Freshly Blogged Challenge. Week 4

Pilchard Pierogi with Borscht, crispy cabbage and creamed feta.
Vote here.
I feel like the longer the competition goes on, the longer my recipes seems to be coming!
I must confess, I found this challenge a bit tricky... I have never eaten tinned pilchards before, so I had a bit of a taste and a smell, to see what would go with what.
They smelled and tasted very similar to tuna, so I went with that, and tried to add ingredients that would complement the pilchards.
Our ingredients were: tinned lucky star pilchards, brown rice, green beans, cabbage and feta. And we weren't allowed to leave out any ingredients. We also had to cook everything on the stove top, so no baking for me.
I know that beetroot goes very well with oily fish, like salmon, and I looked to Europe for inspiration, as brown rice,  fish and cabbage are staple ingredients there.
I was sorely tempted to make my own sauerkraut (a traditional Pierogi filling) but it takes 6 weeks to ferment and sour.
Pierogi are pretty much a cross between ravioli and dumplings. The addition of mashed potatoes makes the dough very light and soft, and with enough flour the dough becomes quite manageable.
Its a bit time consuming to make the little pastries (the cutting and filling and sealing etc.) but they make quite a bumper batch (about 30 med sized) and freeze well for later.
I made these again with a different filling last week - I used mashed potato, fried onions and cheese.
They were scrumptious.
You can boil them, and then fry them, or bake them, or just boil them.
If you don't want to use fish experiment with other traditional fillings: sauerkraut, meats, cheese, yoghurt or fruit, but use some sort of mashed veg to soften the filling.

Pilchard Pierogi with Borscht, crispy cabbage and creamed feta 
serves 6
For the Pierogi Filling
1/4 cup brown rice
500g (2 large) peeled potatoes
1 x 400g tin lucky star pilchards in tomato sauce
salt
black pepper

Peel potatoes and cut in half.
Boil potatoes and rice in water for 30 minutes until cooked.
Mash the potatoes once cool.
Drain pilchards from sauce and mash. Reserve tomato sauce for the Borscht. Set aside 1 cup of mashed potato for the dough, and mix the remainder and the rice into the fish.
Season well.

For the Pierogi dough
1 med egg
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup mashed potato (from pierogi filling)
25ml sunflower oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
milk

Mix together the egg, water, mashed potato, sunflower oil and salt.
Add the flour and form a dough
Mix on a well floured surface for 5 minutes. Adding more flour if sticky.
It will be a soft and elastic dough.
Leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Make the borscht while the dough rests.

Divide the dough in two.
Roll out to 4 to 5mm thick. 
Cut out circles - 10 small pierogi per person (5cm cutter) or 5 large pierogie per person (8cm).
Put in either a tsp or Tbsp of filling.
Seal the edges with milk and push down to close, making sure there are no holes
Repeat with the remainder of the dough and filling. 
Place on floured trays until ready to cook.

For the Borscht
500g (about 6-7) peeled beetroot
1500ml water
1 vegetable stock pot
1 tsp salt
200g green beans

Rub oil into your fingernails to prevent the beetroot from staining your skin.

Peel the beetroot, wash well and cut into 1cm cubes.
Place in a pot with the water, and stock pot.
Bring to the boil.
Simmer for 20 minutes until beetroot is tender. 
Top and tail the green beans and set aside for cooking.

For the crispy cabbage
100g finely sliced cabbage
oil to fry

Finely slice the cabbage and set aside for cooking.

For the creamed Feta
75g (1 round) feta
125ml (1/2 cup) milk

Crumble the feta into the milk. 
Blend until smooth with a hand blender.

Putting the dish together:
Fry the sliced cabbage in hot oil and drain.
Boil water and add the pierogi and green beans. 
Cook for 3 minutes. the pierogi will float when done. 
Remove form the heat.
Heat the soup and place in a bowl. 
Add the green beans on top of the beetroot cubes.
Add the pierogi on top of the green beans.
Pour over creamed feta.
Top with the crispy cabbage.

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