How to turn making Pierogi "Ruskie" into kids activity?
For those who are not too familiar with Pierogi, they are Polish dumplings, filled with savory or sweet filling and cooked in boiling water, or pan-frying.
Pierogi are delicious, and they come in so many varieties that it is hard not to like them. The one with meat, and fruits or my favorite "Ruskie" - with farmers cheese and potatoes, are only some of the examples.
The problem that I always had with making pierogi is that they take a long time and you end up doing them alone after. And spending hours making pierogi is not something that I have time to do. So I came up with an idea, where I could make a game of it for my son. We counted them, we played with the dough, learned shapes, learned how to make a ball, and trust me that made all the difference.
So to sum it up making Pirogi is a time consuming activity but if you just make a game out of it and start making them with your kids it will be so much fun that it won’t even feel like work.
This one is a recipe for my favorite Pierogi 'Ruskie". The filling is made of mashed potatoes and farmers cheeses. They are one of the most traditional foods in Poland but for all the good reasons.
Ready in 2h
Dough: 15 min to make (30 min rest)
Filling: Potatoes (cooking time 20 min), mixing 5 min
Pierogi: 1,5 h
for about 50 pierogi - 1 meal for 4 people
1 cup of all purpose flour
1 tsp of salt
1/2 cup of boiling water
1 beaten egg
1 1/2 tbsp of butter
2 lbs of mashed potatoes (peeled and cooked, with 1 tbsp of butter)
1 lbs of fresh farmers cheese (crumbled)
1 big fried onion (chopped and fried on a frying pan for about 10 min.)
1 chopped green onion/ shallots (for garnish)
STEP BY STEP
1. Put the butter in boiling water and melt it, while butter is melting pour the flour into a mixing bowl and add salt. Gradually pour the water with the butter into the flour, stirring everything constantly with a mixing spoon.
2. Add the beaten egg and combine all ingredients, start kneading the dough.
3. Place the dough on a floured table top and knead for about 7 - 8 minutes. Until it has a texture of a soft play-dough. Wrap in foil (or put it in a zip lock bag) and let it rest for approx. 30 minutes.
3. To prepare the filling mix together the mashed potatoes, fried onion, farmers cheese, salt and pepper. Combine them, to the moment you can easily make a ball out of the filling.
4. Divide the dough into 2 parts. Put half of it back in the bag and then roll out the other half very thinly (about 0.1 inch), sprinkling the dough with flour if necessary.
5. Use a glass to cut out circles, stretch them a little between your fingers, then put one heaped teaspoon of stuffing on the center. Fold in half and stick the edges carefully together, put them on the floured board, take a fork and make striped marks around the edges.
6. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil and when it is boiling, put the first batch of dumplings (about 5-8 pieces). After re-boiling, reduce the heat to medium and blanch the dumplings for 30-40 sec.
7. Set them a side on a floured or oiled surface (I use a wooden board)m so they do not touch each other. After they dry for about 2 minutes from the time they float to the surface of the water (until the dough is soft, check with your finger catching one dumpling). The cooking time depends on the thickness of the dough. Fish out onto a plate with a slotted spoon. SMACZENGO!
1. If you leave the dough out of the bag it will dry.
2. While making them never, ever let them touch each other. They will glue on to another and you will not be able to unglue them.
3. Blanch them- in my opinion, never overcooked them. If you decide that you do not like them fried, cook them for 2-3 min- until they swim right up to the top.
4. NEVER, EVER over crowd them pot. If you will put too many they will get stuck with one another and you will end up with a pierogi ball.
5. Let them rest before storing, they should be completely dry and cool down.
In love with Polish vegetarian food, here are some other Polish recipes: