Fork Spoon Knife is the personal blog of Asha where she chronicles her journeys in food through stories, recipes and photographs. She can also be found doodling and sharing her experiences as below.

 
                        

8.14.2010

Caramelised Onion, Paneer and Basil Pierogis - Daring Cooks August 2010

Caramelised Onion, Paneer and Basil Pierogis

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.

Pierogis are typically boiled or baked dumplings of unleavened dough stuffed with variety of fillings from vegetarian to meat to sweet ones depending on the country and region. I always thought of them as European dumplings. And, they pretty much are...

I think I first came across these dough pockets in one of our wanderings in Paris. I have always loved dumplings and took to pierogis in a jiffy. I haven't seen much of them in the US and definitely never attempted making them myself before. Now, I am wondering just why I didn't!! I mean, they are super simple to make and with endless options for filling, so much fun as well!

Caramelised Onion, Paneer and Basil Pierogis with Garnish

When I started researching Pierogis I realised there were so many regional variations, not just in the filling but also in the recipe for the wrapper as well! I was sure, I wanted to go eggless on the wrapper and vegetarian on the filling. So, I went with the simplest recipe that uses flour, water and oil. I just spruced it with some fresh basil and lemon zest.

For the filling, I toyed with potato and cheese but wasn't too inspired by this traditional choice. Eventually, I decided to go with caramelised onions, fresh paneer and fresh basil minimally flavored with just salt, pepper and a touch of chili flakes.

To finish, I sauteed the cooked (boiled) pierogis in butter to a brown crust and then served with more caramelised onions and browned button mushrooms.

Pierogis Close up

Verdict: Well, predictably, I loved them. But, let me tell you about these pierogis specifically. There was a hint of sweetness from the fresh cheese as also from the bit of brown sugar that I used for caramelising the onions. In the same bite, there was the hint of spice from the red chili flakes. All the flavors were mild but melded together very nicely.



Caramelised Onion, Paneer and Basil Pierogis

Wrapper Dough:

Notes:
I'd like to have made this entirely with rice flour as I think it's sweetness pairs nicely with the rest of the ingredients but belatedly realised I was running low on it. As it is, I used what I had and my recipe reflects that. Feel free to substitute entirely with rice flour.


3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup fine rice flour
1 T olive oil
1 T fresh basil, finely chopped
zest of half a lemon
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup of water (this is approximate, I added water slowly until the dough was just formed)


Filling:

1 large yellow onion (if you have vidalia, even better!!)
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 cup fresh paneer (or you can use drained ricotta. Paneer recipe below)
salt, pepper and oil as needed

Mix all the dough ingredients to form a supple, tacky dough. Kneed for 3-5 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for atleast 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, over low heat, saute the onions in a little oil. As they lose water, add the sugar and chili flakes and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the onions are browned and have reduced to a fourth of the volume. Let the onions cool for about 10 minutes and then fold in the paneer. Leave the cheese a bit chunky.

When the dough is ready, roll it out as thin as you can on a lightly floured surface. Using a four inch round cutter, cut circles of dough. Place about a teaspoon of filling in the center of each round, a bit closer to one edge. Wet the edges with water and fold over the dough and crimp the edges to seal.

Bring a big pot of water to boil and lightly salt it. Gently ease the prepared pierogis into the water. Do not overcrowd. They are done when they float to the top. Remove and drain lightly. Once all the dumplings have been cooked, lightly saute them in butter to sear the wrapper.

Serve with more of the caramelised onions and sauteed mushrooms.


To Make Paneer:

This is an indicative recipe. The actual amount of cheese made from one cup of milk depends upong the fat content of the milk, acidity of lemon juice and your patience level :). The good thing is that more is always better here! :)

3 cups milk (definitely nothing less than 2%)
1-2 T lemon juice (key lime and lime have higher acidity, so you'll need less but I find the resulting cheese a bit bitter as well)

Over medium heat, bring the milk to a fast boil. As it boils up, lower the heat and quickly add the citric juice. Turn the heat back to medium and whisk the liquid. The cheese will start seperating from the whey. When slightly largish chunks start to form, remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes to help the coagulation process.

Drain the contents through a fine muslin cloth and hang the cheese in the cloth for about atleast 15 minutes (depends on quantity ofcourse) to drain as much water as possible.

Typically, you would try squeeze as much water as you can from the paneer but for this particular recipe, I left a bit of moisture to get a creamier consistency.

45 comments:

  1. Hey Asha - I've always been a dumpling fan - but always have only tried Asian style dumplings - thanks for sharing this recipe. I do love your variation - and thank you for sharing your paneer recipe as well!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tried making pierogi once but wasn't very pleased with it. Your version looks lovely, especially since its eggless and vegetarian. :)
    Think I should revisit this sometime soon.

    ReplyDelete
  3. They do look very tasty. I tried whole wheat dough with mine, though it was hard to roll it out thinly enough. I think caramelised onions sound delicious here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. These look and sound amazing. I love the basil in the noodle... tempted to try that next time. Beautiful! Also reminds me that I need to try making my own paneer again.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I definitely appreciate this alternative pierogi recipe. I made them a couple of years ago around the holidays using the traditional recipe and they were incredibly heavy. The rice flour seems like a lighter and more delicate alternative. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yours are gorgeous. It makes me want to give it another try. Mine turned out awful.

    ReplyDelete
  7. These are gorgeous. You've convinced me to make them for the first time.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Beautiful plating, these look so delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ok, I totally want to taste these. Your creativity is awesome, your filling sounds delicious, and your photos just make me want to reach into my computer screen! GREAT job!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a cool line up of pierogis, and great flavour combination Asha.

    ReplyDelete
  11. dumplings and paneer, what a wonderful combination, i love it, it really sounds delicious! cheers from london

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oooh! these look so good! i love the paneer idea!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous, and that paneer filling sounds wonderful. Nicely done!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm a massive fan of paneer. Your dish looks fantastic. Absolute food porn.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Asha! This looks really great! I love your publications!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Caramelised Onion, Paneer and Basil Pierogi - sounds fantastic and so original! Photos look great :)
    Thank you for taking part this month.

    Cheers. Anula

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great job on your dumplings. I also used caramelized onions in mine, really enjoyed the flavor.

    ReplyDelete
  18. These look absolutely delicious! I love caramelized and onion and basil. Great job on the challenge!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great job and these look absolutely awesome. I simply love the flavours of caramelized onion and basil.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Beautiful photo.. Im smitten! Didn't I tell you already that I love your blog...oh yes I did haha! but truly i do!

    Cheers!
    Malou

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wow, these sound so lovely! The filling is right up my alley - I may have to try making dumplings AGAIN just to make these (after the 5 I made for this challenge... on second thought, if my hubby comes home to a flour-filled apartment again, hm...)

    Great job on the challenge!

    ReplyDelete
  22. These look wonderful! Beautiful pictures!
    What a fun challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I would love to try your pierogi, the paneer filling sounds wonderful and unique. Mine are a mess compared to your beauties!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Love your use of fresh basil! The pics look gorgeous as usual :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh wow, this looks delicious! Way to go with making your own stuffing. :-) Anaything "caramelized" in my book is a winner. Beautful photos, too!

    [K]

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wonderful images. I love your filling recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm having so much fun flipping through your blog, everything looks delicious! I love pierogies!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I am sold by the pics!! Can imagine they would taste fabulous, steamed dumplings with a cottage cheese filling like this, hardly anybody who can resist..

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh yum, these sound & look delicious. Please send some over to me I'm starving!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Absolutely delicious Ansha! I love the carmelized onions, yum! Congrats on a successful challenge!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Scrumptious, I love your filling of caramelised Onion, paneer and basil!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love pierogi and seeing everyone's dishes I am so craving them now! I love the filling you created and I'll bet it was delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  33. O these look fantastic Asha! That sounds like a delicious filling too (and the photos are gorgeous as well...:))

    ReplyDelete
  34. Gorgeous! Your pictures are worth a thousand words!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I made vareniki once and they were delicious...this are very similar, so I can imagine how delicious they can be...nice nice nice recipe, I love it...

    ReplyDelete
  36. Lovely recipe Asha! Would try it soon, caramelized onion sounds tempting.

    ReplyDelete
  37. What a fantastic blog you have! These pierogis look beautiful, and the filling is right up my alley...I just adore onions. Thank you for sharing your experience with this challenge!

    ReplyDelete
  38. hi
    1st time here
    i am in india i will get here or not i wil find
    do visit my blog
    santoshbangar.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. What an interesting combo! Dumpling-like, with a paneer centre, that reminds me of empanadas! Lovely, absolutely lovely presentation too Asha! :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. Yum, looks good, I'm hungryyyyy! :)
    Thans for your visit :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. wonderfull and very new to me.... very nicely explained.... great!!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Oh my my!! Looks sooo good!! Yummm... definitely on my list!!!

    ReplyDelete

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by my space. Love to hear your thoughts.