Friday, October 28, 2016

Foodie Fridays: Pierogi Pizza

My husband and I were in Pittsburgh for Labor Day weekend to attend my family's annual reunion, which was extra special this year as it coincided with my aunt's 90th birthday.  We stayed at a hotel near by brother and sister-in-law, and after checking in I decided to look for restaurants in the area as a late dinner destination.  The room had a menu from a local pizza parlor, and I noticed with considerable surprise and amusement that one of the offerings was a pierogi pizza!

For those unfamiliar with eastern European cuisine, a pierogi is a type of dumpling usually filled with some sort of mashed potato filling.  Ground meat, cheese, onions, mushrooms, and cabbage or sauerkraut are also sometimes found in the filling.  Pittsburgh has a large Polish population, and pierogis are most often associated with Poland.  There is also a large Italian population in the city, so I suppose it is not surprising that the two cuisines would eventually be combined.

Even though we decided against a peirogi pizza for dinner, I could not stop thinking about this oddly enticing entrée, so I decided look for a recipe online and make my own version at home.  The How Sweet It Is blogger is from Pittsburgh, and sure enough she had a simple and straightforward recipe for Pierogi Pizza.  I modified her recipe to make it even simpler, and added mushrooms just because I had them (I also happen to love mushrooms on pizza).  I used a ready-made pizza crust and prepackaged refrigerated mashed potatoes, but of course you can make your own.  Be aware that this dish is a total carb fest, so do not indulge on a regular basis, but if you are craving carbohydrate comfort food then give this pizza a try (and be sure to serve it with green vegetables and a protein, since both are conspicuously absent in this dish)!

Pierogi Pizza

2-4 T. olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
8 oz. sliced mushrooms (white or cremini)
1 ready-made pizza crust (I used Boboli 100% Whole Wheat)
2-3 C. mashed potatoes (I used Pineland Farms Naturally Potatoes)
2 C. shredded cheese (I used half sharp cheddar and half mozzarella)

Heat 1-2 T. olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and sauté until softened, or lower the heat and continue cooking to caramelize them (see detailed instructions here).  Set the onions aside in a bowl to cool.  Add the remaining oil to the pan over medium-high heat.  Stir in the mushrooms and cook until softened.  Allow to cool.

Bake the pizza crust on a baking sheet at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.  Top the baked crust with the potatoes. Scatter the onions and mushrooms evenly over the top of the potatoes.  Sprinkle with the shredded cheese.  Return to the oven and bake for about 25 more minutes.  Remove the pizza from the oven and allow to cool slightly before slicing.  Serves 6.


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