Homemade Pierogies

Saturday afternoon I had every intention to make my homemade pierogies to freeze for a quick meal. Every intention. Really. I thought I would start them right after we took our puppy Dexter for a short walk. We get to the boardwalk for our walk and see all the people in the water and you know what happens? We turn around, sprint home, get into our wetsuits, and there goes pierogi making until another day.

So, Sunday rolls around and there’s no excuse. There’s a bad rip current and choppy waves, so I get into the kitchen and make my pierogies. And boy am I glad I did. They look so pretty! And I’ll be glad when I’m busy and need a quick meal!

I always used to make Mrs. T’s pierogies, but it’s my motto that fresh, homemade, and handmade is always better than anything boxed. Besides when you have some spare time, why not get in the kitchen and cook something fantastic that can be frozen for a later date? My freezer is packed with things like that! Sometime this week I plan on making sauerkraut as well!

The dough for this recipe is SUPER easy to work with as long as you keep it chilly. The recipe tells you to moisten the dough to create a seal, but I just used a fork to crimp the dough closed. Let’s see. I think that’s everything. Oh, this is actually a Rachael Ray recipe, which I followed semi closely. If I made any additional changes besides the one listed above, I’ll let you know below. The original recipe can be found here: http://www.rachaelraymag.com/Recipes/rachael-ray-magazine-recipe-search/dinner-recipes/holiday-pierogi-with-brown-butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 3/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons onion, diced (optional)
Note that the original recipe has you make a brown butter sauce for the pierogies, but since I’m freezing them, I won’t be making that here.
Directions:
1- In a small pot of boiling salted water, cook the potatoes until fork-tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl. Mash with 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in the cheddar cheese, onion (if using) and season with salt and pepper.
2- In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Make a well in the center of the flour, add the egg and sour cream and stir into the flour.
3- Transfer to a work surface and knead until a smooth, stiff dough forms. Cut the dough into quarters, wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4- On a floured work surface, working with one-quarter of the dough at a time, roll out each piece. You don’t have to be be precise in rolling (you’ll see mine below!). You can always re roll leftover dough. But, if anything, make sure to roll the dough out nice and thin.
5- Using a 4-inch biscuit cutter (I used the top of a glass), cut the dough into rounds. Start with one piece of dough and keep the remaining three in the refrigerator.
See my rolling out of the dough was anything but precise! This piece looks like South America!!
6- Place a tablespoon of potato filling slightly off center on each circle. Moisten the edge, if it needs it. Otherwise just press closed and crimp with a fork.
7- In a large pot of boiling, salted
water, cook the pierogi, about 9 at a time, for 5 to 7 minutes. Or freeze as I did. I lined a gallon ziploc bag with wax paper, placed a single layer down, placed wax paper on top of the first layer, added a second layer of pierogies, and went through this one more time. I had two ziploc bags full at the end. I then placed both bags in the freezer.
Enjoy:)
Advertisements

Chicken Curry

I’m in Urban Outfitters wandering about and drooling over all the dresses and the skirts and the shirts that I just can’t afford (they’re kinda overpriced anyway). I find myself in the home section and I come across the cookbooks. I’m always on the lookout for new cookbooks. I love the pictures! Anyway, I’m perusing this one cookbook wishing that I could buy it. It’s witty, fun, and has great recipes. I was so sure it would be like $30, but when I turn over the book, to my complete surprise, it was on sale for $2! Happiness. I take it and run to the register as if the price would change if I didn’t immediately leave the store. I love unexpected bargains. So this book is called Bite Me and it is written Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat. It’s fresh and fun. I think this book will become a staple, starting with tonight.  I made the Chicken Curry on page 143 and served it with rice. I made some additions and omissions to the recipe and I’ll make note of those, as usual.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp curry powder

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

3 tbsp butter

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp ground ginger (I left this out)

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

1 tbsp tomato paste

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, sliced thinly

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 19oz can diced tomato, pulsed 2x in food processor

1 3/4 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained (I left these out)

1 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 cup chopped roasted cashews (I left these out)

1 cup plain yogurt, for topping

I added carrots and scallions because I had them home

Directions:

1- In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, toast all of the spices until they become fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. Remove and set aside.

2- In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender and golden. (At this point I added the carrots and scallions and let them cook for a few mins).

3- Add garlic, ginger, salt, tomato paste and spices. Stir to combine.

4- Increase heat to high, add sliced chicken and stir to coat with spice mixture. Add the chicken broth, processed tomoatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and let chicken cook and sauce thicken slightly, about 10 minutes.

5- Add chickpeas, peas and cream, cooking on medium heat for 3-5 minutes until heated through.

6- Serve over rice. Garnish with yogurt and cashews.

Dinner for the next two nights:)

Sweet and Sour Pork

You know how when you go to some Chinese restaurants the vegetables are soggy and gross, like they’ve been sitting in their sauce all day long? I love this recipe because the vegetables are fresh and still have that crunch, Also, you can control the amount of sodium that goes in. If you want to stretch this dish even further, serve it on a bed of brown rice.

I’m pretty sure this recipe came from Food Network magazine. I made note of any omissions or changes that I made in parentheses.

Ingredients:

11 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I used 3/4 lb)

2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Kosher salt

2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon corn starch

3 tablespoons ketchup (I hate ketchup, so this was left out)

1/3 cup water

3 tablespoons sugar, plus a pinch

3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil (I used vegetable)

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, sliced thinly (I used three and sliced them coarsely)

3 scallions, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I used 3)

3 cups snow peas, cut in half (I probably used 2 cups)

Directions:

1- In a bowl, toss the pork with 1/2 tablespoon vinegar and a pinch of salt.

2- Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, the soy sauce, cornstarch, ketchup, 3 tablesponns sugar, 1/3 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in another bowl.

3- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in skillet or wok on high heat. Add the pork and slowly stir until it turns mostly opaque. Remove and transfer to a plate. Get rid of the oil and wipe the skillet.

4- Heat the remaining oil and stir fry the garlic with a pinch of salt and sugar, about 15 seconds. Add the carrots and scallions and stir fry until crisp tender. Now, add the pork, snow peas, and soy sauce mixture. Stir until pork is cooked through and the sauce is thickened.

Enjoy:)

Rice Noodles with Asian Fish Sauce

I haven’t posted in about a week, maybe more, so I have some catching up to do. This was my second time specifically making a meal in order to create leftovers. This dish created 6 portions total. The recipe is from a book called Good Housekeeping Fast Weeknight Favorites. I’ll probably be making a bunch of things from here and posting them.

This was really quite easy to put together. I really liked the subtle taste of the fish sauce. A little bit goes a very long way. I would definitely recommend using the fish sauce because it really makes the dish. The book does note that say sauce can be used as a substitute.

The book noted that this recipe should take about 25 minutes total, but it took about 30 minutes- with two people working.

Ingredients:

1- 8 oz package rice noodles

2- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

4- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

5- 12 ounces ground beef (we used ground turkey)

6- 1/2 cup chicken broth

7- 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc nam)

8- 1 teaspoon sugar

9- 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

To garnish:

10- chopped fresh cilantro

11- beansprouts

12- peanuts

13- cucumber, thinly sliced

Directions:

1- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Turn off the heat and soak the noodles for about 5 minutes. They cook up very fast.

2- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until golden. Add the beef or turkey and cook, breaking it up, until browned and cooked through.

3- Stir in broth, fish sauce, sugar, and crushed red pepper. Simmer uncovered until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.

4- Add the drained noodles and use tongs to combine all ingredients.

5- Put noodles into bowl and garnish with above ingredients as desired.