It's hard to go wrong with a fresh batch of crunchy cabbage. Tasty cold in a coleslaw or warm in soups or casseroles, this versatile veggie has been with us for thousands of years. Caesar's armies reportedly used the leaves not just as food, but to bind wounds and reduce infection. Roman elder Cato recommended eating cabbage soaked in vinegar before a night of drinking to help prevent a hangover, and in case this didn't work out, a popular Roman hangover remedy was to eat more cabbage. The exact origins of cabbage are unknown, however, pots containing cabbage dating back to 4,000 BC have been found in the Chinese province of Shensi.
Cabbage is a rich source of potassium, fiber, Vitamin C, iron, and calcium. One cup of chopped cabbage has only 22 calories but provides 54 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C. Cabbage is also chock full of phyto-chemicals like thiocyanates, indole-3-carbinol, lutein, and isothiocyanates -- all powerful anti-oxidants.
This authentic recipe for Pierogi with Cabbage Filling and Clarified Butter comes to us courtesy of MarthaStewart.com. When you're finished enjoying the meal, you can clean your dishes, and pamper your hands, with new Seventh Generation Free & Clear Natural Dish Liquid – Hand Care Formula, featuring skin-softening HerbaVera™.
Pierogi with Cabbage Filling and Clarified Butter
For the Dough
- 1 large egg, lightly whisked
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup water
- 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and dusting
- Yellow cornmeal, for dusting
For the Cabbage Filling
- Two 3-pound heads green cabbage (outer leaves removed)
- 8 ounces room-temperature cream cheese
- 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
For the Clarified Butter
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
1. Make the dough
Whisk together egg and sour cream. Whisk in milk and water. Stir in flour, 1 cup at a time. Turn out dough onto a floured surface. (Dough will be loose and sticky.) Using a bench scraper, turn and fold dough to knead, dusting with flour as needed, until elastic and no longer sticky, 8 to 10 minutes. (Dough will come together as you knead it. Be careful not to add too much flour, since it will toughen the dough.) Cover with an inverted bowl; let rest for 1 hour.
Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a clean linen towel, and dust generously with cornmeal to prevent sticking.
Roll out 1 piece of dough on a lightly floured surface into a 1/8-inch-thick round (keep other pieces covered).
Cut out circles very close together, using a 3-inch cutter or glass.Cover with plastic wrap to prevent dough from drying. Repeat with remaining dough.
2. Prepare the cabbage
Quarter and core cabbage. Working in batches, steam cabbage until very tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain; let cool. Working in small batches, place steamed cabbage in a thin kitchen towel, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Grind cabbage with the fine blade of a meat grinder. Stir in cream cheese and butter. Season with salt and pepper. For each pierogi, use 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons filling.
3. Clarify the butter
Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat, and let milk solids sink to bottom. Skim foam from surface. Carefully pour off clarified butter, leaving solids behind. Makes 1 cup.
4. Prepare the pierogi
Place filling in center of each dough circle.
Holding 1 circle in your hand, fold dough over filling. Pinch edges, forming a well-sealed crescent.
Transfer to cornmeal-dusted towel, and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining dough circles and filling.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Working in batches, transfer pierogi to boiling water. They will sink to the bottom and then rise. Once they have risen, cook through, about 2 minutes more. Coat a platter with half the butter. Transfer pierogi to platter using a slotted spoon. Drizzle tops with remaining butter, and season with salt.