Dough (makes enough to use one batch each of the below fillings):
- 3 heaping cups flour
- 3 eggs, beaten
Make a well from the flour. Add eggs and about 1/2 cup of water. The amount of water will vary according to the weather. You want to make a stiff dough. Divide it into 3 equal portions and knead until silky smooth.
Fillings: We usually make cheese and kapusta (sauerkraut), but you can use meat, potatoes, or even fruit.
- 1 stick butter
- 1 large onion, 1/4-inch dice
- 32-ounce canned or fresh kapusta (sauerkraut), rinsed well to remove brine
- Salt and pepper
Saute onion in butter until just soft. Add kapusta and brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow time for the filling to cool before assembling pierogi, otherwise they will fall apart when cooked. If making more than one filling, this one can cool while you prepare the others.
- Cheese filling (note: a traditional recipe would call for farmer's cheese, but we find it too dry)
- 1 pound ricotta
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon sugar
To assemble and cook pierogi: Roll out a portion (or half portion, if space is limited) of the dough on a floured surface as thinly as possible -- somewhere between a wonton and a thin pizza. Put about a tablespoon of filling on the dough and use a large plastic cup (a big gulp-type cup works really well) to cut a circle around the filling. Dampen half of the circumference of the circle with a bit of water on your finger and fold into a dumpling. Boil the dumplings a dozen at a time in a big pot of salted water until they float -- no more than 3 minutes. At this point you can freeze them in bags for later use. To prepare for serving, brown the pierogi in a skillet using a bit of butter. If you want to be really traditional you can use bacon grease. Alternately, you can bake them in a casserole, spraying both the casserole and the pierogi with a butter flavored spray, and putting a few pats of butter on top of the dumplings.
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