pierogi

Pierogi!

Pierogis are time intensive. You can make the sour cream, the dough, and the potato filling the day before. Refrigerate them all, and place the dough on the counter for about an hour before you split the dough into balls.

Makes 32 pierogis!

Sour cream
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or boiled twenty minutes
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon pink salt, plus more to taste
juice of one lemonwater

Dough
5 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup vegan butter
softened lukewarm water

Filling
3 medium potatoes
1/3 cup soy milk
1/3 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
juice of one lemon
black pepper
seasoning salt

Peanut oil for frying

Sour cream:
Rinse the cashews and process them, adding the remaining ingredients and water to the consistency you’d like. Process, process, process, using a spatula to scrape down the mix periodically. Be patient. You can get the sour cream very smooth! Salt to taste then set in the refrigerator, covered.

Dough:
Mix dough ingredients using enough water to make a very soft, tacky dough. Kneading for several minutes; really take your time kneading and add water sparingly. While you don’t want the dough to stick to the table, a softer dough will roll out better and a firm one will be frustrating. Set in an oiled bowl to rise until doubled in size (or refrigerate overnight, removing the bowl two hours before you want to start forming balls for the pierogis).

Potato filling:
Peel and wash potatoes; cut into even chunks about the size of a golf ball. Bring a tureen of salted water to boil. Boil potatoes until tender when pieced with a fork. Drain the potatoes, then rice or mash them well until they are smooth (don’t use a mixer or food processor)! Heat the soy milk and add it as well as the rest of the filling ingredients, whisking and varying the lemon juice to taste.

To assemble:
Clean your counter space and lightly dust with flour. When the dough has warmed to room temperature, split it into 32 even sections (by first splitting the dough into two halves, then each section halves again, and so forth) and roll these 32 blobs into a ball, placing these balls next to one another and covering with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Let rest thirty minutes and lay out waxed paper for the formed pierogis.

Place a dish of lukewarm water at hand. Heat a large tureen of salted water while you stuff the pierogis. I simply mash each ball with the palm of my hand, and my pierogi partner fills them with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling. Before sealing, wet half the dough circle rim with water and really pinch them closed, carefully enclosing all your potato filling (you will get the hang of this quickly). Set each pierogi on wax paper until they are all finished and in a series of rows.

Pinch them closed again right before boiling! A split pierogi is a sad thing. I mean, so I hear. I’ve never split one, myself! :brag:

Carefully add the pierogi to the now-boiling tureen by slipping them in the water. Gently boil the pierogi in batches. Since this is a yeasted dough, they will likely float right away. Carefully turn them in the soft boil and cook about five minutes, until they are glossy and sealed. Remove each one with a slotted spoon, back to a rack so they can drain. You want them as dry as possible for the next stage.

When the pierogi are boiled go ahead and carefully pour out your tureen, wipe down your stovetop, and set your pan(s) out to fry on medium high heat (I use two large cast iron pans). Add a healthy bit of peanut oil and get the pan all warmed up. Carefully add pierogi to the pan(s) – they might sputter a bit – being careful not to overcrowd as you cook in batches. You might fiddle with the heat a bit here; you want them to cook to golden brown relatively quickly. Remove each to a warm plate as you cook.

Serve pierogi with a side of sour cream and watch them disappear! It’s *magic*!

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