East Coast native Weston Ludeke, who became executive chef at the Compound, in Santa Fe, this past summer, admits he is just starting to play with our chiles in his cooking. Consider adding a dash of red or green (your choice) to this gourmet first course.


2 cups flour, plus additional if needed

½ cup warm water

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon salt


1 russet potato, peeled and chopped

8 ounces lump crab meat

4 ounces cream cheese, cut into ¼-inch cubes

2 scallions, sliced, tips and roots removed

2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

4 ounces butter


2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon flour

1 yellow onion, chopped into a small dice

3 cloves garlic, chopped fine

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

1 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Juice of ½ lemon

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

4 cups chicken stock

1 pound lump crab meat, preferably blue crab

Serves 8


1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until a thick, sticky dough forms. Continue to work it with your hands, adding more flour as needed, and start to knead until dough becomes smooth.

2. Roll dough into a ball and let rest for 30 to 60 minutes. This will relax the gluten, making the dough easier to work with.


1. Boil potato in salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the water and mash until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature.

2. Stir the crab meat, cream cheese, scallions, and red onion into the mashed potatoes until incorporated.

3. Dust a large, clean surface with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is ⅛ inch thick. Use a circular cookie cutter or the top edge of a round drinking glass to create 3-inch-diameter pieces. The excess dough can be re-rolled and cut. Continue until no dough remains. You should have 18 to 20 circular pieces.

4. Create one pierogi at a time: Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the potato-crab mixture onto the center of a dough circle. Dab your fingers in a small bowl of water and rub along the perimeter of the circle. Fold the dough over the filling and pinch edges together. Set aside on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess water. Repeat until all dough pieces are filled.

5. When you are ready to cook the pierogi, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, in batches of six, until the pierogi are golden brown and crispy on both sides, about 5–8 minutes per batch. Do not overcrowd the skillet. Repeat until all pierogi are cooked. Keep warm until they are served in the soup.

Note: You can serve the pierogi on their own. To do so, sauté ½ cup diced yellow onion, then toss with cooked pierogi in
the pan.


1. Melt the butter in a medium-size Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook until combined and frothy. Add the onions and allow them to sweat. Add garlic and sauté until soft but not browning.

2. Add garlic powder, paprika, Old Bay seasoning, and white wine. Simmer until liquid is reduced by half.

3. Add Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and chicken stock. Simmer until soup just starts to boil. Gently stir in crab and cooked pierogi, then serve. Garnish with a dash of paprika.

Read more: This recipe originally appeared in "Explore New Holiday Flavors" by Chef Johnny Vee.