Thursday, February 5, 2009
This recipe is another of my Grandma H's. If you aren't familiar with pierogi, you have no idea what you are missing. They are a tasty dumpling often filled with potato and/or cheese. According to wikipedia:
"Pierogi (also perogi, perogy, pirohi, piroghi, pirogi, pirogen, pierogy, pirohy, or pyrohy), from the Proto-Slavic 'pir' (festivity), is the name most commonly used in English speaking areas to refer to a variety of Slavic semicircular (or, in some cuisines, square) boiled dumplings of unleavened dough stuffed with varying ingredients. In English, the word pierogi and its variants are pronounced with a stress on the letter 'o'."
We have been eating pierogi for as long as I can remember, although I can't say I ever remember my grandmother making them from scratch. I'm still honing my skills with making doughs, learning how elastic a particular dough should be, when to add more flour or more water. So going into this one I was a bit nervous. But was surprised at how well it came together. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, while my grandmother made everything from scratch I don't think she ever had a ton of time to do things. Thus it would have to be easy. There was no recipe included for the filling, so I made up my own based on some web research and what I remembered liking in the pierogi we would eat growing up.
makes about 20
½ cup water
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 large potato
up to ¼ cup buttermilk
up to ¼ cup extra sharp cheddar - shredded (I actually used MacLaren's Imperial Sharp Cheddar which looks like a shady cheddar spread but was actually perfect and really tasty on it's own too)
salt & pepper
1 Tbsp butter
½ small onion - roughly chopped
1. Mound the flour on a kneading board and make a hole in the center. Drop eggs into the hole and cut into flour with a knife.
2. Add salt & water and knead until firm. Let rest for 10 minutes, covered with a warm towel.
3. Divide dough in half and roll thin, using flour as needed. Cut circles with a large biscuit cutter.
4. Peel and dice potato and boil until tender. Drain water and put potatoes in food processor. Pulse potatoes in food processor and stream in buttermilk a Tbsp at a time until smooth (how much cheese and buttermilk you need depends on the size of potato, taste it as you go). Fold in cheddar cheese.
5. Place a small spoonful of filling a little to one side of each round dough. Moisten edge with water and press edges firmly together. Be sure they are sealed to prevent filling from running out.
6. Drop pierogi into salted boiling water. Cook gently for 3 to 5 minutes. They are done when they begin to float, remove from water with a slotted spoon.
7. In a large skillet brown butter over medium heat. When browned add onions and pierogi. Sauteing until each side of the pierogies is golden and the onions have just begun to brown.
These were a winner with the boy. The dough was a bit tough to roll out and I think I could've gotten it thinner and they would have been even better, but overall I'm happy with my first attempt. It's not necessary to do the final step with the onions and butter, but it makes them taste oh so good with the soft onions and the browned bits that it's worth the extra effort and extra pan. I really like that the recipe is part my grandmother's and part mine. I can't wait to try them again with different fillings. Enjoy!