Pirogies with Mushroom sauce

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Basic dumpling dough (for abt. 3 Dozen)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 TBS vegetable oil or melted Earth balance
1 ¼ cups warm water
extra flour for kneading

Blend flour and salt. Pour oil and moisture into the center of the flour and work into the flour (you may also use a Food processor and drizzle the moisture into the dough while the machine runs. Work until a soft ball is formed, then transfer to a board and work by hand for 3 mins until an elastic non sticky dough is formed. Tightly wrap ball into plastic wrap, rest for an hour or overnight in refrigerator. Warm up dough for 20 mins to kitchen temperature before using.

Pirogi filling:

1 Pound yellow onion, diced
3 TBS Earth Balance butter replacer
½ tsp salt

2 Pounds yellow potatoes, peeled and diced in 1″ cubes
1 ¼ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp dried dill
¼ tsp black pepper, ground
1 pinch of nutmeg
3 TBS nutritional yeast
optional ½ cup of sauerkraut

For cooking pirogies:
4 quarts of water
2 TBS salt
2 TBS vegetable oil

The fried onions are supposed to be eaten as a side with the pirogi. However I blended the fried onions into the potato filling, which adds a lot of taste.

Melt the butter replacer, fry the onions for 12-14 minutes until deep golden brown and juicy. Sprinkle with salt and keep in a covered dish.

For the filling, boil the potatoes covered with water for abt. 20 mins or until tender. Reserve ¼ cup of cooking water and drain the rest. Then cool for 5 mins. Mash potatoes with parts of the cooking water and the rest of the filling ingredients until creamy (now you can add the optional sauerkraut and onions if you don’t want to use them as a side dish). Adjust taste with salt and pepper if desired and consistency with more cooking water.

When assembling the pirogies, you may want to start the cooking water already. However if you have a very fast stove or induction cooktop, I recommend to wait until almost done with forming the pirogi.
Divide the dough in 4 pieces. Keep the other pieces covered in plastic wrap to keep them moist and only process ¼ piece at a time. You may roll out the dough with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface and then cut out circles of about 10-12″ with a cookie cutter. However this does not allow much of a handling as the dough may get very tense and contracts when filling.
Here’s another idea. The weak-arm and small-kitchen method: Cut each dough quarter into 9 even pieces. Roughly roll into a ball and then use a simple manual tortilla press to press the dough into a perfect round and right sized disk. (I use a freezer bag with the dough inside to avoid contact and sticking of the dough on the silver painted press)
Handle as little as possible as the dough may ‘get upset’ and will need some rest. You know what I mean, when you experience it, will contract like a rubber band.

To fill the pirogi, moisten rim of the dough circle with little water and scoop abt. 1 TBS of filling into the center. Fold over to a half circle and pinch the rim with your fingers for a tight seal. Place on a floured plate until boiling. The dough will be sticky, so that pirogies will stick to each other when placed too tightly, or will stick to the plate if not floured enough.

To cook pirogi, fill a medium pot to about ¾ with water. Add salt and oil and gently plunge pirogies into the water when it boils. Cook abt. 6 at a time. Gently loosen them if they stick to the bottom of the pot or to each other. When ready, they will float to the surface and you can pick them up with a slotted spoon and place them into a covered casserole dish until re-heating and serving. Cooked pirogies are still very sticky, so avoid piling them up too much.
After cooking, you may re-heat room temperature pirogies in a pan.

Serve with fried onions and some warmed up sauerkraut (unless they are already in the filling). You may also add a side of apple sauce or vegan sour cream, or cover with mushroom gravy.

Alternatively you may make a filling with mushrooms, sauerkraut and vegan sour cream or spinach. ©2015Sabineart.com

 

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