PITTSBURGH PIEROGIS

My wife is from Pittsburgh, where pierogis are a way of life. Every time the Steelers are in a big game, she makes a massive plate of these delicious Polish dumplings for our friends and family. Here’s her recipe for straight-out-of-Pittsburgh vegan pierogis.

pierogis

Makes 30 to 40 small pierogis
Prep and cooking time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

For the dough:
1¼ C all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
¼ C lukewarm water
¼ C Tofutti sour cream
2 Tbsp margarine, at room temperature

For the filling:
⅓ tsp sea salt, plus more for the cooking water
1¼ lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 Tbsp margarine
¼ C plain soy milk
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

For frying and serving:
All-purpose flour, for dusting
Salt
1 Tbsp canola oil
½ C Tofutti sour cream
½ C sauerkraut, squeezed

Method:

First, make the dough:

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.

Whisk the olive oil into the water and then slowly pour that into the flour, mixing as you go. Add the sour cream and margarine.

With clean hands, work the dough until it loses most of its stickiness, about 5 minutes, kneading it into a loose ball. Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

 Meanwhile, make the filling:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until soft, about 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat and drain. Rinse with cold water to cool them slightly. Return them to the pot and add the rest of the ingredients for the filling. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. Set aside.

Form and fry the pierogis:

Flour a clean work surface. Unwrap the dough and transfer it to the work surface. Knead for about 5 minutes, adding more flour as you go, until the dough is smooth but not sticky.

Roll the dough into a large, very thin rectangle. Using a cookie cutter or thin-rimmed drinking glass roughly 3 inches in diameter, cut as many circles as possible into the rectangle of dough.

Lift away the remaining dough, knead it into a ball, roll that out again, and cut more circles. Repeat these steps until all the dough has been used up. You should have 30 to 40 small dough circles at the end.

Take the mashed potato filling and roll it into roughly 30 to 40 small balls (one for each dough circle).

Bring a very large pot of salted water to a low boil. Set up a workstation with the dough circles, potato balls, a lightly floured baking sheet, and a small bowl of cold water (to wet your fingers when forming the pierogis).

Place a potato ball in the center of a dough circle, and then flatten the filling slightly. Using your clean finger, wet the edges of the dough circle. Fold the dough together to make a half circle and pinch the edges shut. Place the pierogi on the floured baking sheet and use a fork to seal the edges. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Your first few might be a bit weird, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it.

Place about 6 pierogis into the pot of boiling water. Once they float to the surface, about 3 minutes, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and place them on a plate. Repeat until all the pierogis are boiled.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add a few pierogis and fry until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Repeat to fry the entire batch.

Transfer the cooked pierogis to a serving plate. Top with vegan sour cream and sauerkraut. Enjoy!