Saturday, March 5, 2011
( 24-36 dumplings, depending on size)
I grew up in Edmonton which had a large Ukrainian community, and learned to make these when I was still a teenager. Pierogi were serious business; a friend's mum once wrote me a "sick note" so I could skip an afternoon of school to help her make a huge batch, lol.
These dumplings are usually boiled, then coated with butter and served with fried onions and /or crispy bacon bits and sour cream.
They come with a variety of fillings. The popular one in Edmonton contained mashed potatoes and sharp cheddar cheese. Others were filled with sauerkraut or meat, and then there were the dessert pierogi filled with cherries, blueberries, saskatoon berries or plums.
For the New Year there were tiny ones filled with mushrooms which were placed into soup bowls with hot borscht ladled over them. My mouth waters just thinking of those.
I double this recipe and freeze most of the ones I make. Just place them on a lightly floured cookie sheet after they are filled and place them in the freezer for about 15 minutes. At that point you can bag them for further freezing. When you are ready for the frozen ones, just drop them straight into the boiling water; don't defrost them.
2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream
2- 4 tbsp water
Place the flour, egg, salt and sour cream into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a dough blade. Pulse a few times. If the dough doesn't form into a ball and pull away from the sides, then add a tablespoon of water at a time until it does. You want a soft, slightly sticky dough.
Process the dough for a few seconds, then place it into a buttered bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel while you make the filling.
Potato and Cheddar Cheese Filling
2 cups mashed potatoes, cooled
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup sour cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl.
Fried Onions for Serving
3 tbsp butter
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and saute them until they turn to a golden brown. Adjust the heat if necessary so they don't burn.
Remove about 1/3 of the dough at a time and roll it out a bit thinner than a 1/4 inch on a lightly floured surface.
Cut out circles and place a small amount of filling in the centre, keeping the edges clear. Fold over the dough over the filling to resemble a crescent shape. Pinch the edges firmly together to seal them.
Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil. Cooking them in batches, drop the dumplings into the water and boil them until they rise to the surface; about 3-5 minutes.
Drain and toss them with a bit of butter. Serve with fried onions and sour cream.
If you have any cooked pierogi left over, they can be reheated by frying in butter.