Sunday, January 3, 2010

Potato Pierogi

Being half Polish and half Italian our Christmas Eve dinners were always an eclectic mix of cultures; fish for the Italian side and pierogi for the Polish side. My grandparents used to bring pierogi from my great aunt's church group in NJ ( all the old Polish women would make them in the basement and then sell them for 6 bucks a dozen). Now that my grandmother's older and can't make the trip, it's been a sadly missed part of our recent Christmas Eve dinners. However, our friend Jeffrey who comes from a Polish family has recently supplied us with his uncle's pierogi recipe and I must say, they taste just as delicious as the ones I remember.

While our technique is not quite perfected yet, our attempt was well-rewarded with delicious pierogi that we all devoured. Below is Jeff's family's recipe. Enjoy!

Zdzislaw's Pierogi Dough
(Makes about three dozen)

See notes below

4 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
3 egg yolks
1 cup milk
3 tbls. sour cream
3 tbls. melted butter or margarine

Mix flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
Melt butter (or margarine). Set aside to cool.

Beat egg yolks, milk, and sour cream, add cooled melted butter, then the flour mixture, and mix thoroughly.

Roll dough fairly thin, cut in 4-5 inch circles, fill with approx. 1 tsp. filling, fold over and seal edges by pinching together with a fork.

Boil in salted water (using large pot) about 8 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and arrange on dishtowel to drain. When somewhat dry, place on cookie sheet lined with wax paper and place in freezer for approx. 20-30 minutes or until frozen. Dump into Zip Loc bags for freezer storage.

To serve, thaw and fry in melted butter until lightly browned. You can also add breadcrumbs or fried onions as a topping.

Note 1: Prepare fillings before preparing dough.

Note 2: Equipment: rolling pin, slotted spoon, 3-4" diameter biscuit cutter or drinking glass, large cutting board or marble slab, large stock pot for boiling pierogi, wax paper, a cookie sheet or other flat surface that is freezer safe, 2 or 3 clean dishtowels (flour sack cloths are particularly good but any cotton non-terry towel will work), freezer bags or containers. A heavy duty mixer like Kitchenaid is very helpful. A pasta machine is also helpful but not necessary.


Filling - Potato w Cheese

2 large russet potatoes
1 medium yellow onion
3 tablespoons butter
2-3 stalks green onion
1/4 llb dry farmers cheese

Cut the potatoes into quarters and cook in cold water. While potatoes are cooking finely chop the yellow and green onions. Melt the butter and on very low heat sauté the onion mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and mash. Do not add milk or butter. When potatoes are mashed, add the onion mixture. Continue mashing until onions are integrated into the potatoes. Add the farmers cheese and continue mashing until cheese is incorporated into the potato and onion mixture. Cheese doesn't need to melt.

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