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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yep. I got mad kitchen skill.
And, yes. I had to throw out my first attempt.
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.
A whole mess of spinach to totally cancel out the fat from the browned onions, bacon, and cream cheese.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!