Chef J Chastain Shows Us How to Make Polish Stuffed Dumplings While We Try To Avoid Making Bad Polish Jokes

Crab Pierogi with Saffron Jus Demonstrated by Chef J Chastain of The 2nd Floor

We decided to visit CoA friend and AFI regular guest Chef J Chastain of The 2nd Floor restaurant for this week's Appetite for Instruction. If you remember he's demonstrated the kabocha squash risotto and also, the piquillo cheese with brioche toast in the past for our City of Aters.

For today's AFI, Chef J wanted to demonstrate how to make pierogi from scratch, which is the Polish version of stuffed dumplings. (Insert Joke Here.) So we packed up our camera and our appetite and headed over to the Galleria Mall (that's where the restaurant is located). Warning: This is a long recipe. What does a long recipe mean? More drool-worthy food photos to stare at. The recipe and more is after the jump.

Main Ingredients:

1 batch Pierogi dough (recipe follows)
1 batch Pierogi filling (recipe follows)
1 batch saffron tomato jus (recipe follows)
2 T canola oil
6 ea. spears of asparagus, blanched and cut on bias
2 ea. roma tomatoes, small diced
4 oz. sautéed wild mushrooms
2 oz. parmesan cheese

Pierogi Dough Ingredients:

3 cups AP flour
¾ tsp. sea salt
¾ T sour cream
1/8 tsp baking powder
¾ cup water
2 eggs

Pierogi Filling Ingredients:

½ lb. crabmeat
½ lb mashed potatoes
1 oz. parmesan

Saffron Broth Ingredients:

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 ea. clove garlic
½ ea. stalk of celery
¼ ea. yellow onion
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cup chicken stock
¼ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. saffron, loose packed

Pierogi Dough recipe:

Step 1: Mix wet and dry ingredients separately then combine. Put in mixer with dough hook and knead for 10 minutes.

Step 2: Allow to rest for 30 minutes and then roll out in pasta machine using flour. If you don't own a pasta machine, then a rolling pin will work just fine.

Pierogi Filling Recipe:

Step 1: Gently combine all ingredients, careful not to mash the crabmeat.

Saffron Broth Recipe:

Step 1: Lightly sweat onion, celery and garlic in a sauce pot. Add remaining ingredients and simmer slowly for 20 minutes. Strain and season with salt.

Main Recipe:

Step 1: Roll out dough with pasta machine and brush dough with water on one side.

Step 2: Place about 1 oz. (by volume) portions of the filling along the middle of the dough with about 3 inches between each portion.

Step 3: Gently fold over dough and seal with hands making sure to press out any air pockets.

Step 4: Cut out desired shape with a pastry cutter.

Step 5: Blanch in boiling water for about 30 seconds and then drain on a towel to remove excess water. At this point they can be cooled and cooked later or go directly to finishing.

Step 6: Add oil to a large skillet and warm oil until just about to smoke. Carefully add pierogi one at a time, making certain not to overload the pan. Get a nice golden brown on both sides and remove from the pan.

Step 7: In another pan heat up saffron jus and vegetables. Pour saffron jus over pierogis and garnish with vegetables and parmesan cheese.

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