Tag Archives: cheddar

Potato Cheese Perogies

I tried a couple recipes in the 1990s trying to recreate the delicious perogies we had in bar mlecznys or milk bars in Poland.  This recipe via a Pittsburgh Post Gazette food blog seems close (with adaptations). NOTE – stewed onions are essential and the longer you cook them the better. Start them early!

Stewed Onions

2 T butter
2 large onions halved lengthwise and thinly sliced into crescents
1/4 c chicken, beef or vegetable broth

Melt butter in medium skillet over low heat. Stir in onion and cook until starting to soften, about 10 minutes. Add ¼ cup broth and bring to simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are very soft and deeply browned, about 1½ to 2 hours. If onions start to burn before they’re fully caramelized, add 1 to 2 tablespoons additional broth as needed.

Basic Pierogi Dough

1 large egg, beaten
1/2 c sour cream
4 T butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 t salt
2 c  unbleached flour

Whisk egg, sour cream or yogurt, butter and salt in bowl. Add flour to large bowl. Gently stir wet ingredients into flour. The dough will initially be very dry and shaggy, seeming as if it will never come together, but have no fear: Keep stirring and it will pull itself into shape.

Once dough starts to come together, press and smash it against the sides of bowl with your palms, picking up dough bits and essentially kneading it within bowl until it forms a ball.

Tip dough and any remaining shaggy flakes out onto a clean work surface. Knead until smooth, about 1 minute. Cover dough with bowl and let rest 15 minutes.

Potato and Cheddar Pierogi Filling *classic*

Don’t use too much flour when rolling out the dough, or the pierogies will be chewy and leaden (but probably still delicious). Boil then pan-fried the dumplings in butter. Yum. 

1/2 lb potatoes (about 1 medium or 2 small), cut into 2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 c finely shredded cheddar cheese
2 T heavy cream or whole milk

Place potatoes in medium saucepan. Add water to cover by 2 inches. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt. Cover and bring to boil over medium heat. Uncover and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain potatoes and bring back to pan. Place over low heat and stir for about 30 seconds to remove excess moisture. Run potatoes through a ricer or food mill fitted with fine disk into bowl. Stir in remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, cheese and 1 tablespoon cream; consistency should be firm enough to roll into a ball. If filling is too dry, stir in additional 1 tablespoon cream.

To make pierogies: Line a rimmed baking sheet with waxed or parchment paper.

Divide rested dough into 4 equal pieces with a bench scraper or knife. Set aside 3 dough pieces and cover with mixing bowl. Roll remaining dough as thinly as possible into a rough 8-by-12-inch rectangle.

Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 6 rounds of dough. Resist the temptation to re-roll dough scraps for additional rounds. It seems wasteful but dough won’t be as tender the second time around. Makes 24 pierogies.

Spoon filling into center of dough rounds.

Using your finger, swipe a scant amount of egg wash — just a light touch — around the dough edge.

Fold into a half-moon shape: Either fold dough over the filling on work surface or gently cup the pierogi in your hand in a U shape and fill.

Gently but firmly seal pierogi by pinching and squeezing edges together with your thumb and pointer finger. Start with 1 pinch at the top, then move to the “corner” of the pierogi and pinch along the edge back to the top. Repeat on opposite side to finish sealing pierogi.

Transfer to baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough rounds and filling.

To cook, pierogies can either be boiled  (2 to 3 minutes for fresh, 4 to 5 minutes for frozen), pan-fried in oil or butter (2 minutes per side), or deep-fried in at least 2 inches of 350-degree vegetable oil (3 minutes for fresh and 5 minutes for frozen).

Deep-fry, boil and/or pan fry pierogies as directed. Serve immediately with onions, sauerkraut and/or sour cream.

Sauerkraut (optional) and sour cream (essential) for serving.


“Pierogi Love: New Takes on an Old-World Comfort Food” by Casey barber (Gibbs Smith, July 2015, $19.99)


Spinach Rice Casserole

Another family favorite slightly adapted from our beat up old paperback copy of Recipes for a Small Planet (page 167).  Except the kids don’t really agree.

3/4 c raw brown rice, cooked
1/2 c grated cheddar
1 lb fresh spinach, rolled up and sliced
2 eggs, beaten
2 T chopped fresh parsley
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 T wheat germ
extra virgin olive oil
Combine the cooked rice and cheese in a large bowl.  Combine the eggs, parsley and spices in a small bowl and add to the rice and cheese mixture.  Stir in the raw chopped spinach until well mixed.  Pour into an oiled casserole dish.  Top with wheat germ and splash (or spray) with olive oil.

Bake for 35-40 minutes — pop some sweet potatoes for a nice complimentary side!


Our paperback copy of Diet for a Small Planet is falling apart because we have made this so often (it’s called Walnut-Cheddar Loaf in the book).  Nut Loaf has been one of Connor’s favorite dinners ever since he was very small, as long as it’s served with cranberry sauce.  This is a double recipe, we always make two loaves and freeze one for another day.

2 cups walnuts, ground
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup raw brown rice, cooked
4 cups finely chopped onions, sautéed in olive oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 t salt
4 T nutritional yeast
2 t caraway seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare and combine all ingredients and divide between two oiled or buttered bread pans.  Bake for 35 – 40 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting or attempting to remove loaf from pan for freezing.  Serve with cranberry sauce.

Cauliflower Cheese Pie

This one is a family staple. Use a food processor to grate cheese, potato and onion in that order (no need to clean in between)

2 c grated raw potato
1/4 c grated onion
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 t salt
olive oil for brushing

1 T olive oil
1 c chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced or use garlic press
1/2 t salt
pepper to taste
1/2 t basil
1/4 t thyme
1 medium cauliflower cut in small chunks
2 eggs
1/4 c milk
1 c grated cheddar
Preheat oven to 400°.  Grease a rectangular casserole pan using butter or olive oil.  Combine grated potato, onion, salt and egg in a bowl and mix well.  Transfer to pan and pat into place evenly over the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 30 minutes, remove from oven and brush crust with a little olive oil.  Bake for 10 minutes more, remove from oven and set aside until the filling is ready.

Turn temperature down to 350°.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper and herbs and saute over medium heat until onions soften. Add cauliflower, mix well, lower heat a little and cover. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes).

Spread half the cheese onto the baked crust. Spoon the cauliflower on top, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Beat the eggs and milk together and pour over all. Dust lightly with paprika. Bake 35-40 minutes or until set.

Slightly adapted from Moosewood Cookbook page 159

Cauliflower Pie front
Cauliflower Pie back

Broccoli Mushroom Quiche

Adapted from Horn of the Moon Cookbook page 201

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 c chopped onion
1 t dried thyme
1 t dried basil (or 1 T fresh chopped basil)
2 c finely chopped broccoli, crowns & stems
2 c sliced mushrooms
5 cloves garlic, pressed
3 eggs, beaten
3⁄4 c sour cream (can substitute 3/4c feta cheese)
2 1⁄2 c sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1⁄2 c Monterey Jack cheese, grated
salt & pepper
1 unbaked single pie crust

Preheat oven to 375º
Saute the onions, thyme, basil, garlic & broccoli for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and season with salt. Saute until the mushrooms are tender, drain excess liquid.
Roll out pie crust and fit into 10″ pan and flute the edges.
Mix the cheeses in a bowl with the beaten eggs salt and pepper.
Spread the broccoli mixture evenly in the unbaked pie shell then pour in the egg/cheese mixture on top.
Bake 45 minutes or until golden and puffy.
Let stand for 10 minutes, slice and serve.

South of the Border Pie

1 medium onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
1 t cumin
1-2 t chili powder
1/4 t salt
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 c grated cheddar
3/4 c milk
2 eggs, whisked
Salsa & sour cream for serving.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook onion, half the peppers & the garlic till tender.  Stir in spices and cook for a couple minutes more.  Remove from heat.  Whisk the eggs and milk in a large bowl, stir in the rice, beans & eggs and then add the vegetables from the skillet and mix well.  Spoon mixture into a greased casserole or pie plate and bake for 25 minutes or until set.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Arrange the remaining green peppers on top and serve with sour cream and salsa on the side.

Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Vegetarian Cooking for Today 1993