I had a few days off from work and I decided to spend one afternoon making potato and cheese pierogi. I usually make about 100 and freeze them in ziplock bags. It is a fantastic side dish for those busy nights when you have to work late but still want a homemade dinner on the table. I start by boiling 5 pounds of peeled, cut potatoes. Once they have cooked through, I add half a pound of melted butter, one diced onion, simmered in the butter, and two pounds of cheese. It is best to make the filling the day before so it has time to completely cool before you start making the pierogi.
The dough recipe I use is my grandmothers, Irene, she was of polish decent and she is the only person I knew who made dessert pierogi along with your standards – potato/cheese, meat, and sauerkraut. I love making dough, it is just so relaxing to me, you can work out a lot of frustration kneading dough.
I prefer to cut small portions of the dough, roll them into circles, then filled them. It is tedious work, but I find it comforting. It takes me about three hours, not including the time it takes to make the filling to make 100 pierogi.
Once the dough is filling, I cook them in a pot of boiling water until they float to the top. I allow them to cool and lightly oil them with vegetable oil and place them in zip lock bags for storage. I usually place them a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer. They tend to stay flat that way and it is easier to store them once frozen.
I had a little dough left at the end of the day and a container of blueberries in the fridge so I made dessert pierogi. You use the same dough, you toss the berries with a little cinnamon and sugar and place them inside a dough circle with a little sprinkle of unseasoned bread crumbs. You need the crumbs to catch any extra “juice” the berries produce during cooking. They get the same treatment in the boiling water and then packaged away in ziplock bags as well.
For me, this a fun way to spend an afternoon. People tell me I have issues, but cooking is something that I find relaxing. What do you do when you have an afternoon in front of you and you need to relax?