Tag Archives: pork recipe

Daring Cooks: The World of Pierogi

This is another great example of why I love the Daring Cooks’ and Bakers’ Challenges. It’s all about taking yourself out of your box – making something you wouldn’t ordinarily make. Maybe this “something” seems too difficult. Maybe it seems as though it will take too long, or maybe it’s been on your list of “things to do”, but you haven’t gotten around to making it yet.

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.

I never tried to make pierogies before this challenge. Not because of the reasons mentioned above. Honestly, I never even tried eating them before either. They didn’t sound unappetizing, of course, but they weren’t on the top of my list of things to try. I didn’t know what to expect with this challenge because of my lack of experience with pierogies, so I was a bit nervous. But after brainstorming on fillings (I chose to make sweet potato and rosemary, as I had a bunch of rosemary in my garden, and smoked pork shoulder and mashed potato, as I smoked a bunch of meat a few days prior), I figured I’d give them a try.

Little did I know how well they’d turn out. My husband raved about them. Raved. He exclaimed that he could imagine these could be served at all sorts of parties and could see them being a big hit with a crowd. I didn’t disagree – and the ones I made were gobbled up by the two of us that evening. I can see endless variations of fillings for these things, both sweet and savory. Needless to say, I underestimated pierogies. Now, I’m sold.

 

Sweet Potato-Rosemary Pierogi Filling (makes enough for 30+ pierogies)

2 c mashed, cooked sweet potato (I simply microwaved whole sweet potatoes until cooked, scooped out the insides, and mashed)

1/2 t fresh rosemary needles, chopped

1 T Earth Balance soy-free buttery spread

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together mashed sweet potatoes and the rest of the ingredients. Season to taste. Fill pierogies with this filling. (Leftover filling makes a great side dish for another meal.)

 

Pork and Potato Pierogi Filling (makes enough for 30+ pierogies)

1 c mashed, cooked potato (I simply microwaved potatoes until cooked, scooped out the insides and mashed)

2 c finely chopped smoked pork shoulder (ham can be substituted)

1/2 t fresh sage leaves, chopped

1/2 t dry mustard

2 T Earth Balance soy-free buttery spread

1 T nutritional yeast flakes (optional, but create a somewhat “cheesy” flavor)

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together all ingredients and season to taste. Fill pierogies with filling.

 

Gluten-Free Pierogies, adapted from What I Eat (makes about 18 small pierogies or 12 larger ones)

1/3 c tapioca starch

1/3 c sweet white rice flour

2 T potato starch

1/2 t sea salt

1 T xanthan gum

2 eggs

1 T grapeseed oil

Combine flours, salt, and xanthan gum in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl, and then whisk in oil. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until combined. You can then knead this into a ball.

Grab small portions of the dough at a time and roll out on parchment paper (I rolled it out on a Silpat) to 1/8 inch thick. Using a 3 or 4 inch circle biscuit or cookie cutter, cut rounds from the dough. Repeat until all of the dough has been rolled out and cut. Place a bit of water in a small bowl, wet your fingertips, and run them around the outside of each circle. This is to help the dough seal. Place a bit less than a teaspoonful of filling in the center of each circle, and then fold in half and carefully seal the edges, either using the tines of a fork, a pierogi form, or your fingers. (I found my fingers to be the easiest.)

To cook pierogies, bring a pot full of salted water to a boil. Lower the pierogies into the boiling water with a slotted spoon and allow to boil for 10-15 minutes or until al dente. Remove with a slotted spoon. Serve with desired sauce or melted butter, or allow to cool to room temperature for frying.

To fry: Bring 3 tablespoons of grapeseed oil (or other frying oil) to medium-high heat in a heavy skillet. Pat the pierogies dry and place in the oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side or until browned. Remove and place on paper towels to drain. Serve with melted butter. (I melted Earth Balance soy-free buttery spread and infused fresh sage leaves in the “butter”. While I don’t use that stuff every day, it tasted lovely and was dairy and soy-free!)

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Filed under Appetizers, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Main Dishes, Pork

Coffee-Chile Pork Tenderloin and Mashed Rosemary Sweet Potatoes

coffee chili pork tenderloin 2

I must confess to you all, I have made many more things in my kitchen lately than I have been sharing. I seem to not be able to keep up! There are several sweet treats and a soup or two that will be posted here soon…promise. It has simply been hectic lately, and after a day at work, I’ve come home and prepared dinner, and finally sit down to eat, my brain is done for the day. D-O-N-E. If I attempted a blog post after all that, it would be less than fun to read, believe me! It would go something like this:

I made this tonight. It was good. You should make it too. Yum!

Right.

So if my posts are discussing dishes that were actually prepared, oh, a week or two ago, please don’t judge!

For today, I am sharing with you a dish that I made Sunday night. Usually, Sundays are my “cook all day” days. However, I had little energy or time to spend in the kitchen this past Sunday. The requirement for dinner was that it a) be uncomplicated, b) be relatively quick, and c) only use ingredients I had in the kitchen, because I sure wasn’t about to go to the store.

Enter Coffee-Chile Pork Tenderloin.

My dear friend Suzanne turned me on to this delicious rub recipe from Ellie Krieger a while back that uses espresso and chile powder. She used it on a steak, and raved about it. I loved the combination of flavors, so I opted to make it, using what I had on hand – a pork tenderloin. What to serve with a smoky, lightly spicy dish such as this? I had several sweet potatoes from the farmer’s market, so I opted to serve them simply – mashed with a bit of rosemary.

This rub recipe certainly did not disappoint. The tenderloin was juicy and flavorful, and the rub wasn’t spicy at all. It provided a pleasant burst of flavor in every bite. At first I was slightly skeptical of how the coffee would play into the flavor, but it blends so well with the other spices. (If I didn’t tell you there was espresso powder in the rub, you would not have guessed.)  I’d be interested to taste it on a steak next time!

As for the sweet potatoes, you hardly need a recipe. My measurements below are approximate, so please feel free to add a bit more milk and/or butter to adjust to your tastes.

Overall, this was a perfect meal for a gorgeous Sunday night. My husband commented, as dinner was cooking, how wonderful it was to be at home, with all the windows opened (it was a breezy, sunny 65-70 degrees Sunday evening), and with the delicious smell of fall in the kitchen. I agreed. It was indeed the perfect setting for a lovely evening at home.

 

Coffee-Chili Pork Tenderloin, as adapted from Suzanne Collier and Ellie Krieger

1 T canola oil

1 1/2 t finely ground espresso powder

1 1/2 t ground chile powder, such as ancho or cascabel

1/2 t dark brown sugar

1/4 t dry mustard

1/4 t ground coriander

1/4 t garlic powder

1/4 t kosher salt

1/4 t freshly ground black pepper

1 pork tenderloin, about 1 1/4 lbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Coat a cast iron skillet with the canola oil, and bring to medium-high heat.

In a small bowl, combine all spices. Pour out on a plate. Place the pork tenderloin on the plate, and press into spices, rolling the tenderloin until all of it is covered in the spices. Let sit for a few minutes.

Place tenderloin in pan. Sear for about 3-4 minutes, and turn over. Sear again for 3-4 minutes. Continue to sear all over, and once you have made your final “flip” of the tenderloin, place skillet in oven on middle rack. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the center reads 150 degrees. (remember, the meat will still continue to cook for a few minutes after being removed from the oven) Tent with foil and allow to rest for 8-10 minutes, and then slice.

Serves 4.

 

Mashed Rosemary Sweet Potatoes

4 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes

4 T butter

1/2 t finely chopped fresh rosemary needles

1/2 c milk

salt and pepper to taste

Place diced sweet potatoes into a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and reduce to medium. Allow to cook for 10 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft and cooked throughout. (I test them by stabbing a fork into a piece, if it slides in easily and the potato breaks apart, it’s done.) Drain potatoes. Pass through a potato ricer (one of my most favorite kitchen tools, it makes potatoes perfectly creamy and fluffy!) or use a potato masher. Place back into saucepan, and add butter and rosemary. Stir to incorporate. Add milk, a little at a time, until the proper consistency is achieved. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4.

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Pork, Side Dishes