Way back in July I told you a little story about making pierogies and then renaming them Pockets of Goodness in the hopes that a misguided Ukrainian Princess would finally embrace her culinary heritage and enjoy a bite. At the time, I was not able to rush my pierogies over to the castle quickly enough for the Princess to try some but I vowed that one day I would convince her of the awesomeness of pierogies. So when Zorra announced that she was hosting an event called A Heart for Your Valentine whereby bloggers create edible hearts for their valentines I saw it as a perfect opportunity to win the Princess over. You see, Princesses love pretty things like hearts so surely she’d love pierogies in the shape of a heart. Right? Wrong. I’m going to forewarn you, this story does not have a happy valentine type ending. You might want a box of tissues before you continue reading.
Last time I made pierogies I thought the perfect trick would be to rename them Pockets of Goodness to distract from what they really were, with the rationale being that you can’t hate something you’re never tried. But I decided I would be better off changing both the name AND the shape of the pierogies, especially if the shape-to-be was a heart. Then I could call them Yummy Hearts and they’ve got it all; new name, new shape, same great taste. Of course I had to pair the Yummy Hearts with bacon, because every good Princess loves bacon and I personally believe that everything is better with bacon. So with the combination of hearts and bacon it seemed as though the stage were set for the Princess to experience a pierogi epiphany whereby she would finally realize that she’s been mistaken all these years and that pierogies are in fact delicious.
I waited until I knew the Princess would be at the castle and then I delivered the Yummy Hearts on a silver platter, complete with bacon. The Princess looked at the platter and this is the conversation that ensued:
Princess: Those are pierogies.
Me: No they’re not, they’re heart shaped and pierogies aren’t heart shaped.
Princess: So the shape determines what it is?
Me: Yes, of course. If those were half moon shaped then I could understand your concern, but they’re not, they’re hearts. And look, there’s bacon!
Princess: They’re pierogies.
Me: No, they’re Yummy Hearts.
Princess: I can’t eat them, they’re pierogies.
Me, (trying to hold it together): No, no, no! You have to try them, just one bite.
Princess: I’ll eat the bacon.
Me, (getting desperate): Just a tiny bite, I promise it will be good. You’ll like them. I wouldn’t lie to you Princess.
The Princess then proceeded to eat the bacon and replace the dome on the silver platter. I couldn’t even convince her to take a little nibble. She won’t eat the pierogies and the Princess may just break my heart.
Potato and Cheese Perogies (Adapted from Bozena Srubarek, Business Class Catering,
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
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.
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.