Pierogies With Love
Pierogies With Love
Several years ago my friend Renata Elghriany showed me how to make pierogies. Renata grew up on a small farm in a village of about 1800 people in southern Poland about 2 hours south of Krakow if traveling by car. She is an expert in Polish cuisine and frequently shares her wonderful recipes with friends and family, and now with you, the readers of secondactkitchen.com. One snowy Saturday Renata came to my house and we made pierogies. Actually, she mostly made the pierogies and I mostly took the pictures and worked on writing up the recipes. When we were done we enjoyed them thoroughly and now we hope you will enjoy them too.
I’m calling this post Pierogies with Love because making them is a labor of love since it takes a large part of your day to complete them. They are a favorite in my house, and freeze well. If you’re going to make them, it’s worth it to make extra so the next time you want to serve pierogies they are ready to go with minimal time to defrost, boil and saute this delicious treat.
Pierogies With Love
By Renata Elghriany
I am very happy to write this guest post about pierogies which are often considered “poor man’s” food in Poland, because meat is expensive and not everyone can afford to buy a lot of meat. Everyone in my village grew their own potatoes and other vegetables and had cows for milk to make cheese, so everyone in the village made and ate pierogies as a main staple in their diet when I was growing up. Everyone in the village shared their ideas about how to make pierogies and nearly everyone had a different idea about the best way to make the best one – the best filling and the best way to make the dough.
I have worked on this recipe for many years to perfect it, and I am excited to show you how it is done. One modification I’ve made since moving to the US is to use jalapeno peppers in the pierogies in order to add more flavor. There were no jalapeno peppers grown in my village at home. This recipe is an original creation perfected over the years and is a favorite among my family and friends. I hope it will soon become a new favorite for you and that you will find this recipe easy and delicious and enjoy it as much as the people in my hometown do.
Savory or Sweet
Pierogies can also be sweet or savory. For Valentine’s Day we also want to share the sweet pierogie recipe for Strawberry Pierogies with fresh whipped cream and strawberry sauce on top.
As I mentioned, making pierogies is a labor of love. This is because making them from scratch requires patience, time and care. You must first make the filling and the dough, roll out the dough, and cut it into rounds. Next you fill each dough round, fold it and crimp the edges. When they are done, you cook them in boiling water.
You can either serve them hot or you can sauté them in a little butter before topping them with sauce and a little whipped cream. Strawberry pierogies are the perfect Valentine’s treat – make some today for your family and friends. Pierogies with love – Happy Valentine’s Day!
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|Prep Time||30 minutes|
|Cook Time||3 hours|
- Whether you are making sweet or savory pireogies, the dough is basically the same and the fillings are different.
- If you are making sweet pierogies skip to the instructions on "Sweet Garnish Sauce"
- If you are making savory pierogies, start here: Bring a pot of water on the stove to boil and peel the potatoes.
- Boil potatoes for approximately 20 minutes. Do not overcook.
- While the potatoes are cooking, chop the jalapeño peppers and banana peppers. Dice the onions and cut the garlic until finely minced.
- Separately, one at a time, sauté jalapeno peppers, banana peppers, onions and garlic in ½ tsp. olive oil each and set aside. *Do not cook them together, but keep them separate until after they have been sautéed.
- (NOTE: Here’s a tip on how to quickly peel several cloves of garlic at once – separate the cloves, cut off the dry end, place in a glass jar or container with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously until peels come off the garlic. )
- Combine potatoes, jalapeno and banana peppers, onions, garlic, farmer’s cheese and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well.
- If you are making savory pierogies skip to "Make the Pierogie Dough"
- To make the strawberry sauce, place ½ cup fresh strawberries and 2 Tbsp. sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Blend well until desired consistency is achieved and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whip cream until desired consistency is reached. Set aside in refrigerator.
- To make the dough, combine the flour, salt, egg and oil in a larger mixer bowl.
- Place bowl on a mixer stand with a dough hook. Slowly add warm water while mixing on low speed until dough can be worked but is not sticky.
- Continue to knead on the mixer for 3-5 minutes to develop the elasticity of the dough. Remove dough from mixer bowl, wrap in plastic and set aside to rest for 10-15 minutes.
- There are two ways to create the pasta sheets. If you do not have a pasta machine, roll out the dough on a wooden board with a rolling pin until desired thickness is achieved.
- Run a small portion of dough through a pasta machine set on setting 1. If necessary, run through the machine 2-3 times to get a smooth sheet of dough.
- Change setting to 3 for thinner sheets and run dough through the machine again to make a thin sheet of dough that can be used for the pierogies.
- Cut 3” rounds out of the dough using a cookie cutter or a small water glass turned upside down.
- If you are making savory pierogies, place 1 tsp. of savory filling in the middle of each circle of dough.
- Fold the circle of dough in half.
- Press edges together to crimp tightly closed.
- Repeat filling steps and set each finished pierogie aside.
- You can place the pierogies on a parchment lined baking pan or on a wooden board.
- If you’re making sweet pierogies, the process for making the dough is the same. You will simply substitute the strawberry filling.
- For the strawberry filling, place 1 tsp. of chopped strawberries in the middle of each circle of dough. Do not overfill. Sprinkle strawberries lightly with sugar.
- Boil a large pot of water on top of the stove. Add ¼ tsp. of salt to the water.
- When water is boiling vigorously, place pierogies into the boiling water 8-10 at a time (do not overcrowd). Stir gently so the pierogies don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
- When pierogies float on top of the water they are done cooking. Use a slotted spoon to remove finished pierogies from the water and place them in a large colander to drain.
- Sprinkle finished pierogies with a little olive oil to keep them from sticking together.
- Spread them out gently on plates or parchment lined baking sheets while you repeat cooking steps 1-4 to finish all pierogies.
- If desired, sauté approximately ½ cup of chopped onion in ½ Tbsp. butter or olive oil and set aside. Briefly sauté finished pierogies in ½ Tbsp. butter or olive oil to reheat.
- Arrange on plate and top with sautéed onions.
- *Pierogies can also be served without sautéing them first – simply arrange on a plate and serve immediately after they have been cooked in the boiling water.
- Sprinkle finished pierogies with a little melted butter or olive oil to keep them from sticking together. Serve immediately with strawberry sauce and a dollop of fresh whipped cream, if desired.
- If desired, you can also sauté finished strawberry pierogies in a little butter before serving with strawberry sauce and a dollop of whipped cream.
Nutrition information per serving savory pierogies (10 pieces, plain): 300 calories; 6 grams fat; 3.5 grams saturated fat; 0 grams transfat; 35 mg cholesterol; 160 mg sodium; 48 grams carbohydrate; 3 grams dietary fiber; 11 grams protein (values are approximate).
Nutrition information per serving sweet pierogies (7 pieces): 250 calories; 1 gram fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 grams transfat; 20 mg cholesterol; 125 mg sodium; 51 grams carbohydrate; 2 grams dietary fiber; 8 grams protein (values are approximate).