Tuesday, August 17, 2010

'Danny Special' Pierogis

The August 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale.

I'd completely forgotten about this month's Daring Cooks challenge to be honest, and it really was on a mere whim that I decided to make calzones for dinner, but with a mince meat filling, more like a bready empanada than an 'inside out pizza' (as we call calzones in our house).

It wasn't until I was looking at the Daring Kitchen forums, checking a detail for the Daring Bakers challenge coming up on the 27th, that I realised that the meal we had eaten the night before, fell technically under this months Daring Cooks theme.

Although the recipe given by LizG and Anula was for flour pierogis, they did say that bread ones were acceptable, and this pretty much fit the bill. Dough, wrapped around meat.

I used my standard pizza/calzone dough, and for a filling, I made a batch of what I term Danny Special. It's something my mother used to cook fairly often, but I remember one night she and Dad went out, and it was just the three youngest of us at home. (By the youngest, I mean myself, my brother Danny who is nine years older than me, and one of my sisters, who is eleven years older than me.) Danny cooked this for us all to eat, only, because he kept "testing" it, to check the seasoning, by the time it was ready, there was only a quarter of a large pan full left. And then my sister and I howled (like stray dogs) all the way through his Stray Cats tape while we dried and he washed the dishes. :) Kids. Every time I make this, I remember that night, and so, even if only to myself, this is the Danny Special. It's not really a dish representing my locale, unless you are really specific, and say that my locale is my house or one belonging to my family :D

This is pretty much just chopped (or canned, diced) tomatoes, diced onion, and mince. Fry it all up, you can thicken it with a little gravy powder or the tiniest amount of tomato paste if you want. If you use tomato paste, go very easy on it. This is a meaty gravy type dish, not a tomato bolognese sauce. I used quite a bit of gravy to make it nice and thick inside the pierogis, but if you serve with mashed or steamed potatoes, you don't need it as thick.

Put a couple of spoonfuls on a rolled out circle of dough, bake for 18 minutes at 180°C, and serve in front of the tv while watching Dennis the Menace.

This was DP's double sized one, because he eats more than the rest of us.