Low FODMAP Pierogies

Dec 28, 2019 | Entree, Holidays, Pasta, Recipes

Low FODMAP Pierogies | Go Messy or Go Hungry

Basically the Eastern European version of ravioli, these wheat free pierogies are filled with a cheesy potato mixture and fried to perfection. A perfect Christmas Eve meal, or great for any time!

This recipe is really special to me, because for as long as I can remember, we’ve had pierogies for Christmas Eve dinner. I’m super excited to have a version that tastes pretty darn close to the original, but is made with ingredients I can have!

My mom’s side of the family is Slovak, and this recipe comes from her mom. I never met my nanna, but since she taught my mom to cook and my mom taught me, I feel like I know her. Plus, there are many stories of how she would manage to cover the entire kitchen with flour when she cooked, so obviously I inherited some of her talent too!

Supposedly my nanna would whip these up as a lunch during Lent (no meat), which I guess led my mom to assume that they were a quick and easy lunch thing to make. Which they might be, if you’ve made them a thousand times. But the first time my mom made these on her own was to impress my dad’s family while they were dating! Obviously it still worked out for her (the impressing the family bit, that is), but they ended up eating the pierogies as a very late dinner.
Since then, pierogies have become a once-a-year thing: our traditional Christmas Eve dinner. We start with oplatki Christmas wafers and drizzle them with honey (golden syrup, in my case). Then we feast on pierogi and soup! My childhood Christmases were spent with my dad’s giant family: 8 siblings and all their kids, including my uncle Joe, who ate as many pierogi as everyone else combined! (He’s a really skinny guy. Seriously.) With all those pierogies to be made, my parents learned to do it assembly line style: one person rolls and cuts the dough, the other person stuffs and boils then. And if you’re lucky, a third person fries them. I grew up watching — and later helping — them, so I became a pierogi master early in life. I still don’t think I could make them in time for lunch, though!

Obviously I had to alter the recipe to be FODMAP friendly, so these are more inspired by my nanna’s original “recipe.” Recipe in quotes because she was also notorious for never following a recipe (another thing I inherited, ha). The original guys are filled with a very onion-y potato mixture, and also fried in onions. Marc’s body has an aversion to potatoes, so we mash parsnips, but feel free to use potatoes instead. (Although parsnips are quite delicious!) Obviously, onions have been omitted, and I fry them instead in an onion or garlic infused butter / olive oil mixture. The dough was the biggest challenge. I tried various combinations of flours, and even tried a yeasted dough, but after much success with my homemade pasta recipe for fettucini alfredo and tortellini, I’ve moved to using that with great results (they’re basically giant, potato-stuffed ravioli anyway)!

The recipe is time consuming, yes, but not hard. For me that’s part of the beauty of the tradition – spending time in the kitchen with family. The recipe is different, there are no multitudes of cousins, and Marc and I have combined our families, but the traditions are still here, and the pierogies are still warm and delicious. I think nanna would approve.

Low FODMAP Pierogies

Yield | 16 pierogies
Notes
If this is your first time making pierogies, read through the instructions first! They aren't hard but there are lots of steps.
See my fettuccini alfredo post for more details on the dough.
Sticky rice flour (sometimes sold as "glutenous" rice flour is different than regular rice flour. I buy mine at my local Asian market.
Cheese is necessary. Cheddar is best.
I like to use garlic-infused olive oil for these: smash a large clove of garlic (remove the husk), and let sit in ¼ – ½ cup of oil. Discard the garlic when ready to use.
These are best done as a team effort. One person rolls and cuts the dough, and another fills and boils the pierogies.

Ingredients

Filling

  • 3-4 parsnips or white potatoes or 2 of each
  • Lactose-free milk
  • Garlic infused olive oil (see notes)
  • Salt & pepper
  • A few handfuls grated cheddar cheese

Dough

  • 1 cup sticky rice flour
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • ÂĽ cup millet flour (or sorghum flour)
  • 2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
  • 1 teaspoon psyllium husk powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water (plus more as needed)

Directions

Make the filling

  • Peel and cube parsnips or potatoes (cut around the hard core if using parsnips). Boil in salted water 10-15 minutes until very tender (parsnips will take less time than potatoes). Drain and mash until smooth. Add olive oil and milk until parsnips reach a creamy consistency. Add cheese and stir until melted & incorporated. Season with salt & pepper; set aside. (Filling can be made a day or two in advance. Reheat before filling pierogies.)

Make the dough

  • (Instructions based on my pasta recipe.)
    In either a food processor or a large bowl (I used a food processor), combine flours, psyllium husk, and salt. Either whisk or run the food processor on low to combine.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, egg yolks, olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the water. Pour the liquid into the flours and pulse the dough around 10 times. You want the dough to look like dry cheese curds (like so), so add more sticky rice flour if it looks too wet and more water if it looks too dry. (If you aren’t making this in a food processor, you’re not going to get the cheese curds, so you’ll just to feel if the dough is too wet or dry. You’ll also probably want to knead it on the counter a few times.)
  • Turn the dough on onto your counter. Even if you used the food processor, you’ll probably want to knead the dough a few times to get everything to come together. Gather into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.
  • Let it sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Roll out the dough

  • With a pasta machine (optional but recommended): Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces (will be two if you halve the recipe, etc.). Set three of the pieces under a damp cloth or paper towel (this is important! Dry pasta is no fun to work with), and roll your first piece into an oval about 3 inches long. Set your pasta machine on the thickest setting (probably 0), and feed your dough through. It will probably have some cracks along the corners and ends. This is ok, just press them together a little. Fold the sheet in half (hamburger, not hot dog), and feed it through the machine another time (still on 0). Repeat this — fold in half and feed through the machine — 5-6 times. I know this sounds unnecessary, but this helps the dough come together and achieve a regular shape.
  • After you’ve run it through on 0 for 5-6 times, adjust the thickness to the next setting (so, 1), and run the sheet of pasta through (no more folding). Adjust down (to two) once more and repeat. (You want about â…›" thick so adjust accordingly if you machine is different). Place under a damp cloth or paper towel.
  • Repeat with remaining dough balls, keeping everything under damp towels so they don't dry out.
  • With a rolling pin: If you don't have a pasta machine, you can achieve similar results with just a rolling pin. I'd still recommend diving the dough into two or four equal pieces. Using as little flour as possible, roll out to about â…›" thick. Remember to keep everything under damp towels so they don't dry out.

Assemble the pierogies

  • Select one piece of dough and cut out using a 3-4” glass or bowl (we used a 3.25" cocktail shaker). Cover dough circles with a towel so they don't dry out. (It’s easiest if one person rolls & cuts the dough and another person fills & boils them.)
  • Fill dough with tablespoon-ish size scoops of the potato or parsnip mixture. Pinch dough very tightly along edges to seal (or use a pierogi press — we have these and they’re the best!). If dough has trouble sticking together, wet edges lightly with water to help. Place pierogies — you guessed it — under a damp towel.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut several pieces of parchment or wax paper (or aluminum foil) to place boiled pierogies. When water has started to boil, reduce to a gentle roll, about medium heat, and add some oil. Gently add pierogies and cook until they float to the top; remove with a slotted spoon to the wax paper. (At this point, you can wrap the pierogies in wax, making sure they aren’t touching, and refrigerate or freeze in ziplog bags.)
  • Heat oil or butter (I like a mixture of both) in a pan over medium-high heat. Smash a garlic clove and cut an onion into large pieces; add to pan and sautĂ© until translucent. Remove from pan (the FODMAPs in onion & garlic are not oil soluble.) Add pierogies to pan in batches and cook until browned on each side.
  • Serve warm and top with salt. Some non-Slovaks (my dad) eat them with sour cream. If you do, I won’t tell my nanna. Enjoy! Pierogies keep for several days in the refrigerator.

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