I have a thing for dumplings. No matter how long I reflect upon a restaurant menu, I end up ordering wonton, gyoza, samosa, empanada, ravioli, pierogi (of course) or any other kind. I am always curious about the ingredients used in the filling, cooking techniques—was it steamed, boiled, fried or baked?—the sauce that sometimes accompanies my order and the look of pleats that seal their edges. Yes, I like to analyze them perhaps even more than I want to admit.
EASY POTATO AND CHEESE PIEROGI (RUSKIE PIEROGI)
by Marta Madigan
makes 30 pierogi
½ package Nasoya round wraps (30 wonton wrappers)
3 tablespoons all-purpuse flour for dusting the work surface
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water for the egg wash
2 teaspoon butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced (half reserved for topping)
3 medium potatoes, peeled
¾ cup farmer's cheese (or bryndza, or cream cheese)
salt and ground black pepper to taste
Cook potatoes in salted water till tender for about ½ hour. While taters are simmering, melt 1 teaspoon butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the chopped onions, cook till golden brown stirring from time to time. Set aside. Drain and mash potatoes until smooth. Stir in farmer's cheese and onions. Season with freshly ground black pepper and salt (bryndza—a sheep milk cheese—is a bit saltier than farmer's or cream cheese).
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While water is getting hot, place wonton wrappers on a lightly floured work surface. Brush the edges with the egg wash. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper. Fold and seal pierogi by making several pleats. Put pierogi into the boiling water, 10 at the time. Once they float, cook them for another 3 minutes. Drain.
Serve with caramelized onions (use the remaining butter and diced onion) and sour cream. Smacznego—is Polish for bon appétit!