If lockdown is making us cook more then so be it. I mean, its not like we can travel or anything, which I really miss by the way. For that reason, I’m back with a very simple recipe which will have you guys drooling – Vareniki/ Pierogi (I have added both names as there is debate on exact origins) Whilst I am no expert with Eastern European cuisine, having a mother from Eastern Europe means I’ve had first hand experience witnessing how these are cooked. My mother makes these with gluten so I tried to make them gluten-free. The end result was a success.
One cup of plain gluten free flour + 1 egg + 300 ml sour cream + 300 grams cottage cheese + 1/4 tsp of Xanthan Gum + pinch of salt + tbsp of butter *The Xanthan Gum is so important as it helps the dough to stick better and not crumble.
- Put the flour and xanthan gum into a bowl. Add the egg and sour cream, as well as a pinch of salt. Give everything a mix until it resembles dough. If you can’t get typical dough texture, use a tiny bit more flour. The dough should be slightly sticky but still holding shape.
- Grab some cling film to wrap the dough into a ball then place into the fridge for at least an hour. If you can do longer, even better.
- Lightly sprinkle flour onto a flat surface. Once the dough is out the fridge, tear a chunk and gently roll out. Use the rim of a cup or glass to press down a circle.
- Place water on the boil. Whilst waiting, use a teaspoon to put cottage cheese into each circle, then fold in half to form a semi-circle. Press down the edges to stop the filling from spreading out.
- At this point water should be boiling. Divide the Vareniki/Pierogi into batches. They only need about 3 or 4 minutes to cook but you’ll know when they’re ready because the dough will float to the top. You can either cook all the batches in one go or just cook what you need, putting the uncooked batches in the fridge or freezer.
- Put another pan on high-heat and add the tbsp of butter to melt. Take out the semi-circles from the boiling water and place into the pan. Let it fry for a minute or so on each side until it gets slightly golden.
That’s all there is to it. With regular flour these are probably less stressful but with gluten-free you just have to work quickly so nothing sticks. This recipe has endless routes when it comes to fillings so once you’ve got to grips with the basics, try with something else in your next batch.
See you in the next post.