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Posts Tagged ‘meatless’

postheadericon Sauerkraut Salad

As we start in to cook-out season here in the Coal Region, the requisite potato and macaroni salads show up. As much as I am  fan of both of those, I like to “shake things up a bit” and add something to the mix that is a bit unexpected. My favorite for warm weather gatherings is Sauerkraut Salad. Embracing the Anthracite Coal Region blending of cultures — the Pa. Dutch, German, and Eastern European cuisines love to make dishes from sauerkraut and cabbage — this fits in perfectly!

Even people who normally do not like sauerkraut (GASP!!!) often like this salad. It’s delicious as a side dish, but also good on burgers, sausages, brats, and sandwiches. Make sure to make it a day ahead so the flavors can blend. I make it the night before serving. As with so many recipes, this lends itself well to adapting to your tastes;  adjust the sugar and vinegar as you prefer. If in doubt about amounts, always start with less — you can always add, but you cannot take it out once mixed in!

Sauerkraut Salad

Sauerkraut Salad

Pa. Dutch Sauerkraut Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 quart of sauerkraut
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, diced
  • 1 small jar pimentos, drained
  • OPTIONAL 1 apple, chopped (Use something sweet/tart and crisp; Braeburn, Jonagold, Pink Lady, Fuji, Gala))
  • 1 cup white sugar (or to your taste)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup vinegar (cider or white)
  • black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain sauerkraut.
  2. In large bowl, mix sugar, oil, vinegar and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add chopped vegetables, sauerkraut and pimentos. Add black pepper to taste. Stir to mix well.
  4. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/05/19/sauerkraut-salad/

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postheadericon Fried Cornmeal Mush

Pa Dutch Fried Cornmeal Mush

Pa Dutch Fried Cornmeal Mush

Fried Cornmeal Mush

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Yellow Corn Meal
  • 1 Cup COLD Water
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 1 tsp. Salt

Instructions

  1. In a heavy saucepan, bring 3 Cups of water and the salt to a boil.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the cornmeal and the 1 cup of COLD water.
  3. Gradually stir the cornmeal and water mixture into the salted boiling water.
  4. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Cover, and continue cooking for 10 - 15 minutes, stirring occasionally (should be very thick).
  6. Pour into a loaf pan, cool and refrigerate until completely cold and firm.
  7. Slice into thin slices.
  8. Dredge in seasoned flour and fry in fat until golden brown and crispy.
  9. Serve hot.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/05/03/fried-cornmeal-mush/

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postheadericon Pagach (aka “Pierogi Pizza”)

Pagach is made of mashed potatoes and dough (sometimes with cabbage or sauerkraut instead of potatoes).  It originated as a Lenten dish in Slavic regions. It is popular in Northeastern Pennsylvania (the “Coal Region) and Southwestern Pennsylvania, areas shaped by the large population of Catholic immigrants from Eastern European countries. Pagach can be served as a side or as a main meal. Many times it is made as Friday night supper since it contains no meat. Pagach can be rolled out round or in a rectangle.

The potatoes or cabbage filling will often include butter, onions, cheese, and seasoning. Think of it as if a pierogi and a pizza fell in love and had an offspring! Although, traditionally, the filling is encased in the dough, in many restaurants in Northeast and Southwest Pennsylvania, it is constructed as a typical “pizza” — the fillings placed on top of the rolled out dough then baked, hence the name  “pierogie pizza”.  Pagach is delicious while it’s still warm, but can also be eaten the next day. You could use it as a side dish, a snack, or as a meal on its own.

This recipe is for the traditional construction of the filled and flattened pagach and includes three fillings: potato, cabbage, and sauerkraut.

Pagach (“Pierogi Pizza”)

Pagach (“Pierogi Pizza”)

Pagach

Ingredients

    Dough
  • 3/4 cup scalded milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. shortening
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 -1/4 ounce packet dry yeast (2-1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water (105 F)
    Fillings
    Cabbage:
  • 1 medium head cabbage, chopped fine
  • Butter
  • Saute cabbage in butter until soft.
    Potato:
  • 3 medium potatoes, mashed with no added liquid
  • Chopped chives
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Combine potatoes, chives, and egg
  • OPTIONAL: add shredded cheddar cheese to taste if desired
    Sauerkraut:
  • 1/2 pound sauerkraut, drained
  • Butter
  • Fry sauerkraut slowly in butter about 5 minutes.

Instructions

  1. Make filling of your choice, cool.
  2. In large bowl, pour milk over salt, sugar, and shortening. Cool to lukewarm.
  3. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water.
  4. Add egg to lukewarm milk mixture.
  5. Add yeast/water mixture.
  6. Add about half the flour. Beat well.
  7. Add remainder of flour. Beat well.
  8. Turn out onto floured board and knead about 5 minutes.
  9. Place in greased bowl and let rise until doubled in bulk - 1-1/2 to 2 hours approx.
  10. Divide dough into 2 portions.
  11. Flatten/roll out one piece to about 2-inch thickness.
  12. Place desired filling in center.
  13. Draw up outside edges of dough to encase filling and pinch together to cover filling. The end result should look similar to a coin purse.
  14. Roll this "pouch" out gently to about 3/4 inch thick. Filling should remain inside dough. Think of a disk with the filling completely contained inside. Follow the same method for remaining half of the dough.
  15. Place each disk on a greased cookie sheet.
  16. Let rise about 1-½ hours.
  17. Bake at 375 F degrees about 20 to 30 minutes.
  18. When done, serve warm slathered with butter or sour cream. May also be brushed with heavy cream and sprinkled with sugar.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/03/26/pagach-aka-pierogi-pizza/

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postheadericon Easy Homemade Farmer’s Cheese

Farmer’s cheese is a fresh or un-aged cheese. It is also known as dry curd cheese or peasant cheese. This type of cheese is used in countless Eastern European cuisine recipes. It is also a part of Pa. Dutch (German) cuisine, often served as crumbles which resemble cottage cheese. Farmer’s cheese goes by many names in different languages: twaróg in Polish, surutka in Croatian and Serbian, tvaroh in Czech and Slovak, túró in Hungarian, varškės in Lithuanian, lapte covăsit in Romanian, tvorog in Russian, skuta in Slovenian, and syr in Ukrainian.

You can make farmer’s cheese easily at home with basic ingredients.. And you do not need a cheese press (unless you inherited one from your grandma … if you did, now is the time to dig it out of the “what am i ever gonna do with THIS thing” box!)

The whey or liquid by-product of the cheese making process is excellent to use when making bread; use the whey in place of water or milk. It can also be used as a soup base. Some people have even been known to drink it! As previously mentioned, it can be left crumbly or formed into a solid piece.  Some people slice it and fry it or eat it on bread with honey, some use the crumbles as a spread or in pierogi filling, add it to scrambled eggs as they’re cooking, or make it into a filling for blintzes. There are many uses, and you can add herbs like dill or chives, mix in basil and diced sun-dried tomatoes if desired.

Easy Homemade Farmer’s Cheese

Easy Homemade Farmer’s Cheese

Homemade Farmers Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts milk (whole; use pasteurized, instead of ultra-pasteurized, if available)
  • 2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • OPTIONAL: caraway seeds
  • OPTIONAL: herbs, additions of your choice
  • Cheesecloth or muslin
  • Butcher's or kitchen twine
  • Cooking Thermometer

Instructions

  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot, over low heat, slowly heat the milk up, stirring often, until it is just about to simmer (about 180 F).
  2. Stir in the buttermilk, and then the vinegar, and turn off the heat.
  3. Very slowly stir until you see the milk separating into curds (the solids) and whey (the liquid). Leave undisturbed for 10 minutes.
  4. If using caraway seeds, stir them in now.
  5. Line a large strainer with 3 layers of cheesecloth and place over a stockpot to catch the whey.
  6. After the 10 minutes are up, ladle the curds into the cheesecloth and allow the whey to drain for 10 minutes.
  7. Gather up the edges of the cheesecloth and tie a string around the top to form bundle. Tie the string to a wooden spoon/dowel/kitchen sink faucet and hang the cheese curds over the stockpot and continue draining for 30 minutes.
    To use as loose curds
  1. After draining, remove the cheese from the cloth, and transfer into a container. Stir in the salt and refrigerate. Cheese can be used for up to 5 days. Use as a spread, or as you would use cream cheese, or cottage cheese.
  2. Store it in a nonmetallic container, cover, and refrigerate.
    To Form Into a Solid Disk
  1. Once most of the liquid has dripped out, give a last good wring, tie the bag securely, place it between two clean cutting boards and put a heavy weight on top of it to squeeze out the rest of the liquid.
  2. Press the cheese somewhere it can be undisturbed for 8-10 hours or overnight to set. The longer you press the cheese, the drier it will be.
  3. Gently remove the cheesecloth, place the cheese on a plate, lightly salt it on all sides to taste, and put it on a rack to let it dry a little so a thin rind forms.
  4. Store it in a nonmetallic container, cover, and refrigerate.
  5. .
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/03/19/easy-homemade-farmers-cheese/

 

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postheadericon Hrudka (Egg Cheese)

Hrudka (aka cirek, sirets, sirok, sireczs) is a simple custard cheese that’s essential for many Eastern European Easter tables. It’s served cold, sliced and eaten by itself or often as part of a ham or kielbasi sandwich made on Paska bread that’s slathered with beet horseradish. For many of us in the Coal Region who have Eastern European roots, the making of  hrudka  is among some of our favorite traditions of the Easter holiday.  Hrudka is often included in a basket of food taken to church blessed on Holy Saturday. This Catholic ritual has been cherished for generations among many Coal Region area families. The roots of this tradition date back to the 12th century early history of Poland, however, the Eastern Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians, including Czechs, Croatians, Hungarians, Lithuanians, Russians, Slovaks and Ukrainians, also participate in this holy ritual. The blessed food is not eaten until after mass on Easter Sunday.

The basic recipe is mixing eggs and milk, adding salt, and cooking it while continually stirring until the curds form.  Many families have their favorite version of hrudka and many include sugar and vanilla in their recipes.  Once the ingredients are cooked, the contents of the pot are poured into a strainer that is lined with cheesecloth or a porous towel. When the liquid drains, the cheesecloth is gathered and the liquid is squeezed out by hand to form the ball. The cheesecloth is tied to keep the ball shape, then hung over a container to allow remaining liquid to drain for a few hours or overnight. The hrudka is stored in a refrigerator for the Easter feast. Some use the leftover liquid in other recipes, such as paska bread. NOTE: Cooking in the microwave shortens the cook time and eliminates the scorching that sometimes occurs with cooking on the stovetop. Directions for both cooking methods are included.

 

Hrudka (Egg Cheese)

Hrudka (Egg Cheese)

Hrudka (egg cheese)

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • OPTIONAL (for sweet hrudka)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar (or to suit your taste - some people add up to a cup)

Instructions

  1. Beat eggs. Add milk, salt, (if using) sugar and vanilla and beat well.
  2. Cook in double boiler, stirring constantly, until the mixture turns to curds and "white water".
  3. Cook the mixture for a few minutes after the white water appears. Be careful not to allow the mixture to scorch.
  4. *** OR USE THE MICROWAVE COOK METHOD:
  5. Cook in the microwave on high, fluffing with a fork between blasts:
  6. 4 minutes-fluff
  7. 4 minutes-fluff
  8. 2 minutes-fluff
  9. 2 minutes-fluff
  10. 1 minuet + fluffing until it looks like watery scrambled eggs (the fluid will be clear). Then follow directions for straining and hanging below.***
  11. Pour the mixture into a strainer lined with a cheesecloth or a porous kitchen towel.
  12. Squeeze out the liquid, being careful not to burn yourself.
  13. Tie the cloth tight and hang it in a place where it can drip dry. (Some use a kitchen faucet for this purpose, others use a wooden spoon placed across the top of a pot.
  14. Allow the hrudka to cool, squeezing it a few more times to really squeeze the water out of it.
  15. Place it in the refrigerator. Allow it to hang to set for several hours or overnight, unwrap..
  16. Store well wrapped in the refrigerator.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/03/04/hrudka-egg-cheese/

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postheadericon Meatless Borscht (Red Beet Soup)

A twelve-dish Christmas Eve supper is traditionally prepared in many Central European and Northern European cultures, especially those that were formerly part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, including Polish, Lithuanian, Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian. Many modern age descendants of immigrants from those areas who settled in the Coal Region embrace some, or all, of their heritage’s Christmas Eve and Day customs. The meal consists of twelve meatless dishes representing the twelve months of the year (and perhaps in more recent times, the 12 Apostles). The tradition of the supper can be traced back to pre-Christian times and connected with remembrance of the souls of deceased ancestors. Fish, mushrooms, pierogies with assorted fillings and sweets in some cuisines are part of the meal. The Christmas Eve supper is usually held under candlelight and starts in the evening after the first star appears in the sky. The star symbolizes the birth of Jesus in Christian tradition and a soul of deceased ancestors in pre-Christian beliefs. In Poland, Russia and Ukraine an extra plate and seat are always left at the table in the belief the spirits of the departed members of the family visit on the night. It is also very customary to be even more hospitable and invite unexpected visitors to the supper. This soup is often found on the table for Christmas Eve and is a meatless version because in many of these households, Christmas Eve is a fast day and no meat is consumed (In Ukraine, for example, some people abstain from eating all-together for the whole day, until the first star appears, when a 12 course meatless meal is served for the whole family, to break the fast.). To serve this at any time when it is not necessary to be meatless, use chicken or beef broth as the base. (Source of historical information: Wikipedia)

Meatless Borscht (Red Beet Soup)

Meatless Borscht (Red Beet Soup)

Meatless Borscht

Ingredients

  • 6 cups boiling water, or vegetable soup stock
  • 2 medium red beats, peeled and shredded
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 2 Tbs white vinegar, or lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 cup Savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 whole onion
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 1 Tbs fresh dill , chopped
  • Sour cream for garnish

Instructions

  1. Saute 1 chopped onion in 2 Tbs oil until golden.
  2. Add shredded beats, carrot and celery.
  3. Cook for about 10 min.
  4. Add tomato paste and white vinegar, or lemon juice (I use vinegar)
  5. Cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Add to the boiling water or soup stock.
  7. Add whole onion, bay leaf , peppercorns.
  8. Bring to boil again and simmer for 20 min.
  9. Add shredded savoy cabbage.
  10. Simmer for another 15 minutes, or until cabbage is done.
  11. Remove the whole onion , bay leaf and peppercorns.
  12. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Add chopped dill (for a more tangy flavor, you may add more vinegar, 1 tsp at a time).
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/12/21/meatless-borscht-red-beet-soup/

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postheadericon Mom’s Waldorf Salad

Waldorf salad is a fruit and nut salad generally made of fresh apples, celery, grapes and walnuts, dressed in mayonnaise. The name comes from the fact that the Waldorf salad was first created for a charity ball given in honor of the St. Mary’s Hospital for Children on March 14, 1896 at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City. The original recipe was just fruit, celery, and mayonnaise. It did not contain nuts, which had been added by the time the recipe appeared in The Rector Cook Book in 1928. The other thing it did not, and usually does not, include is miniature marshmallows, but my Mom, faced with trying to get a fussy kid (who might that be?…) to eat fruit and vegetables got creative and always added the marshmallows.  For decades, I thought she was the only one who ever did that, but lo and behold, I was going through an old cookbook with recipes from the Coal Region and found my Mom’s exact recipe for Waldorf Salad in it — maybe adding  the marshmallows is a Coal Region thing, I don’t know, but to this day, there is not one batch of Waldorf Salad made in my kitchen that does not contain those mini marshmallows! Mom never added the traditional grapes, therefore, I do not, either. Just typing this recipe out takes me back to memories of me as a kid, sitting at our chrome and yellow vinyl covered chairs  kitchen table set, chowing down on a bowl of Waldorf Salad while my Mom puttered around the kitchen doing what Moms do so well — showing you how much they loved you.  Miss you so much, Mom. This one’s for you. (The photo is  missing the marshmallows, apologies, I did  not have one with them included! Photo from Taste of Home)

Mom’s Waldorf Salad

Yield: 6 to 8

Mom’s Waldorf Salad

Mom's Waldorf Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 cups eating apples, peeled and cored, diced into 1/4 - 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Mayonnaise or "salad dressing" (like Miracle Whip)

Instructions

  1. In bowl, combine apples, marshmallows, celery, and nuts.
  2. Toss with enough mayonnaise or sala d dressing to moisten well.
  3. Chill.
  4. Add additional mayonnaise or salad dressing if needed before serving.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/12/14/moms-waldorf-salad/

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postheadericon Handmade Pierogi

Ah, the beloved Coal Region favorite — pierogi. Not only do many meals revolve around pierogi, but it is the center of much social interaction, especially in generations gone by.  “Church ladies” gather in church kitchens and turn out pierogi for fundraising sales, block parties, or church festivals by the hundreds of dozen — and we Coal Region folks are quite willing to stand in long lines at those events to get them. (You meet nice people standing in the pierogi concession line.) Pierogi is a a traditional food in many cuisines of Eastern Europe and they found themselves becoming a staple in the Coal Region thanks to the influx of immigrants to the Anthracite region who came to America to work in the mines. What started out as a peasant food has evolved into a true classic. Pierogi are not difficult to make.  I repeat – not difficult!! Therefore, I suggest you pass over the in-the-grocery-store frozen variety and, at least once in your life, MAKE YOUR OWN! This recipe for the dough includes sour cream; some recipes do not, but I believe the addition of sour cream makes a more tender dough and I had an iconic “church lady” assure me that was correct (so, that’s good enough for me). Pierogi are filled with savory or sweet fillings, and I have included the very popular potato and cheese filling and a sauerkraut and potato filling. This recipe  makes a LOT, but if you are making pierogi, it makes sense to make a bunch and freeze some for future use. However, you can scale it down. They freeze wonderfully and last a long time in the freezer.

*** READ BEFORE STARTING THIS RECIPE and KEEP THESE POINTS IN MIND ***

  • You do not NEED fancy equipment to form pierogi.  All you NEED is your hands, a 3-3/4 to 4 inch round item capable of cutting the dough – like a drinking glass, and a rolling pin  Anything more than that — like an electric stand mixer, a metal cutter, or pastry brush to wet the dough edges for sealing is icing on the cake.
  • You do not have to complete all the steps involved at one time or in one day.  You can make the filling(s) a day or so ahead, make the dough the evening before, and put them all together the next day.
  • The water for cooking should be kept at a boil and they will float to the top when finished cooking.
  • When cutting circles of dough, cut as closely together as possible to get as many as you can from the rolled out dough. The scraps can be gently gathered and placed together to roll again and cut.
  • Your pierogi should be nicely filled, with no air bubbles inside, and just enough dough rim around the edge to assure a tight seal when pinched shut.
  • Pierogi can be frozen raw or cooked. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, arrange raw or cooked, cooled pierogi, making sure the ends don’t touch. Place in freezer. Freeze until solid, remove them from the tray and place in freezer bags. If frozen un-cooked, boil to cook when ready to serve.

Handmade Pierogi

Yield: 14 to 15 dozen

Handmade Pierogi

Making Homemade Pierogi

Ingredients

    For the Dough
  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sour cream (full fat)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups water
    Potato Cheddar Filling
  • 5 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 medium sweet onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 lb good quality sharp cheddar cheese, grated (use really good cheese!)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    Sauerkraut Filling
  • 2-1/2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 2 cups sauerkraut
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

    Making the Dough
  1. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix sour cream, water and eggs until well blended.
  2. Make a well in the center of the flour,/salt mixture and pour in the sour cream/water/eggs mixture. Mix together by hand or with the dough hook of a stand mixer until it comes together adjusting with additional flour or water 1 tablespoon at a time until a pliable, soft dough is formed.
  3. On a lightly floured surface (or in the stand mixer) knead until the dough is no longer sticky and the surface is smooth.
  4. Remove from bowl, cut into four equal pieces, flatten into a disk and wrap each in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator at least 2 hours or overnight before rolling out.
    Making the Potato Cheddar Filling
  1. Place peeled, cubed potatoes into a pot and cover them with cold water. Salt the water to taste (potatoes need a generous amount of salt). bring to boil, reduce heat and cook until fork-tender.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan then add the onion and some salt and pepper and cook slowly until the onion is soft but not browned.
  3. Drain cooked potatoes and let sit to dry or return to pot and shake lightly over low heat to evaporate any remaining moisture.
  4. While potatoes are still warm, mash them until smooth. Add the cooked onions and butter, the sour cream, and the grated cheese and mix very well. The potato mixture will be stiff. Make sure to season well with salt and pepper. Cool completely or refrigerate until ready to use.
    Making the Sauerkraut Filling
  1. Peel and cube the potatoes. Boil the potatoes in generously salted water until fork tender. Drain in a colander and allow to dry for a minute or two. Mash with a hand masher until fairly smoothly mashed. Add the sauerkraut, panko crumbs and sour cream. Season with salt & pepper and mix together. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
    Assembling the Pierogi
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Line some baking sheets with parchment to hold the uncooked pierogi.
  2. Take one disk and, flouring surface lightly, roll out the dough to about 1/8th to 1/16th inch thickness. Make sure it is not sticking while you roll it out and move it around as you need to.
  3. Brush off any excess flour and use your cutter to cut circles from the rolled dough. Remove the scrap pieces and store them covered to re-roll the scraps together later.
  4. Brush the edge of each circle with your finger or brush lightly dipped in water.
  5. Place about a spoonful of filling in the center of each round. Fold the dough in half around the filling and pinch the edges closed (you can also crimp the edges with the tines of a fork to help assure sealing). Any filling at the edges will prevent the edges from sealing properly. Press out any air bubbles as you seal them up. Lay the pinched pierogi on the parchment lined trays.
  6. Drop pierogi, in small batches, into the gently boiling water. Once they float, cook another minute, then remove with a slotted spoon. Keep the water boiling while cooking.
  7. At this point, you will likely lose some to poorly sealed seams or breakage.
  8. When all are cooked, either eat or freeze!
  9. A popular way to serve pierogi is topped with sauteed onion in butter. Roughly chop or thinly slice some onion, melt some butter in a frying pan, add salt and pepper to taste and saute the onions until soft and lightly browned. Add the boiled or thawed pierogi, heat through and brown one side of the pierogi lightly if desired.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/11/03/handmade-pierogi/

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postheadericon Polish Kopytka

Kopytka means little hooves in Polish; the little shapes are supposed to resemble cloven hooves. ( kapytki in Lithuanian cuisine). Kopytka are very similar to Italian gnocchi in that they are made from cooked potatoes, egg, and flour.  Kopytka is not the same as Polish potato dumplings (Kartoflane Kluski) which uses grated raw potatoes in the dough.  These little pillow of deliciousness have made many a Coal Cracker happy when they appear on the table for a meal.  So many of us remember our Nanas making them. The mashed potatoes for Kopytka need to be on the dry side, so don’t use leftover mashed potatoes that you’ve prepared with milk and butter. Kopytka is often served with buttered breadcrumbs (polonaise style), gravy, pan drippings, or fry the dumplings to brown them, or fry and serve them with goulash. There are a lot of ways to serve and enjoy this Coal Region favorite!

Polish Kopytka

 

Kopytka

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds russet potatoes, cooked in their jackets, peeled and mashed or run through a food mill
  • 1 large beaten egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or as needed
  • Polonaise Topping:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons fresh white breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Place mashed potatoes in a large bowl.
  2. Add egg, salt and flour as needed to form a smooth, cohesive dough without overworking it (the dough will be tough if overworked).
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  4. Lightly flour your work surface and hands and roll pieces of the dough into "ropes" about 1/2 inch in diameter. Cut at an angle into approximately 1 inch to 1-1/2 inch pieces. Repeat with remainder of dough.
  5. Drop the cut dumplings into the boiling water. Avoid crowding and work in batches if necessary. Return the water to boiling, reduce to slow boil and cook 2 - 5 minutes, testing for desired doneness.
  6. Remove cooked dumplings to a colander and drain.
  7. If serving Polonaise-style, prepare topping by melting the butter in a small fry pan. Add the breadcrumbs and fry for 3 - 4 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer drained dumplings to a serving dish and sprinkle the buttered breadcrumbs on top.
  8. Note: If serving these dumplings with pan juices, omit the Polonaise topping step.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/18/polish-kopytka/

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postheadericon Schmearcase (Cottage Cheese) and Apple Butter

This is not a “recipe” in the typical  sense, but is definitely a comfort food enjoyed in the Coal Region and PA Dutch country and I felt it deserved a shout-out. It is not at all unusual to find it on salad bars or as a side dish offering in restaurants and diners in the region. Its popularity does extend to other areas, including the Baltimore, MD area. In Pa Dutch, cottage cheese is known as schmearcase  (smearcase). You can make your own schmearcase, but the extensive availability of commercially made cottage cheese means I just buy my favorite brand and go from there. Being in the Coal Region and Pa Dutch country, I have easy access to a  multitude of brands of apple butter so, once again even though I CAN make my own, I often just purchase a jar from a local market. If you do not have access to small batch producers of apple butter and want to find it in stores, Musselman’s Apple Butter is distributed nationwide, so check with your local grocer. I like both large curd and small curd cottage cheese with apple butter.

Schmearcase and Apple Butter “recipe”
Cottage cheese of your choice
Apple Butter of your choice
Take a dab of apple butter and plop it on to a mound of cottage cheese.  That’s it!

I like my schmearcase and apple butter in lots of ways. Just to name a FEW:

  • In a bowl (then I swirl them together)
  • On toast
  • On graham crackers
  • On rice cakes
  • On freshly baked, still warm homemade bread (yummmm!)
  • On a toasted English Muffin
  • Between two slices of bread as a sandwich

Schmearcase (Cottage Cheese) and Apple Butter

Schmearcase and Apple Butter Sandwich

 

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