Perogi are similar to ravioli and won-ton, in that they are a filled egg-noodle dough. You can fill them with all sorts of things, from potatoes to meat to fruit. I usually use leftover mashed potatoes and cheese. They freeze well, and can go straight from freezer to the boiling water to cook.
To serve them Polish style, sprinkle them with buttered bread crumbs (1/4 c. dry bread crumbs mixed with 2 T. melted butter, with salt and pepper to taste).
How to Make Pierogi
- In a large bowl or on a bread board, mound the flour and make a 'well' (hole) in the center.
- In the well place the salt, eggs, and water. Working from the center to the outside of the flour mound, mix the flour into the liquid in the center. Knead until dough is firm and well mixed. (Dough will be a bit 'elastic' or springy, and slightly sticky).
- Cover dough with warm bowl (run a bowl under hot water in the sink to warm it) and let rest for 10 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, bring at least 2 quarts of water to a boil on the stove, and add 1-2 teaspoons of salt to the water, unless you are planning to freeze the perogi for later.
- Divide dough in half. Leave one half under the bowl to prevent it from drying out, and roll the other half until it is 1/8" to 1/4" thick.
- Cut out perogi with a large biscuit cutter, circle cookie cutter, or glass into 3-4" circles. (set aside dough scraps to re-roll in after filling the first round).
- Place a small amount of filling slightly off-center in the middle of each circle, and fold the circle in half upon itself, pressing the edges to seal. It is important to seal the edges well or the perogi will open up in the boiling water as it is cooking and 'dump' its contents into the water. You can use your thumb or a fork to press the edges together.
- Place perogi in a bowl and roll out the remaining dough, cutting and filling the circles until you have no more dough.
- At this point, you can either boil the perogi to eat or you can freeze them to cook later. If you want to freeze them, place them upon cookie sheets, not touching, and freeze until hard. Place in freezer bags.
- To cook, place 3-4 perogi at a time in the boiling water. If you have frozen perogi ahead of time, start with this step, just putting the still frozen perogi straight into the water. Do not put a lot of perogi at a time into the water, or else they will stick together and not cook right. If you have a perogi that 'explodes' and loses its filling in the water, don't worry, you can still use the water. You will have lost the perogi though....
- When the perogi float they are done. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon. Repeat with the remaining perogi. You can serve as is with a little melted butter, or you can saute them in butter until slightly brown.
- Note about filling: When I get a chance I will post some of the filling recipes in the book of polish cooking I got this from. However, I simply fill mine with leftover mashed potatoes to which I have added minced garlic and 'italian seasoning'. If I have any shredded cheese, I put a little in the circle before adding the potatoes. You can also fill them with leftover cooked chicken or browned ground meat.