Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Once upon a time, there was a girl, and she was housesitting, and the homeowners had lots of leftover mashed potatoes in their fridge, and the girl got some really awesome cookbooks for Christmas, and the girl has nothing but time until January 11 when school starts, so the girl made pierogies. She followed (most of) the instructions, assembled, boiled, and froze them, and she left half of the pierogies for the absentee homeowners.

And the girl told her friend, “You know, I’m not sure they’re worth the effort; I tasted one after boiling, and it wasn't any better than the storebought ones. Oh well.”

But then, a week or so later, the girl pulled them out of the freezer and fried them in butter. And LORD HELP IT, they’re better than storebought. So if you get a wild hair, make them.

The end.

Adapted from A Baker’s Odyssey by Greg Patent, Dave McLean, and Kelly Gorham
(makes 60-70 pierogies)

Dough (can’t wait to use this for ravioli – I think it’ll be perfect!):
4 cups flour
1 1/3 cup warm water
2 egg yolks
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt

2 lbs. mashed potatoes
Cheese (see note below)

In a small bowl, combine water, yolks, oil, and salt. Place flour in a large bowl, and make a well in the center. Pour the liquid into the center and, using a fork, gradually bring dry ingredients into the wet. Turn out onto a lightly-floured countertop and knead 4-6 minutes. Place the bowl upside down on the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine mashed potatoes and cheese.

When dough has rested, check the texture – shouldn’t be sticky, but shouldn’t be dry. Ambiguous, I know. Add a little flour if you have to.

Divide the dough in half, and roll out to about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut in 3-5 inch rounds. Place a scant tablespoon of filling in each round, and pinch the ends together. Place on a lightly floured baking sheet for storage until all pierogies are assembled.

Bring a huge pot of water to a boil. Boil the pierogies 6-8 at a time; they’ll sink to the bottom, and then they’ll float. Starting when they float, boil them for 3 minutes, then remove to a lightly oiled baking sheet.

Freeze them until you’re ready to fry.

To fry:
Heat a stick of butter in a huge skillet until foamy. Add pierogies in a single layer, cook until browned, then flip them to brown on the other side. Serve with sour cream for dipping, applesauce, or like we eat them – with caramelized, almost-crunchy onions. Mm.

Filling note: You can do pretty much whatever you want to these. The traditional cheese for pierogi filling is farmer’s cheese, but I didn’t feel like buying any, so I just raided the fridge and used little bits of like five different cheeses. I also used a tiny, tiny bit of onion, grated with a Microplane.


  1. Oh, my. Pierogies are like little potato-filled, sour cream covered slices of heaven.

  2. They are! It surprised me that they seemed fairly tough until they were fried.. then they were so amazingly tender. YUM.