I love pierogis
Having had the wonderful fortune of growing up in a Hungarian tribe, I was exposed to numerous eastern European culinary experiences. Paprikás csirke makes me drool, but pan fried pierogis with sautéed onions generously dolloped with sour cream come in a very close second place in my ‘top 10 comfort food’ list.
Pierogis smothered with paprikás sauce would be heaven on earth. But I digress.
I have heard the usual protestations from people that dislike pierogis because they are a hot mess consisting of “bland, doughy balls of goo”. I betcha someone boiled a frozen perogie and slapped it on a plate. Ewww.
Properly prepared pierogis are delicate pastries filled with a variety of fillings (typically mashed potato and cheese based) and served as a side dish to the main course meal such as turkey, ham, roast beef or all of the above.
I prefer pierogis as the main dish with sausages and vegetables mixed in.
Why can’t I find good pierogis?
I’ve attended family/friend dinners, church suppers, deli counters and the frozen food section of most super markets in North America. Sadly, nothing compares to the home-made pierogis I have been served by Ukrainian/Polish immigrants. My father married a Polish lady who is a master pastry chef and I would beg her to make pierogis; volunteering to do anything from peeling potatoes, shredding cheddar cheese and walking to The German Butcher for fresh sausages … anything I could do to get a feed of pierogis.
I have learned that the best pierogis are prepared fresh and served immediately. Frozen crap just don’t cut it here folks.
Obviously, I suck at making uncooked pierogis. I’ve tried. I can only assist. The finer points of making dough, pasta and pastry elude me to this day. But I totally ROCK at frying them up.
One day, the goddess of wisdom and truth in my life purchased fresh tortellini from the local grocery store as an alternate to spaghetti. Leftovers ensued.
So I says to myself, “Self, I wonder how those little multi-coloured pasta shells filled with 3 different types of cheeses would taste after sautéed in a wok?”
Here’s my recipe for ‘Italian Pierogis’ after four attempts of making the dish. This will serve 4 normal people, or 2 guys wanting a feast. Results were consistent and WAY better than buying a frozen Cheemo ‘perogie’.
- 350g fresh pasta
- Olivieri 3 cheese rainbow tortellini is used in this recipe
- 1 to 1.5 onions
- white onions used here
- 5-10 garlic cloves
- you know how much you need
- A bunch of mushrooms
- I don’t know what to tell you, but I love them so I use a lot … see pictures
- 2-3 large sized sausages
- 3 garlic breakfast bangers are used in this recipe
- a little fatty is good for browning the pasta
- 2-3 tablespoons margarine/butter
- 1-2 tablespoons cooking oil
- Mazola used here
- Olive oils may be tested in future incarnations
- Celery salt, oregano, thyme, fresh chives, etc.
- Spiced as if making a spaghetti sauce
- Sour cream, salt and pepper for table service
- if you know me, there better be at least 500ml (pint) of thick sour cream
- Experiment with a bit of salsa or any other condiment you like
Cut the onions into thick cut half rounds and begin cooking on low heat. Allow 20 to 30 minutes for this phase. While sautéing onions, gently boil the pasta for 4-6 minutes. Do not overcook as you will be pan frying and cooking with all other ingredients later.
Alright, I don’t want to go all Joy of Cooking on you, so just scan the pics and learn the recipe… Bon Apetit!
Boil pasta 4-6 minutes. I add a little bit of oil and salt to the water to facilitate better 'frying' in next phases
Once ingredients have rendered down, add pasta. Cook/steam gently until all ingredients have cooked "together"