I always considered myself a carb freak. Bread with my meals, pasta is my comfort food and potatoes are always on the menu. But I think I have finally met my nemesis! Cheese and Potato Pierogi! Wow, carb overload!
Pierogi, like all good food, was the food of Polish peasants. I would imagine the cook of the home intending to warm and fill the bellies of her family. Perhaps not quite food for the tropics of Australia even if it is the middle of winter.
Continuing with my challenge of baking through A Baker's Odyssey this recipe is found in the Savoury Pastries section. Greg Patent states that "Pierogi are perhaps the best known Polish dish in America".
Ok, now let me challenge my American readers.
I need feed back!
How well ( or not so well) did I form the Pierogi?
Is this how you would eat Pierogi?
Tell me about your favourites ?
Cheese and Potato Pierogi
Makes 60 to 70 dumplings to serve 5 to 6
Print the recipe here!
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped medium fine
2 pounds/ a little less than 1 kg potatoes
12 ounces/340 grams ricotta cheese, drained overnight
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups allpurpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 large egg yolk
3 tablespoons olive oil
Make the filling first. Heat the oil and fry the onions until gently until golden brown and begining to caramelize about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat.
Peel potatoes and cut into large chunks. Add to a pot of boiling salted water and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.
Drain potatoes and put through a ricer into a large bowl. Add the cheese, salt, pepper and cooked onions and mix well. This mixture can be made the day before. Keep refrigerated.
To make the dough. Put the flour into large bowl and make a well in the centre. In a medium bowl stir the warm water, egg yolk and olive oil with a fork. Add liquid to the flour and mix to make a soft dough. Adjust with a little more water warm if necessary.
Knead on a floured surface for a few minutes. Then cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
To shape - cut the dough in half and keep the unused portion covered. Roll the dough on a floured surface until it is about 1/8 inch/ 3mm thick. Cup our circles with a 2 1/2inch/ 6.5cm cutter ( or thereabouts) Put a heaping teaspoon of filling into the centre of the circle and bring up the edges to cover the filling. Then crimp the edges in 4 or 5 places to give the pleated look. Set aside on a floured tray and continue with the remaining filling and dough.
To cook - bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add 8 to 10 pierogi. If they settle to the bottom dislodge with a rubber spatula. When the pierogi float cook for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to an oil baking tray. Continue cooking remaining pierogi.
To serve, I gave the pierogi a quick fry in melted butter until slightly browned and added crisp bacon and caramelised onion.