Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Making Plum Poppy Seed Brown Butter Pirohy in Bratislava

While cruising the Danube last spring on the gorgeous Ama Waterways ship, the Ama Viola, we explored a fantastic itinerary while cruising this world famous river in luxury. 

During this jam-packed wonderful cruise, I had the opportunity to take a cooking class when the ship stopped in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.

Bratislava, Slovakia was the home of my maternal grandfather (when it was Czechoslovakia) and a place I had never been so I was doubly thrilled to step off the boat to explore the city. 

After the class had the opportunity to explore the city on foot visiting historical sites and landmarks.

Of course, there is always time to do a bit of shopping.  

The streets of the old city center are easy to navigate and filled with exquisite historical buildings. 

There's a lot to see in Bratislava. After our cooking class, I only had time to scratch the surface. Always a good reason to return.

From street art to charming cafes, there's a lot to experience in this beautiful Slovakian city. 

Moving back to the cooking class now. When we disembarked, we were met by our personable, funny and informative local guide. He gave us some overview history and interesting facts about Bratislava and Slovakia. We then followed him up the river to the Brasserie Anjou at the Sheraton Bratislava Hotel.

Our small group was greeted by the restaurant's chef and sous chef and watched a demonstration of how to create a Demikat soup, containing ewe cheese, paprika, and green onion. 

To prepare the next course, our group donned gloves and got down to the fun hands-on part of making plum pirohy, a sweet version of what I recognized as potato pierogi. Here's what we did in 30 seconds:

Everyone got to try their hand at cutting, shaping, filling the pirohy with plum jam then sealing the edges with a fork. 

We placed them on trays for the kitchen staff who boiled them and prepared a trifecta of toppings. The pirohy were drizzled with browned butter, sprinkled with poppy seeds and then dusted with powdered sugar. 

Our aprons were a gift to us from the restaurant along with a cooking class completion certificate. 

Three happy members of our class
After the kitchen fun, we sat down at pristinely set tables in the beautifully appointed restaurant, shared delicious wines and ate lunch.

The soup was served for our main course and the pirohy we helped make for dessert. Delicious!

Today I will share this wonderful Slovakian pirohy recipe with you. I had so much fun recreating this recipe at home while remembering my lovely day spent in Bratislava.

Plum Poppy Seed Brown Butter Pirohy
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 1 dozen 
  • 1lb potatoes (cooked in skin the day before)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups plum jam
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup unsalted butter)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (for sprinkling)

  • Peel and grate the cooked potatoes.
  • Place in a bowl, add the egg and the salt and knead until smooth.
  • Add the flour one cup at a time until the dough is less sticky.
  • Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead. Use more flour if the dough is too sticky. 
  • Roll the dough out and use a glass or a 3" inch in diameter round cutter to create circles.
  • Add a teaspoon of plum jam to the middle of each circle, fold in half and seal the edges using a fork.
  • Place a layer of paper towels next to the stove.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Boil the pirohy. They will sink to the bottom and will pop up when they are done.
  • Use a skimmer or slotted spoon to remove the pirohy from the boiling water and place on the paper towels to drain. Pat gently with a paper towel to remove excess liquid.
  • Transfer to a serving plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. 
  • In a small skillet, melt the butter. Cook over medium heat stirring until the butter turns brown.
  • Pour the butter over the top of the pirohy, then sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  • Load the powdered sugar into a small strainer, sprinkle over the top of the pirohys and serve. 

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