Pierogi... Eastern Europe's gift to the world. With the Polish population in Chicago being the largest outside of Poland, Pierogi are practically a food group and nothing is less vegan than pierogi... Just mention pierogi and Chicagoans think of butter. And yet today I present you with the vegan Pierogi. I made mine with shallot and garlic with potato. They're pretty freaking amazing, but like all Pierogi cooking you have to start with a fat; I chose olive oil and melted Earth Balance.
3 sm russet potatoes
egg replacer for 2 eggs
2 c flour (I used whole wheat... untraditional, I know, but really good and hearty)
1 med sized shallot piece
3 cloves of garlic
1 ½ earth balance sticks
2-3 T olive oil
½ med. onion
Nutritional Yeast flakes, chili powder and Parmesan flavor grated vegan topping to taste
Milk substitute (I used almond milk for this one)Large dice the potatoes and boil as if to make mashed potatoes. Mince the shallot and garlic and put off to the side. In a large bowl, mix the flour, egg replacer, a couple tablespoons of the Earth Balance and a bit of water and mix with a fork. Mix in only enough water to create a dense ball of dough (sorry, I never measure). Once all is well incorporated, cover with a damp towel and let sit.
Once the potatoes are ready, drain and mash with shallot and garlic (DO NOT SAUTÉ THE GARLIC OR SHALLOT the garlic will start to go rancid, this way, you just warm the garlic up when warming the pierog) (At this point, I would also suggest adding silken tofu or Better than Sour Cream, I just didn't have any in the house when I was making it, it's not necessary, but it would give the filling a creamier texture) then add the Nutritional Yeast, parmesan topping and chili powder, incorporate well. Make 2 inch diameter balls and flatten out first with the bottom of a flat glass and then with the palm and side of your hand. Once thin, take one, place a spoonful of the mashed potato mixture in the middle, cover with another circle, fold over the edges and crimp with a fork. The other way you can do this is making a bigger ball, flattening it out into a circle, put the potato mixture in the middle, fold over and crimp the edges leaving one smooth edge at the fold. Get the rest of the Earth Balance into a frying pan with the olive oil and start caramelizing the onion. Fry the pierog until golden brown.