Travelling isn’t only about discovering new places. Of course, this is main reason why we travel, but we must remember about another very important factor – the people. Sharing experience with locals is something what can’t be bought. During our 8 months of travels we have met so many different people who's never heard about Poland or Polish food.
Living on a farm
We have found this place through Workaway in March this year. We're supposed to stay here just 2 weeks and move on. However, because we felt here like at home, we have decided to stay extra 2 weeks. It was so hard for us to leave, but we promised that one day we’ll be back. After 4 months of travelling in South America, finally, we have booked flights from Lima to San Jose in Costa Rica for September. Since then we’re living and working here in harmony with the nature. Because, every day we have Costa Rican cuisine, this time we decided to prepare our, traditional, polish dumplings. We call them ruskie pierogi which means russian dumplings, but they have nothing to do with Russia 😊
On the farm, we have around 50 goats and the farm produces goat’s dairy products. We used 4 liters of goat’s milk to make 1kg of ready cheese. This type of cheese is called queso fresco.
In the original recipe we use curd cheese made from cow’s milk, but because we are not in Poland, we’ve added some Costa-Rican flavor to them.
Having the cheese ready we missed only potatoes, caramelized onion, some beacon and spices. Veggie version would be without beacon. All this mixed together makes a delicious filling. Making a dough is easy – peasy. 1kg of wheat flour, some water, two eggs and spoon of oil.
This’s Daniel’s mom recipe and we use it since last year, always ended up with yummy dumplings.
This time we’ve hired our friends - Fernando and Gabriela with her little daughter Inez. This way, what is usually a long and boring process, turned into great joy and cultural exchange for everyone.
Meanwhile we explained Gabi how Steemit works and she joined our platform, so say hi to @gfeoli! Everything because @see-it-feel-it and @the.foodini who created mysteem.pl project to explain how everything works here. Big hugs for you guys, great job!
In Costa Rica, like in other Central and South American countries people make dumplings called empanadas. They use corn flour and fry them in deep oil. Fillings are made from mashed potatoes, meat, chicken with green peas, etc. Literally, they put everything inside. Empanadas are served always with various salsas. When we explained that our pierogi are boiled it was hard to believe for them.
We are not alone on the farm - there is also Yannick and Florence, a lovely couple from Belgium and Alejandro from Nicaragua, who looks after all the animals. Cool mixture isn’t? 😊 Our dumplings stole they hearts, just look at those happy faces.
So, this way, Costa-Ricans, Belgians, Nicaraguan (couldn’t join our feast, but got portion of warm, tasty dumplings) and us - Polish Ambassadors, together enjoyed this crazy fiesta accompanied with Chilean wine. Cooking and traveling seems to go very well together.
Being on the road we miss things which are taken for granted in our country - for example: sauerkraut, pickled cucumbers, borscht cooked in a traditional way, etc. Because of this desire and lack of polish food, we have decided to recreate at least some of those with bit of exotic flavor and share.
Here’s full recipe for our pierogi:
- 1 kg peeled potatoes
- 0.5 kg of curd cheese
- 0.3 kg smoked bacon (veggie version of course without)
- 3 chopped onions (1 for filling other 2 to put on the dumplings)
- Sweet paprika
Cook potatoes, mash and let them cool down. It might take few hours. Meat lovers cut beacon into little cubes and fry it. When it’s ready, half of the fat stays on pan and rest goes with cracklings to a bowl. You’ll need them to decorate dumplings afterwards. Heat oil and cook one onion until gets soft. Combine cheese with potatoes, onion and (some bacon) spices in a bowl. Mix together and set filling aside.
- 1 kg wheat flour
- 0.5 tea spoon of salt
- 2 eggs
- 3 spoons of oil
- 0.5 cup of warm water
Place flour in a bowl and make a well in the center. Crack both eggs into the well. Add oil and the warm water. Mix with your hands, gradually adding more warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, as you go. Knead well, continuing to add more water as needed. Knead until dough is soft and smooth, adding more flour to the bowl as needed.
Cut off 1/4 of the dough and roll out to a thickness of 2 mm. We used wine bottle for it. Cut out circles using a glass, saving the excess dough for your next batch. Fill each dough circle with 1 or 2 teaspoon/s of filling. Fold dough over into a half-moon shape and pinch edges together to seal. Remember to keep filling inside of the dumpling, because they get open during cooking. Would be sad if from 50 you’ll eat only 30 of them. Cover with a clean dish towel, so pierogi won't dry out and repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the dumplings in small batches, about 10 at a time and cook until they float to the surface, 5 – 10 mins. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain. Repeat with the remaining dumplings.
Place on a plate and cover with caramelized onion (meat lovers will add cracklings as well) and enjoy!
Monika loves them with onion, but she doesn’t eat it. She must feel its flavor only. She eats pierogi with sour cream or natural yogurt. Daniel loves pierogi with a huge amount of onion and cracklings.
Sounds like a lot of work, but in a group, where everyone is from another part of the world time pass quickly and final effect is the best pay out.
Did anyone try our pierogi before? What are your thoughts about them? Let us know in comments!
Thanks for being with us,