Tag Archives: onions

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.

pierogies3-2

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

Nut-Loaf

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
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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.

Balti Chicken

The sauce is delicious and easy to make.  Balti refers to a British-style of cooking Indian inspired dishes served in a steel wok-like ‘balti bowl’.

1 whole chicken skinned and cut up
3 T olive oil
2 or 3 onions, sliced thin
large can of whole peeled tomatoes

1 stick of cinnamon, 1-2″
2 cardamom pods
4 black peppercorns
1/2 t cumin seeds
1 t ginger pulp
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
2 fresh green chili peppers, chopped
1 t garam masala
1 t chili powder
1 t salt

1/2 c plain yogurt

4 T lemon juice
1/8-1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped fine
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Heat oil in a wok or large heavy bottom pot over medium heat, add onions and cook until golden. Add all the spices, including the ginger, garlic and chili peppers and cook for a minute until blended and fragrent. Add tomatoes, lower heat and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Now add the chicken pieces, two at a time and cook for about 10 minutes, turning frequently to allow spice mixtures to penetrate fully. Add the yogurt and mix carefully. Lower heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for half an hour.

Once chicken is done, add the lemon juice and cilantro and serve.

Adapted from a recipe in Indian by Shehzad Husain & Rafi Hernandez, page 42