Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Polish dumplings (pierogi)

Polish: kiszona kapusta
Danish: surkål
Russian: квашеная капуста
German: Sauerkraut
French: choucroute
Italian: crauti
Ido: surkruto
Estonian: hapukapsas
Chinese: 德国酸菜
Esperanto: saŭrkraŭto
Slovak: kyslá kapusta

Pierogi is deffinitely one of the most important dishes in my life. Not only a Polish dish, cause eaten frecuently also in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and I think that also in Lithuania as well. Typical eastern dish. A kind of dumplings, cooked, baked or fried, from flour and water or from yeast dough. Filling can be sweet, sour, from cottage cheese, cheese with mashed potatoes, eggs, buckwheat, mushrooms, sauerkraut, berries, cherries, lentil, spinach, ground meat or even poppy and raisins. Once I made pierogi for my Galician friends in the kitchen of Santiago de Compostela's students dorm and gave one for a Cuban neighbor. She was about 50 and diplomatic said that my pierogi with brambles, seasoned with whipped cream, were "interesting". But in my opinion, it is not one of the tastes you need to learn since a child to accept them in the adult life. I think pierogis are universal. My recipe will be for sauerkraut filling. Sauerkraut is very healthy, contains a lot of vitamin C and lactic acid bacteria, also found in buttermilk or yoghurt. Perfect for the wintertime.

(here: kiszona kapusta / sauerkraut, waiting for the dough)

3 cups flour
1 small egg
4 spoons oil
3/4 spoon salt
3/4 glass warm water

1/2 kg sauerkraut
2 onions, 1 for the filling and 1 for the relish
(optional: a handful of mushrooms, everything but champignons, 2-3 spoons breadcrumbs)

1. Combine all the ingredients for the dough until homogeneous consistency. Knead until it is springy. Form a ball and leave in th fridge until you are ready with the filling

2. Cook sauerkraut (and mushrooms, previously soaked overnight) in a pot with a glass of water and 1 spoon butter for about 1 hour.

3. In a saucepan, fry finely chopped onions. Chop cooked, drained sauerkraut (and mushrooms) and fry 5 minutes with onions so that all the water evaporates

4. You can grind the filling if you want to, but not neecssary. You can also add 2-3 spoons of breadcrumbs. Add pepper to taste.

5. Dredge your workplace with a bit of flour. Roll a handful of dough with a rolling-pin until thin. Cut out circles with a cup or a circle mold. Put half spoon of filling on a circle of dough and glue forming half-moon.

6. Boil the water with a little little bit of salt and oil in the pot. Put pierogi, mix with a wooden spoon. When they appear on the top of the pot, let them cook for 2 minutes more. Carefully take them off with a strainer spoon. Drain well.

7. Sprinkle with fried chopped onions or butter. Some people love them next day after preparing, fried.

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