Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Eastern European Night

So, after eating at a Ukrainian restaurant in New York City several months ago I have had a goal of making plum dumplings. They were soooo delicious, hearty, wholesome, a little sweet, fruity. Perfection. So, when my vegan friend came over one night and we were hungry and feeling a little creative, we ran to the store to grab some canned plums. Then we realized we probably should eat something more dinner-like also. So, the idea of vegan pierogies was created! (Because, what better to go with plum dumplings?)

So, below, find my recipes for vegan sauerkraut and potato pierogies and then vegan plum dumplings for dessert!

Vegan Sauerkraut and Potato Pierogies

For the dough:
1/4 cup of oil
8 oz of vegan sour cream
3 cup of flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder

For the filling:
1 can of sauerkraut
2 cups of mashed potatoes (I boiled about 4 medium sized potatoes and mashed them with garlic)
5 tablespoons of Earth Balance vegan butter
1 cup of diced onions
salt and pepper to taste

1. Make the fillings: boil and mash your potatoes, stir in 1/2 cup of onions and 3 tablespoons of butter with the potatoes, add salt and pepper. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan (on med-low), add the sauerkraut, stir in the onions, add salt and pepper, cook for a few minutes (until everything is heated through). Now, you can combine the potatoes and sauerkraut into one filling (which is delicious!) or you can use the sauerkraut and potatoes each as separate fillings. I did all three (I had one bowl of sauerkraut and potato filling, one bowl of sauerkraut filling, and one bowl of potato filling). 

2. Make the dough: beat the oil and sour cream together, set aside. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together, stir this into the sour cream mixture. Knead until you have a relatively firm, but soft, dough.  I let my dough sit, covered, for about 10 minutes.

3. I have these handy dough cutters and folders, where all I have to do is cut a circle out of my rolled out dough, place the circle in the center of the dough folder, add the filling, sprinkle some water on the edges of dough, and fold. However, if you do not have these handy dough folders, you can easily fold your pierogies by hand (I just am really bad at this). So, what you need to do is roll out your dough to about 1/4" consistency, and then cut circles of about 2" in diameter out. You will then hold a dough circle between your thumb and forefinger, place about 1/2 tablespoon of filling in the middle of the dough circle. Now, line the outer edges of the dough with a little water, and fold together. Use your fingers to pinch the outer edge of the dough, to ensure that it is well stuck together. Do this until you run out of dough.

The first picture is of a dough circle in one of my handy dough folders. The second picture is of pierogies that have already been folded, and me adding filling to another.

4. Fill up a large pot about 1/2 full with salted water and bring to a boil. Add the pierogies, 4-5 at a time, and boil until they float to the top (3-5 minutes). We then melted some vegan butter with minced garlic in a bowl to serve as a dipping sauce for them.

A cooked pierogi!

 Now, for dessert!

Vegan Plum Dumplings:

(for the pastry)
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of oil
2 tablespoons of vegetable shortening or vegan butter
1 cup of mashed potatoes

(for the filling)
1 can of pitted, whole plums

(for the sauce)
1/2 cup of vegan butter
1 1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of flour

1. Drain the can of plums, saving some of the plum syrup to add to your sauce later. Set aside and make the dough. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add potatoes (mix in with a fork or dough cutter), and then add the oil and shortening/butter (also mix in with a fork or dough cutter, until well incorporated). Knead until you have a firm, soft dough. Let sit for about 10 minutes, covered.

2. Roll out the dough until it is about 1/4" thick, and cut circles out of it like you did with the pierogies. Take one whole circle, put the plum in the middle of it, then add another circle on top. Wet the edges of the two circles where they will meet, and pinch them together tightly all the way around. Do this until you run out of plums.

Putting plums in dough circles!

3. Fill a pot about 1/2 full with salted water and boil. Boil the dumplings for 5-7 minutes. Remove from boiling water, strain. Now, heat oil in a frying pan (I used my cast-iron wok), and fry the dumplings until they are golden brown.

Frying the dumplings, after they have been boiled
4. Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a frying pan, stir in the sugar and the plum syrup you saved earlier. Stir frequently for about 3-5 minutes, until the sugar is incorporated. Now, add the flour, and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened. Pour the sauce over the dumplings in a large bowl, make sure the dumplings have been well coated.

Serve and enjoy!

Our meal!

1 comment:

  1. I so helped Vero make this that day, and it was DELICIOUS!!!!