Ahhhrg…Late. Late. Late again.

Seems like the theme of my life these days is being late! Ever feel like that? It’s like I’m constantly running to catch up  but  always end up just behind. Ah well, as long as you keep running right?

In any case, sorry for the delay, have some pierogies!

The August 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale

Potato Filling

2-3 lbs red potatoes, spots removed and cut in quarters or halves

1 sweet onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped finely

1/2 stick margarine + 2 tbsp divided

1 tbsp oil

1/2 cup chicken broth

salt to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the potatoes and a couple large shakes of salt. Let boil 30 min.

Heat margarine and 2 tbsp oil on medium heat in a frying pan. Saute onions until translucent. Add garlic and continue to saute for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Drain potatoes and put in a large mixing bowl with the onions, garlic, margarine and chicken broth.  Beat with an electric mixer till smooth adding more chicken broth, margarine and salt as needed.

2 to 2 1/2 cups (300 to 375 g) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 large egg
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
About 1 cup (250 ml) lukewarm water

Place 2 cups flour in a large bowl or on a work surface and make a well in the center. Break the egg into it, add the salt and a little lukewarm water at a time (1/2 cup might be enough). Bring the dough together, kneading well, and adding more flour or water as necessary. Cover the dough with a bowl or a towel. You’re aiming for soft dough. Let it rest 20 min.

Assembling the Pierogies

On a floured work surface, roll the dough out thinly (1/8 inch or 3 mm) cut with a 2-inch round glass or round. Spoon a portion (teaspoon will be the best) of the filling into the middle of each circle. Fold the dough in half and pinch edges together. Gather scraps, re-roll and fill. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Try not to pile them up as I did above. They stick together and then get deformed as you try to separate them.  (Do as I say not as I do?)

Cooking the Pierogies

Boiling method: Bring a large saucepan to a boil with salted water. Drop in the pierogies, no more than 3-5 at a time (don’t let them overlap). Return to the boil and reduce heat. When the pierogies rise to the surface, simmer for a few more minutes. Remove with slotted spoon.

This method makes you some seriously ugly pierogies. But they’re healthier, easier, don’t involve dairy, and they’re just as tasty!

If you’re making your pierogies for friends though, and you’re friends aren’t on a diet, I recommend frying.

Frying method: Melt 2-4 tbsp real butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Fry those suckers about 5 minutes per side or until golden brown. Top with sour cream.

Storing Your Pierogies

This is important. Pierogies take a lot of time to make, but it takes almost as long to make 30 pierogies as it does to make 90. My point is, if you’re smart, you’ll make a huge batch and then freeze the rest.

Place uncooked pierogies individually on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and freezer for a few hours. Then scoop them all up into gallon bags. When you’re ready to use them toss them in boiling water for 8-10 minutes. Who need’s Mrs. T’s??

What a great challenge!