Okay. I am very excited to write this blog. Pierogies are my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE food in the whole world.
Sue and I have a rather mixed family heritage (Dutch - Irish for the most part) but I am 99% sure that Eastern European blood is running through our veins. Well, mine, anyway. Sue is partial to Chinese Cuisine. Hard to explain as we are twins but still possible on a molecular level.
Anyway....I loooooove pierogies. There are many different ways to prepare them in terms of fillings and dough. Potato, cheese, bacon and onion filling is number one. How can you go wrong with those 4 ingredients? I've heard of dessert pierogies but, I'm not going to lie, that does not sound good. Hopefully one day I will get to try them so I will know for sure. I've tried sauerkraut filling and cottage cheese filling and a few others but nothing (so far) has beat good ol' potato, cheese, bacon, and onion. I have done my best to write down the filling recipe in terms of measurements as it comes from my dad who never measured, just went by how it looked. The dough recipe is one I found online a long time ago and fiddled with until it worked best for me. Feel free to make changes to suit your own tastes!
4 cups flour
1/2 cup sour cream
large pinch of salt
2/3 cup warm water
4 cups mashed potatoes
2 cups aged cheddar, shredded
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
10 strips bacon, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Mix together flour, eggs, sour cream, salt, and warm water. Knead lightly, you may have to add more flour until dough loses stickiness. Cover and let rest while you prepare filling.
Make sure mashed potatoes are hot. Mix in cheese. Fry onion and bacon in frying pan until cooked. Scrape into potato mixture, including drippings. Stir in salt and pepper. Let cool to room temp. (If you try to fill the dough while filling is too hot it will melt the dough.) You can put filling in the fridge to speed cooling process.
Divide dough into 4 sections. Roll out 1 section at a time until dough is very thin, but still thick enough to be handled without ripping. (Here is where my directions get sketchy - I always just go by feel. I'm guessing I roll one section to about 12 X 15 inches) Cut circles of dough (2" for small pierogies and 3-3 1/2" for large pierogies) with a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place a small ball of filling (about a tablespoon) on each dough round and fold the dough over, forming a semi-circle. Press the edges together with the tines of a fork. (It helps to wet the edges with your finger dipped in water before sealing) You can also use a pierogi maker such as this one: pierogi maker to get evenly sized ones. (I confess, I have one, how could I not get a kitchen gadget specifically designed for pierogies?)
See, aren't they pretty?
At this point you can either freeze them for later use or, even better, prepare and eat them now. Before I tell you the absolute best way in the entire world (not exaggerating) to prepare them, I just wanted to note that you can reroll the scraps of dough once. Any more than that the dough is too tough.
Okay, how to prepare the delicious pierogies you have just prepared:
Heat frying pan over medium heat. Slice onion and bacon and add to pan.(As many as you like!!) When onions and bacon are half cooked, bring a large pot of water to boil. Drop pierogies into boiling water. (You prepare frozen pierogies the same way, they just take a tiny bit longer to boil) When pierogies float to top they are ready. Scoop them out using a slotted spoon and add them to the pan with the onion and bacon. Cook and stir gently until pierogies start to brown. Serve with sour cream.
It doesn't get much better than this. If you are wondering what to serve with it to make it a more complete meal....go with Ukranian sausage. Slice it, broil it til crispy on the outside.
Tell me that doesn't look sooooooo good! Hmmm... I know what I'm having for dinner tonight.
What's your favorite food?
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