On Becoming a Polish Housewife

Welcome to The ‘Chefski Digest! For my first post, I decided that nothing could be more fitting than writing about the very first Polish thing I ever tasted and then learned to make: Pierogi!

They say every country has its own take on the dumpling (think: Italy=ravioli, China/Japan: poststickers/ gyoza, etc), and this one belongs to Poland. What I like most about it is that you can use different stuffings to make your pierogi either sweet or savory. This recipe is for potato-n-cheese pierogi, but I’ve also stuffed them with frozen blueberries. Cover the latter with some powdered sugar and mmmm!

Thanks to my dear, tiny (and Polish!) friend Ania for acquiring and sharing her Mum’s recipe (thanks Mama!), and for the hands-on help when she and I made my first batch. This one’s for you, Ania! (oh, and for my ‘chefski 🙂 I, of course, have a heart to win on a daily basis, and since the quickest way to a man’s heart is his belly….) Since this is relatively time consuming, I recommend making a huge batch and freezing ready-made pierogi for future consumption. Alternatively, you can freeze the dough and prepare more stuffing when you’re ready to assemble more.

Ingredients

Stuffing:
  • 3-5 medium potatoes, peeled
  • 1 large onion (I love red onions, but you can use whatever you like)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Dough:

  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil

Start with the stuffing:

This is the cheddar cheese, potato & onion stuffing.
And yes, that’s a bottle of Creme de Casis over there 😉

1. Set the potatoes in a large pot with cold water, bring to boil and keep it goin’ til the potatoes are soft enough to mash (30-40 minutes). You may want to halve or dice these to help them cook faster.

2. While you’re waiting for step 1 to come to its conclusion, chop the onion as finely as you like. I love onions, so I do a rough chop/dice. Saute them in a little oil or butter til golden. Set aside.

3. Once the potatoes are ready, mash ’em up in the pot, add the onions, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. You want the stuffing to get a faint, yellow-ish color, so you may want to add a little more cheese. This is cooking after all! Have fun with it!

While the potato-n-cheese stuffing is cooling, make the dough:

One step, really: In a small bowl mix flour, egg, salt and warm water using a large wooden spoon or spatula. Once the ingredients come together and the mix has cooled off a bit, use your hands to kneed the dough until it forms an elastic dough (sprinkle in some more flour if necessary).

Now to assemble the pierogi!

1. Tear off a piece of the ball of dough, cover the rest.

2. On a lightly-floured surface, roll out the dough to thickness of “very thin”… thick enough not to tear, but thin.

3. Using a knife, cut the dough into 2×2-inch squares (if you want them triangle-shaped), or using a glass or cookie-cutter, cut into circle (these will result in crescent-shaped pierogi).

4. Now to fill! Using a small spoon, place stuffing into the center of your dough square or circle. Fold in half, then pinch the outside of the dough together to form a well-sealed pocket of goodness. Make sure these are tightly closed so no water gets in during step 5. Repeat steps 1-4 until you’ve made as many pierogi as you like.

Pierogi is a plural term, denoting the presence of more than one pierog.
Here they are before going into their hot water bath.
5. Bring a large pot of water to boil. In batches, lower pierogi into the boiling water bath. When they are ready, they float to the top, at which point you scoop them out with a spoon and place on a plate. Repeat with your whole batch.

6. Rinse your hot pierogi in cold water (presumable to “set them”). You can now freeze them for later, or fry them up with a little butter or oil and chopped onions, and serve with a dollop of sour cream!

The final, delicious products.
Now freeze, of fry in a little butter or oil, and you’re good to go!

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This entry was published on February 12, 2010 at 5:40 pm. It’s filed under dinner and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “On Becoming a Polish Housewife

  1. thanks for the shoutout 🙂

  2. Hey Carol!!I just made the filling for these and am planning to put them all together tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe–I love reading your blog!

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