Pierogis: A Polish Holiday Favorite

During the holiday season, every ethnic group has a special tradition.  For example, every year on Christmas Eve we celebrate The Feast of the Seven Fishes, which is an Italian-American tradition of eating seven different seafood dishes.  Growing up half Polish, certain foods were also popular during the holidays.  One dish is pierogi, unleavened dumplings that are filled, boiled, and then either served with butter or fried until crisp.  While pierogi can (and should!) be enjoyed throughout the year, many Polish families serve them during the holidays as a special treat.  Now, I should clarify that I’m talking about homemade pierogi–not the frozen kind you can get in your supermarket freezer section.  While this might be fine in a pinch, nothing can take the place of the homemade version.
cheese pierogi   onion pierogi   prune pierogi
Cheese, Sauerkraut, and, Prune Pierogi Courtesy of A Family Feast
Pierogi can be filled with a variety of savory and sweet ingredients.  Potato and cheese filling is probably the two most common and popular, but sauerkraut and onion filling is a must try.  That’s the version I grew up eating and still make to this day.  There is also a dessert recipe that uses a sweet prune filling with lemon juice, sugar, and butter.  The site I’m sharing provides all four recipes (potato, cheese, sauerkraut, and prune), as well as a recipe for the dough.  However, I do want to share with you another option for a lighter dough if you would prefer that option.  This is the dough I use.  It’s closer to a pasta dough and I find that it boils and fries up much lighter than any other version I’ve tried.
Pierogi Dough (makes roughly 80 pierogi)

6 cups flour
6 eggs
6 tablespoons water

Use your food processor:
Put flour into food processor and pulse a couple of times.  In a small bowl beat your eggs with 6 tablespoons water.  As the food processor is spinning, add egg mixture.  After spinning 30 seconds, you should be able to tell if you need to add another tablespoon of water (if there is a lot of dry flour at the bottom of the food processor, add another tablespoon and spin again).  Take off the lid and feel the dough, it should be moist, but not too sticky.  Turn onto a floured surface and knead for about 5-8 minutes.  Wrap in plastic wrap and let sit for 1/2 hour. ***Please note you may have to do this in batches if you don’t have enough room in the food processor.
I wish everyone a wonderful holiday and next week I’ll be back with a look at some of the healthy food trends to look for in 2016.
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