My Awesome Attempt At: Pierogi

The other day I needed to make dinner for Baby but I couldn’t quite figure out what we were going to eat.

I decided I wanted bacon but obviously a responsible mom like me would never consider just frying up bacon and serving it as dinner. And I didn’t want to make eggs since that’s pretty much just breakfast. So while the bacon cooked, I looked through the fridge, hoping to be struck by inspiration.

Not to brag, but I’ve watched my fair share of Iron Chef and Chopped. Plus, I was in culinary school for a couple of months. And I’m on pinterest like every other day (except for Lent, then I’m down to once a week.) So, yeah, I’m kind of awesome at throwing random crap ingredients together and making well-balanced and nourishing edible meals.

Here’s what I found in the fridge:
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It wasn’t exactly inspiring.

I guess I could have made a salad but I hate eating fresh spinach. Not because I’m some weirdo who doesn’t like fresh vegetables. I like the texture of spinach but that shiz is bitter. What I always end up doing is sauteeing it in butter and garlic. It’s SO yummy!

And everyone knows how good spinach is for you. No matter how unhealthy whatever I was about to make was, because I had the genius idea of adding spinach, it was totally gonna be healthy.
I’m a mom now so I totally know what I’m talking about.

I know, you want to know what amazing idea I came up with, right?

I decided on pierogi.

Pierogi are a type of European dumpling. Wikipedia has a ton of interesting info about them and I do have a recipe for them on my pinterest board. Pierogi is actually the plural of pieróg but nobody ever just eats one pieróg. They eat like 4-6 pierogi.

I only just found out about their existence back around Christmas. Baby and I were at a friend’s house and they offered to teach us how to make Pierogi.

Their family is Polish, so their tradition is getting the family together and making a big batch of these suckers, not unlike how my family likes to get together and find a tamale lady to sell us tamales.

Seriously.

Don’t judge us. Have you ever made tamales? They’re such a pain.

The awesome thing about Pierogi is that they’re so simple to make. The dough is just eggs, flour, and water. The filling, I learned, could be just cottage cheese with a spoonful of sugar and a pinch of salt.

And oh. em. gee.

It’s SO good. You wouldn’t think so because the filling is just cottage cheese with a spoonful of sugar and salt but they’re amazing. Baby had just as many as I did. Which was kind of a Christmas miracle because half the time, she won’t sit still long enough to eat. The other half of the time, she refuses to eat…sigh.

Anyway, because I think so highly of myself (and also because I was pretending to be a contestant on Chopped) I decided to try something a little different. I was going to make bacon and spinach pierogi.
That, to me, sounded amazing.

First, I chopped up all the bacon. 20120301-195159.jpg

Then I chopped up an onion and started to brown it in the leftover bacon grease.
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While that was going, I minced some garlic and chopped up the tomatoes and explained to my imaginary audience the importance of a good knife.

Because, apparently, now I was Alton Brown.

I added the tomatoes to the pan but left out the garlic and bacon. Bobby Flay has taught me to fear the possibility of burnt garlic, so I always make it the second to last item whenever I’m cooking.

While I was explaining this to my imaginary audience, I was also making my pierogi dough.
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I probably could have followed a recipe like this one or this one but when it comes to cooking, I am most definitely a pantser.
I don’t need some recipe telling me what to do.
The dough had seemed relatively easy and I figured if I could invent a recipe for Tomato Soup Bread (which I totally did) then I could make my own pierogi dough.

And that’s when I realized my onions and tomatoes were burning.
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Yep. I got mad kitchen skill.
And, yes. I had to throw out my first attempt.

My second attempt, I kept the heat on low and this time,
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since I had all my ingredients ready (like I should have the first time) all I had to do was wait for the right time to add the tomatoes and garlic,
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then the bacon,
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and (because it seemed like a really good idea) a big glob of cream cheese.
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By now, all the imaginary judges in the panel were oohing and ahhing over my creativity and Bobby Flay was getting a little nervous because, oh my gosh! This was gonna be so tasty!

Hands down, best peirogi ever.

And that’s when I added my secret ingredient:
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BAM!

A whole mess of spinach to totally cancel out the fat from the browned onions, bacon, and cream cheese.

And also because spinach cooks down really fast and if I didn’t add like the entire package, you wouldn’t even have known there was any there.
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Okay, yes, it did look a little like puke but whatever. The imaginary judges didn’t take off too many points.
This was a filling. It didn’t need to be pretty.

I added a little extra salt and some black pepper, then turned the stove off so that it would cool off a bit while I rolled out my dough.
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Don’t bother asking how thick I rolled the dough out because I’m not really sure. To be safe, and also because it always seems to be what every recipe for everything says, we’ll pretend I rolled it out to 1/4 of an inch.

I have these awesome circle cutters from school, so I used those and then spooned the filling in the middle.
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That was actually the tricky part.

See, after it’s filled, you’re supposed to fold the circles in half and then smush the sides together with a fork.

Then you boil them in water until they float.
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I know.
The water looks funky.

But that’s because if you fill the peirogi wrong, they don’t stay shut while they’re in the water.

Once they’re done being boiled, you fry them in a pan of butter.
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And voila!
You’re all ready to eat!
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And they were actually really good! Baby seemed to dig them.

Or she may have just been starving. I started the whole process while she was napping (around 5) and didn’t finish until 8:30/9:00.
So maybe I won’t be winning Mom of the Year anytime soon. I at least, did feed her!

To me, the dough seemed a little rubbery and eggy. But that was probably just because I didn’t balance out the flour and egg. Other than that, they were pretty awesome.

Next time, I think I’ll try them with Gorgonzola and sweet onions. Or I might actually follow one of the recipes online.

The cool thing was, the next morning, I still had leftover filling so I mixed it into some scrambled eggs. And that was also amazing.

So really, it was an EPIC win!

In your face, Bobby Flay!

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2 thoughts on “My Awesome Attempt At: Pierogi

  1. jaclyna says:

    Dude that sounds delicious! Back when I knew you in New York, my family was buying us frozen perogis for dinner. Cheese is also really good in them (fyi). I don’t know if I’d want to create and roll out my own dough though…but…I just might try it since no baking is involved. cool post!!!!

    • sabby says:

      Ooh! Yeah! Those sound awesome!!
      When I was googling info about them, the most common filling seemed to be cheese, potato, and bacon. I definitely do want to try making more.
      And they are relatively easy, it’s just that if you want 5 of them, you have to roll out the dough and fill 5 things, then boil and fry them. It’s kind of a lot of work. But it’s kind of not. I guess it depends on how lazy you are and the majority of the time, I am hella lazy.

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