A recipe passed down through my father's side of the family, the origin of which is lost, since the family cannot be traced back beyond my grandparents. This is the type of food you gorge on when you can't afford meat, or any time you just plain feel like it. For those of you who have not tasted this, think Polish ravioli, small macaroni pies stuffed with all sorts of delicious fillings.
1First, make the filling. Boil the cut-up potatoes until fork-tender, remove from stove, drain pot, and mash potatoes up until you can mix them. Next, saute the onions in a tablespoon olive oil or butter. Place onions, cottage cheese, and potatoes into a large bowl, add salt & pepper, mix, cover, and refrigerate for at least an 1 1/2 hours to solidify the filling. This prevents it from squirting all over the place when you stuff the dough.
2After the filling is ready, make the dough. This step can be very labor intensive, especially if you do everything by hand, as I do, hence the time given in this recipe. With this amount of filling, I usually multiply the dough ingredients by 3, and mix 3 cups of flour, 3 eggs, and 1 1/2 tsp. salt. This can be done in stages, or all at once.
3To make the dough, add flour, salt and egg, and mix together. You will find by the consistency exactly how much water you will need to be able to make a dough that is neither too sticky nor too firm. Divide into 3 sections, shape into balls, and lay out one on a floured surface where you can roll it out to about a pie crust thickness. Cut out as many circles of dough as you can (I use an ordinary drinking glass for this, as I was taught), reworking and flattening the dough to get as many as you can. Place each circle on a large, floured plate; you can make layers by putting sheets of wax paper (put some flour on both sides first to prevent sticking) over each layer.
4Set a Dutch oven about half-full of water on the stove to boil, and get the filling out of the refrigerator. This is where the real work, and fun, begins. To stuff each circle, take a good, full teaspoon's worth of the filling, place it in the middle of the circle, and fold it in half over the filling, pinching the dough together from the top middle to the sides, being careful to avoid pushing the filling out as you go, forming a sort of crescent shape. It helps to have some loose flour handy, as your fingers can easily become wet from the filling, as it tries to slip out (and I'm speaking from experience here). When the water comes to a boil, turn it down onto medium-low heat. As you finish stuffing a layer of circles, place them gently into the water. When they rise to the top (and you may have to stir gently to make this happen, especially with an electric stove), they are ready to be set aside (and this will require another very large plate, at least) for the last step, frying.
5You may use, again, either olive oil or butter. Place the perogies into the frying pan until both sides are browned. This takes only a few minutes. Leftovers freeze very well and, if you are not planning to serve all of these at once, simply fry the ones you intend to freeze for later very lightly (they will have a roughened consistency, rather than a color change), let them cool, and place into freezer containers for later.
6These perogies can be served with sour cream, applesauce, or whatever you wish.