Category Archives: Dumplings

Potato and Cheese Pierogies

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My husband, with a mouthful of potatoey goodness: “That’s a damn good pierogi!”

First off, if anyone has an issue with my spelling of pierogi/pierogies, you’re always welcome to read the dictionary or encyclopedia for your entertainment instead. This post is about making delicious dumplings filled with cheesy potatoes topped with buttery sautéed onions and served with fresh dollops of sour cream. And I’ll continue to use the words pierogi or pierogies when I’m identifying said dumpling. Maybe I’ll throw in a ‘perogy’ just for giggles, who knows.

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That said, I’ve been asked to make pierogies on my site for the past month by a friend who wanted visuals along with a recipe. I’ve only made pierogies once before, and that was about 7 years ago. I only remember because it was so easy to whip up the homemade dough and potato mixture. It only takes a few ingredients for each, and you can choose to make it as complicated as you like (adding cheese, onions, garlic, chives, etc. to the potato filling). My pierogies have a potato and cheese mixture with a bit of dried chives. Some of you might want to add onions to the mixture rather than cheese, and if you do, sauté them before adding them to the potatoes. Same with the garlic.

I used sharp cheddar cheese in my filling because it’s one of the more pungent cheeses that packs the most flavor. I also know I used enough cheese when the potatoes turned orange. I also kept feeling the need to add butter and milk to my potatoes, but I had to remind myself I wasn’t making mashed potatoes. Taste the filling to make sure you’ve added enough salt and pepper, a good 6, 7, 10 mouthfuls will do. I added a little more s/p in the filling than I do with mashed potatoes, because it is a filling, so it needs to be handled like so.

Cheese and Potato Pierogies (makes 24)

Dough Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water

Potato & Cheese Filling:

  • 1 lb. russet potatoes
  • 3 oz. grated cheddar cheese
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. dried chives

Other Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • butter (for sautéing)
  • flour (kneading and rolling dough)

Directions:

1) To make the dough: Combine flour and salt. Add beaten eggs and water. Mix the dough until it becomes elastic and can be molded into a ball. Add more flour if it is too sticky. Wrap ball of dough in plastic and set in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

2) To make the filling: Cut potatoes into cubes. Boil until soft. Mash with grated cheese, chives. Salt and pepper to taste. Let cool to room temperature.

3) To fill pierogies: Generously flour a cutting board and form the dough into a long roll. Add flour to the board and your hands as needed. Form 24 balls of dough from roll. Flatten a dough ball with your hand and make it large enough to place a heaping teaspoon (or more) or potato filling in center. Fold dumpling in half, and seal edges by crimping the sides together with a fork. Set on a floured surface and repeat until finished.

4) Melt 1 Tbsp. of butter on a large skillet. Sauté onions until browned, set aside.

5) To cook pierogies: Boil a large pot of salted water. On another burner, add 1 tsp. of butter on a skillet and heat on medium high heat. Add pierogies to the boiled water, 4-5 at a time but don’t overcrowd the pot. Boil for a few minutes until they float up, use a slotted spoon to lift them out onto a plate. Place drained pierogies onto the skillet and cook both sides until golden. Set on a plate and repeat process until finished. Top pierogies with sautéed onions and serve with sour cream.

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To make the dough: Combine flour and salt. Add beaten eggs and water.

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Mix the dough until it becomes elastic and can be molded into a ball. Add more flour if it is too sticky.

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Wrap ball of dough in plastic and set in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

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To make the filling: Cut potatoes into cubes. Boil until soft.

As you can see…these russets were gigantic. I only used 1.5  potatoes for 1 pound.

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I used the orange sharp cheddar cheese because I can see that I’ve added enough cheese when the potatoes turn orange. The oranger the better.

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Mash with grated cheese, chives. Salt and pepper to taste. Let cool to room temperature.

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Test out the taste by eating about 10 spoonfuls. DO IT, so I don’t feel bad that I did it.

If you have any leftover filling, eat that too.

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To fill pierogies: Generously flour a cutting board and form the dough into a long roll. Add flour to the board and your hands as needed.

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Form 24 balls of dough from roll.

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Flatten a dough ball with your hand and make it large enough to place a heaping teaspoon (or more) or potato filling in center.

Try to make the filling into the shape of a ball if you can. It will give the pierogi a nice shape.

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Fold dumpling in half, and seal edges by crimping the sides together with a fork.

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Set on a floured surface and repeat until finished.

Pierogi dumplings are way more forgiving than Chinese potstickers. Since they’re filled with a starch rather than meat, after you boil them you won’t get enormous explosions from water being trapped inside the dumpling that cause splattering when they are sautéed. Don’t worry too much about any holes you can’t fix in the dumplings. I had a few holes but the filling wouldn’t escape even when I boiled them.

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Slice onions into long thin strips.

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Melt 1 Tbsp. of butter on a large skillet. Sauté onions until browned, set aside.

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To cook pierogies: Boil a large pot of salted water. On another burner, add 1 tsp. of butter on a skillet and heat on medium high heat. Add pierogies to the boiled water, 4-5 at a time but don’t overcrowd the pot. Boil for a few minutes until they float up, use a slotted spoon to lift them out onto a plate. Place drained pierogies onto the skillet and cook both sides until golden. Set on a plate and repeat process until finished. Top pierogies with sautéed onions and serve with sour cream.

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Enjoy! Have a nice weekend everyone.

Pork and Chive Potstickers.

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Happy Monday everybody! I hope you had a good weekend. Please excuse the slowness of my website. I need to speed things up, it’ been bogged down by a surprising number of hits lately. Not that I’m bragging, I just didn’t realize I would need to upgrade so soon! Because if I don’t upgrade, none of you will come back and visit me. And I like making new friends. It’s like hosting a party and not having enough alcohol. People are just gonna find another more awesome party to crash :(

I am also getting kinda self-conscious lately…with more and more wonderful foodies visiting my blog, I feel like I have more eyes behind me, watching me prepare food. I know, it sounds creepy, and that’s my own quirky little problem :P

Enough chatting, more cooking!

It’s about time I made some dumplings. You’ll enjoy these! There are soooo many versions of dumplings, and this is one version. It’s a really tasty version, too. The filling consists of ground pork, Chinese chives and tofu. Yes, tofu. Trust me, you won’t taste the tofu, and the combination makes the dumplings more savory. You’ll see….

Be sure to use Chinese chives. They are flat looking, not like the little thin tubes you see on normal chives.  And they have a more subtle flavor, not too overpowering.  You can find them in asian markets, or maybe in the ethnic produce section of your supermarket. I used regular chives once…not a good idea.  Way too strong.

Pork and Chive Potstickers (makes approx. 100 potstickers)

printable recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 lb. firm tofu, chopped finely
  • 1 cup Chinese chives, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. ginger, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. Hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce (light soy sauce if you’re able to)
  • 1 tsp. 5-Spice powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 packages of dumpling wrappers (about 50 wrappers per package) 
  • oil for pan-frying

Quick Directions:

1) In a skillet, saute the chopped chives, garlic and ginger with a tsp. of oil, with a pinch of salt. Saute for around 5-6 minutes, and set aside.

2) In a large bowl, mix the first 10 ingredients together.

3) The floured side of the dumpling wrapper should be faced up. Place a small spoonful of filling into center of dumpling wrapper. Dab water on the edges, press firmly shut to form a half-circle. Repeat process until finished.

4) Pour 2 tsp. oil on a pan, turn to medium/medium high heat. Place dumplings flat side down on pan, making sure enough space is between them. Pan-fry the bottom until it is golden brown.

5) Pour enough water into the pan to immerse the dumplings halfway. IT WILL SIZZLE, SO BE CAREFUL! Put a lid over it (leaving a crack so the steam can be released), cook for 6-7 minutes until the water has almost totally evaporated. Carefully scrape off the pan, they will be sticking (hence the term ‘potstickers’). Repeat the process until finished.

6)To freeze potstickers you do not cook, place dumplings in a single layer (not overlapping) on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet on a flat surface in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. Take them out, and place them in a single layer in freezer zip-lock bags. Place them back in the freezer, flat side down, so they don’t clump together. After 6+ hours when they are totally frozen you can move them around your freezer and they won’t stick together.

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Illustrated Directions:

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Chop the chives, mince the garlic and ginger.

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Drizzle about 1 tsp. of oil into a skillet.

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Saute the chives, garlic and ginger for 5-6 minutes on medium heat. Add a pinch of salt.

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Add the first 10 ingredients together in a large bowl.

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Combine this mixture well. I used my hands. The tofu should be crumbled so finely that the mixture should look like the image below:

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To wrap the dumplings, place the wrapper with the floured side up. Place a small spoonful of filling in the center. Dab water on half the circle.

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Fold the dumpling in half, pressing firmly to hold it shut, forming a half circle.

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If you want to get fancy, and this is another way of folding dumplings together.

Rather than pressing it shut all at once, create folds by overlapping an inch of the top half onto the flat bottom half.

It’s hard to explain, so just check out the picture, and I think you’ll get the hang of it once you try it yourself.

One fold:

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Then two folds:

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Then three folds:

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4, 5, 6 folds. Voila! Just press firmly to make sure they’re all tightly secured.  And repeat this process until finished.

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Place them on a large baking sheet or dish, careful not to overlap them.

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In a large skillet/pan, heat 2 tsp. oil on medium heat. Place dumplings flat side down, making sure not to overlap them. Brown the bottom (should take a few minutes), just flip one up to check.      

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When the bottom is golden brown, pour enough water into the pan to immerse half the dumplings. BE CAREFUL, AS IT WILL SPLATTER! Use a lid to shield yourself. Then put the lid on the pan, leaving a crack open to let steam out.

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Cook on medium-high for 5-6 minutes. Take the lid off when almost all the water has evaporated. Carefully scrape off the pan, they will be sticking to the bottom (hence the term ‘potstickers’).

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Put onto a dish and serve. Pat yourself on the back, you’ve done a great job! :)

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Dipping sauce (optional): light soy sauce, pinch of pepper, and dash of vinegar.

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To freeze uncooked dumplings:  place dumplings in a single layer (not overlapping) on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet on a flat surface in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. Take them out, and place them in a single layer in freezer zip-lock bags. Place them back in the freezer, flat side down, so they don’t clump together. After 6+ hours when they are totally frozen you can move them around your freezer and they won’t stick together.

 

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