Peasant food

23 Feb

I have more material than time to blog, so I’m going to throw together some bits and pieces that perhaps should be their own entry, but will have to learn to live together in harmony.

Peasant stock…

I’m not talking about broth made from peasants, I’m talking about my people. We are peasants. Unfortunately in middle age, my spreading figure cries out for a babushka and a plow.  This is definitely genetic. But perhaps also a little related to the fact that I. Adore. Peasant food.

Maybe part of aging is that along with developing a yen to try new things, I’ve also had the urge to go back to old favorites.  A theme in much of my cooking and eating has been old, comfortable foods, or new foods using old comfortable ingredients. To that end I give you…

Pittsburgh Potato Skins

We made these bad boys for the Super Bowl.  I prepared my potato skins then topped them with little chunks of Kielbasi and sauerkraut I sauteed together a topped it with a mixture of grated Swiss and cheddar cheese.   The smokey, tangy Kielbasi and the salty, tangy kraut were the perfect match for potatoes.  The cheese added…well, it’s CHEESE. It makes everything better!*  Anyway I thought these blew the traditional cheese and bacon skins out of the water.

Drawback? Lots of potato innards left.  And I hate to waste food. Solution?  PEROGIES!

I’d love to share the recipe, but I  don’t remember which one I used! Some have sour cream, some don’t.  I THINK this is the one, from Epicurious. But I’m not sure.

The innards were potatoes, salt and pepper, and cheese in the one. And potatoes, salt and pepper, cheese and sauerkraut in the other.

Review?  Saaaaaaaaalt.  Jesum is it hard to get enough salt into these. Both the dough and the filling cry for salt.  Other than that, I hate to admit it, still a little bland.  My friend made unbelievably good taco pierogi for the AFC championship, and mine didn’t hold a candle to hers. They also didn’t quite measure up to some of the best pierogi I’ve had elsewhere.  I think the insides needed either more cheese or a sharper/stronger cheese or more sauerkraut, or something.

So my advice is to make sure you use more salt than you think appropriate and kick up the filling just a bit. (I may have also overworked the dough just a bit. It was a tiny bit tough compared to some of the really luscious varieties I’ve had.)

PIE! I finally got to Dick’s Diner to Pick up a whole pie.

Fabulous. ‘Nuff Said.

*Except fish. Cheese and fish almost never works.


One Response to “Peasant food”

  1. Jenda February 23, 2011 at 4:05 am #

    It’s amazing how what was once thought of as peasant food caught on to all of the classes and now you can’t really distinguish one from the other. My Polish roots implore me to have a strong love affair with potatoes and I simply cannot ignore that. You cannot go wrong with pierogi. And the Polish knew that anything is better with cheese.

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