Does your family have that traditional dish that you just have to serve for every special occasion? Mine does. It’s the best comfort food in the world. So many people have fallen in love with these dumplings that the stores sell a huge variety nowadays. But we make them from scratch. And trust me – if you’ve ever tasted the homemade ones done the way my Polish grandma and my Dad taught me, you’d see the difference immediately. They’re not doughy and heavy... just the opposite.
If you want to see for yourself, I’m sharing my instructions. Since there’s never been a recipe for these in our family, I hope you’ll forgive the way I’ve written it. Just pretend I’m with you in the room and telling these directions to you in person :-)
Try them and see if you can have this special dish on your table over the holidays. I’d love to know how they turn out… so please come back and share the results.
Mimi’s Homemade Perogies
Boil 4 med potatoes with salt. When they’re ready, drain the water and let them sit for a minute to release the steam. (Important or you’ll have a mushy mess.)
Shred (old style) gold cheddar cheese and have it ready to add to the potatoes - while the potatoes are still hot, mash in the cheese with a bit of butter and salt and pepper. Use lots of cheese and do the old taste test. If it’s flavourful - it’s ready.
Let the cheese mixture cool! (I put mine in the fridge) If you don’t, you’ll be sorry when you go to fill the perogies. (Trust me they’ll stick)
In a medium size bowl and put a couple of heaping cups of flour. Add salt.
Run the hot water and have a quart of milk nearby.
Run some water over the flour and then add again as much milk. Stir - just a little - to see how the consistency is. Preferably, the dough should be sticky. Keep adding more liquids (as much milk as water) so that when you stir the mixture, it’s quite wet. (this is the secret to a good dough…you should have it sticky when you put it on a floured counter and little by little you’ll add more flour until it feels like you know the dough should feel.
Secret to good dough!! YOU CAN NEVER USE TOO MUCH FLOUR!!!
Cut the dough into quarters and roll each part out separately. Use lots of flour. I will emphasize…USE LOTS OF FLOUR and your dough will roll out really thin, (you want nice thin dough so don’t be afraid to roll it as much as necessary. I use an empty tin can (small size) to cut out rounds and I fill them quite full. Fold one side to the other and pinch, making sure they’re sealed. Then place the perogies on a floured cookie sheet and sprinkling lots of flour, make layers using wax paper.
Freeze now, or boil.
When they’re fresh, they only take a minute to get to the top of a pot of boiling, salted water. Only cook them another minute. 2 minutes total. Do not overcook! (When they’re frozen, they do take a bit longer.)
Strain and put them in a buttered bowl.
In a small dish, microwave butter until it melts. Roll out salted soda crackers and add the crumbs to the butter and stir. Use this to coat the boiled perogies. (If there happens to be any leftovers, they fry up beautifully the next day.)
Then… with a glass of DIET coke, enjoy the treat!
Fillings I’ve made:
Sauerkraut drained well with a few spoonfuls of mashed potato to give it the consistency you need. I always serve these perogies with bacon (cut into smaller pieces) & onions fried with the butter.
Cottage cheese and again some mashed potatoes for consistency. Make sure it’s a dried cheese or drain really well. Add lots of salt and pepper and if you like, you can add some fried onions cut small. My trick is to make the salted soda cracker and butter crumbs and add in some to this mixture as well as on the top of the boiled perogies.
Blueberries – wash and dry well and sprinkle with flour and sugar. Fill the perogies and fold over like as usual but then take two corners and pinch together to make them stronger. Top with melted butter once they’re boiled. Then sprinkled with sugar when they’re ready to eat.
Blue plums. I cut these into halves or if they’re larger ones, into quarters. I sprinkle with flour and sugar, form them as usual and then squeeze the two corners together for strength. Boil and then top with melted butter. When served, keep the sugar bowl handy. Some people make a type of sweetened cream sauce for the fruit perogies… we never have.
Another treat I have for you is a FREE copy of my wonderful Christmas novella called Snow Pup. This story is Book #2 in the Holiday Heartwarmer Series and a delightful read to put you in the mood for the season.
( Holiday Heartwarmers (4 Book Series)