Saturday, June 22, 2013

Pierogi with Potato, Carrot and Cheese Filling

To download a copy of the recipe for Potato, Carrot and Cheese Pierogi, click HERE.

First things first: “pierogi” is plural. The singular form, pierog, is on the list of forgotten singular food words that also includes raviolo, gnocco, and – so help me, I’m not making this up – spaghetto.

Pierogi, of course, are essentially dumplings that are boiled, and often (though not always) fried afterward. (You can think of it as Poland’s somewhat doughier answer to Italy’s ravioli, although similar-concept dishes with a variety of different names are served throughout Europe and Asia.) Pierogi are popular throughout Canada and the United States, particularly in areas populated by Eastern European immigrants or their descendants.

It also seems worth a mention that pierogi even have their own patron saint.  (According to Wikipedia, “ ‘Swiety Jacek z pierogami!’, (St. Hyacinth and his pierogi!) is an old expression of surprise, roughly equivalent to the American "good grief" or "holy smokes!" As they say in the sports pages, you can look it up. )

Some Cook’s Notes before we begin:

  • If refrigerating the pierogi to serve the next day, lightly flour the container in which they are being stored to prevent sticking.
  • If freezing the pierogi, first freeze on a baking sheet, then place the frozen pierogi in a sealed bag or container for storage.
  • Exercise care when rolling out the dough. If it’s thicker than the 1/8” called for in the recipe, the pierogi can become overly doughy.
  • The filling used in this recipe is a dressed up version of a typical potato and cheese filling. In this case, the potato and cheese mixture has added mashed carrots, sautéed onions, and just the right bit of bacon. Pierogi are often topped with sour cream and sautéed onion. Since here I’ve put the onion in the filling, the recipe calls for the sour cream to be mixed with chopped chives.
  • Since I like to keep things low fat whenever possible, in this recipe the pierogi are cooked by boiling. As mentioned above, pierogi are often pan-fried after being boiled, so feel free to do that here too you’re so inclined.

This recipe makes about 30 3-1/2” pierogi (four servings).

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the filling: 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into coins of equal thickness; olive oil for sauté; 1 small onion, diced; ¾ lb. red potatoes, baked; 3 Tbsp low fat sour cream; 3 Tbsp farmer cheese; 1 ounce turkey bacon, cooked and diced; and salt and pepper.

For the dough: 3 cups AP flour; ½ tsp salt; 2 egg-substitute eggs; ¼ cup low fat sour cream; and ½ cup water.

Other Ingredients for Serving: low fat sour cream; and chopped chives.

First, prepare the filling as follows:

Steam the carrot coins till soft. After they are soft, mash them with a masher or fork.


While the carrots are steaming, heat a little oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until lightly caramelized.

Place the potatoes in a large bowl and mash well. (Leaving potato skins on is optional but recommended.)

Add the carrots, sour cream, farmer cheese, diced turkey bacon, and the sautéed onions, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.

While the filling is cooling, prepare the dough as follows:

Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Form a well in the flour, and add the egg-substitute eggs, sour cream and water. Whisk the liquids in the well together.

Work the liquid mixture into the flour until a dough forms.

Knead the dough for about five minutes until smooth.

Cut the dough into four equal parts. Wrap each in plastic wrap, and let rest for twenty minutes.

To form the pierogi:

Roll one of the dough quarters out on a floured surface to about 1/8” thick.

Using a 3-1/2” cookie cutter to cut out as many circles as you can. (Alternatively, the dough can be cut into 3-1/2” squares.)

(If necessary, you can get an extra pierogi or two by taking a dough piece and attaching it where needed with a wet finger.)

Place about a tablespoon of filling on each dough piece.

Fold the dough piece over into a half-circle, and press down on the edges with your fingers.

Seal the edges with the tines of a fork.

Set the pierogi out on a lightly floured baking sheet lined with foil while you prepare the other dough quarters in the same way.

To cook:

Drop the pierogi into a pot of salted boiling water. When the pierogi float to the top (about four minutes) they are ready to serve.


To serve:

Plate the pierogi. Place some sour cream and chives on the side.

To download a copy of the recipe for Potato, Carrot and Cheese Pierogi, click HERE.

If you don’t make this great dinner for your family, friends, and even yourself, you just might end up saying, “! Swiety Jacek z pierogami!”

I hope you’ll visit here again next week for another kitchen-tested, home-cook ready recipe. Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)

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