A Little Claire-ification

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The Holidays At Home – Traditions: Homemade Pierogies

on December 12, 2012

Food - Pierogies FINAL

It doesn’t matter to me how you choose to spell it – pierogi, perogi, pirogi…  just know that I WILL eat them.  Pierogies are a traditional Polish dumpling of sorts that are stuffed with a cheesy potato mixture or sometimes with sauerkraut, ground beef or even fruit (although I have never tried a dessert pierogi!) (yet).  Once they are made, the pierogies are first boiled and then pan fried for a bit with some onions and butter.  We also fry up  some sliced kielbasa and it’s just a heavenly accompaniment to the pierogies but you vegetarians can skip that part, of course.  I’ll eat yours.  😉  Now I personally  am a cheesy potato filling kind of girl (heavy on the cheese, please!!) and I love having pierogies and kielbasa on Christmas morning.

While we are of Irish descent, one of my Mom’s dear friends Helene, who was also my Godmother, was Polish.  Making pierogies with my Mom and Helene was an annual tradition for many, many years when I was growing up.

Helene, her daughter Meg (also my Godmother) and her Husband Steve (circa the late 70s)

I can still remember the flour all over the counter and the dough being rolled out.  We would make TONS of pierogies because they could be frozen and enjoyed all year long, which also made my Dad extremely happy.  Breakfast of champions!!

This year The Husband and I decided to carry on the tradition and try our hand at making pierogies both to serve on Christmas morning and to send home with the family to enjoy throughout the year (I’m just saying that because they might read this… we’ll see if any are left!) 😉  So here’s how we made ours with the potato cheese filling:

Directions (link to the full recipe at the end):

Pierogi Dough
To prepare the pierogi dough, mix together the flour and salt. Beat the egg, then add all at once to the flour mixture. Add the 1/2 cup sour cream and the softened butter pieces and work until the dough loses most of its stickiness (about 5-7 minutes). You can use a food processor with a dough hook for this, but be careful not to overmix. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or overnight; the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Prepare the Potato, Cheese & Onion Filling:  Peel and boil the potatoes until easily pierced with a fork.
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While the potatoes are boiling, finely chop 1 large onion and saute in butter until soft and translucent.
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Mash the potatoes with the sauted onions and 8oz of grated cheddar cheese (we used white cheddar), adding salt and pepper to taste.
You can also add some minced garlic, fresh parsley, bacon bits, chives, or other enhancements if you desire.  Let the potato mixture cool and then form into 1″ balls.

Prepare the Pierogies
Roll the pierogi dough on a floured board or countertop until 1/8″ thick.  Cut circles of dough (2″ for small pierogies and 3-3 1/2″ for large pierogies) with a cookie cutter or drinking glass.

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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.

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At this point, place the prepared pierogies in freezer bags or alternately sealed containers with the layers separated by freezer paper.  If gifting, make sure to include cooking instructions! We don’t need any microwave incidents with uncooked pierogies!! 🙂

We boil the pierogies (no need to defrost if frozen) a few at a time in a large pot of water. They are done when they float to the top (about 8-10 minutes).

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Rinse in cool water and let dry.

Sauté chopped onions in butter in a large pan until onions are soft.  We also sautéed some kielbasa, as mentioned above.  Both the onions and kielbasa are optional, as you can just pan fry your pierogis with butter if you would like.

Food - Kielbasa and Onions cooking

Set aside the kielbasa and onions and then pan fry the pierogies for a few minutes on each side until lightly crispy.  We mixed up 1/2 cup sour cream and the chopped scallions (also optional) and placed a dollop on each pierogi – it was divine.

Food - Scallions and sour cream

So yes, I have already sampled a few. Ok, maybe half a dozen, just to be SURE they were good of course. 😉  They are exactly as I remembered.  Delicious!!  I can’t wait for Christmas morning!

Food - Pierogies FINAL

Here’s the full recipe:  http://alittleclaireification.com/recipes/cheesy-potato-pierogies/

Do you have any traditional dishes that you and your family prepare every year at the holidays?   I would love to hear about your traditions and recipes too!

xoxo

Claire

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3 responses to “The Holidays At Home – Traditions: Homemade Pierogies

  1. OOhhhh, I LOVE Pierogies! My favorite is the potato cheese with kielbasa and onions, just as you suggest. Or maybe it is ground beef with onions and potatoes, and some gravy on top. (no, the gravy is not typical, but so good!) And fruit Peirogies fried in butter are to die for!

  2. Kaye says:

    Mmmm! I can taste them already. Thanks for sharing your memory of this. It reminds of many of my own memories about the holidays.

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