Monday, January 14, 2008

(Roasted Butternut Squash) Pierogies

A big thanks to Jennifer in Calgary who sent me this recipe for vegan pierogies. She recently spent time in Ukraine where she picked up this recipe in a booklet of postcards with traditional Nativity Lent recipes. Nativity Lent, in case you are wondering, is celebrated 40 days before Christmas and ends with a feast on Christmas Eve. I decided to also make a more "gourmet" pierogi by adding roasted butternut squash to the dough and filling (note that half the pierogies in this pic have an orangeish dough). The result was pretty tasty, but I am not sure it was more tasty than Jennifer's original recipe.

- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup water (plus more, as needed)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
If making roasted squash pierogies, add 1/2 cup mashed roasted squash (cooled) and reduce water to 1/4 cup (adding more as needed)

Filling is up to you. I boiled 4 large potatoes and sauteed 2 onions in 4 tbsp of olive oil. When the potatoes were cooked, I drained and mashed them, mixed in the onions and 1/2 cup nutritional yeast, and seasoned with salt and pepper. For the roasted squash pierogies I used equal quantities of this mixture and mashed roasted squash.

1. Put flour in a medium bowl and make a well in the center. Dissolve salt into the water and pour into the well. Put baking soda into the vinegar and let fizz. When done, add to well.
2. Mix liquid into flour until it comes into a dough. Add more water if needed. Knead on a lightly floured surface for 5 mins until smooth.
3. Wrap dough in a damp towel and let rest for at least 30 mins.
4. Roll out dough to about 1/8" thickness. There are two things you can do here. 1. Cut into rounds with a glass or cookie cutter, fill with cooled filling, and seal sides with a fork. Place on a dish towel and cover with another towel until ready to cook. OR, 2. Cut dough into 3 inch squares, fill with cooled filling, fold diagonal corner, and seal seam with a fork. This method makes triangular pierogies, but you don't have to keep rolling out the scraps of dough created in method 1.
5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a gentle rolling boil. Drop in pierogies in batches and cook for 3-5 mins. A cooked pierogi will have a lighter colour than an uncooked one. You will see what I mean when you cook them.
6. Drain cooked pierogies. Saute them in margarine over medium heat, about 3-4 mins per side, until a nice golden brown. Top with sauteed onions, vegan sour cream, and freshly ground pepper.