I finally did it! Pierogi have been on my "to-make" list for a long time. As a kid and as an adult, I always liked pierogi, but I never had homemade ones. My husband had some pumpkin and ricotta pierogi at a restaurant in the fall that they made in-house --- I had a bite and they were so good! I was again reminded that it was time I give them a try and I'm glad I finally did. They were pretty fun to make and turned out delicious. Now that I have the dough and process down, the fillings will be endless - sauerkraut, mushroom, caramelized onions, pumpkin, etc... I went with potato and cheddar this time, because those have always been my favorite.
The other nice thing about making pierogi is that, while time-consuming, you get enough to freeze for another dinner or two. The dough recipe I used made about 20 pierogi. So we had some for dinner and then I placed the rest on a baking sheet in the freezer and divided them into batches large enough for a meal and placed them in freezer bags. I think next time I will make a double batch of dough. Plus, the process isn't difficult - it just take some time. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon.
Potato and cheddar pierogi
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg
2 large Russet potatoes, baked, peeled, and chopped
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
1/2 - 3/4 cup grated white cheddar cheese
2 scallions, very thinly sliced
To make the filling, use a potato masher to mash the potato, sour cream, milk, garlic powder, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. You want to filling to stay pretty dry, but you can adjust the milk/sour cream if needed. When the potatoes are pretty smooth, stir in the cheese and scallions. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Cover and refrigerate.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Remove from the heat and whisk in the milk. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and then slowly add the butter and milk mixture while whisking.
Create a well in the flour and add the wet ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to come together and form a ball.
Knead the dough on a floured surface for about three minutes. It should remain slightly sticky. Form it into a round, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator, slightly flatten it out and cut into four equal pieces. Then, cut the quarters into one-inch square(ish) equal pieces (you will get about 4-5 per quarter). Take the dough pieces, gently roll into a ball in your hands then roll out into a 1/4-inch thick circle on a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin. Place about 1 tablespoon of the filling onto the dough.
Fold it over and press the edges together until they are fully sealed. Keep a small dish of water nearby and dip your fingertips into it if the dough isn't sealing.
Continue until all the dough is used. Cook the pierogi (in batches if cooking them all or a large amount) in a large pot of salted boiling water until they float (about 3 minutes). Gently remove them with a slotted spoon. They are ready to eat at that point; however, you can also set them aside to dry off and then fry them (in batches) with about a tablespoon each of butter and olive oil along with some onions, if desired (and I definitely recommend). Serve with sour cream, if desired.
What was I cooking one year ago?: chocolate chip-banana-oatmeal muffins
Two years ago?: Matcha tea leaf shortbread cookies