Daring Cooks Challenge August 2010 – Pierogi

August 31, 2010
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This month I became a member of the Darking Kitchen http://thedaringkitchen.com/ . It’s a great website where people can swap food stories, good or bad, and post pics of their food journeys. You can choose to be a “Daring Cook” or a “Daring Baker” or both which is what I did. I love to cook everything and figured it would be a great challenge to make things I wouldn’t normally make and to get great all round advice from people who have. Every month the members are sent a challenge and are given strict guidelines to each challenge surrounding the ingredients, method and sometimes preservation. As I joined mid month, I was able to view the August challenge – Pierogi. Something I have never made and actually never heard of before. After some time on Google, I discovered they were basically dumplings that very much resemble ravioli. The guidelines for this challenge were to make the dough and the filling (of your choice) from scratch. I had been very ambitious when thinking of my fillings and decided to make a chicken and leek, bbq pork, prawn toast, and pumpkin, spinach and feta. Time constraints took hold and I ended on doing the one – pumpkin, spinach and feta (I added some crispy bacon for good measure). Making the dough was pretty simple, flour, eggs and water then let it rest for a little while I make my filling.

Usually Pierogi are filled with potato and cottage cheese so I didn’t steer too far from tradition. I roasted my butternut pumpkin (half a pumpkin) cut side down until done and then scooped the flesh out in to a large bowl. I then added 2 small blocks of feta (unsure of the exact measurements but roughly about 200g – 250g), a bag of baby spinach, two onions I had diced and sautéed and then finally, the bacon (6 rashers of streaky) I had diced and fried til crispy. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then put it in the fridge to cool down and stiffen up a little as it’s a lot easier to work with when it’s cold.

Now time to roll out my dough. The recipe says to roll it out to about 3mm so I divided the dough up in to workable proportions, rolled up my sleeves and got to work. For the first round I used the largest cookie cutter I had which was about 7 or 8cms.

When I tried to make the Pierogi, it didn’t seem to be large enough

so I ended up rolling out the rounds to be a little thinner and slightly bigger. See the difference..

The bigger ones were a lot easier to work with and gave me a lot more room for my tasty filling so I stuck with those from then on.
Cooking was pretty simple. You put them in a pot of boiling salted water and once they float, cook then for a further couple of minutes until done.

I cooked about five or six and as I was home alone, devoured them immediately on the couch and then the lazy kicked in so I put the rest away for assembly another night. I ended up making another batch last night for Stud and I and knowing that he wouldn’t be able to eat them by themselves; I cooked up a little red sauce and told him they were similar to ravioli so he got excited about eating them. Here they are pre-sauce.

There was also the comment made “These are the best ravioli I have ever eaten! These are a keeper!” which is always a good sign. I rolled this dough a little thinner than last time and actually used a small bowl to cut them so we really only needed about 5 each for dinner and even then we were struggling to get through it.
So the August challenge was great for me as I was making something I had never made before. Bring on September!

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0 Responses to Daring Cooks Challenge August 2010 – Pierogi

  1. Anita on September 1, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Yay! Congats for joining! I still haven’t joined the cooks. I’ve been apart of the bakers for a while, but have trouble enough finding the time for some of those challenges. I love your pierogi – this is a good reason to join the cooks. 🙂

  2. Administrator on September 7, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Thanks Anita 🙂 I have had a great time so far and am in the middle of the next challenge at the moment.
    So much fun!
    Nic xo

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These views are mine and mine only. I don't claim to be any kind of professional food critic, I just know what I do and don't like and express accordingly. Please contact me first if you wish to use any of my images for another purpose.