I love embracing my Polish side. Especially when it does not involve me doing something stupid to show my Polish side (sorry to all of you who are Polish and do not do stupid things, but it's a joke ok, get over it and love it!). I much so rather make some good-ole Polish food... pierogis! My favorite! I make them every year at Easter. I do not know when exactly I started to do this, but it has become one of my favorite things to do. For those of you who do not know what a pierogi is well here you go: they are a dumpling that are filled with potatoes, sauerkraut, cheese, meat, fruit, onions, or mushrooms. They can be boiled, baked, or fried and are usually served with butter, caramelized onions, sour cream, applesauce, and bacon. So yummy!
My version is a Mexico meets Poland style pierogi. I used my favorite 4 cheese Mexican Blend. I like a whole wheat dough, and I use oil no butter to serve mine, but plenty of onions (and plenty of heartburn later). My family would always have ham at Easter dinner, I do not eat that anymore, but a condiment that my great Aunt Lottie would always make is horseradish and beets. She would grate them together and it was oh so good. You can buy a premixed version of this in the store. It can be found in the aisle by the eggs, sour cream, and cheese. But the fresh version is so much better (and stronger) then the store bought. Horseradish (as my brother so perfectly described it) is the caucasion's wasabi, it is rather potent stuff, so beware. Since I was not eating ham, and I tried to eat that combination with pierogis last year and it doesn't good all that great together, I instead just roasted some beets for me to eat this year, a more successful combination. So here you go:
3 cups whole wheat white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup cold water, plus extra if needed
Mix the flour and salt together.
Add the oil and water and start to combine them adding more water a teaspoon at a time as needed if the dough is too dry. If the dough becomes to wet add some more flour to it.
Once the dough forms a nice ball, knead the dough for a minute then let it rest.
Cut the dough into 1/2 ounce portions. Place a damp cloth over the dough until you need to use it.
4 Idaho potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup cheese (cheddar, or I used 4 Cheese Mexican Blend reduced fat)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup carmelized onions
Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are soft, you can place a knife into them and it comes out easily. Drain.
Place potatoes in a bowl, mash them.
Add the salt and pepper, cheese, and onions, and fold all of this together.
Grab a fork, some cold water in a bowl. a rolling pin,
a pan lined with parchment and coated in flour, and a spoon.
Roll the dough to a 1/4 inch thick, they should be a small circle.
Off to one side, almost in the center, add a tablespoon of the filling (pierogis are usually very full of filling). Damping the edge of one side of the dough with the cold water. Fold the dough over the filling to meet edge to edge.
Press together slightly with the your fingers, then seal with the fork.
Continue until you are done.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the pierogis to the water. They will sink, then come float to the top, and let them boil for 3 minutes. Drain them. You can add them to the pan with caramelized onions and oil, but do add some oil to them so they do not stick together. Serve them up with condiments of choice.
They came out great. My mom, older brother, and I all love pierogis. My mom is still slightly against the whole wheat dough, but after the first one, she doesn't protest anymore. To me they taste way better then any frozen box ever could. Booyaa!
I have given my pierogis out to some friends over the years and I do hope they have enjoyed them.
What to make next?....