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Posts Tagged ‘meatless’

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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postheadericon Amish Baked Corn

Corn dishes are a staple in Pa Dutch country.  Frozen can also be used, but I prefer well-drained Niblets for this recipe. This is often served on holiday tables. This is a super-easy side dish to dress up any meal.

Amish Baked Corn

Amish Baked Corn

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (8 oz.) sour cream
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels OR 2 cups canned whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2/3 c. butter, melted
  • 1 can cream-style corn
  • 1 box Jiffy corn bread mix

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Beat eggs; add sour cream. Stir in melted butter, corn and corn bread mix. Pour into buttered 9 x 13-inch dish. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until slightly browned. Do not over bake.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/12/amish-baked-corn/

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postheadericon PA Dutch Red Beet Eggs

Also known in some places as “pickled eggs”, these are well known in the Coal Region, thanks to the Pa Dutch influence in the county.  Every recipe is a little different but these are easily adaptable to fit your taste.  Want them a little more sweet? Increase the sugar.  More “zippy”? Decrease the sugar. Skip the spices altogether or add just a cinnamon stick, some ground clove or allspice or use pickling spice mix. Add finely sliced onions or not…the choice is yours! Many grocery stores now sell already cooked and peeled eggs for those who do not feel like cooking and peeling hard-boiled eggs. For a primer on how to cook hard-boiled eggs, visit http://dish.allrecipes.com/how-to-boil-an-egg/

Don’t rush into eating these for several days. You want the lovely purple color of the juices to make their way into the egg white. Three days minimum is the norm. I personally like to let them sit longer – until the purple makes its way entirely to the yolk.

Red Beet Eggs

PA Dutch Red Beet Eggs

Ingredients

  • 2 1-pound cans tiny whole beets, drained with juices reserved
  • 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced into half-moons (optional)
  • 12 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • dash of pepper
  • OPTIONAL:
  • 6 whole cloves or some pickling spice, cinnamon stick, etc. Your choice!

Instructions

  1. In large glass jar or non-reactive container, place peeled eggs at bottom, top with onion slices if using, and add beets on top. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-size nonreactive saucepan, combine sugar, beet juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, and cloves (or your choice of spices if using). Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Immediately pour simmering liquid and spices over beets and eggs. Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate a minimum of 72 hours before serving.
  4. Cook's Hint: Use these for making deviled eggs using your favorite deviled egg recipe. I have been doing this for years and people LOVE them!
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/10/pa-dutch-red-beet-eggs/

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postheadericon Amish Mustard Eggs

If you have not tried these but you like red beet eggs, I suggest you give them a try. I had them for the first time decades ago and was skeptical as to whether I would like them but I truly did! I let them sit so the yellow goes completely through the white of the egg and meets up with the yolk.

Amish Mustard Eggs

Pickled Mustard Eggs

Ingredients

  • 12 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 thinly sliced medium sweet onion
  • Mustard Pickling: 4 cups water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp. prepared mustard
  • 1 tbsp. mustard seed
  • 2 tsp. turmeric - OPTIONAL

Instructions

  1. Combine above ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes and remove from heat to slightly cool.
  2. Place hard boiled eggs and sliced onions in lidded jar/container. Pour mustard pickling mixture over eggs and onions. Place in refrigerator for 10-14 days.
  3. Give a swish every day to make sure everything is coated.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/amish-mustard-eggs/

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postheadericon Sauerkraut Relish

4th of July is cook-out time in the coal region. Here is a relish that fits right in to the Coal Region/Pa Dutch influence of our area. Cayenne optional! You will find yourself using it for topping lots of foods.

Sauerkraut Relish

Sauerkraut Relish

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sauerkraut - rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup dill relish or chopped dill pickle
  • 1 tbsp. chopped pimento
  • 2 tbsp. prepared mustard
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar (can sweeten to your taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. caraway seed
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Add all to saucepan. Stir well, bring up to simmer and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat, cool and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/sauerkraut-relish/

 

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postheadericon Lazy Man’s Pierogi or Polish Noodles

Noodles and Cottage Chhese, also  known as Lazy Man’s Pierogi is simple, filling, and a family favorite of all ages.

Lazy Man’s Pierogi

Lazy Man’s Pierogi or Polish Noodles

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 (16 ounce) package egg noodles
  • 1 (16 ounce) package cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir onion in melted butter until softened, 7 to 10 minutes.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook egg noodles in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 5 minutes. Drain and return to the pot.
  3. Stir butter and onion mixture, cottage cheese, sour cream, sea salt, and black pepper into the noodles. Place the pot over medium heat; cook and stir until heated through and warm, 5 to 8 minutes.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/lazy-mans-pierogi-or-polish-noodles/

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postheadericon Halushki With Homemade Dumplings

Homemade Dumplings in this dish are SO worth it, trust me. This recipe is from the American Carpatho-Russian Cookbook, first published in 1968.

Homemade Noodle Halushki

Halushki With Homemade Dumplings

Ingredients

  • 1 head cabbage
  • 2 onions
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • Dumplings
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. flour
  • 2 T. water
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Slice the onions and cut up the cabbage in the same fashion.
  2. Melt butter in skillet. Add cut up onions and cabbage. Cook over medium heat for approximately 30 minutes, or until browned. Add to dumplings.
  3. Dumplings
  4. Mix flour, eggs, salt and water. Beat well until you have a medium type dough.
  5. Place dough on a plate and drop by spoonfuls into a pot of boiling salted water. Cook for 5-7 minutes.
  6. Strain and rinse with cold water.
  7. Place in pot and pour cabbage mixture over top. Mix well. Serve.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/halushki-with-homemade-dumplings/

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