Sunday, March 01, 2009

Taking a shot at Roasted-Garlic Pierogi...

We prepared a total of 8 new recipes for the week - looking back, our tops this time were the Chocolate Chip-Pretzel Cookies for us salty/sweet people, that Black Bean Nacho Pizza and those nutty Toasted Oat and Coconut Biscotti.

Tonight's dinner was one of those recipes where you'll need to set aside plenty of time, have a glass of your favorite beverage handy and either play some good tunes in the background or put on your favorite television show. While there was not anything difficult about this Roasted-Garlic Pierogi with Shallot-Browned Butter dish I made, it did take quite a bit of time from start to finish.

Before making the homemade dough for the pierogi, we had get a pound of starchy potatoes and a whole head of garlic into the oven to start roasting. When both were tender, we skinned the potatoes and mashed them simply with a scoop of sour scream and the sweet, mellow pulp from the head of garlic, along with the obligatory salt and fresh ground black pepper.

While the bowl of taters was off cooling down, we made a basic dough consisting only of flour, a couple eggs and plain yogurt. After pressing and pulling the dough to knead it together, the smooth mound was divide into 24 small bits and each was rolled into a ball. Each ball then needs to be rolled out into a small circle - while you are doing this assembly process, be sure to keep the dough covered to prevent any drying out that might otherwise occur. On top of each round, a heavy tablespoon of the potato mixture was dropped on top and then hidden by enclosing the circle, forming a half-moon. This part is pretty tedious to do 24 times, so take any help you can get!

Cooked by dunking the filled pierogi into a large pot of boiling, salted water, they have one more step to make them even more appealing. While the are floating in the water, we had another skillet on the stove, gently melting and browning a few knobs of butter we tossed in. The butter is ready when an intense nutty aroma lifts off the skillet, the color begins to turn caramel and the milk solids that have fallen to the bottom begin to well, brown! Once that happens, finely chopped mild shallots are tossed in and heated just long enough so they soften. The drained pierogi are added in and gently fondled in the toasted butter until each is coated and has taken on a slight golden hue themselves.

While I've never had them myself before (let alone made them!), Jeff used to eat them all the time several years ago. He couldn't stop eating these, so I guess we did it right, or good enough! The dough was nice to work with and didn't shrink back when I rolled each piece out. The pierogi were tender, quite hearty with their tangy roasted garlic potato filling and taking them for a ride in the golden pool of melted goodness (Jeff's word!) was the perfect match to let them sing. Ideal to make on a lazy weekend, I'm betting that since you can buy them at the market frozen, you could make a whole batch or two, freeze them in a single layer on baking sheets and then toss them into a zip-loc bag. This way you'll have them ready for a handy meal that could be ready in a flash on those hectic weeknights!

10 comments:

  1. Yum, pierogi :) I posted our family recipe around xmas time, but you really can't go wrong!!

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  2. Love, love, love pierogi!! I remember making them by the dozens with my Aunts, Mom & Grandmother every year while I was growing up. We would spend all day on a Saturday making enough for everyone's freezers. Guess I'll need to get ambitious and make these. :)
    Cheryl

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  3. Drool yum yum. I love Pierogis. Sadly my family only tolerates them. I must confess to getting my fix with the frozen ones. I do serve them as you do. Mine all mine.
    I don't know about freezing homemade ones. My experience with freezing homemade dishes with potatoes has not been good. The potatoes get watery and mealy. I am guessing that the commercial ones are either flash frozen or have something added to keep the potatoes nice. No reason you couldn't freeze the dough circles ahead.
    My mother use to freeze homemade ravioli successfully. You might want to try freezing one or two just to see how they defrost. just saying

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  4. Oh my! Your pierogi are fantastic! There are some wonderful Polish grandmothers in Linden, NJ who would be singing your praises right now. :)

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  5. Pierogis are one of my absolute favourites, those look amazing!

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  6. these look absolutely delicious! I love pierogis...and garlic!

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  7. I can only imagine how wonderful these were, you are making me drool here.

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  8. TTFN - I'll have to go check it out and see how they compare! Thanks for the heads up!

    Cheryl - It sounds like a fun tradition to start!

    Suzann - Really? I've been able to freeze mashed potatoes before without much issue. We'll have to try next time just to see!

    Deb - Woo!

    Brilynn - I can see why now... I've been missing out!

    Alisa - Thanks!

    Flame - the combo go well together!

    Bunny - You should give them a try!

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  9. I've eaten a lot-a whole lot-of pierogi in my time but these are truly something to behold. Now, my mom makes the best, but I'm quite sure that these could give her a run for her money. Or make her faint dead away from the sheer audacity of a new flavor combo.

    I must try these for myself. :d

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