What do you get when you put two foodies on a limited budget with four hot plates in a small French kitchen?
Why, ‘Rogi night of course!
In an effort to show you my amazing cooking skills, (or maybe in hopes of become a famous food blogger so people will send me product samples? Jiffy? Chobani? Quaker Oats? Can you hear me?) I present to you, Pierogi night.
When C and I were stumped as to what to do with our leftover cabbage from borscht night (C lived in Ukraine this summer), we put on our thinking caps and came up with Pierogis. A traditional Polish meal, we decided it couldn’t be that hard and invited our starving English assistant friends over to join us.
What resulted was mass amounts of chewy, doughy, buttery, goodness. We stuffed our ‘rogis with both a cabbage carrot slaw and onion potato mixture, and served them with a side salad, of course, to balance out our plates.
To recreate this magical evening in the comfort of your home kitchen, il faut plusiers choses.
First, the dough.
We combined 3 cups of flour, some salt to taste, one egg, 2 tablespoons of crème fraiche, and about a ½ cup of lukewarm water in a mixing bowl. Then, my good friend L dove right in with her purple nail polish, until everything was well mixed and the dough was in the shape of a ball. While you let that sit for fifteen minutes, you can start working on the filling!
For the cabbage and carrot filling, C really outdid himself. He started by grating the cabbage and carrots into a pot, added some butter (he won’t tell me how much), and of course about a glass of dry white wine. Then he heated the little baby up on medium heat, until the cabbage and carrots were soft. Then you must season with salt and pepper! When the filling is just right, let it cool (we just opened a window and let the pot sit) so that the filling doesn’t melt the dough when you put it in.
For the potato filling, I boiled six potatoes, and started chopping the onions (Disclaimer: if there is one thing C and I love, it’s onions. If there is another thing we love, it’s garlic. A perfect seasoning match is a rare find, people. I’m convinced it’s fate). I used lots of onions, but you can use as much as you would like. Heat up a skillet, add some butter, and add lots of garlic and onions, cooking until the onions are brown and soft. While this is happening, your potatoes should be simmering. When they are soft, drain them, add some butter, and mash them up. You can also add salt and pepper to taste, or parmesan cheese! We ended up with a garlicky, cheesy, delicious potato mixture.
Now, if you happen to have a rolling pin, you can use that to roll out your dough until it is about 1/16 of an inch thick. You can always use wine bottles, which work just as well. When that is done, cut the dough into 4 inch circles. Place a dollop of the filling in the middle of the circle, and fold over, pressing the edges shut. It is important that none of the filling is on the edges, otherwise the ‘rogi will not close and the filling will be everywhere instead of in the buttery pocket it’s supposed to be in!
The next step is to drop your ‘rogis, very carefully, into boiling water. After a few minutes, the ‘rogis will rise to the top. This is when they are done! If you happen to have an oven, you can use a slotted spoon to remove them, and put them on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees, adding a little drop of butter to the outside of each individual ‘rogi. If not, you can put them in a pan with butter like we did, so that the outside edges brown.
Serve with a healthy side salad! Top with a dollop of crème fraiche (sour cream will do), or a sprinkling of pepper and salt.
If you prepare the dough in advance, this really is a simple dinner to make, and it’s also quite fun. We certainly enjoyed ‘rogi night, and are going to continue with the international theme as we host more dinners throughout the year. Right now, I am craving some fall chili! Next recipe to come?
Email me tales of ‘rogi adventures at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment!