Pennsylvania is the land of pierogies. It’s probably from all our Polish immigrants, but I don’t really care where they came from because they’re totally yummy. They aren’t that hard to make from scratch, either. You can boil them, sauté them in butter or olive oil, bake, or deep-fry them. You can serve them as a side or a main, but traditionally they are a side to a cheesesteak. Also, customarily, when they are served at a fast-food restaurant, they’re fried, but when they are served at a church supper, they’re boiled and served with heaps of melted butter and cooked onions. Either way, they are absolutely delicious.
Speaking of pierogies, here is my latest version of the recipe. I’ve tested it twice (once using milk and once using water) and prefer the water version. I’m still working on getting the best deep-fried texture. So please comment. Let me know how it works best for you. What I can say for sure is they are delicious sautéed with butter and onions…
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 large egg yolks
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup lukewarm water or milk
- 2 cups boiled potatoes, mashed
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar)
- Salt and pepper
1. To make the filling: Boil the potatoes and mash with butter, milk and cheese. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
2. To make the dough: Mix all the dough ingredients together, adding only enough water to make the dough stick together nicely.
3. To assemble the pierogies: Roll out the dough on a flour-coated counter (make it thin, but not so thin it will burst). Cut the rolled dough into 4-inch squares (or 3-inch circles, whichever you prefer).
4. Put a heaping teaspoon of filling into the middle of each square and fold over into a triangle and press the edges together.
5. Cook as desired. Options: Sauté with butter, boil, and add a sauce to it (like a ravioli); fry in oil; or bake in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes. Other than the baking method, they only take a few minutes to cook.
Variations: There is no limit to the creativity you can apply to the humble pierogi. Fill with spinach or other vegetables. Fill with meat. Make all sorts of sauces—especially tomato.
Another good recipe uses 1 egg and 1/2 Cup sour cream (any variety). I still make my own, especially for Christmas Eve. They are a great Eastern European comfort food.