Pierogi are actually Polish dumplings of unleavened dough, stuffed with a variety of fillings (meat, cheese, sauerkraut or fruit), and boiled. The filling I favour is Sauerkraut and dried Porcini mushrooms.
Pierogi resemble Chinese Potsticker Dumplings in size and shape, but because the dough contains egg it is more stable. You can make the Pierogi in advance and store them in the fridge for a couple of days; indeed, I think they taste better for it.
Time: 45 minutes
Good with: Borscht
Borscht, I hardly need tell you, is a beetroot based soup from Eastern Europe. There are literally hundreds of variations, from a delicate beetroot consommé, to my hearty kitchen-sink variation. The addition of smoked paprika or Chipotle powder gives Borscht extra warmth and depth, a splodge of sour cream gives it richness, and sprinkling of fresh herbs adds a touch of freshness.
The Borscht will develop its flavour if left in the fridge for a couple of days, but it gradually loses its vibrant red colour. Indeed it will start to resembles boiled guts. DO NOT LET THIS PUT YOU OFF, it tastes really awesome!
Time: 45 minutes max
Good with: Pierogi
Origin: Eastern Europe
Cool vegetarian ideas with some hot chillies added!