November 29, 2007

Potato & Onion Pierogi

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cold water
1 egg
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon salt

1 lb russet potatoes, baked, cooled, insides scooped out*
1/2 onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon milk
1 egg

First, saute the onions in the oil until translucent. Mash the potatoes, milk onions and egg together. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together all of the dough ingredients until a round ball forms.

If it is overly sticky, add a little bit for flour, if crumbly, add a tiny bit more water. Roll out on a clean, floured surface. Roll about to about 1/8 thick.

Use a large round biscuit or cookie cutter to cut out circles.

Place 1 1/2 teaspoon of filling on one side of the round of dough leaving a 1/4 inch rim around the bottom. Fold the other side and pinch tightly shut.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the pierogi and boil until they float to the surface. Remove and serve or saute briefly in some butter, just to brown them, before serving. Serve hot. Yummy with sour cream and sauteed onions.

Yield: 10-12 pierogi

My thoughts:
Today I had one of those "why haven't I done this before" moments. Pierogi** is something I actually I grew up eating (albeit not homemade) unlike 90% of what I post here but for some reason it always seemed like too big of a deal to make on my own, from scratch. Then today it hit me what a silly excuse that was. We've made har gow*** which was very time consuming to make and required a special trip to the market for tapioca flour and wheat starch to make the wrappers. The humble pierogi uses only the most basic of ingredients and is much simpler to make once you get past the fact that you have to vigorously boil something that you pinched together yourself. It only took about 10-15 minutes to make the filling and the dough, roll it out and fill it. Having a stand mixer helped, but even if you couldn't mix and saute at once, it still only take about 20 minutes prep. Every culture seems to have a dumpling and pierogi (singular: pierog) is one of simplest, but also one of the most satisfying to eat-they are so filling, just a few pierogi can make a meal.

*I used baked potatoes because it eliminated a significant hands on time in making the filling. I didn't have to peel or chop the potatoes, wait for water to boil etc but you could just use plain mashed potatoes.

**Alternatively: perogi, perogy, pirohi, piroghi, pirogi, pirogen, piroshke or pyrohy.
***Shrimp dumplings with thin, translucent wrappers.