Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Farmer's Cheese Filled Pierogi

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The other day I cooked us some very delicious Pierogi for our supper.  I am no stranger to Pierogi, having discovered them as a young bride when I moved West to Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada.  They were a very popular dish and one year at Christmas time a good friend of mine, Esther, taught me how to make them myself.   They have been a staple in our home ever since. Delicious!   That was not the recipe I used this time however.  I used a recipe from a book I was recently sent to review, entitled . . .  Noodle Kids, by Jonathon Sawyer.

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Noodle Kids, around the world in 50 fun, healthy, creative recipes the whole family can cook together is the soon to be published in the UK book (Quarto Books) written by award winning American Chef, Jonathon Sawyer.  Designed to get the whole family cooking together, his book could not be any better timed.  With the modern family struggling to create healthy meals that both children and parents want to eat, he's come up with a real winner here.

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With NINE chapters, this delightful little book covers every base of noodle cookery you could want to explore or entertain.   He introduces you to his lovely little family in Chapter one, Noodling Around with Noodle Kids and then takes you through some noodle basics, such as what they are and where they come from . . .  to stuffed  noodles . . .

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such as these delicious looking Ginger-Pork Potstickers . . .

Baked . . .

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This fab looking Macaroni Casserole (a.k.a. Cheesy Broccoli and Macaroni Bake Up) is one example of the deliciousness awaiting you in the baked chapter . . . the Lasagne looks pretty amaze-balls as well!

Gnocchi Time . . .

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I love Gnocci and use it quite a bit . .   He takes you through making your basic classic Potato Gnocci with Catcher's Italian Meat Sauce (see above Photo) as well as Ricotta Gnocci, Gnocci alla Romana and more.

There is a chapter on sauce recipes where he teaches you which noodles go best with traditional sauces and even shows you how to make your own Orecchiette, or little ears as they are also known.   The kids would really enjoy getting stuck into making these.  It's something that they could easily do.

Slurps . . .

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I love slurpy noodles, ramen, etc.  This chapter includes the fun of planning a Ramen Party!  Yay!  OH, and there is a pretty delish looking Wedding Soup recipe as well.

Gluten Free . . .

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A lot of people have a gluten intolerance today and this chapter addresses their needs most deliciously.  Just look at this dish of Farro with Walnuts and Pork! It looks positively amazing.  The filled Rice Noodles look really good as well!

The final chapter is on unusual things you can do with Noodles, like  Grilled Ramen and Cheese . . .  simple untraditional ways of interpreting noodles designed to inspire and excite!  The Crunchy Ramen and Apple Salad is certainly calling my name!

Each recipe is beautifully photographed by Kate Lewis.  I especially love it when recipes are accompanied by delicious looking photographs don't you?

I would never tell you about a book without at least trying one of the recipes for myself.  I chose the Pierogi recipe for several reasons . . .  one, I am no stranger to making them, two . . .  we adore pierogi's and three . . .  his recipe was a tiny bit different than the ones I already make,  and it boasted two fillings.  The farmers Cheese one which I am showing you here and also one made with leftover Pot Roast.  Both sounding equally delicious.

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His instructions were very easy to follow, and he explains not only how to make them but gives a bit of background  and history on what pierogis are and where they come from etc.

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I chose to make the Farmer's Cheese ones (there was also a leftover pot roast filling) because we both really like cheese and it's something I always have in my fridge.  Normally I use cheddar cheese, but in this recipe you can use Strained Cottage Cheese, Goat Cheese, or chopped Brie)  I used the cottage cheese with delicious results.  I also like to serve mine with fried onions on the side.  Fried onions and sour cream.   Scrumptious!  These are written to be appetizers, serving four.  We had them as a main, serving three and loved every bite.

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*Farmer's Cheese Pierogi*
Makes 4 appetizer servings

From the Cookbook, Noodle Kids, by Jonathon Sawyer. 

2 large organic eggs, divided
1 cup (230g) of sour cream, divided
6 TBS (84g) salted butter, divided
1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil
2 TBS fresh herbs divided ( choose your favourite: chives, scallions, parsley)
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups (250g) all purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 TBS water 

For the filling:
2 TBS salted butter
1/2 cup diced white onion (80g)
2 cups (460g) farmer's cheese (choose your favourite:  strained cottage cheese, goat cheese, chopped Brie)
1 cup (225g) leftover mashed potatoes
1 TBS fresh herbs (choose your favourite:  chives, scallions, parsley) 

Note:  Scallions are spring onions. 

In a stand mixer or large bowl, combine 1 of the eggs, 3/4 cup (173g) of the sour cream, 1/4 cup (56g) of the butter, the oil, 1 TBS of the herbs and salt to taste.  Mix for 3 minutes to combine.  Add the flour in three parts, mixing between each addition.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or for up to 3 days. 

Make the filling by melting the butter in a saute pan over low heat.  Add the onion.   Cook until very soft, about 30 to 45 minutes. Combine the sauteed onions, cheese, potatoes and herbs in a large bowl.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.   Place the mixture into a plastic bag and use a rubber band or string to force all of the ingredients into one corner of the bag for easy piping. 

When you are ready to make the pierogi, dust the counter with flour and split the dough in half.  Roll half the dough until it is 1/16 of an inch thick.  Using a ring mold, cut the dough into circles.  Stack the rounds with parchment paper between them.  Repeat with the remaining dough. 

Prepare an egg wash by beating the remaining egg lightly with the water in a small bowl with a fork.  Brush the inside of each round with the egg wash.  Place 1 TBS of the pierogi filling in the centre of the round.   Fold the dough over it into a half moon shape.  Crimp the edges to seal.  You can use a fork for this if you wish.  I just use my fingers, pressing them together tightly. 

Note:  at this point you can store these pierogi in the refrigerator or freeze for up to 4 months until you are ready to cook them.   Don't stack fresh pierogi, they are sticky.

Fill a large pot with lightly salted water.  Bring to the boil over high heat.  Reduce to a simmer.   Add the pierogi and cook for five minutes.  Transfer the pierogi to a saucepan with some water still clinging to the noodles, flat side down.  Reserve 1/4 cup (60ml) of the cooking water.

Place the saucepan over medium high heat.  Add 1 TBS of the butter and cook until the water evaporates and the pierogi are golden brown and delicious, about 1 minute per side.  Add the reserved pasta water, the remaining 1 TBS of herbs and the remaining 1 TBS butter.  Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring gently until a smooth creamy sauce forms, about 3 minutes.   Garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup (38g) of sour cream and serve.

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(Chilled Soba and Seaweed Salad)

I'm not altogether sure that all of the recipes in this book would appeal to ordinary squeamish children with finicky tastes, but they certainly did appeal to this foodie adult and I have ear marked quite a few that I want to try!

Noodle Kids, by Jonathon Sawyer
Published by Quarto Books
143 pages, colour
Soft cover
ISBN 978-1-59253-963-5
£15.99 UK
$24.99 US
$27.99 CAN

Many thanks to Quarto for sending me this book to review.   Any and all opinions are my own.


  1. I wonder if my lot would like this? Everything I try seems to not please somebody these days. I used to love to cook and now I dread it.

    The books sounds wonderful.

  2. It's a great little book Suzan. If your lot like noodle anything, they would love the recipes in this book! xxoo

  3. Been making pierogi for a very long time Monique! xxoo


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