, until they are fork tender. While the potatoes cook, sauté the onion in the butter until fragrant. Drain the potatoes, and mash, adding in the onions, sour cream, cheese, and salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Beat together egg and olive oil.
  4. On a floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch. Cut the dough into 24 squares (alternatively, you could use a biscuit cutter). Add a tablespoon of filling to each square. Brush the insides of the dough with the egg mixture, fold over, and use a fork to crimp the edges.
  5. To cook, place the pierogis in a pot of boiling water, careful not to overcrowd the pot. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, until they float. Remove from the water using a slotted spoon, drain, then pan fry in butter or olive oil over medium heat.

Polish Red Cabbage

Adapted from http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/vegetables/r/redcabbage.htm

Tangy red cabbage is the perfect foil to these luscious pierogies

Tangy red cabbage is the perfect foil to these luscious pierogies

Ingredients

  • ½ head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 tbsp red wine or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add cabbage and onion, and sauté until wilted, around five minutes.
  2. While that cooks, whisk together water, vinegar, sugar, and salt/pepper.
  3. Add the liquid to the cabbage mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.
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