Is my Polish showing? And other random musings…

August 21, 2009

Hola Willie!

This post will include:

  • a proper brekkie (at 12 noon)
  • more pierogi discussion and probably some recipes
  • random musings on the the new season of Top Chef: Las Vegas
  • previews of future posts
  • I don’t know, maybe some other fun stuff?

I won’t go into much detail about my wonderful and satisfying breakfast, instead, a pic of the spread will grace the page:


(clockwise from the mug: Biofix Rooibos Tea, leftover sunflower-lentil pate from a restaurant I will review soon enough, yogs with flax meal, mesa sunrise with oat milk)

I woke up pretty hungry today, if you were unsure. After submitting my application to Marvel, (!!!) I decided to shift my attention to developing a sauce that would go well with the pierogi I made yesterday. I garnered some inspiration from a Mark Bittman recipe posted here. (I just discovered this website by the way, and it is great!) I also baked the pierogi, and it is still my favorite way to cook them!


This may not be the prettiest sauce, but it was pretty great with the ‘rogi. Hm. That’s kind of a weird shortening… In Polish, that means corners… Is it still acceptable?


On to the recipes! (I hope yinz feel ambitious enough to make ‘rogi from scratch, it really isn’t very hard and it is totally worth the time and effort!)

Kasia’s Potato Rogi w/ Tomato-Walnut Sauce


note: prepare filling first, it takes longer than the dough!

2 medium large potatoes, cubed and you can peel them if you don’t want the skins in your ‘rogi (this time I used red potatoes, but generally I would use yukon gold)

1/2 a medium-sized onion, chopped fine

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 tb earth balance buttery spread

braggs (or tamari or soy sauce)

a weensy bit of dill, salt and pepper to taste

  1. Boil a pot of salted water. Add taters and boil until fork tender.
  2. While potatoes are boiling, saute the onion and garlic in a little oil with dill.
  3. Drain potatoes and rinse with cold water.
  4. Mash the potatoes, onion and garlic. Add a splash of braggs, earth balance and season to taste.

Dough to finished product:

1 + 3/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 c chickpea flour (feel free to just use 2 cups all-purpose, I added this to give it a little legumy kick )

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 c water

about 2 tb olive oil

1 tsp dried dill

  1. Sift together flours and mix in the salt.
  2. Make a well in the flour and mix in the water, EVOO and dill.
  3. Knead lightly until a neat dough is formed.
  4. Set aside to rest (maybe 5 minutes or so)
  5. Roll out sections of the dough until rather thin, but still thick enough that you aren’t afraid they will break when you lift it.
  6. Cut circles out of the dough (I use a cup and trace with a knife)
  7. For each pieróg, roll over once to achieve an slightly oblong shape and fill with about a tablespoon of filling.
  8. Seal either by pressing the two sides of dough with a fork or pinching like I did.
  9. Set another pot of water boiling with some EVOO and add the ‘rogi to the pot of water. These will not need to cook long! Remove once they begin to float.

From here, there are some options to consider. You can eat them boiled (I usually only like my fruit ‘rogi this way), you can fry them on the stove top in some oil or butter (great if you have some cabbage to add in), or you can bake them at 375 F for about 10-15 minutes (brush with a little oil or melted butter first). I love my ‘rogi baked and that is how this recipe tastes best, in my opinion.

Tomato-Walnut Sauce


1/2 cup walnuts

1 medium-sized tomato chopped and seeded

1 large clove garlic

1/4 c nutritional yeast

a healthy sprinkle of dried marjoram (or basil or oregano would do well too!)

EVOO (amount TBD)

1 slice of Italian bread (I used Willie’s Ciabatta)

scant 1/2 c “milk” (I used oat milk)

  1. Soak the bread in the milk (crazy I know, but the texture was really interesting in the sauce)
  2. Add 1/2 the tomato and eveything else but EVOO and milk-bread to your blender or food processor.
  3. Blend until a hummusy consistency is reached, then add as much EVOO as needed to make it saucy.
  4. Add bread to blender and add left over milk as needed to reach your desired consistency.
  5. Mix the rest of the chopped tomato into the sauce.
  6. If you want to, you can heat up the sauce, but I would recommend doing it in the microwave to avoid the possible separation you might get from over cooking on the stove top.

I hope this recipe will make you want to try your hand at some Polish-style home cooking!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I wanted to do some heavy-duty cooking due to my day spent with Top Chef Masters (I won’t tell you who won in case you haven’t seen yet). Anyway, I watched the first episode of Top Chef: Las Vegas last night and I guess I have been spoilt by getting to watch some really great chefs take on these fun culinary challenges. While a few contestants did catch my interest, the majority of these n00bs seemed a little lackluster. Either they didn’t seem to have any breadth of food knowledge, didn’t approach the challenges creatively or they seemed a little too textbook, as if they had just graduated from culinary arts school and didn’t bother to move on from there.

Maybe this is just random and pointless rambling, but I was just really disappointed by these chefs. I consider myself a novice at best in the kitchen, but I feel like to really be lauded for your cooking skills, you should have the ability to pull ideas and inspiration from anywhere, be flexible and get really creative when faced with new ingredients or techniques. I just felt that most of these contestants just didn’t show these abilities in the first episode. I’ll probably keep watching, so hopefully they might prove me wrong as the series progresses. (Also, I would really love to try the beer and chocolate sauces from the ep, those looked sooo good.)

I will soon do a series of eating out reviews of places Willie and I went on his last visit, and one place I went with one of my Jersey friends!

Until we eat again,


p.s. I looked up your birthday and you got two: Chocolate Wafer Day and Eat Your Beans Day!



  1. Personally, I think chocolate wafers and beans are two great foods to celebrate alongside my birth. Is there a vanilla wafer day, too? You never sent me this website…

    The ‘rogi recipe looks great and I really want to try it out sometime. Actually, I was recently craving some dumplings, although what I had in mind was something more like gyoza. Quick question: how many ‘rogis does this recipe make?

  2. […] Caitlin was in control of all the recipe-ing, but she basically followed the recipe she posted here a while back. We also made a delicious side of White Borscht […]

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