Monday, February 16, 2009

Laborious Recipe? No more!!!

Mmmmmm PIEROGIES!!!!! NO, I am not talking about those sawdust filled raviolis called MRS T'S!!! ugh.

One of my family's polish food favorites is the pierogi. My grandmother always made them for Christmas Eve or New Year's....maybe one other time during the year. But that's it. If you have ever made your own noodle dough by hand, rolled the dough, filled it, sealed them....cooked it is a LOT of work!!! These pierogis were always so cherished by us. Grandmom had to make tons of them too. She had 5 children, those kids had/have some spouses and there were always a handful of grandchildren. So for these family get togethers....grandmom was a peirogi making machine. AND she made three types: Cheese, sauerkraut and blueberry. The peirogies were then boiled, put in a glass baking pan with butter. OMG....these were always so good. As G-mom got older...I one else was making these wonderful family treasures. Yeah, a few (including me) made Golumpkis (cabbage rolls stuffed with beef), one aunt and I made Polish bread, everyone does the kielbasa...but no one made pierogies. I think when G-mom hit 75, I sat down with her to learn how to do it....OMG....I learned what a saint she was! I never made them again until last year when I owned a home and had the space to do I feel the pain why G-mom only made these beauties once/twice a year.

Then I called my Mom to tell her about my feat I accomplished by making pierogies for my first time. I whined how laborious it was AND poor she labored so.... Mom tells G-mom over the phone what I made and what does G-mom say?

"You know, you can save time by using won ton wrappers instead of making your own dough?" THUD.

Now she tells me...So here's how you do it.....

Pierogi Filling

1 lb ricotta cheese (the smaller container)
8-oz. Sargento 6 cheese
4-oz cream cheese (half the box)
salt and pepper to taste
2 T. flour
Won Ton wrappers (usually found in near your tofu)
1 beaten egg

The process:

Step One: Mix your cheeses from the list above. Place in bowl and have teaspoon ready.
Step Two: Line up a few Won Ton wrappers, brush with egg on half of square. Place scant teaspoon in center of square.

Step Three: Fold over and press. As you pick each up, be careful to NOT squeeze and make cheese ooze out.

Step Four: Be sure to press out air pockets GENTLY as you press your edges together. Having air pockets will make your pierogi expand and pop open with they are being boiled.

Step Five: Space out all your finished pierogi so they won't stick together. Notice I made some triangular and some rectangular. No way I was going to add to the labor by taking scissors and making them half circles like Mrs T's.....LOL

Step Six: Place all on cookie sheet with wax paper between the layers. Flash freeze for about 1 hour.

Step Seven: Place in vacuum sealable ziploc or reynolds bags. Be sure to shake around a little cornstarch before you seal the bag. We don't want them to stick together then....SUCK OUT THAT AIR or they will freeze burn.


I suggest thawing out your pierogies if they are stuck/frozen together. Then you can gently seperate them before you cook them. Salt your boiling water, gently put your pierogies in the water. They will sink. Cook 2-3 minutes or until pierogies float. Won Ton wrappers will cook quickly and become slightly transluscent. Use a slotted spoon to put them in your serving bowl with melted butter.

Serving Suggestion: While boiling, saute onions and butter, use slotted spoon and toss around pierogies in butter. It's okay to brown them a bit as they cook. These are "off the chain!"

Upcoming Food Holidays!

February 16, 2009 National Almond Day
February 17, 2009 National Indian Pudding Day
February 18, 2009 Crab-Stuffed Flounder and Drink Wine Day
February 19, 2009 National Chocolate Mint Day
February 20, 2009 National Cherry Pie Day
February 21, 2009 National Sticky Bun Day
February 22, 2009 National Cook a Sweet Potato and National Margarita Day

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