You might be wondering how to find Gulf Seafood at the grocery store. That is a tricky task in land-locked West Virginia where the most practical food shopping choices for many of us are either Krogers or Super Wal-Mart. Unless you have an inside track to a fisherman (and if that’s the case, please share! please share!), Gulf Seafood here is pretty much limited to frozen shrimp. I did call Joe’s Fish Market on Quarrier Street, and they don’t have any Gulf Seafood right now. (Que sad music… “whap, whap whaaa.”) All seafood is required have the country of origin on the label, so at the grocery store, just make sure your packages says “U.S. wild caught”. Two thirds of the shrimp consumed in the U.S. comes from the Gulf, and chances are high that what is sold at supermarkets is from there. Or China. Which is why you have to look for the country of origin. Gulf shrimp are classified as “Good Alternative” by the Seafood Watch, because of sustainable harvesting practices.
Last spring, my mom and I went to California Wine Country. It was an amazing trip. We rented a car and spent a few days touring wineries, drinking delicious wine,eating wonderful food, and seeing the sights of “No Cal”.
A couple months ago, I was renewing my Martha Stewart Living subscription, and was offered a discounted rate for Whole Living Magazine (formerly Body+Soul Magazine). Eh, what the heck? I’ll give it a try.
Last week, I received the November and the December issues. I have to say that they are considerably thinner than MSL, (I read one in it’s entirety on the eliptical machine in 40 minutes) but they do seem to have some decent articles in them.
However, the November issue just paid for the whole subscription, albeit discounted.
You see, I’m not a very good composter. I have a compost bin out back that I put yard clippings in. But I rarely take kitchen scraps out to it. I always have good intentions of doing so. When I cook, I bag them up as I am preparing dinner, but always seem to make it into the trash can as opposed to the composter after they’ve sat on the counter a day or so. Gnats have been so bad at my house this fall. And the composter is WAAAAY out back. And, I’d have to find some shoes to slip on. Ugh. It’s not worth it.
Until I saw a little blip in the magazine about this:
And, since “putting up” season has pretty much all but ended for the year (except deer meat). I thought I would include a couple photos of my larder as it looks right now.
In case you didn’t understand the title, go here.
This site cracks me up. Only because I’ve heard people talk like that. I went to school in Morgantown for 7 years. Granted, that’s not Pittsburgh, but it’s a very short 60-ish miles up I-79. The Pittsburghese effect radiates that far.
In fact, the first time I ever had pierogies was in the dining hall in Arnold Hall, my freshman year. I think that might have been the last place I had the, too, come to think of it. At any rate, a few weeks ago, I made some baked potato skins. I had to scoop out some of the insides. I had about 1 1/2 cups of baked potato insides, and I just didn’t want to throw it away. So, I froze them and decided down the road to make some pierogies sometime. I couldn’t think of anything else to use it for. Next step was finding a pierogie recipe.
In case you’re wondering, pierogies are similar to ravioli. Traditionally, they are round with filling made from potatoes and cheese. But the origins are impossible to trace. They have ties to several Eastern European cultures, most notably Poland. In the United States, Pittsburgh is the epicenter of “pierogie-ness.”
Fast forward to this week. Pierogies found their way to the rotation.
Here’s the recipe I settled on. It’s from about.com. But I skipped the dough part. I had made fettucini the day before, and had some pasta dough left over. This recipe probably would have yielded a better dough for pierogies, but mine were still tasty.
2 cups flour, plus more for kneading and rolling dough
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream, plus extra for serving
1/4 cup butter, softened and cut into small pieces
butter and onions, sliced thinly for serving
Mix the flour and salt. Beat the egg, then add all at once to the flour mixture. Add the 1/2 cup sour cream and softened butter, and work until the dough loses most of its stickiness (about 5 to 7 minutes). You can use a food processor or dough hook for this, but be careful not to overbeat. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes or overnight (the dough can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days). Each batch makes about 12 to 15 pierogies.
For the filling:
5 large potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
Boil the potatoes until tender. While the potatoes are boiling, saute the onion in butter until soft and translucent. Mash the potatoes with the sauted onions and the cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add fresh parsley, bacon bits, chives, etc. Let the potato mixture cool and form into 1-inch balls.
Roll the pierogie dough on a floured board or countertop until 1/8″ thick. Cut circles of dough (2″ for small and 3 1/2″ for large pierogies) with a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place a small ball of the filing on each dough round and fold the dough over, forming a semi-circle. Press the edges together with the tines of a fork.
Put the pierogies in a large pot of boiling water, a few at a time. They are done with they float to the top (about 5 minutes). Rinse in cool water and let dry.
Saute sliced onions in butter in a large skillet until soft. Add the pierogies and pan-fry until lightly golden and crispy. Serve with a side of sour cream.
Yinz don’t hafta go dahntahn ta git deese pierogies!