Yum, dumplings filled with potatoes, onion and cheese – dipped in sour cream and sprinkled with seasoned salt.
Droooooling already! And a bit nervous to attempt these today.
Pierogies are made of a thinly rolled dough filled with various fillings. A large number of filling types makes this Polish food a snack, spicy first course or even a dessert. Originally, in Poland the most traditional filling are: forcemeat, sauerkraut and mushrooms. A vegetarian variant of pierogi made from mushrooms and a cabbage is dished up during the Christmas Eve dinner (according to the Polish tradition – food must be meatless that day). Other kind of pierogi, peculiarly popular in summer, is sweet pierogi. Seasonal fruits are used as a filling: mainly bilberries or strawberries. Pierogi filled with a specially prepared sweetened Polish curd cheese (called a white cheese by the Poles) is also very delicious and popular. (From Tasting Poland).
Pierogi Recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine April 2004 as found on epicurious.com
Yield: 48-50 pierogi
3 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading
1 cup water
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
For potato filling
1 1/2 pound russet potatoes
6 ounces coarsely grated Cheddar or 4 tablespoons green onion oil*
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Special equipment: a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter
Put flour in a large shallow bowl and make a well in centre. Add water, egg, oil, and salt to well and carefully beat together with a fork without incorporating flour. Continue stirring with a wooden spoon, gradually incorporating flour, until a soft dough forms. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead, dusting with flour as needed to keep dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes (dough will be very soft). Invert a bowl over dough and let stand at room temperature 1 hour.
Make filling while dough stands:
Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Cook potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain potatoes, then equally divide in two bowls. In one bowl add the cheese, salt, and pepper, in the other bowl, add the green onion oil. Mash the potatoes until smooth and mix thoroughly.
When mashed potatoes are cool enough to handle, use a small cookie scoop to scoop out the filling. Cover and keep the filling in the fridge until you are ready to fill your pierogi.
Form and cook pierogie:
Halve dough and roll out 1 half (keep remaining half under inverted bowl) on lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 15-inch round (1/8 inch thick), then cut out 24 rounds with lightly floured cutter. Holding 1 round in palm of your hand, put 1 potato ball in centre of round and close your hand to fold round in half, enclosing filling. Pinch edges together to seal completely.
Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pierogi, stirring once or twice to keep them from sticking together, and cook 5 minutes from time pierogi float to surface. Drain and pan fry in butter or oil over medium heat until crisp.