My mom is obsessed with keeping a stocked freezer, but I guess I don’t really take after her, because my freezer tends to be relatively empty, aside from random containers of stock/ramen broth, frozen dumplings and pierogi. I admit, I store buy frozen chinese dumplings and pierogi for those times that I just don’t feel like cooking. I tell myself it’s because of ease and convenience, but really, I just love the taste of frozen pockets filled with deliciousness.
Pierogi are fast, tasty, and ideal for when I let myself get too hungry and become a crazy unthinking monster. (This happens more often than you would believe). I’ve always been a frozen pierogi buyer, but now I think I’m going to have to go homemade forever.
It’s Oktoberfest right now and that means two things: beer and sausages. I don’t partake in the beer much (Mike drinks up my share), but I do love sausages. Sausages and pierogi are just one of those pairings that I find perfect, especially when the weather turns a bit chilly.
I found an old Gourmet magazine pierogi recipe on epicurious.com and for my first pierogi making experience, it was great. The dough was a dream to work with and for an extra treat, I fried up pierogi in some butter to crisp up the skin. They kind of ended up looking like some sort of Asian dumpling-guess I just can’t get that out of me-but they were all pierogi potato deliciousness.
I couldn’t resist putting my own twist on the pierogi though: instead of filling all the pierogi with a potato cheddar cheese filling, I mixed up potatoes with green onion oil. The result was insanely good. The green onion oil made the potato filling rich and umami filled.
The green onion pierogi were so good that it was a little like playing the odds while we were eating-all the pierogi looked the same, but biting into one of the green onion ones was a little like winning the lottery.
Pierogi Recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine April 2004 as found on epicurious.com
yield: 48-50 pierogi
3 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading
1 cup water
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
For potato filling
1 1/2 pound russet potatoes
6 ounces coarsely grated Cheddar or 4 tablespoons green onion oil*
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Special equipment: a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter
Put flour in a large shallow bowl and make a well in centre. Add water, egg, oil, and salt to well and carefully beat together with a fork without incorporating flour. Continue stirring with a wooden spoon, gradually incorporating flour, until a soft dough forms. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead, dusting with flour as needed to keep dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes (dough will be very soft). Invert a bowl over dough and let stand at room temperature 1 hour.
Make filling while dough stands:
Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Cook potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain potatoes, then equally divide in two bowls. In one bowl add the cheese, salt, and pepper, in the other bowl, add the green onion oil. Mash the potatoes until smooth and mix thoroughly.
When mashed potatoes are cool enough to handle, use a small cookie scoop to scoop out the filling. Cover and keep the filling in the fridge until you are ready to fill your pierogi.
Form and cook pierogie:
Halve dough and roll out 1 half (keep remaining half under inverted bowl) on lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 15-inch round (1/8 inch thick), then cut out 24 rounds with lightly floured cutter. Holding 1 round in palm of your hand, put 1 potato ball in centre of round and close your hand to fold round in half, enclosing filling. Pinch edges together to seal completely.
Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pierogi, stirring once or twice to keep them from sticking together, and cook 5 minutes from time pierogi float to surface. Drain and pan fry in butter or oil over medium heat until crisp.