- Date: Sunday, July 6, 2008 -- 8pm
- Location: Somerville, MA
- Kitchen: Matty's Apartment
- Fellow Chefs: Matty and Rachel
- Dining Companion: Eric
- Recipe Rating: A-
When Rachel and Eric came over for dinner last week I embraced the opportunity to make something non-seafood! Rachel is pregnant -- it would be irresponsible of me to serve mercury-laden seafood to a pregnant woman! (Never mind that I am utterly sick of seafood and deeply regretting this all-seafood-all-the-time plan for the summer!) The first time I read this recipe I had a feeling that it would be amazing -- but I was saving it. This is the kind of recipe that it simply seems wrong to make alone. Rolling out dough and filling little dumplings by hand is a group job. Sure, I make much crazier and more time-consuming things all alone in my kitchen, but there is something about dumplings that scream friend bonding time to me. I went to culinary school with a woman approximately my mother's age who was changing careers from being a dental hygienist to a chef. She is awesome and we had such a good time together in school. I would sometimes go out to her house, even after we graduated, and cook with her. I remember very fondly one afternoon when we made homemade ravioli for a big crowd of people. We made 3 kinds of pasta dough (plain, saffron, spinach), 3 fillings (cheese, lamb, butternut squash), and 3 sauces (marinara, bechamel, sage butter). It took most of an afternoon, but it was amazing to see all the sheets of homemade pasta we made turn into bowls of beautiful, delicious little ravioli. Various people wandered through the kitchen that afternoon (her daughter, family friends, random teenagers...) and we put them all to work, teaching them to make pasta dough, or filling, or how to fill the ravioli so they don't break open when you boil them. When I think of making dumplings, that is what I think of -- being gathered with friends, working together and having a good time. So while I have wanted to make this recipe for a long time, I have been saving it to make with a good friend, who wouldn't mind spending a decent chunk of time in the kitchen, laboring over dozens of little dumplings. But now Rachel is here in Boston, and I seized the opportunity. Matty helped out too, and we had a lovely time making these pierogi (well, I did at least -- I shouldn't speak for them!).
But the real question is: how were they? They were delicious! The pierogi dough (see post below) was cut into circles and filled with a delicious mushroom filling. The semi-circular dumplings were then boiled until cooked through, and served with caramelized onions and sour cream. Yum! I love pierogies, but had only ever had them filled with potatoes or meat. This mushroom filling was amazing though. The earthiness of it was great in the dumplings, and the onions and sour cream complemented the mushroom filling perfectly. The dish had a fabulous richness to it, without actually being laden with tons of fat. The recipe claims to serve 6, but I should warn you that the 4 of us polished it off no problem. If you are really feeding 6 you might want to make some extra. Were these pierogies time consuming to make? Well, sure. Were they worth it? Definitely. Don't make this recipe alone. Wait until you have a good friend coming over -- one who you haven't seen in a while -- and make them in a leisurely fashion, while gossiping. You won't be disappointed.
Here is the recipe.