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Cuppylicious!, Eastern Mediterranean, Ethnic Foods, Pasta & Rice, Side Dishes, The Daring Cooks' Challenge




Total time:  Approximately 1.5 hours.

The August 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale. Potatoes are local to me (my state ranks “first in per-acre yield of potatoes, far above other potato-producing states and countries, and 57 percent more potatoes per acre” than Idaho), but I thought I’d go with spinach (which my region has 2000-3000 acres dedicated to seed growth alone).

Dough Ingredients
2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 cup lukewarm water

Filling Ingredients
1 bunch of spinach, cleaned, rinsed, separated and drained
1/2 c feta cheese
1/2 onion, diced & sauteed in butter until golden brown
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt (optional)

Spaniko-pierogi in the toaster oven

Spaniko-pierogi in the toaster oven

Chop spinach leaves into “salad size” pieces. Place in a large, microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. The spinach should wilt to about 1/4 of the original size. You may want to drain in a colander. Let cool 3-5 minutes. Scoop your wilted spinach up in one clump if you can and cut it into bite sized squares. Transfer to a towel (or a pair of paper towels), and attempt to squeeze the remaining water out or let it drain in the towel for 5-10 minutes.

Mix together with remaining filling ingredients and chill completely before use.

Place 2 cups flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Break the egg into it, add the salt and a little water at a time (in my situation 1/2 cup was enough). Bring the dough together, kneading well and adding more flour or water as necessary. Cover the dough and let it rest 20 minutes.

On a floured work surface, roll the dough out thinly (1/8” or as thin as you can go) cut with a 4-inch round or glass. Spoon a portion (tablespoon will be the best) of the filling into the middle of each circle. Fold dough in half and pinch edges together. Gather scraps, re-roll and fill. Repeat with remaining dough.

Deep Fried Spaniko-pierogi

Deep Fried Spaniko-pierogi

Bring a large, low saucepan of salted water to boil. Drop in the pierogi, in a single layer in the pan. Return to the boil and reduce heat to medium. When the pierogi rise to the surface, continue to simmer a few minutes more (usually about 5 minutes), until they’ve started to puff out.

Toast in a toaster oven at 375F for 10 minutes or until puffy and light brown.

I find phyllo dough to be expensive if purchased and a real pain to make from scratch. This works for me, and it’s awesome.

There’s a difference in using fresh spinach versus frozen spinach, and that difference is mostly moisture and texture. If you’re not sure how to clean fresh spinach, check out this vegancoach tutorial.

4 comments to Spaniko-pierogi

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