July 17, 2007

These Are Not Pierogies


They may look like pierogies, but they’re not. They’re pockets of goodness to tickle your tastebuds. Why the name change? I’ve decided that I shouldn’t call anything I make by its original name because that makes it too easy for picky eaters to say they don’t like it. So you may have had pierogies, but you’ve never had pockets of goodness! Changing the name changes the whole food. Given my strong feelings about always trying new things, I would consider it a personal insult if you refused to try my pockets of goodness on the basis that you don’t like pierogies, because clearly, these aren’t pierogies. Perhaps you’re wondering why I would ever have to change the name of something as delicious as pierogies, because surely, everyone loves pierogies, right? Well let me tell you a little story…


Once upon a time there was a Ukranian Princess who, contrary to all of her culinary heritage, hated pierogies. This hate of pierogies was completely irrational, (as a hate of any food is) and stemmed from one bad childhood experience. Unfortunately, when the Princess was still a little girl she fell ill shortly after eating some delicious pierogies. And although the pierogies were not to blame for the illness, they became inextricably linked to being sick. Ever since that time the Princess has refused to eat pierogies in any way, shape or form. In fact, it’s been so long since she’s had one that she doesn’t even remember what they taste like or even what they’re made of. But this is one stubborn Princess and no one has been able convince her to give pierogies another try. However, the palace chef has confided to me that the Princess likes all of the individual elements of a pierogi and should therefore love the sum total. This is the real reason why I have changed the name of my pierogies to pockets of goodness. It’s all in the hope that I can persuade the Princess to take just one bite and realize what she’s been missing all of these years. Wish me luck.


If you happen to have a Ukranian Princess, (or any other Princess for that matter) who needs to be convinced that pierogies are worthy of their time, then give this recipe a try. The only thing that I changed was the cooking method. I began by frying up a slice of homemade bacon and then removed the bacon from the pan, drained off some of the grease and fried the boiled pierogies in the bacon fat to crisp them up a little. I served the pierogies with the reserved bacon and some sour cream and they were fit for a Princess.



Potato and Cheese Perogies

(Adapted from Bozena Srubarek, Business Class Catering, Toronto via Foodtv.ca)


Dough

2 cups all-purpose flour (500 ml)

1/2 tsp salt (2 ml)

2 large egg yolks

2 tsp vegetable oil (10 ml)

1/2 to 3/4 cup hot tap water (125 ml to 175 ml)


Potato Cheese Filling

2 medium potatoes, peeled, cut in chunks

1T sour cream (15 ml)

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated (250 ml)

salt and pepper, to taste


Dough

Place flour on counter or wooden board. Sprinkle salt on top of flour. Make a well in centre. Place egg yolks and oil in well. Using the tips of your fingers, stir in circular motion, working from middle of flour mixture out and adding water with other hand, a little at a time, as you go. You have added enough water when dough begins to hold together and so just slightly sticky. Form into ball, scraping up and adding any bits that stick to counter

Knead dough, adding a little more water if necessary, 20 to 25 times or until soft and elastic. Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill at least 1 hour or overnight.


Potato Cheese Filling

Add potatoes to medium pot of boiling salted water. Cook until soft. Add sour cream, yogurt or milk. Mash with potatoes masher or ricer. Stir in cheese. Season with salt and pepper.


Assembly

To fill perogies, divide dough into 3 to 4 pieces. I used a pasta machine to roll out the dough, but the original recipe tells you to do the following: Using hands, shape into logs about 1- inch in diameter. Slice each log into pieces 1-inch wide. Dust each piece lightly in flour. Using hands, shape each piece into a round disc, then pull gently as you would pizza dough to make the disk thinner. When dough is thin, place a rounded tsp. of filling in centre. Using your fingers, gently pull dough over filling to form half-moon shape. Pinch edges together carefully but tightly, crimpling as you go, to seal. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.


To cook the perogies, bring large saucepan of salted water to boil. Reduce heat so water simmers and does not boil rapidly. Add perogies, one at a time, taking care not to over crowd the pan. Cook uncovered, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and gently with wooden spoon to loosen from sides of saucepan. Drain.


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42 comments:

Jen the Bread Freak said...

Mmmm, those are some nice looking "pockets of goodness"! I've never had pierogies, but have always heard good things about them...I think I'll have to try them out now :D.

Lydia said...

I remember a wonderful little pierogi restaurant in Krakow, Poland. That's all they served, only at lunch time, but they had maybe 30 different fillings. They didn't even serve soup -- just pierogi and coffee! And when they ran out, they closed for the day. I wonder if it's still there....the pierogi was out of this world.

Meeta said...

Yummy. These look exceptionally good Bril!

gilly said...

Yum! I've always loved piero... er... pockets of goodness! I think we could all learn a lesson from that dear princess. It's funny how easy it is to connect food to experiences, even if they are unrelated!

Fruittart said...

Oh, these look so tasty. And bring back such wonderful memories. When I was little my grandparents had Polish neighbors whose grandkids lived some distance away so they liked having me come over to visit when I rode my bike up and down the street. Mr. Yankovitch would sit out in the driveway and drink bottles of orange soda (beer later in the day) and offer me a bottle (orange soda of course) and Mrs. Yankovitch was always in the kitchen producing some wonderful treat but one of my favorites was pierogies. She made some with cheese, some with cheese and potato, but my favorites were potato and bacon. I'm sure she would give hearty approval to your pockets of goodness!

Baking Soda said...

Everything not pierogi is good with bacon....
Can I be your little princess for just one meal? Please?

Deborah said...

What a brilliant idea! I'm going to start changing the names of anything I make that my husband "thinks" he doesn't like, and maybe he will be fooled!!

Your pockets of goodness look absolutely wonderful. And I don't think I've ever had a pierogi, but I definitely want to try now!

Abby said...

I've never had a pierogi - but anything with bacon is a friend of mine. I was just going over the ingredient list thinking "Yes, I have that and that and that. I can make pierogis!"

DaviMack said...

I'm thinking you could call them Polish Potstickers, just because it seems that every body on the planet likes potstickers, and they're so close to the same thing, aren't they? Yum!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I don't know pierogies, sweetie, but these look so good!

Belinda said...

Who could ever resist sampling something with the intriguing name "pockets of goodness!"? I am so inept with pastries/doughs, but I'd love to try your recipe, so maybe I will step a little bit outside of my kitchen comfort zone. :-)

Janet said...

These look delicious. I love pierogies (um I mean "pockets of goodness) but believe it or not, I've only ever had the frozen kind!

aria said...

brilynn, those look muthaflippin awesome! MMMMMMMMM YUMM!

ejm said...

All that's missing are the caramelized onions. (I love pierogies!! Especially when they're fried)

-Elizabeth

Muffin said...

Delicious! I was just having a conversation with someone about our mutual love of the pierogi! I honestly never thought of the bacon addition. They're like little loaded mashed potato bites. mmm...

Stephen said...

I personally really like the story about that beautiful ukranian princess. the food looks great B.

laura k said...

I was just thinking of making pierogies, er, pockets of goodness, the other day! These are beautiful and I will definitely have to try your recipe. I am no Ukranian Princess, and I heart pierogies.

lynn said...

Much deliciousness! I especially love the bacon - of course.

veron said...

I love pierogis. Actually, the first time I tasted them was a few months ago and I was wondering how I could not have tasted them till then. Those bacon bits definitely go so well with them.

Tartelette said...

I am relatively new to pierogies, but anything with dough, bacon and potatoes (and together) rocks!

Sara said...

I insisted for years and years that I hated pierogies when I'd never actually had one before. But I saw the light and never looked back. I should get Scott to make these, he loves 'em.

Kelly-Jane said...

Did your little princess like them ? Great post!

casey said...

These look just as good as my G.G.'s - and she brought her recipe over from Poland!

Cynthia said...

I hope that the Princess appreciates the lengths you went to to make her "pockets of goodness". I am convinced, however, that the Princess will love your pockets of goodness.

Julie said...

Brilynn,
I had a Polish grandmother who made these in quantity and shipped them to us from Pittsburgh to LA. She made the potato variety, but I really loved her cheese version. She used some weird farmers cheese that she got from a supplier in rural Pennsylvania. It was like a drier cottage cheese, but infinitely better. I definitely had the pierogi lovin' gene, but I don't think I'll taste any like hers again...sad.
Lovely recipe!
Julie

Amy said...

Pierogies and bacon! How can you go wrong. I'd be really tempted to put the bacon in the pierogies... mmm...

Ellie said...

Woah, I have faith that the Princess will come around - looking at those, how could she not? :D

Cheryl said...

I love perogies, I love pockets of goodness, whatever. You can call it the Queen of Sheba, I am going to eat that any day.

Vanessa said...

My goodness these look ready for me to sink my teeth right into!

Kristen said...

Can I please come live with you??

Alisha said...

Those look fantastic! And I love their new name.

I once changed the name of Brussels Sprouts to "baby Chinese cabbages" and got my uncle, sworn hater of Brussels Sprouts, to eat them and enjoy them. Hope you have the same luck with your Princess!

. . . said...

you're right-- i never have had pockets of goodness. they look fantastic!

joey said...

I have never had pierogies but I've always been curious about them...I have a work colleague with Polish ancestry and she would but wax poetic about the ones her grandma made! Now that I've seen your pockets of goodness I definitely want to try them! I'm sure no princess could resist :)

Margarita Valli said...

I don't need to change to name to absolutely adore perogies....add some sour cream and fried onions and I am in foodie heaven!!

Vero Pepperrell said...

Wow, what a great recipe! I made these this evening, double batch so that I can freeze half for another dinner.

I made them somewhat larger than yours, resulting in what I've nicknamed The Flying Nun pierogies.

To get an idea of how big they are, have a look at the pic I put up.

Mmmm so tasty!

mimi said...

i absolutely LOVE pierogies!! i have such fond memories of them. i usually just buy the frozen ones, but i love that you have a recipe here. they look fabulous!

Susan said...

Wow they look good!! I am also of Ukranian heritage and grew up eating "pockets of goodness"..my mom made them,I made them and now my daughter makes them. I always add alittle fried onions to the potato filling. Yummy!!

Hillary said...

Oh wow. I'm a HUGE pierogie fan (even the original form) but this is definitely sounds like a step up. I can't eat bacon but I can imagine adding bacon increases the deliciousness!

Fuji Mama said...

These look absolutely divine!

Multi-Testing Mommy said...

Will have to give these a try - I love the name! Thanks :)

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