This week’s post comes from the Boston kitchens of We Are Not Martha.
I have to a confession to make. Unless they are of the orange, sweet variety, I’m not a potato person. I’ll eat them sure, but I never really get too excited about potatoes. And as someone who is apt to get incredibly excited over food, this is saying something. Due to my relatively blah feelings about potatoes, I never considered making my own pierogi. Until I discovered that the potato pierogi is actually very much an American adaptation. A true Eastern European pierogi generally does not involve potatoes. OK, you’ve made my interest pique. A pierogi involving mushrooms, apples, gouda cheese, and whole wheat dough is much more up my alley.
So what exactly is a pierogi? It’s simply a semi-circle of unleavened dough that’s stuffed with something. And in Poland, they often like to stuff their pierogi with mushrooms. Perhaps Poland really has the right idea with this dish. With so many pierogi being bought frozen and at European markets, they’re one of those foods you might not think to make on your own. But they’re actually quite simple to make, even for those of you who tend to shy away from anything that involves making your own dough.
Mushroom, Apple, and Gouda Pierogi (makes about 16)
Adapted from Simply Life
For the dough:
- 1/4 C smooth applesauce, plus more for serving
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 C all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
For the filling:
- 1 T olive oil
- 6 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 C applesauce
- Fresh thyme
- 1/3 C gouda, shredded
1.) Start by making the pierogi dough. Mix together apple sauce, 1 T olive oil, 1/2 t salt, 1 egg, and 1/2 C warm water in a bowl. Mix flours together in another bowl and then stir the applesauce mixture into the flour.
2.) Knead dough for about a minute on a lightly floured surface, until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside for about 30 minutes.
3.) Now for the filling. Heat 1 T of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook until brown, about 5 minutes. Now add the onion and cook for another 4 minutes, until tender.
4.) Stir 1 C apple sauce, 1/2 C water, thyme, and paprika in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook about 5 minutes. Then uncover, stir, and cook until thickened, about 4 minutes. Taste and add more thyme and paprika if you desire.
5.) Unwrap the dough and roll it out into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick (you might need to do it in two batches if your work space isn’t big enough). Then, using a drinking glass (or a round cookie cutter), cut circles of dough.
6.) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Whisk egg in a bowl and set aside.
7.) Put a dollop of apple sauce mixture on each dough round. Then put about 1 T of mushroom/onion mixture in middle. Sprinkle some grated gouda over the rounds. Brush edges with egg wash. Repeat with all dough rounds. Then fold rounds in half and seal edges by pushing down with a fork.
8.) Drop pierogi in boiling water (4-5 at a time) for about 5 minutes. While they’re boiling, heat about 2 T of olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. When pierogi are done boiling, put in saute pan for about 4 minutes (2 minutes on each side), until browned. Repeat with remaining pierogi. Serve with applesauce if you desire!
While I could probably eat a batch of mushroom pierogi on my own, these really are an ideal party dish. They’re a perfect finger food and your guests will love the fact that you made your own. And thanks to mushrooms, I now have a new found love for pierogi!