I do not have a Polish bone in my body...But I dated a Polish man once. He was legit. Fresh-off-the-boat Polish. One time, he picked me up for a surprise date, took me to Dunkin Donuts, and (when I told him I was not hungry) he spent nearly 15 minutes trying to force me to shove glazed donuts down my throat. Then I broke up with him....on his birthday. I think there is a specially-designated level of hell for people who do that sort of thing.
Anyway, for the short period of time that I dated this Polish guy, I spent a lot of time learning about Polish culture. The whole "Polish sausage" thing is SO not a stereotype. I ate dinner with his parents three times. Each time I ate with them, the main dish was Polish sausage. I'm pretty sure that's the only thing they ever ate. The side dish was always pierogi. Not homemade-like-your-Polish-grandma-makes pierogi. These were frozen-from-the-grocery-store pierogi. But they were so, so good.
Fast forward several years (and a couple boyfriends) later, I was craving pierogi. I stumbled upon a recipe (I can't remember where from) and decided to make my own. Imagine for a moment, the creamiest and richest bite of mashed potato, mixed with melted cheese, rolled up into dough, and fried in butter. Yes! Yum!
My picky husband totally loves these!
Potato & Cheese Pierogi
4 cups flour
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup warm water
3 potatoes, cooked, drained, and mashed
2 tbspoons butter
3 ounces cream cheese (or to taste)
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or to taste)
1/2 tsp salt
1. To make the dough, measure flour into a bowl. Add salt and stir to combime. Make a hole in the center of the flour and add the eggs and sour cream. Stir to combine. Add water gradually until mixture forms a ball. Knead dough, separate into three pieces, and let rest for ten minutes.
2. Take your mashed potatoes and add the cheeses and salt. Stir to combine.
3. Roll out dough, one piece at a time, to 1/8 thickness. Take a cup with an opening of about 3 inches in diameter and cut out rounds. Spoon as much filling as you can into the round, fold in half, and pinch the ends closed. Make sure the ends are tightly closed so that filling does not escape during cooking.
4. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. In batches, drop pierogi into water and let cook for several minutes. When pierogi rise to the top of the water, let cook an additional minute then remove to a plate.
You could totally stop here. BUT why do that when you have the option to pan fry the pierogi in butter!?! If you DO stop here, you should serve the pierogies by topping with sour cream and onions that hav been carmelized in butter.
5. Heat large sauce pan over medium heat. Melt butter in pan. When hot, add pierogi (again, in batches). Cook until browned on both sides then remove to a plate. Serve with sour cream!