Thursday, February 23, 2017

How to Make Vegan Pierogies

Let's get the wrapper discussion out of the way.  No one's Polish grandmothers would roll over in their graves for using Asian dumpling wrappers, so please stop saying that.  Pierogi wrappers are made with flour and water, so are Asian dumpling wrappers.  Yes....I get it...maybe you're family recipe includes egg.  People add the egg so it's easier to handle the dough because it makes it tougher, but pierogi dough is supposed to be soft, not tough.  Also, some people add sour cream or milk to their dough to make it a softer dough.  That I get, but I really haven't noticed any discernible difference between the Asian wrappers and the pierogi wrapper recipes that have dairy in them.  If you really want, make your own dough.  I'm happy for this acceptable short cut if it means fresh peirogies on a weeknight.  I buy these (pic from their site because I forgot to take my own) at Hmart. They are super cheap and vegan.  A lot of their wrappers include egg, so read the ingredients.

Now we we can move on to the filling.  You don't want your filling to be hot, so if I know I'm making these, I make a different meal with mash potatoes and save some for pierogies later in the week.  If I remember, I separate the cooked potatoes after I mix in a small amount of non-dairy milk.  You don't want it to be too creamy or loose.  They do firm up in the fridge, so on the times I've forgotten, it was still fine.  Sometimes I add sauteed onions or sauerkraut, or if I have leftover cheese sauce, I'll add that too.  But really, just plain mash potatoes are fine.  I use a cookie scoop of filling, put water on the edges and seal them shut.  No fancy folded closure needed, you're making pierogies not dim sum.

I tried cooking them the same way you'd cook dumplings...pan sear then steam with a little water.  They were okay.  They were much better boiled and then fried.  I usually start making the dumplings while the water comes a to a boil.  I put eight in the water till they float, then move them over to a hot pan with coconut oil to fry.  As they boil, I continue to make dumplings, and just keep going from station to station...fill, fold, boil and fry.  It moves along very quickly once you get the hang of it.

And voila!  Pierogies.  I serve them with either Tofutti sour cream or I'll make a quick cashew sour cream.  (Once the water comes to a boil, pour a cup or so over 1 cup of cashews.  Not necessary, but I do it if I remember.  Dump the drained cashews in a blender with 1/2 cup of water, 1/4 tsp salt and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Refrigerate. Yes, it's really that easy.)

Photo credits to my kid who is really becoming an amazing photographer!

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