Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sweet Potato Pierogi

My second cousin asked me if I had a recipe for Sweet Potato Pierogi. Well, the answer is, "yes and no." You see, I've thought about this for a while now. And I think that what I've come up with in my head would also work for Pumpkin Pierogi as well. That said, here's my recipe, straight from my head.

First things first: keep in mind that this is a developmental recipe. There is not absolute, no right or wrong. I am just giving some guidelines. Above all, taste things as you go along. So, here goes.

Take about a pound of fresh sweet potatoes, make sure they're clean. Line a half sheet pan with aluminum foil (trust me, don't admit this or you'll be stuck in "cleanup hell"). Slice each sweet potato into large chunks, 2-3 inches apart. Then put them in a 400 degree oven and roast for 40-60 minutes. They are done when a sharp knife gets no resistance and comes out cleanly. 

Let them cool until you can handle them. Hot sweet potatoes contain a lot of sugar which gets very hot!  Once cool enough to handle, simple use a tablespoon to scoop the meat out of the skins. Put the skins on your compost pile, and the meat into a large bowl. Now you are ready to begin. 

For sweet Sweet Potato Pierogi, add the following:
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  •  1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated Nutmeg
  • a pinch of salt (1/8 teaspoon if you like to measure things)
  • The zest of 1-2 Oranges
  • (optional) 1/2-1 Tablespoon of Grand Marnier
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup toasted pecan chips
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar (or substitute maple syrup for half of the brown sugar
  • (optional) 1/4 cup chopped coconut (give it a few spins in the food processor first to make it easier to fill the pierogi)
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten.
That's it. Now mix thoroughly with the sweet potatoes and chill for a bit until somewhat stiff. You can also perpare this ahead and make the pierogi the next day.

For savory Sweet Potato Pierogi:
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove or garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons of chopped fresh Sage (if you are not a big sage fan, substitute Basil for the sage!)
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh chopped Thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • 1 cup of Ricotta or Farmer's cheese
  • 1 egg plus one egg yolk, beaten
This first part is optional, it depends how far into "savory" you want to adventure: Melt the butter until it foams, add the shallot and stir a minute or two until soft, then add the garlic and stir another 30 seconds or until fragrant. Remove from heat and add to sweet potatoes.

In all cases, add the remainder of the ingredients and mix well. Chill untill a bit more firm and easier to handle. That's it.

Now, make your favorite pierogi dough and fill them with the Sweet Potato mixture of your choice. Boil them until cooked (they'll float when cooked), then drain.

For the sweet recipe, fry in a bit of butter, then serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a bit of sour cream. Yumm.

For the savory recipe, cook some butter until it foams, add a bit of sage, then add the pierogi and fry in this brown butter until a bit browned. Serve with a bit of the browned butter.

There, now you have it, fresh from my mind to your kitchen. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

1 comment:

  1. Results on the savory: Awesome! I did a few things differently: I doubled the garlic (standard application to any recipe for me) and added a cayenne pepper (had lots hand) and used dried herbs and onion instead of shallot (also upped amount.) I forgot to saute the garlic but did saute the onion and cayenne. In the future I would run the sweet potato thru the food processor prior to mixing. With it cut into chunks some of it cooked much softer than the rest and even with pulling out the smaller pieces early, I still had some be a bit chunky when blending afterwards. I served them sauteed in sage butter right after boiling. Delish!