Easy Potato Filling

My favorite and most common pierogi filling is a mashed potato filling. There are so many different ways to make mashed potatoes. Any recipe you choose will work. I’m going share a recipe I’ve been using recently but if you have a family recipe you love, go for it! You can even use instant potatoes if you don’t want make them from scratch.

 

Old Fashioned Mashed Potatoes (Cassy Joy Garcia – Fed & Fit cookbook) 

2 lb red potatoes, rinsed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (peeling optional)

4 tbsp. butter

1/2 cup milk (or canned full fat coconut milk)

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

 

  1. Place potatoes in a large pot covered with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.
  2. Drain the potatoes and return back to the large pot. Add butter, milk, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Using a potato masher, mash until well incorporated.

 

Filling and Preparing the Pierogis

To continue upon last week’s post about Basic Pierogi Dough, I’d like to go over my tips for filling and preparing the pierogis. You will need the dough prepared from the recipe I posted last week and filling of your choice. Make sure the filling is room temperature or has been cooled in the refrigerator. If the filling is warm or watery it will be hard to pitch the pierogi shut.

Start by rolling out your prepared dough. You can do this with a rolling pin or a pasta machine. I use an Atlas Marcato Pasta Machine from Sur La Table. This equipment is pretty easy to use and is worth the investment if you enjoy making fresh pasta or pierogis. I roll the dough out on #3 setting which is 2.8 mm. If you are using a rolling pin, roll as thin as you can (I try for a quarter inch).

 

After rolling the dough, cut circles out of the dough. You can use a pint glass, cookie cutter, or anything circular. I use a cut-n-seal tool I bought off a friend from Pampered Chef.

If I am not ready to fill right away, I will place the cut dough on wax paper and cover with another layer of wax paper. This will prevent the dough from drying out till you start to fill.

When I am ready to fill my pierogis, I use a tablespoon size scooper and place a scoop on top of my dough circles. Then close pierogis by folding the dough over the filling creating a half moon shape.

There are a few ways to seal the pierogis. First way is to close with your fingers and pitch together, less attractive but gets the job done. Second, is to close with your fingers and pitch shut with a fork. This makes a nicer display and ensures they are shut. And the third way it to use a pierogi or dumpling press. This tool makes the pierogis uniform in shape and size.

After pinching the pierogis, place them in a large pot of boiling water. Boil till pierogi start to float (about 5 minutes). When the pierogis are done boiling. Place on a drying rack or kitchen towel to cool off. If you making a large batch of pierogis and would like to freeze some, this it the time you can add to a freezer bag. Always boil pierogis before you add to a freezer bag so they do not stick together.

If you want to eat the pierogis immediately, you can eat as is or pan fry. To pan fry, add 2 tablespoons of butter to a frying pan or skillet. Fry the pierogi on each side for 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with some sour cream or butter and onions. Go wild and throw in bacon bits and chives.

Have fun, be creative, and let me know if you have questions.

Maria

Basic Pierogi Dough

Hello there and Happy New Year!

I’ve decided to make my New Year’s resolution posting one blog post every Sunday in 2017, excluding January 1st due to a hangover. I’ve played around with some new doughs and fillings over the holidays but did not share them, shame on me for holding out!

In the next few weeks I will be sharing my recipes for chocolate pierogi dough, fried oreo pierogis, and winter squash fillings. But before I get to the fun stuff I want to talk about the basics! Since my last post, I’ve had a few people ask for tips and tricks to making pierogi dough. I prefer to make my pierogi dough in a stand mixer, however, I suggest making the dough by hand the first few times. This process takes some elbow grease but it is the best way to learn how the dough behaves.

Basic Pierogi Dough Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 large eggs (or 3 small eggs)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup lukewarm water

 

First, add the all-purpose flour to a large mixing bowl. Then make a well in the center of the flour with your hand. Add your eggs and water to the well so it resembles the picture below. Use two butter knives to slice open the egg yolks and incorporate into the liquid.

Next, use a fork to mix the liquid into the flour working from the center towards the edges of the bowl.

When all the liquid is incorporated into the flour and forms a solid ball it is ready to start kneading.

Place the dough on a clean surface, to prevent it from sticking to your counter, just sprinkle some flour!

Use the palms of yours hands to push the dough down and away from you.  You will repeat this process over and over again for about 5-10 minutes.  The dough should have a consistent texture, stretchy but won’t break. If the dough is too wet (sticky), sprinkle some more flour on the dough and your working surface.  If the dough is too dry (breaks easily), add water 1 tsp at a time.

Kneading the dough helps building up the gluten. The gluten is what makes the dough stretchy which is needed for adding in the filling and pinching the pierogi closed.

 

When you are done kneading, place the dough in a large bowl and cover with a warm moist towel. Let it rest for 20 minutes. After the time has past, check the dough by pushing your finger in it or stretching it. If the dough quickly springs back it is not ready and you should let it rest for another 20 minutes. The time of rest can very by altitude and climate.

When the dough is behaving correctly you can start rolling it out, cutting it up and adding your favorite fillings. The dough is good in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. You can also freeze this dough for later use. Air isn’t good for the dough, so make sure it is wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in a freezer bag.

I hope this helps with your pierogi creations. Please leave a comment if you have any questions!

Maria

 

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Hello Friends!

I hope everyone had a delicious Thanksgiving! This is the first year Jesse and I have been away from family during Thanksgiving so we made some new traditions. On Thanksgiving morning we ran in the Denver Turkey Trot. I had never heard of a Turkey Trot but in Denver, it is a big deal! There were a few thousand that signed up for the race. It took place at Washington Park in South Denver and the coarse was 4 miles. I’ve made a goal to sign up for a race each month so this was a no brainier to cross off the list for my November race.

Denver Turkey Trot

After the race we joined our friends, Nicole and Carter, for a “Friendsgiving” Feast. I don’t have many memorable Thanksgiving dinners but this year’s spread was out of this world. Nicole, really went out of her way to put together a great meal. We contributed a brussel sprout and cranberry side dish and a variety of desserts we picked up from The Denver Central Market.

The next day, I decided to experiment with the remaining leftovers. Most people make a sandwich out of their leftovers. I stuff mine in a pierogi. I was a little nervous but it was a success!

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I created 4 different pierogis from the dinner leftovers. The first was a mixture of turkey, stuffing, and brussel sprout cranberry side. I added the ingredients to a food processor to grind down the filling and make a constant texture. These pierogis went well with some left over gravy.

The second pierogi was made from Nicole’s family stuffing recipe. This made the best pierogi of the 4. Growing up, my mom only bought stove top stuffing. I never knew real stuffing could taste this good!

The third pierogi was made from the leftover pumpkin pie. I literally removed the pie filling from the crust and stuffed it into the pierogi dough! My theory that anything can be stuffed into a pierogi is true! The pumpkin pie pierogi tasted best with some cinnamon sprinkled on top.

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The fourth pierogi was made from some ground pork we had leftover from our last trip to The Local Butcher. The butcher added cranberries and pecans to this pork blend. The pierogis went well with some homemade cranberry sauce.

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Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe

1 – 16 oz bag of fresh cranberries

1 – orange (use zest and juice)

1 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

Heat sauce pan to medium heat. Add cranberries, orange zest, and orange juice. Let simmer and stir occasionally till cranberries start to pop. If the sauce is too thick, add water 1 tablespoon at a time till the sauce reaches the desired thickness. Add maple syrup or honey to sauce and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool till the sauce reaches room temperature.

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Thank you for taking the time to read my first post! I really hoped you liked it. Please leave me a comment if you have any questions or suggestions.

Maria

Hello world!

Hello there and thank you so much for visiting my site. My name is Maria and I currently live in Denver, CO. When I am not at my full time job as junior civil engineer, I am in my kitchen trying to master my cooking skills. My favorite thing to make are pierogis, hence Maria Pierogi!

Growing up in a small Polish town in Northeastern Pennsylvania, pierogis were pretty common. They were sold at church on Sundays and are apart of every holiday celebration. When I went off to college, I realized not many people knew what a pierogi was. I was outragged! “You don’t know what a pierogi is?! You’re kidding right?”. Nope! They had no idea. I tried ordering them at restaurants but no where in my college town sold them. The closest thing I could find was Mrs. T’s pierogis in the freezer section at the grocery store. THOSE ARE NOT PIEROGIS! Well they are, but not authentic.

Finally, I gave up on my search and decided to make my own. The first attempt was a total fail! The dough took forever to make, most of the pierogis would not pinch shut after I added the filing, and they somehow formed one big potato and dough ball when I attempted to boil them. I had no idea this would be so much work! How did the old ladies at our church make thousands of these for the church picnic every year!?!?

Fast forward 5 years and I can make a decent pierogi. Not the best, but I am on a journey to create the perfect pierogi. On this site, I will share my pierogi creations, cooking tips I learn along the way, and inspiring recipes. Feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly.

Thanks again for being here!
Maria