Potato Cheese Pierogi
In preparation for our moves (AKA the end of retirement), Neil and I have made lists of restaurants in Bellingham we want to try out, shows in town we want to see, etc. Another list includes meals we want to make and enjoy together. Sharing space atop that list with the likes of blueberry coffee cake and mushroom risotto are pierogi, delicious Polish dumplings. This recipe is slightly adapted from my friend Aldona, takes about 1.5 to 2 hours from start to finish and is a perfect comfort food for these cold clear nights.
POTATO CHEESE PIEROGI
INGREDIENTS (serves 4)
2Cups white flour (whole wheat pastry flour works too, but won’t be as soft or easy to work with)
1 large egg
3/4 Cup hot water
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
Fried Onion Deliciousness
1/2 stick of butter
1 large onion, chopped pretty fine
3 large potatoes
1 Cup cottage/farmer cheese
salt and pepper to taste
one large scoop of Fried Onion Deliciousness
Fried Onion Deliciousness
curry, chopped herbs, yogurt – you name it! get creative!
THE HOW TO
- Cut potatoes into small chunks and boil until soft and mashable.
- While the potatoes are cooking, pour flour into a large bowl. Make a big well in the flour and crack the egg into it. Add the salt, olive oil, and about half of the hot water.
- Knead the dough together, adding the rest of the water as needed until you have what feels like a soft pie dough – not too dry, but not sticky either. Let the dough rest, covered so it doesn’t dry out, for 20 minutes or so as you prepare the fried onion deliciousness and pierogi filling.
- Put the half stick of butter in a cast iron skillet, and, once it is melting and starting to sizzle, add the chopped onion. Fry until the onions are translucent and smelling irresistibly delicious.
- Drain the boiled potatoes and mash with a fork. Add the cheese (we got Polish farmers cheese from the European import store, but most any cheese – farmers, cottage, cheddar – will do) and a big scoop of the fried onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. *For one batch of pierogi, we added curry powder and peas to this mixture.
- Roll out the dough on a floured cutting board. It should be pretty darn thin – a millimeter? – thick enough that it won’t tear when you add the filling, thin enough that it won’t taste gummy once boiled.
- Using a cup, cut out circles of dough 3 inches in diameter or so.
- Put a Tablespoon or 2 of filling on each circle of dough (it takes much less filling than you might think!) and crimp the edges together to form a pocket, a mini-calzone. Make sure your edges are sealed or the dumplings will spill open when boiling.
- As you’re finishing with filling the pierogi, heat up a large pot of water to boiling. Dunk about 10 – 12 pierogi in at once. They’ve finished cooking about 30 seconds after they float to the top (2 minutes or so altogether).
- Top with the left-over fried onions, soy sauce, sour cream, hot sauce and anything else you’re inclined to try.
- Enjoy hot, with a glass of wine and a winter companion. Marvel at the countless ways cultures have managed to accessorize dough and make it taste delicious.