Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Mushroom-Spinach-Sauerkraut Pierogi (makes about 32 dumplings)

mushroom-spinach-sauerkraut pierogi
mushroom-spinach-sauerkraut pierogi
Over a month ago I made Monika's Inspired Polish Cheese and Potato Pierogi. While working on that post I noticed that the hand rolled dough makes thicker and more unique looking dumplings, using the pasta maker creates super thin ones. Most of the Polish pierogi that I ate in the past had thicker skin. This time I decided to make an all vegetarian and egg-less pierogi. For the dough I want to make a green dough using spinach for a different look and taste. I bought a one-pound bag of frozen chopped spinach. After cutting the bag open I gave everything a rinse and just squeezed most of the liquid out. Half of the spinach goes into making the dough and the other half goes into the filling. Since the spinach contains some water the dough does not require as much water. This spinach dough makes about thirty two 4-inch dumplings. If you have extra filling you can make a nice omelet for yourself the next day!

Spinach Dough (makes about 32 dumplings)

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/4 cup to dust and roll the dough
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 lb frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed most of the liquid out
About 1/4 cup lukewarm water

Method:

Combine 2 cups of flour and salt either on a flat clean surface or in a large bowl. Add the spinach. Work the spinach into the salted flour until well incorporated. Slowly add water (a drizzle at a time) until a dough is formed and there is no more flour left. Knead the dough until it is soft and pliable, about 10 minutes. Let the dough rest under a towel for about 20-30 minutes.

*For the dough I keep a cup of lukewarm water next to me but ended up using 1/4 cup. The spinach already has some moisture so I did not need much extra water. Each of my dumplings is about 4-inch in diameter. I cover the rest of the dough that I am not currently using under a moist towel to prevent it from drying out. You may add a few drops of water if the dough appears to be getting hard or a little dry. Remember the dough should always be soft not hard. After making the dough a few times you may not even need a recipe. My recipes are created to provide you with a basic idea and I am happy if you can improve them!

mushroom-spinach-sauerkraut filling
Mushroom-Spinach-Sauerkraut Filling (enough for about 40 dumplings)

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp oil
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
1 package (7.05 oz or 200 g) enoki mushrooms, trimmed ends and cut in half
1 package (5.3 oz or 150 g) brown beech mushrooms, trimmed ends and cut the long ones in half
1 large king mushroom (0.91 lb), rinsed, julienned
1/2 bag of frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed out liquid
1 cup packed sauerkraut (preferably Polish), squeezed out liquid
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar

Method:

1) Heat a large pan over high heat. Add oil once the pan is hot.
2) Add onion and saute about a minute.
3) Add mushrooms and saute until wilted and the liquid has evaporated, about 5-7 minutes.
4) Add spinach and sauerkraut. Saute about a minute.
5) Season with pepper, salt and sugar. Turn off heat and stir until everything is mixed well.
6) Set aside and let cooled completely before using.

*I prefer the Polonaise sauerkraut (from Poland). The cabbage is thinly sliced instead of chopped and it is more flavorful than any other types that I tried.
*The mushrooms will shrink by a lot once you cooked them. 
*As in all my recipes you should adjust the seasoning according to your own taste and preference.

To form the Dumplings

Divide the dough into quarters. Roll each quarter (of the dough) into a log and cut into 8 equal pieces to make the dumpling skins. Take a small piece out and keep the rest in the bowl and cover with a towel to prevent from drying while you work. Dust the surface with a little flour and roll the dough out as thin as you can using a rolling pin. The disc will be about 4-inch in diameter. If you do not have a rolling pin you can use a bottle. Add about 1 1/2 tablespoon of filling to the center. Fold the sides together and pinch at the center. Slowly pinch the edges together while removing as much air out as possible. Gently boil the formed dumplings for about 3-4 minutes. Once cooked remove with a slotted spoon and lightly fry in a little oil to brown the sides. Serve with sour cream and lightly fried onions if interested. 

previously frozen pierogi
You can freeze these pierogi and they will taste as good as freshly made ones. Boil them and let them cool down completely before wrapping them in a plastic wrap. Try not to have the dumpling touch each other. When you are ready to eat them just drop the dumplings (minus the plastic wrap) in boiling water. Let them boil gently for about 4-5 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon and fry them lightly in a little oil to brown the sides and serve hot or warm.

mushrooms-spinach-sauerkraut omelet
*I cracked 3 eggs to the leftover filling and created another tasty meal. I drizzled the top with some Sriracha sauce and przyprawa w plynie (Maggi).
*The cooked dumplings may be in placed single layer on a plate and store in the refrigerator. They may be reheated using a microwave.

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