When I blogged about pierogi lasagna back in May, I said I tasted my first pierogi when I was 12. Scratch that. Totally not true. I was more like seven.
I know, this is really important. Everything you’ve ever known to be true hinges on the exact age I was when I had that fateful pierogi. You’ve been making decisions based on that fact alone! How could I have gotten it wrong!?
So those pierogi I ate as a 12-year-old, those were the frozen kind from the local kosher store. But my actual first pierogi tasting took place on a family vacation to Miami, at Sara’s Pizza.
Seriously, that place is ingrained in my childhood memories…we were there a lot. It wasn’t vacation without a dozen meals at Sara’s!
So we were sitting in a booth one day, giving the waitress our orders. Did your parents order for you as a kid? In our family, if you were old enough to decide what you wanted for dinner, you were old enough to order it.
I asked for the pierogi, please. (One of my parents had already explained to me that pierogi were pasta-like things filled with cheesy mashed potatoes.)
Sure, the waitress said. Did I want that boiled or deep-fried?
Um. I was seven. I didn’t know what boiled was, and I didn’t know what deep-fried was. I looked to my mother for help.
Inside, I’m sure she was cringing at the thought of her seven-year-old eating what would have probably been my first plate of deep-fried food.
“Try the boiled kind,” she said without batting an eye. “It’s healthier.”
I was a good little girl. I turned to the waitress. “Boiled.”
And this is why I feel like a bit of a traitor for posting this version. No, these pierogi are not deep-fried. But they do spend a few minutes getting browned in butter, and that’s probably not the healthiest thing I could have done.
But wait! They are also boiled. What a great compromise. In fact, I’m pretty sure that my mother – who is definitely reading this – won’t be too disappointed.
…One can hope.
So. About making pieorgi. The first thing you need is a helper. One person rolls out the dough and cuts out the circles, and one person places the filling on top and crimps them closed.
Sure, you can do it all yourself. But it will take forever to make enough for a crowd. Of course, like all things, it depends how you roll. Some people would have a couple of pierogi and a salad, and call it dinner. And some people are ready to slap me right now. Moving right along.
The other thing to make sure you have is the sour cream. These little potato dumplings are gentle in flavor, and the sour cream adds a lot.
And if you don’t have tons of time and you don’t have a helper, you should probably just make the pierogi lasagna. Say hi to it for me.
One year ago: Chocolate chip cookie dough truffles
Tweaked from About.com
Yield: 14 pierogi
- 4 small potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- ½ small red onion, minced
- ½ Tbsp oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup cottage cheese
- ½ cup any shredded cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp salt
You will also need:
- extra flour for rolling the dough
- 2 Tbsp butter for finishing the pierogi
1. Place the potatoes in a pot of boiling water and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, saute the onion in oil until softened and just starting to brown.
2. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Add onion, salt, pepper, and cheeses and mash until creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 egg and milk. Switch to a silicone spatula and add the flour, a half-cup at a time, mixing until incorporated after each addition. The dough will be very sticky.
4. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for 1-2 minutes, adding flour as needed to achieve a smooth, soft dough. Form it into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and let it rest for 15 minutes. Don’t bother cleaning your work surface yet.
5. Make sure the area is still well-floured. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough out about as thin as it will go without tearing. Use a cup to cut out circle-sized pieces (gather the scraps to roll again).
6. Beat the second egg. Brush each dough circle with the beaten egg and top with a small spoonful of filling. I used about 1 heaping teaspoon of filling but would suggest using more, between a half-tablespoon and a full tablespoon.
7. Stretch the dough over the filling to seal, pressing the edges together firmly with your fingers. If you like, crimp the edges with the tines of a fork.
8. Cook the pierogi in a pot or saucepan of salted, boiling water, letting them cook 4 minutes once they float to the top of the pot. Melt butter in a nonstick skillet and transfer the (drained!) cooked pieorgi to the skillet, allowing them to sizzle in the butter (over low heat) until gently browned on each side, about 3-4 minutes per side.
9. For best results, serve immediately topped with lots of sour cream.