Sunday, 15 August 2010

Daring Cooks Pierogi Challenge

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 didn't have as much time as I'd like with this one as I was travelling about quite a bit this August. So In the end I only managed to make two types of Pierogi. None of the challenge recipes appealed to me so I went for the Mushroom Sauerkraut Perogi from Vegan Brunch. Only as this was a Daring Cooks' Challenge it was time for a culinary adventure.

The large Polish population in Torquay means that we have a lovely Polish Shop in town. It also means that hoteliers can take advantage of their lack of knowledge of English and labour laws to take a disturbing amount of advantage of them. But that is another story. Armed with two words of Polish and a mental picture of what I was after I headed into the shop.

Now here is where it all falls apart. Despite knowing that the shop owners are friendly, and the people who work there are friendly I just couldn't open my mouth. Instead I decided to have a low grade panic attack and stare at the shelf until I found something that looked like what I was looking for. So in the end I'm not certain what I came home with, other than a big case of wounded pride and disappointment. And some cute Polish sweets.

For my local variation I was stumped. Earler in the month a sweet one with blackcurrant would have worked. Later blackberries. In spring time I could have managed something with wild garlic or nettles even. But now? There was the idea of a veggie variant on the Cornish Pasty or Homity Pie but I'd really like to showcase a vegetable that represented that patch of the British Summer.

When I got to Occombe for our celebration it came to me. Broad beans! Local, British, adorable. I love the way that each bean is wrapped up inside the pod cushioned by their own, natural polystyrene. Best picked when fresh and slightly laborious to cook and eat they are fashionable and unfashionable at the same time. They taste great but lets just say I'm glad that they are stubbornly seasonal.

I boiled them for four minutes and fried them gently in garlic. Inside the perogi they taste delicious but would have had a better texture if boiled for longer.


  1. Wow, the local ones are too cute! I love how vibrant green the beans are. The traditional ones look perfect, as well. Congrats on a great challenge!

  2. Hahha, wonder what was actually in your Polish version? I am exactly the same, I get flustered when I have to interact with strangers. I usually rope my outgoing hubby in to help in situations like that. :-)