Friday, March 13, 2009

My Polish Mothers Pierogi

50.  Last summer, my family spent several days visiting with my mother.  We had a wonderful time!  She is such a good cook...and I wanted her to show my girls how to make her fantastic homemade Pierogi.  I grew up eating these special dumplings, like "It"alians eat ravioli or Chinese eat Dim Sum.  They were a highlight and a part of our family ties!  And how many times have I heard people say..."I wish I had gotten that recipe".  So, while my mother went about making pierogi, I jotted down her recipe...and here it is:

Polish Pierogi by Ruth 

Potato Cheese Filling

6 medium to large potatoes, peel, rinse and boil till tender
16 oz of farmers cheese or ricotta cheese 
1 large onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup butter
salt/white pepper

Place cooked potato in large bowl. Mash with a potato masher till desired texture ie. Lumpy or smooth. Mix in cheese and salt and pepper. In frying pan melt butter and add chopped onion. Saute till onion is transparent. Salt to taste. Do not brown onion. Add directly to potato mixture. Stir all together and taste for seasoning. (Some people add cheddar cheese, white or yellow, at this point. But it is not original to the recipe.)

Pierogi Dough
6 cups flour
2 eggs
salt/white pepper
warm water

In large mixing bowl add flour, eggs, seasoning and begin to add warm water a cup at a time as you knead with your hands. Dough will stick to your hands. Continue to add water till the dough begins to form together and begins to come away from fingers. The dough will be sticky but not wet. 

Let dough sit for 20 minutes covered with towel.

Roll small amounts of dough on floured surface. Cut into 2 1/2 to 3" circular rounds. Flour hands well and continually. Fill each center with a teaspoon of potato cheese filling. Fold circle of dough in half to form a moon shape. Press edges together being sure not to leave openings. Do not use water to seal edges but go over edges several times crimping to ensure closure. 
Place newly shaped pierogi on a clean, floured kitchen towel. Allow to rest, uncovered till all pierogi are made. This helps them to be more sturdy. 

Bring water to a boil in a 6 quart or 8 quart stock pot. Add 2 Tblsp canola oil and 1 Tbsp salt to water. As water continues to roll and boil begin to slide pierogi, one at a time into the water. 
About 10 to 12 at a time. Pierogi will rise to the top...allow to completely surface and stay on top before you remove from water. Drain in a colander and place directly in a buttered serving dish or baking dish. Brush each pierogi with melted butter to keep them from sticking together. 

Fry onions in butter and oil till tender and slightly browned. Pour onions over the cooked pierogi. Serve hot.

May freeze before cooking. Place on a cookie sheet placing in freezer till partially frozen. Place in a container and freeze up to 1 month. To cook follow process above. They will take a few minutes longer than the fresh pierogi. Or after boiling and buttering allow to cool, place in container and freeze up to 1 month.  They may be stuck together when you thaw.  Don't pull them apart...just allow the heat to separate them.
Frying process: place frozen raw or cooked pierogi in deep frying pan. Pour 1/4 cup oil or butter over and 1/4 cup water. Slice onions and place over. Cover frying pan with lid and simmer on medium. Once pierogi become tender, remove lid and flip pierogi. Allow water to evaporate. Prepare as desired, soft or crispy.

Thanks mother!!!  You are beautiful!

"I have found that most people
are about as happy
as they make up their minds to be."
~ Abraham Lincoln


Tami said...

Oh, Lilly! I love pirogi's!!! Well, there really is not much that I do not like besides green beans, of all things! {{{giggle}}}
I will surly be trying out this recipe! Thank~you so much for sharing!!

Have a great weekend!!

Cindy Holman said...

I would love to make these!! They look sooooooo good!

Kathleen said...

I never had a pierogi till I married my dh. His mom and aunt used to make them. This Irish American had no idea what they were.
I love them, and home made are the best.
Great tutorial!


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