I'm not proud of the frequency of posting recently, but this last pause was due to a forced, two-week long separation with my computer. But now all is sorted out and running smoothly, luckily. Just another sign from the universe for me to stop drinking unless it's from a baby bottle.
Of course there was a trip back home during those two weeks because Easter! A lot of food, nothing original, again - because Easter and traditional must go hand in hand. There was also snow, because who cares it's Easter and April!
One day my brother and I made pierogi. It's quite a project, especially if undertaken as rarely as once a year. The kitchen was all covered in flour and so were our clothes. My fingers were numb from all the shaping. Still, it was fun. I even managed to get a couple of stories out of my brother, the least talkative person I know.
How was your Easter? Is weather this crazy elsewhere?
Pierogi with Roasted Buckwheat and Potato
(makes about 80 pierogi, to feed about 6-8 people)
for the dough:
400g all purpose flour
150g whole wheat flour
450ml boiling water
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
for the filling:
200g roasted buckwheat (kasha) groats
800g potatoes, boiled and cooled (about 4 medium/large potatoes)
1 large onion (or 2 medium)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 large onion
1/4 cup oil
First, make the dough. Weight and sift the flours together with the salt, add boiling water and oil, mix with a wooden spoon until clumps form, then knead for 10-15 minutes until very uniform - it will be a little sticky, but don't add too much flour. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic foil or a tea towel, let rest for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare the filling: cook the buckwheat for 15 minutes in salted water, drain and let cool. Chop the onion finely and fry in the oil until golden. Mash the potatoes in a large bowl, add the grain and onion, season with plenty of salt and pepper.
Back to the dough: work with fist-sized portions of the dough at a time, keeping the rest covered to prevent drying. Dust your work surface with flour - be generous here. Using a rolling pin or a pasta machine, roll out your dough into 2mm "sheets". Using a glass (about 7cm in diameter), cut out circles, collect leftover dough and add to the remaining dough, paying attention to cover it well.
Place one cut out circle on your palm, add a heaped teaspon of the filling, then fold the circle in half and close the edge by pressing the dough between your index finger and your thumb. Place on a floured chopping board, cover with foil or a tea towel.
Repeat until all dough is used.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil, add a tablespoon of salt and another of oil. Cook pierogi, about 20 at a time, for 3 minutes from the point at which they float. Cook all of them, otherwise they stick and fall apart - the ones you want to keep for another day can be stored in the fridge or even frozen for a good month, then boiled again or fried.
To serve, finely chop an onion and fry in oil until golden, then add a tablespoon of the garnish to each serving. A sliced pickle is wonderful on the side.