A recent rowdy lunch at the charming Borsch, Vodka & Tears in the southside brought back some fond memories of my trip to Warsaw last year. I was visiting my Amazonian-esque Face Model pal, Ola Chiquita Bonita, and immediately fell in love with her hometown. Be it sitting in smoky dark bars shooting polish vodka, racing across the river to “The Wrong Side” for copious amounts of polish beer, eating double my body weight in rich food slathered in cream and butter, discovering parties in art gallery basements or transcending language barriers with old polish men, Warsaw is gorgeous and should be on everyone’s must-see list.
Hearty, home-style food seems to be the trend in Warsaw with main ingredients being lots of meat – sausages, stews, bacon – potatoes, cabbage, cream and cheese. Fine by me…I just wish it was all deep-fried. Polish dumplings called pierogi are pretty much on every menu and are usually filled with goodness like spicy minced beef, potato or cheese. They’re easy to make at home (if you have a couple of hours), if not, head to the southside for some home-made pierogi and a nice juicy vodka at Borsch…
Potato & Cheese Pierogi
For the filling:
5-6 potatoes, cooked and mashed
250g ricotta cheese
2 onions, chopped and sauteed
Salt & pepper
For the dough:
250g sour cream
3 cups plain flour sifted with
1T baking powder and
1/4 t salt
To make the dough, beat the eggs and sour cream together until smooth.
Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt. The mixture should start coming together like bread dough.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it’s smooth and firm.
Divide into 3 portions and allow to rest.
To make the filling, thoroughly combine the potato, cheese and sauteed onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Roll out the dough to a 3mm thickness. Using an 8cm cookie cutter, cut out circles of dough. On each circle, place a spoonfool of filling, fold in half and seal the edges with a fork.
Once you’ve made all the dumplings, throw them, in batches, into a large pot of boiling, salted water. They’ll float to the top when they’re cooked so remove with a slotted spoon and drain.
They can be eaten like this OR, if you want to make them deliciously unhealthy, pan fry the boiled pierogi in butter until they’re golden brown.
Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream (and a green salad if you want to feel better about eating fried food).