Saturday, 14 August 2010


I'm making pierogi!!! I love them, as I love any type of dumpling! It's just that I never thought I would be making them. From scratch. Buying them ready to eat has been what I've been used to. But why not try my hand at making them myself? The first step to making pierogi is to find that place in one's house called "kitchen ..." 

I chose a pierogi dough from Martha Stewart. This dough is a thing of beauty: delicious and easy to handle. Thank you, Martha. Here's how to make it:

Pierogi Dough Ingredients:

1 large egg, lightly whisked
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup whole milk
1 cup water
4 and 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour, some of it to be used for bench surface and for dusting 


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg. Add the sour cream, and whisk until smooth. Add the milk and 1 cup water, and whisk until combined.
  2. Slowly add about 3 cups flour, and stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
  3. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and work in about 1 cup flour as you knead. Use a plastic scraper to lift the dough as it will stick to the counter before any flour is worked in. Continue kneading for 8 to 10 minutes, working in another 1/2 cup flour. The dough should be elastic in texture and no longer sticky. Be careful not to add too much flour, as this will toughen the dough.
  4. Place dough in a lightly floured bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest while preparing a filling.
Roll out the Dough:

On a floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/8-inch thick. Make sure you are just rolling the dough and not rolling and pressing.

Using a glass or a cookie cutter measuring 2 1/2 inches in diameter, cut out as many circles as possible. Cut the circles close together, trying to save as much space as possible. Gather the dough scraps together, roll them out again, and continue cutting.

Fill the Pierogi:

  1. Lay a dry, clean towel on your work surface; set aside.
  2. Place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling in the centre of each dough circle.
  3. Holding a circle in your hand, fold dough over the filling, and pinch the edges, forming a well-sealed crescent; transfer to the towel. Continue this process until all dough circles are filled.

Cook the Pierogi:

  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to the boil. Drop the pierogi in the boiling water in batches. They will sink to the bottom of the pot and then rise to the top. Once they rise, let them cook for about a minute more.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cook one stick of butter over medium-high heat until nut-brown in colour, about 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and drizzle the butter onto a serving platter, leaving any burned sediment behind. Remove the pierogi from the pot, and transfer to the buttered platter. By placing the pierogi on a pre-buttered platter you will prevent them from sticking. Serve immediately. You may drizzle some more butter on top.
  3. Note: Some pierogi are fried, some are sauteed in butter, some get butter drizzled over them. I don't really like fried foods, nor do I like to smother foods in butter. Drizzling a bit of butter on top is okay, but I served some pierogi coated with olive oil and they were excellent!

I chose to make three types of filling: 

  • 3 large potatoes, cooked and mashed
  • 3/4 cup cheese, a mixture of cream cheese and cheddar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients until well incorporated. Stuff the pierogi when the filling has cooled. 


  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 shallot, chopped and sautéed in one tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Cook the cabbage and carrot in boiling water until nice and soft. Drain very well and reserve. Sauté the shallot, garlic, ginger and mushrooms in the vegetable oil until they are soft. Add the cabbage mixture and season with salt and pepper. Let cool before filling the pierogi.

Pierogi with Feta cheese and Spinach Filling:

Being of Greek heritage, I love the combination of feta cheese and spinach.  This recipe combines feta, spinach and pierogi dough to make a hybrid Greek-Polish dumpling. One of the best things about it is that it contains no butter! The pierogi are topped with just a bit of olive oil and Parmesan cheese before they are served. Here is the recipe for this filling:

  • 1 box of chopped frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mint, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dill, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • some olive oil and Parmesan cheese for topping
  • salt and pepper to taste
Thaw and chop the spinach into small pieces. Even though it's all ready chopped you will need to chop it into smaller pieces. Cook it in a bit of boiling salted water until it is soft. Drain it very well. In a medium skillet heat the vegetable oil and add the shallots. Sauté until the shallots are soft. Add the parsley, spinach and mint, and mix well. Cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cheeses and egg. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Let cool before using as stuffing. When the pierogi is cooked, serve it topped with some olive oil and Parmesan cheese.