Dienstag, 5. Februar 2008

Mushroom Pierogi & Borscht

I've seen many Borscht recipes and they all had a long list of ingredients. This is the recipe from my polish grandma, may she rest in peace. We traditionally make this dinner every Christmas, the way she used to.

Note: This is a quick version. I used red beets in jars, unlike my grandma who prepared fresh ones.
This version is simple, very simple. But in my eyes, incredibly good.

Sorry for the crappy picture. It's the only one I took of a filled plate, because we were all eager to dig in!

Ingredients | Borscht
2 jars red beet
2 1/2 cups water
3 medium onions, quartered
4 or more cloves of garlic (just throw in the whole cloves)
bay leaves, about a small handful
pimento, also a small handful
salt and pepper, to taste
soy creamer

Ingredients | Pierogi
for the dough:
1 pound all-purpose flour
1 cup water

for the stuffing:
2 cans whole champignons
2-3 medium onions, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste


start with the stuffing:
1. cut the onions
2. cut the mushrooms into small pieces
3. heat up a pan with a little canola oil, add onions and mushrooms
4. on low/medium heat turn the mixture occasionally until the champignons are done
5. add salt and pepper to taste and set aside

now to the Borscht:
6. empty the two jars into a pot (including the liquid) and add about 2 1/2 cups water
7. with a knife, cut the beet slices into smaller pieces (or if you have red beet globes I recommend you to grate them, tastes awesome!)
8. bring to a light boil, throw in the quartered onions, the cloves of garlic, bay leaves and piment
9. cover up and let stand on very low heat

prepare the dough:
10. in a bowl, mix flour with 1 cup water (use less first to prevent using too much or you'll end up adding more flour, then more water, then more flour again...) and knead until the consistence is right (very doughy)
11. spread a thin layer of flour on a clean cutting board(to prevent the dough from sticking to it) roll dough until it's about 0.2 inches high
12. with a glass (or anything round with a diameter of 4-5 inches) cut out dough circles
13. get another flour layered board to place the filled Pierogis on
14. take a cut out circle, stretch it a little, take a teaspoon of the mushroom mixture and place it in the middle of the dough circle
15. carefully fold it and press the rims together (you can use a fork to do that, but using your fingers is just as fine)
16. place it on the doughy board and continue filling the doughy circles with the mushroom stuffing
17. in a large pot bring water to boil, add salt and about 1/4 cup canola oil (the Pierogi will stick together like crazy otherwise, but you can also leave out the oil and add lots and lots of soy margarine when they are done)
18. put your stuffed Pierogis in the pot and wait until they come to the surface, wait for about a minute and take them out

back to the Borscht:
19. add salt and pepper to taste
20. add 1/2 cup soy creamer (or more, depends on how creamy you like it), add more water if neccessary (last night I ended up adding some more water and soy creamer to my plate because the taste of vinegar was a little too strong)

Et voilà! That's it, you're done! Enjoy!

I know I did. I think I refilled my plate 3 or 4 times. All in all I consumed about 12 Pierogis maybe. I was so full, but satisfied to no end.
Ha ha, my dad and I totally fought over the Borscht and the last Pierogis. I was like "Now I finally know what my sister feels like on Christmas Eve... the fear of not getting one's comeuppance." Because she always inhales Pierogis within a matter of minutes ;)


Jennifer hat gesagt…

That Pierogi looks mighty nice! You know, before I ever went vegetarian, I hated mushrooms, the texture, the flavor. But now, I guess my tastes have changed, 'cause now I love them! It seems Brett's tastes have changed too though he's only a veg*n at home. He'll eat more greens, whole grains, and other veggies than he used to.

I haven't had too many experiences with beets to be honest. I am intrigued by them though. This is one of those recipes that I would love to try, but don't think I could get Brett to eat - not yet at least. Perhaps if I try other beet recipes first, to soften him up to a dish that highlights them, that would work. :-)

Man those must have been good! I wish my family lived closer so that I could share my food with them. Unfortunately, both my parents live about an hour and a half away, both in different directions, so I rarely see them. :-(

Get to see my mom this weekend! Her husband isn't really interested in trying 'that weird' vegan food, but I figured I could sneak some vegan brownies in and he wouldn't notice.

Lizzy hat gesagt…

Like you I wasn't fond of the texture and flavor of mushrooms. And I still don't like them to be honest. The only way I can eat them is in Pierogis ;)
Ahh, the usual problem... my bf likes the Pierogis, but not the Borscht (I can so not understand that). But I'd love to see whether you can get Brett to eat red beets!

I'm sure he will not notice that the brownies are vegan, hehe! I used soy creamer last night, but I didn't tell my dad, because if I did he would have complained that the Borscht doesn't taste right. But I kept my mouth shut, he took a spoonful and said "Mhh... it's perfect!" ;)

Actually I live in the same building as my parents. They're apartment is on the ground floor of the building, I live in the top floor. Which is nice, because if I have no food I can always go downstairs and feel like I'm living with my parents again. Not to mention that I can do my laundry at my parents' and don't have to carry huge bags of dirty clothes to a laundry center. Living so close to them has its pro's and con's, but I got a lot closer to my parents over the years and I appreciate it that I can visit them whenever I want =)

Jennifer hat gesagt…

Wow that is close. Well first, my parents are divorced, so this would never be a possibility. But with my parents, I think living in the same building would be a bit much. My mom is Obsessive Compulsive, literally (upon many other things), so I was actually fairly happy to get away.

I love her, but think I like her more now that we have distance. Sometimes I thank my lucky stars that I was adopted as she has some psychological issues that are hereditary in nature, that thankfully, I don't have the genes for.

You can't beat the free food and laundry though, my apartment building has coin laundry which sucks and is expensive, I'm just not sure I'm ready to purchase a house yet. That seems too real and 'grown up' - ha! Though with the horrible housing crisis here it is a buyers market. It's pretty sad, while people are being kicked from their homes, those with money can snatch their old home for next to nothing. Is it like this everywhere? I would almost just feel kind of cold doing that, knowing that my decently priced house came at the expense of a family having to leave.

I think I'll rent for awhile longer, though am thinking about looking for a better apartment - the kitchen in ours seems as if it was designed by an engineering student with bad grades.

I'll definitely sneak beets in at some point. I'll have to look at the store this weekend to see if the carry fresh ones. Then I'll have to find or come up with a recipe in which the beets aren't noticeable.

ChocolateCoveredVegan hat gesagt…

Lizzy, you are an excellent cook (judging by the pictures!). This looks so good... and not so hard to make. I want to try it sometime soon. I haven't had beets in a while, and I don't think I've EVER had borscht! And I haven't had pierogi in a really long time either (and I bet my family would really love it too if I made pierogi!).

Ruby Red Vegan hat gesagt…

This sounds like a fabulous meal. I studied Russian language last year and was always wanting to try Russian-ish vegan food.

Lizzy hat gesagt…

Katie - Thanks a lot, I try my best =)
I am convinced your parents would love it since you mentioned that your grandma used to make potato filled ones. And to make something traditional that remembers you of a relative always makes it better (in my case)!
I'm excited to see whether people will like Borscht or not. I saw a picture on your blog where you used red beets, so I assume you like them and that's the basis for enjoying Borscht! I often eat red beets plain from the glass, so good!

Ruby - Wow, impressive! I wish I could speak russian or polish. My dad is polish, but during the war they fled to Germany and the kids in school(my dad was 6 yrs old maybe) were so mean to him and called him names because he was and spoke polish. So he stopped it and didn't even talk to his parents in polish anymore and sadly he's not anywhere near fluent in the language now. Saddens me so much and angers me at the same time, because some mean brats are responsible for me not being a bilingual German-Polish-girl, hmph!
Anyway, you should try it some time. I'd love to hear peoples opinions. Because I have always loved it ever since I first ate it(when I was 4 maybe).