Saturday, November 19, 2011

The time has come!

   Oh yeah, I've got the absolute proof that I am Polish (even though I don't think anybody doubted it). Besides my strrrrong accent and impossible to pronounce maiden name I also make my own pierogi from scratch! It takes some time and it produces a "little" bit of a mess in the kitchen, but it's absolutely worth it. For me it's not really such a big deal because I grew up with my Mom making them all the time, but when Justin saw me for the first time making the dough I can tell he was surprised, impressed, and excited all at the same time.

   You don't even have to worry about all the carbs and calories you are going to consume because making and rolling the dough works out every single muscle in you upper body and sometimes in your legs too (I have to stand on my toes to be taller and put more pressure on the dough)! All it takes is flour, 2 eggs, a pinch of salt and warm water. Be prepared to get dirty. Mix eggs with the flour and slowly add water until it forms the dough and knead it until it is not sticking to your hands anymore. It should be rather soft but not too watery, otherwise it will just fall apart when boiled. I cut the dough in half to check if it's uniform  and has no clumps of flour inside.

   Cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 10 minutes. It makes it a little bit fluffier and easier to work with. Roll the dough out and cut the circles using the desired size glass. We prefer ours to be larger so that's where the Budweiser beer glass comes handy.

   There are so many different stuffings you can use but I think the easiest and the most popular is cheese and potato. It can be tricky though, especially here in the States, because it takes special kind of white cheese which you can't really find in a regular store. I either make it myself or buy it in a European market, but I also discovered that you can substitute it with ricotta cheese. It's not the best solution and it doesn't taste exactly the same (it's a little bit sweeter then "our" cheese) but it will do just fine if you have no choice. Everybody makes their own version of the stuffing, but I believe mine is the best (and here my Polish modesty comes through!). I boil and mash 2-3 potatoes and when they cool down I add the cheese (1:1 ratio), chopped and caramelized onions, salt and lots of pepper, and I mean a lot. I have one secret ingredient which makes it the best stuffing in the entire world: chopped mint!!! Yes, that's right, mint... it gives the amazing flavor! Put the filling inside the dough circles and make sure you pinch the edges pretty good before boiling, because you will end up with a cheese water and empty doughy shells. I always make mine with my signature edges, which I think look cool and serve as a double protection from leaking!

   Put few of them in a boiling water and make sure they are not too crowded and don't stick together and cook until they all come to the surface! You can serve them with butter, bacon, caramelized onions or just plain straight from water! They taste amazing no matter what!

    I don't even know if there is anything left to say after this. All I can do is sit back and enjoy a piece of my Polish heritage on the plate! And let me tell you, it's a delicious piece!



  1. how much flour....approx.
    1 what to 1 what ratio for the cheese. equal parts potato and cheese?
    would really like to make.
    thank you :)

    1. It's a very hard question because I never really measured it (I just eyeball everything) but I would recommend 2.5-3 cups of flour for a dough, and 3-4 large potatoes and 1.5 cup of cheese for the filling. I hope it helps.

  2. Hi Magda,

    So happy to have stumbled upon your site! What kind of Polish cheese do you use (name)? Trying to cook like my babcia :)