Kneading + Knives Does Christmas: Super Gram’s Perogies/Pierogies

Because you can never have enough perogies/pierogies or recipes to make them…and every good Ukrainian/Polish family has their own recipe for perogies/pierogy or whichever way you wish to spell it, I’m including my lovely Super Gram’s recipe as part of the Kneading +Knives Does Christmas spread as it’s a definite must at my holiday table…and well, all throughout the year, if I am honest.

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Here we are at Super Gram’s fifth 10K in two years – she won her age group. She’s 82!

 

I have many fond memories of making perogies (how she spells it…but for the recipe it will be spelled the more common way – pierogy/pierogies) with my grams as a kid. I would play, armpit deep in her bit tub of flour (dont worry, she washed me up prior to playing).  She’d let me play with the leftover dough, caking my brother’s storm troopers in it, like a weird quick sand that would allow Chewy, Han, Luke and Leia (RIP Carrie Fisher) to get away.

Whenever I eat pierogies, I think of her and the fun we had together in the kitchen when I was little.  She was instrumental in creating my love of baking and is a constant resource of what I should do to fix/substitute things that have gone a bit off in my kitchen exploits.  The amount of joy it brings me to share this recipe with you, is beyond words.  I want you to try this and I want the awesomeness of my Super Grams to be experienced by one and all.  So without further ado, here’s the recipe.  Enjoy!

Om, Nom, Nom,

Lisa

Super Gram’s Perogies/Pierogies

Yield: about 2 1/2 to 3 dozen, depending on how big or small you make them

img_39831The Dough:

2 1/4 cups of flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 cup warm water

1/4 cup corn or canola oil (anything that isn’t too flavourful)

2 tablespoons of sour cream (Super Gram’s secret ingredient for tender dough)

Whisk together oil and sour cream into a small bowl and set aside.  Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Make a well in the middle. Pour water and oil/sour cream mixture into the well. Mix together. Add more flour, 1/2 cup at a time until dough is firm.

img_39811Knead dough until mixture does not stick to hands. Cover tightly and let stand for 1/2 hour in a warm place. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness and cut in 2-inch diameter circles.   Cover them in tea towels to prevent the dough from drying out as you make the pierogies.  Add 1 teaspoon filling (see below), fold over 1 half of circle and press the edges together to seal.  Make sure the edges are filling free.  If you are struggling to seal them, dip a finger in a small bowl of water, touch the edge of the pierogy with your wet finger and then try pinching them together.  The water will act as glue.

To Freeze: Lay them flat on a cookie sheet.  Pop into the freezer.  Wait a few hours or overnight.  Pop them in a ziplock.  Good for 6-12 months.  Cook as directed below.

To Cook: Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon oil, then add pierogies. Stir occasionally to pierogies won’t stick to the bottom. When pierogies rise to the top, add 1 cup cold water to stop the cooking. Remove the pierogies with a slotted spoon. Pierogies will cook in 3 to 4 minutes.

 

To Pan-Fry: In a large, non-stick frying pan, melt some butter and olive oil. Add drained, boiled pierogies and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cook over high heat until the pierogies are nicely browned and a bit crisp.

Top your boiled or fried pierogies with your fave toppings – this may include melted, salted butter, cooked bacon, fried onions or sour cream.

The Filling:

Pierogy fillings run the gamut from sweet to savoury to sauerkraut (soo not my thing).  My favourites happen to be a fun flavour of cheese ( say pepper jack) and potato or the Mennonite classic cottage cheese.  You can also add meat (bacon, ground beef) or other veggies (have heard great things about mushrooms) to fillings too.  Below you will find my two favourites…but I urge you to skulk the internet and find yourself some new and fun flavours to try.

Basic Cheese and Potato Filling:

2 lbs of red potatoes, peeled and halved

2 tablespoons of butter

8 ounces of shredded cheese ( I have used mild cheddar, pepperjack, black truffle white cheddar in the past-all have been delish.  I do recommend doing this to taste..some like lots of cheese others do not)

1/2 onion, finely diced and then fried until soft, translucent – optional as I’m not a massive onion fan

salt and pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes until well done, drain and mash with butter and cheese, taking advantage of the heat in the potatoes to melt your cheese and butter.  Mix in some salt and pepper to taste.

Let the mixture cool.  When cool, you can begin filling your pierogies.

Cottage Cheese Filling:

2 cups dry cottage cheese

1/4 onion, finely diced and then fried until soft, translucent – optional as I’m not a massive onion fan

salt and pepper to taste

Not much to do with this one except sauté up the onions and mix it, with salt and pepper into the dry cottage cheese.

Note that this type of filling takes a bit more time as it is very loose and can spill far more easier than a spoonful of solid potato and cheese mixture.  That being said, it is worth the effort as these are flipping delish.

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