Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Vegan pierogies!

Homemade pirrogies rock our household a few times a year. They're special because they're a bit of work, but surely you'll love them, too. Promise me you'll at least have a salad on the side, though, okay?

To cut out the circles of pierogi dough, you're going to need to buy this fancy kitchen contraption called the lid from a Tofutti container. After that, you're set. Basically, you roll out the dough, cut out the circles, fill them with some mashed potatoes, and fold the dough over. You pinch 'em closed with another kitchen gadget called Your Fingers, then boil the pierogies for 10 minutes to cook the pasta dough. If you want to kick it Polish old school, and we certainly did, fry them in some butter (i.e. vegan margarine) with some thinly sliced onions. And if you're the type who enjoys an actual recipe, you'll find mine beneath the photos.

Vegan pierogies

1/2 c. soy milk
1 T. Energ-G egg replacer
2 c. semolina flour
Approx. 1 c. unbleached white flour (for flouring)
1/2 t. sea salt
2 T. canola oil
3 small potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 T. olive oil
1 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1/4 c. soy milk
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 T. soy margarine

Start the potatoes boiling in a large, covered pot while you make the pierogi dough.

You can make the dough by hand, or with the hook attachment for your KitchenAid mixer. First, whisk together the soy milk and Ener-G in a mixing cup and set aside. Combine the flour and sea salt, then add the canola oil. Add the soy milk mixture and mix until sticky. Add more flour if too wet; drip in some water, or more soy milk, if too crumbly.

Use a floured rolling pin to roll out the dough on a floured surface. (Seriously, use lots of flour. Throw some extra flour on the dough itself, even, and also some all over your face.) The dough should be really, really thin, about 1/16". Using whatever you're using as a cutter (e.g. Tofutti lid, tea cup, legitimate cookie cutter), cut out your circles. Keep re-using and re-rolling the dough until you can't make any more circles. (It doesn't seem like pasta dough gets "tired" like roll-out cookie dough can. In my experience, you can just keep rolling out pierogi dough until you've used it all up.)

Strain and mash the potatoes, adding the olive oil, salt, pepper, and soy milk. Stick the mashed potatoes in the refrigerator to cool for a few minutes, then begin filling the pierogies. Place a 1 1/2-inch ball of filling in the center of each circle of dough, then fold each circle in half and press the edges together. If your dough is very dry, you might want to put a little lukewarm water on your fingers while you're pressing the edges together, to ensure the seal. (I don't bother, though, and mine don't fall apart.)

While you're filling and sealing the pierogies, begin boiling a large, covered pot of water. When you're done filling and sealing, boil the pierogies four at a time for ten minutes. (If the filling starts to come out, you know your edges aren't sealed tightly enough!) Remove with slotted spoon and set aside.

In a large non-stick skillet, melt the soy margarine. Sautee the sliced onions until brown, then lightly fry the pierogies 4 or 5 at a time. Serve immediately.

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