Have You Had A Pierogi?
SPOT.ph blogger Angelo Comsti on a Polish dish that can give the <em>gyoza</em> a run for its money.
(SPOT.ph) A pierogi is actually a dumpling, stuffed with a variety of ingredients, sealed, then cooked-either boiled or boiled then fried. Though it has Slavic origins, it closely resembles Japanese gyoza and Chinese potstickers. It’s not dipped in a salty condiment, however. Instead, savory pierogies are traditionally served with bacon bits for a salty bite in every soft chew. At times, it also comes with sauteed onions and sour cream for a medley of flavors that makes for a knockout meal.
Mia Magpayo-Pysk and her mother-in-law
It was during a backpacking trip through Europe that my love for pierogies began. That was years ago and it is only recently that I got to enjoy them once more, thanks to my friend Mia Magpayo-Pysk, who has come home from abroad armed with an arsenal of home-cooked recipes. "My husband Peter (then boyfriend) and I were based in Adelaide and when he introduced me to his parents, he also introduced me to Polish food. It is the main cuisine at their house since his parents really want the heritage to be very much alive at home in their adopted country, Australia."
Beef and Sauerkraut
Her home food business started the same way as others: she simply cooked for family and friends who encouraged her to start selling. Thus, Babci Kuchnia (pronounced babcha cookniya) was born. "My knowledge of Polish food comes from my mother-in-law and I wanted to dedicate it to her, my children’s babcia. The name literally means Grandma’s Kitchen. I'd like my brand to reflect the Polish customs such as the women being the heart of the kitchen, the respect (for) their grandmas, and how grandmas always had recipes to pass on."
Potato and Cheese
Beef with Veggies and Cheese
She currently has four pierogi variants-Potato and Cheese (P400/dozen), Beef and Sauerkraut (P500/dozen), Beef with Veggies and Cheese (P450/dozen), and the lone dessert dumpling, the Rum Raisin (P300/six pieces; P450/dozen), which comes with its own rum butter sauce. The wrap isn't thick, the filling is quite generous, and orders come automatic with three small tubs of caramelized onions, bacon, and sour cream. On top of my list are the Potato and Cheese and Beef with Veggies and Cheese. They both have cheese, which turns the stuffing into a lovely, velvety mash. Each is so heavy that I had to wave the white flag after pierogi number three-only to start feasting on it again after a few hours. That afternoon, I guess I more than made up for the years I missed this dumpling.
A gold ribbon glams up the takeaway packages.
To order, contact Babci Kuchnia (Grandma's Polish Kitchen) at 897-9330, 0917-627-5147, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Angelo Comsti studied at Le Cordon Bleu Australia and writes for Yummy magazine in addition to other publications. Grab a copy of his bestselling cookbook From Our Table To Yours for a collection of generations-old heirloom recipes from some of the country's best cooks and chefs. Follow Angelo on Instagram (@fooddudeph) to see more of his food discoveries.