Friday, March 07, 2014

By request, posting the family pierogi recipe.

This recipe was originally published in the Farmgirl Connection cookbook by a group of Mary Jane's Farmgirls in 2006.  "My mother-in-law's family was Ukrainian and for that side of the family, it isn't Christmas until we've had our Pierogis.  My husband and his brother always tell the story of carefully choosing the pierogi when they ate at their grandmother's house - sauerkraut [filling] was the best, cheese or mashed potatoes were acceptable, but they absolutely hated the prune pierogis - if they took one they had to eat it!  Now we just make plain sauerkraut ones.  Goes well well with Polish sausage and cooked wheat with honey."

2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt

Mound dough on kneading board and make hole in center.  Drop eggs into hole and cut into flour with a knife.  Add salt and water, and knead until firm.  Let rest for 10 minutes, covered, in bowl in a warm place. 

Divide dough in halves and roll thin.  Cut circles with a large biscuit cutter for half-circles, or just cut in 3-inch squares for triangular pierogis.  Place a small mound of filling a little to one side on each piece of dough.  Moisten edge with a little water, fold over and press edges firmly together.  Be sure they are well-sealed to prevent the filling from running out.  Drop the pierogi into salted boiling water in a large kettle (чайник). Don't crowd.  Cook gently for 3-5 minutes.  They will float when ready.  Lift out of water carefully with perforated spoon.

Notes:  The dough has a tendency to dry out while you are working.  A dry dough will not seal completely.  Never crowd or pile pierogi.  The uncooked will stick, and the cooked will lose shape and lightness.  Pierogi can be frozen after boiling and they keep well. 

Serving:  After boiling, we serve hot, tossed with onions that have been sautéed in butter and seasoned with salt and pepper, with a dollop of sour cream on the top.  Some people fry in hot oil, but not us. 

Fillings:

Cheese:  1 cup dry cottage cheese, 1 dash salt, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tbsp. sugar, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk.  Mix ingredients thoroughly. Fill Pierogi

Cabbage and Mushroom:  1 small head cabbage, 2 cups mushrooms, 2 tbsp. sour cream, 1 small onion chopped fine, butter, salt and pepper.  Quarter cabbage and cook in salted water for 15 minutes.  Drain, cool and chop fine.  Saute onion in butter, add chopped mushrooms and fry 5 minutes.  Add chopped cabbage and continue to fry until flavors meld.  Add sour cream and cool.  Fill Pierogi.

Sauerkraut and Mushroom:  2 cups sauerkraut may be substituted for cabbage in above filling.  Rinse and chop sauerkraut.  Proceed as above. Onions, mushrooms and sour cream are optional.

Potato: use leftover mashed potatoes.  Can add cheddar cheese if desired.

Cheese: cheddar cheese

Prunes: 1 cup cooked prunes, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. sugar.  Soak prunes overnight.  Cook with sugar and lemon juice.  When cool, remove pits (stones) and fill pierogi.  Serve pierogis with bread crumbs browned in butter.

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