Thursday, October 22, 2009
Apparently, the world has yet to determine perogies' exact global origin. If you google them, you'll find them described as Polish or Ukrainian food, but also served in Russia and Hungary... all over that area off the world. The recipe I originally started with is Ukrainian. They can be filled with just about anything from savory to spicy to sweet. I've never had any but the (americanized, I'm sure) potato-filled perogie, and they are comfort food! Not something terribly quick to whip up for lunch, but if you have an extra pair of hands in the house to help you assemble them before boiling, the process isn't that bad. A good idea would be to make a huge batch at a time and trow the extra in the freezer for next time.
At some point I want to try other varieties, especially some fruit filled, sprinkled with sugar and served with apple sauce for dipping. I'm sure you'll hear about it when I do.
2 C flour
1/2 C warm milk
1/2 C mashed potato
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs oil
1/2 C finely chopped onion
1/4 C butter
2 C mashed potato
1 C grated white* cheddar
Mix all dough ingredients, adding a little more milk if it's too dry. Knead on a lightly floured surface until it forms a ball. You want it to be just slightly sticky. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a towel to rest 30 minutes.
Sautee the onion in butter until well cooked and starting to brown. Mix with potato and cheese. If you use hot mashed potato, allow to cool before filling perogies.
Set a pot of water to boil (the wider it is the more you can cook at once).
Roll out dough very thin on lightly floured surface (0.125" to be precise! Yeah... measure that!) adding as little four as possible to keep it from sticking. Cut 3" circles with a wide glass/biscuit cutter.
Press scraps into a ball, and allow to rest again so they can be re-used. The dough relaxes significantly after 15 minutes or more.
Scoop 1 1/2- 2 tsp filling into each circle (you'll figure out how much is too much pretty quick, it'll gush out the corner!), fold and press closed. The dough sticks together very well compared to some other pastries. The first time I made these I thought they'd pop open, but they don't.
Place in boiling water to cook. Stir once to keep them from sticking to the bottom. They will float after about 2 minutes. Cook about a minute longer, then remove with a slotted spoon. Sprinkle cooked perogies with melted butter and toss. You can either eat them now as a ravioli-like dumpling, or....
.... fry them until golden, as we do. I actually like them either way, but most of my family only likes them fried.
I like to serve them as a main dish with veggies, for a hearty meatless meal.
* See my upcoming post on the thrilling topic of CHEESE coloring.