I am so glad that this happened to be the first dish we are making. What better way to start this series than cooking a simple (well, kinda) humble dish. Flour shell with stuffing inside! Sounds familiar? If I had not put the name of the country in the title, you could have come up with at least 10 guesses because most cuisines have a dish that fit this description. Dumplings, Ravioli, Manti, Wonton, Momos, Samosa, Modak to name a few. The list is long!
About the dish: Pierogi, originally a peasant dish, originated in Central and Eastern Europe. The basic version can be made with ingredients as simple as flour, potato and an egg. You can add fried onions, cheese, cabbage, sauerkraut , meat or some other cooked veggies in the stuffing. The English word “pierogi” (plural: “pierogi”, “pierogies”, or “pierogis”) comes from Polish pierogi, which is the plural form of pieróg, a generic term for filled dumplings.
Guest this week: Ewelina (Poland)
“I’m Ewelina. Just a few months ago I worked in the profession In Beauty Industry:) Im 30 years old and today I am at the stage of building the brand from scratch. Baking helps me relax. I love to make people happy when I can give them a delicious dessert. I like traveling and learning new flavors. As part of the cooperation, I decided to prepare Polish traditional dumplings, but in the sweet version with strawberries. Traditional dumplings are with potatoes and cottage cheese, cabbage and mushrooms or meat. You are only bordered by the imagination:) In my home, they have been prepared for many years. I’ve always did them with Grandma. My dumpling dough is very simple. It is water, flour and salt. My grandmother’s secret is adding lukewarm water to the flour. Thanks to this, the dumplings will be delicate and fluffy. I encourage you to prepare them at home 🙂 Enjoy!”
I encourage you to check out her page @bake_vege_cake for some inspiring vegan baking recipes.
Forever I had known Pierogi’s only more common version with potato and onion stuffing but thanks to Ewelina, I learnt that you can make a sweet version with fruits as well, opening a whole new realm of possibilities!
Thank you Ewelina being so kind and for joining me for this post.
I came across this video by The Polish Chef on How to Make Pierogi. I found his method and recipe quite helpful and you can follow it as it is. Also in his words, you should not question him as he is The Polish Chef!
Below is the final Frankenstein recipe that I made after combining the recipe by Susan (she is Mrs. The Polish Chef, much more mellow than The Polish Chef, in my opinion, but both of them seemed awesome in the video) and a recipe I received from Mrs. Dudzic from Krakow. Thanks to my old friend Piotr for sharing his mom’s recipe with me.
This easy recipe for Polish Pierogi can be made from basic ingredients. It was sent to me by my friend's mother straight from Poland and I made some tweaks from my research online.
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (approx.) water
- 1 large egg
Potato and Cheese Filling:
- 1 large baking potato
- 2 tablespoons butter (I used olive oil 👀)
- ½ cups diced onions
- 3/4 cup ricotta (you can use cheddar as well)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Mix flour and salt into large mixing bowl.
- Measure water in a measuring cup. Add egg to water and mix with a fork.
- Gradually add water/egg mixture to the flour while stirring with the fork to evenly moisten all ingredients. Stir until ingredients come together.
- Dump onto a clean hard surface to knead.
- Knead until dough is smooth. (If the dough appears dry, add small amounts of extra water near the beginning of the kneading process. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. Don’t worry! You got this.)
- Let rest for 10-15 minutes before using it.
- Fill, seal, and boil pierogi as shown in the video.
Potato and Cheese Filling:
- Rinse potatoes and boil till fork tender. Approximately, 30 mins. I used InstantPot. Pressure cooked it on High for 7 minutes, let the pressure release on its own.
- Peel and rice or mash potato in a bowl to consistency as fine as you would do for Mashed Potatoes.
- Cook onions in the butter or any fat until soft, but not browned. Add to potatoes with the remaining ingredients.
- Add cheese, salt, pepper, and mix well, cover, and refrigerate until firm.
- Roll half the dough into a thin sheet, about 2 mm thick.
- Use a glass or a round cookie cutter to cut discs of dough.
- Scoop filling onto the dough discs using a cookies scoop.
- Fold and seal the discs into a dumpling. Use a few drops of water to wet and ensure a proper seal.
- Drop the pierogi into boiling water and boil until they rise to the top. Since you made fresh dough, it shouldn’t take more than 2-3 minutes of boiling.
- Take the boiled pierogi out of boiling water. They are ready to be eaten as is.
- BUT…For better texture, I highly recommend pan-frying them in a skillet for a couple of minutes on both sides until you see a nice sear golden brown. You need to do this for the crunch. You can also pour some butter-fried onion or scallions
- Traditionally Pierogi is served with sour cream, but I used homemade creme fraiche (leftover from another recipe)
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 74Total Fat: 2gCarbohydrates: 12gSugar: 0gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate. I would not make any major life decisions based on this.
Making Pierogi is roughly a 1 – 1.5 hr affair but and makes a good snack or meal. An added bonus is that you can freeze the boiled Pierogi in the freezer and whenever you want to eat next, just pan fry them and serve.
Hope you give this recipe a try. If you do please share pictures with me. Checkout Ewelina‘s page! If you have a recipe you want to cook with me, count me in! and please send me a message or leave a comment.