DUMPLINGS WITH MILLET, COTTAGE CHEESE AND MINT
(PIEROGI Z KASZĄ JAGLANĄ, SEREM I MIĘTĄ)
- For the dough:
- 2 cups of white flour
- 1 cup of warm water mixed with 1 tablespoon of melted butter
- a pinch of salt
- For the stuffing:
- 2 cups of milk
- 8 oz. of cottage cheese
- 1 cup of millet
- 3-4 fresh mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons of honey (buckwheat honey will be best)
There is no doubt that pierogi are one of the most well-known staples of Polish cuisine around the world! Anyone familiar with the famous Polish dumplings knows that they come with a whole gamut of fillings, made both savory and sweet! Some of the most popular varieties include cabbage, sauerkraut and mushroom, meat or potato fillings as well as blueberry, strawberry, plum or sweet cheese. The recipe we share in episode #112 of Flavor of Poland is a unique, sweet version of pierogi that comes from the Lublin region. These pierogi make for a great snack, dessert or a sweet lunch!
- Cook the millet. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and set to a medium heat. Once the milk starts to come to a light boil sift in the millet and give it a stir. Continue to stir frequently as it cooks. This should take about 5-7 minutes and the millet should have a thick, pudding-like consistency once done having completely absorbed the milk. After it has cooked set it aside to cool.
- Make the dough. As your millet is cooling prepare your dough. Sift the flour out onto a pastry mat. Form a hole in the middle of the flour pile and slowly pour in the water and butter mixture over the middle a little bit at a time, gathering it into the flour as you do so. Continue to pour and knead the dough, rolling it into a ball. Add in a pinch of salt during the process. Your dough should be smooth and elastic once done and should easily come off your hands. Keep a bit of extra flour on hand as you knead and add as necessary in order to make a smooth dough piece. Once done, place your dough in a bowl, covering it with a kitchen cloth and set it aside for 30 minutes.
- Prepare the filling. Take the cooled millet and place it in a large mixing bowl. Add in the cottage cheese. Add in the chopped mint leaves. Finally, pour in 2 generous tablespoons of the buckwheat honey. Stir all the ingredients thoroughly.
- Roll out the dough. Spread the top of a pastry mat with flour. Place your piece of dough in the middle and sprinkle some additional flour on top of it as well. Using a rolling pin roll out the dough until it’s about 1/10th of an inch thick. Do not make it any thinner than that because the dough will rip during the process of making the pierogi.
- Cut the dough into circular pieces for each dumpling. Take a drinking glass with about a 4-inch diameter and cut out circles in the dough, cutting them as close as possible to one another in order to use as much of the dough as possible. Set the circular dough pieces aside on a cutting board and cover with a kitchen towel. Take the remaining part of the dough left over and roll it out once again. But more circular pieces out of the remaining dough and continue this process until you have used all (or nearly all) your dough.
- Form the pierogi. Take the dough rounds, one by one, into your hand and place a generous teaspoonful of the filling in the middle. Seal each dumpling by fold the dough piece in half over the stuffing and pinching it closed along the top forming into a crescent shape. Pinch two or three times along the edge, ensuring that the pierogi are well sealed to prevent them from leaking during the boiling process.
- Boil your pierogi. Set a medium pot on the stove with water, sprinkle in about a teaspoon of salt and allow it to come to a boil. Toss in the pierogi about 7-10 at a time. Let them boil for approximately 3 minutes. You will know they are ready when they rise to the top of the pot. Take a straining spoon and remove the dumplings from the water tossing them into a serving bowl or platter. Continue this process until all pierogi have been cooked.
- Serve and enjoy! Traditionally, sweet pierogi are drizzled over the top with melted butter. You may choose to enjoy them that way; but, given the ingredients in this recipe, drizzling over the top with some buckwheat honey and crumbled nuts is also a delicious option.
Enjoy on your own or with a friend – Smacznego!