Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Cooking and Drinking, Polish Style
Pierogi are worth the effort. Fried, boiled, or steamed, they come to life with some caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms, and go perfectly with Z Martinis.
Because we love to cook and come up with new recipes, we have a blog on our Cocktail Buzz Web site called Well Fed. Recently we made a trip to the Brooklyn Heights home of Cousin Barbara and her happy-in-the-kitchen husband, Jon, for some lessons in making pierogi, those ubiquitous polish dumplings that are always stuffed with hearty old-world comfort (think sauerkraut, potatoes, farmers cheese). No strangers to melding eras and clashing cuisines, Steve and I decided to up the ante a little in our pierogi fillings. We brought in some New Orleans-style Andouille sausage and mixed it with some old-school Polish prunes, plopped a dollop into the pierogi dough, and made some pillowy dumplings that, when shallow-pan fried, cooked to a golden-brown exterior that when bitten, gives to a slightly spicy, slicy sweet interior. We even included some Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine in the mix for some flavor balancing, and a splash of Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon for good measure. We think you’ll love the results. And if you don’t have a whole afternoon or a group of four to make the pierogi dough, well you can cheat like we sometimes do and use premade dumpling wrappers. Your guests do not need to know. But if you have the time, and crave a little culinary adventure, then by all means start the pierogi-making process. You will be Polish-proud of the results.
And if you’re wondering what to imbibe with some pierogi, they pair perfectly with our Z Martini, which uses Żubrówka vodka, that slightly chartreuse Polish bison-grass vodka that always reminds us of caramel-drenched flan.