Monday, November 7, 2016

Cheesy Pierogies

Guess what? We're in Iceland! But, as promised, I have a couple of posts ready to go while I'm away.

Back in college, pierogies were a staple in my diet. They were cheap and delicious (Wegman's brand all the way!) and they were a cinch to whip up. It's been on my list to make pierogies for a long time and I don't really know what was stopping me other than my chubby body telling me that eating carbs wrapped in carbs was maybe not the best idea. That really profound thought popped into my brain even though I share loads of diet-opposite recipes here so I figured I'd stop being a hypocrite and just make them already.

And you know me, I had to put my own spin on it, so instead of the traditional cheddar, I added habanero cheddar and some mozzarella because I just had to.
Ingredients [yields 4 to 5 dozen]:
dough
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup water
¼ cup butter, room temperature

filling
2 medium sized russet potatoes
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon butter
¼ onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup grated mozzarella
¾ cup grated cheddar (I used habanero cheddar)

to serve
2 tablespoons butter
¼ onion, sliced
½ apple, diced
+ sour cream

Start by peeling the potatoes and chopping them into reasonably sized chunks. Throw them into a pot with cold water, pop onto the hob, and turn the heat up to high. Bring the water to a rolling boil and cook them potatoes until they're tender. I like to test them by stabbing a chunk with a sharp paring knife. If the knife goes in easily and comes right back out, they're done.
While the potatoes are going, grab a skillet, melt in some butter, and then toss in the diced onions and garlic. Saute until golden brown and caramelized and then set aside to cool.
To make the dough, add flour to a big bowl. Make a well in the center and crack in an egg, add a dollop of sour cream, pour in some water, and sprinkle in some salt. Use a fork to stir up the wet ingredients in the center and then slowly incorporate more and more dry ingredients until it's too stiff to work in with the fork.
Add in the soft butter and knead in, using your hands, until a smooth dough forms. The dough should be moist but not sticky. Set aside to rest.
Once the potatoes are tender, drain them and while they're still hot, send them through a ricer. The other alternative would be to mash them with a potato masher. I like ricing them because it's a lighter mixture and it's easier to mix in the other ingredients.
To the potatoes, add in the caramelized onions and garlic, some fresh cracked pepper and salt, and the cheese. Stir together until homogenous.
Grab the well-rested dough, sprinkle the work surface with flour, and roll out nice and thin (<⅛"). Use a biscuit cutter to cut out 2" circles.
Fill each circle with about a tablespoon of filling, wet the edges of the dough with a little water, fold over, and pinch to form a little half-moon pierogi. Repeat until you've used up all of the dough and/or filling. The dough can be knead back together and rolled out repeatedly; the only thing to note is that the more you do this, the tougher the dough gets so you may want to leave it to rest for a few minutes each time you knead.
Get a big pot of water boiling and if you plan on eating some of these right away, grab a skillet and some more butter.
In the skillet, caramelize some onions with diced apple and cook until soft. I also through in a handful of haricots-verts for a bit of color.
The pierogies should be cooked in batches; add about a dozen to the boiling water and cook for about a minute or until they float. Once they're floating, fish them out of the bath and lay them onto a lined sheet pan to drain.
Fry up the pierogies in some butter until golden brown and toasty.
Serve them up with the delicious sauteed apples and a big dollop of sour cream.
I love all pierogies so it's hard for me to say anything but good things about these guys. The dough is tender and crisp, the filling is fluffy and cheesy, and they're just perfect when enjoyed with the apple and sour cream. This is definitely comfort food. And eating this brought me back to my college days, except a bit fancier. I guess I'm just fancier now.
Boiled and drained pierogies can be popped into the freezer. Once they're rock solid, throw them into a freezer bag and enjoy at your leisure! Just boil them again to defrost and fry up in some butter.
Here's the recipe page:

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