Friday, 22 April 2011

stuffed pierogi

It's good Friday and my beloved is doing an evening shift, so I thought I would make myself something a bit special for tea and oh my, where these good! Stuffed pierogi which is an eastern European dumpling. Mine has a twist in that the dough is made with olive oil and takes on a pasta flavour and texture like a dense tortellini. I stuffed it with fried spring onion, finely sliced red pepper and I made a quickish soya 'cheese' which was a bit like a ricotta. I finished it off by drizzling it in a homemade sweet chilli glaze. It's a bit fiddly but oh my god it's worth it! I have a plate of 5 left in my fridge waiting for when the boy gets home, if I can keep myself away from them!
Recipe below!
Makes roughly 12. Measurements are not exact as I made this recipe up as I went along. But use your noggin, if the dough seems dry add a bit more olive oil, if too wet add more flour.

Pierogi dough:
2 cups of white flour
2/3 of a cup of olive oil
Pinch of salt
A splash of water

Olive oil
Half a red pepper sliced into tiny cubes
A large spring onion

Soya 'cheese'
1 1/2 cups of soya milk
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
Squeeze of lemon
A good pinch of salt
1/2 a clove of garlic crushed
1/2 teaspoon of colmans mustard

Chilli dressing:
Good glug of olive oil
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1/2 chilli sliced into fine rings
Splash of balsamic vinegar

Right, I know it looks daunting but it's okay really! First make your 'cheese'. In a bowl add all the cheese ingredients together, instantly you should see a change in the thickness of the milk and a curdling. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Then place a cheese cloth or some muslin over a bowl and pour the 'cheese' mixture into the centre of the cloth. The curds should start to separate from the whey by the whey running through the cloth leaving you with the soft 'cheese' in the cloth! To help this along a little quicker take the sides of the cloth and twist the edges round together to make a little bag and gently help to squeeze out the clear liquid, go gently or other wise the curds will be forced through the cloth too! After about 5 minutes of squeezing open up the bag and you should be left with a yellowy soft 'cheese'! scrape it off the muslin and place in a bowl. Check for seasoning! Then start the dough, in a bowl place the dry ingredients add a splash of water to get it going and then slowly add the oil until it forms a dough that comes together and cleans the sides of the bowl. As I said add more oil or a splash of water if it's dry, more flour if it's too wet. Place to one side and get a big pan of water on the stove to a rolling boil. While the water is heating, fry the red pepper and onion in a good glug of olive oil, there is no need to season this as the cheese which will join it later is seasoned enough. Break your dough up into 12 pieces and roll out quite thinly into a rough circle, place a small amount of the red pepper mix and the 'cheese' into the centre of each dough circle. Then fold the edge over like a small Cornish pasty, push the edges to seal and trim round with a knife. When they are all done place no more than 6 at a time into the boiling water, when they are ready they will rise to the top of the pan.You can either eat them straight away like this or traditionally you can gently fry them in a pan with a little olive oil, until they turn a golden bronzed colour! While they are cooking, using the same pan as the pepper mixture was cooked in (save that washing up) add all the sweet chilli ingredients together and cook on a med high heat until the sugar has dissolved. Plate up the pierogi and drizzle with the sauce. HEAVEN!

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