Saturday, January 24, 2015

Recipe: Perogie Power--An Old World Meatless Delight!

My Cheese-Potato Perogies. jpeg
My uncooked Cheese-Potato Perogies

Whether you spell it perogies or pierogies, these meatless filled dough pockets are delicious. The fillings vary from my favorite of cheese and potato to sauerkraut and potato, a cottage cheese type stuffing, to even one packed with a prune mixture.  

In fact, when you are confined to your house due to bad winter weather, this is the ideal time to make perogies. These do take a bit more work than I like, but you can make a batch ahead and partially boil for an easy dinner later.  

The secret to great perogies is keeping your dough soft and pliable.  Adding the sour cream as an ingredient in the dough will give it extra tenderness.

After these cheese and potato filled delights are boiled enough to float to the top of your pot, you will transfer them to your frying pan that has browned finely chopped onions swimming in olive oil and some butter. Once they are coated, you can serve them plain or with a dollop of sour cream or even a mushroom gravy like my grandmother used to make.  

Those that never were fortunate enough to try a homemade perogie honestly should give it a try because these taste incredible.  Trust me, but you cannot compare the taste of any of those frozen, under inflated things that pass as perogies in the same class as old-world style homemade perogies so I hope you decide to attempt making my recipe.

Old-world Style Cheese-Potato Perogies: 


For the Dough:

3 cups of flour
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon of salt
3/4 of ½ pint of sour cream

For the Cheese-Potato Filling:

about 8 large potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
2 cups of Velveeta cheese or sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper


To Make the Dough:
This is one time that I don’t use my food processor to make the dough.  I just prefer to mix with my wooden spoon and then by hand the flour, eggs, salt, and sour cream so I don’t overwork the dough.  

If the dough feels sticky, add more flour.  However, you want to add only very little to solve that problem. Too much flour will make the dough stiff and turn out a hard perogie so just be careful and add that flour slowly.

I like to divide my dough into a few balls and cover with another mixing bowl while I work on one ball at a time.  

Take one of those dough balls and roll out  on a floured surface.  You want it thin, approximately 1/8-inch, but not overly thin that it will be too fragile to stuff. 

Once the dough is rolled, you are going to cut into rounds.  I use a large glass or a cup as my dough cutter, which does a good job.  Check your cupboard and you can improvise as well.

Each dough round needs about one tablespoon of filling placed in the center.  

To Make the Cheese-Potato Filling:

Cook the potatoes until they are tender enough to mash.  

Add in the cheese until the potatoes have a nice yellow color.  (You may need to add a little more depending on the size of the potatoes you used).  Then add the salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.

Allow your potato-cheese mixture to cool on a plate while you prepare the dough.

Try not to get any of the filling near the edges because this can make the filling escape in your pot once you start boiling them.  After stuffing a round, fold the dough over and then pinch with your fingertips to seal. You can also use a fork or follow up with a fork to design as you seal.

Get a smidgen of flour on your fingertips and go over the seal.  This helps better lock in the stuffing.  

Keep repeating this process until you finish with your dough.

Cook in boiling water and then remove after about five minutes when you see them float to the top.  This is when to take them and transfer to your frying pan that has some finely chopped onions that have browned until golden with a mixture of olive oil and butter.

ENJOY!

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