Last week during this dismal rain we've been having here lately, I decided to try something new..for me at least. A dear friend brought me some Polish kielbasa after returning back from a family trip to New Jersey. We had eaten these earlier this summer at a cookout at their place, that were grilled. I have to admit, it was the best kielbasa I've ever tasted. To have them bring us some back from their trip was such a nice treat! So to thank our friends, and they being Polish/German descent I decided to try making pierogies. I found an old Gourmet magazine recipe seemed just perfect for my first pierogi making experience. The dough was so easy to work with and as I was waiting for my second filling to cool down I posted this photo of what I was doing on my FB page...and asked my friends 'what am I making'?
Sweet Potato Pierogies
For the dough:
2 cups all purpose flour - plus a bit more for kneading
1/8 cup sour cream
3 TBLS olive oil
1/2 cup water
For the sweet potato filling:
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & diced - I used Beauregards
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 medium onion, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced fine
1/4 tsp ground pepper
a pinch five spice powder
1 tsp milk
1 TBLS melted butter infused with:
a sprig of fresh rosemary
a sprig of fresh sage
First make the dough.
Put flour in a large bowl, making a well in the center. Add water, egg, oil, sour cream and salt to the well and carefully beat with a fork, working from the center, then gradually drawing in the flour mixing until a soft, dense dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for twenty minutes.
Transfer the dough a lightly floured surface and knead dusting with flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes... (the dough will be soft). Cover the dough with an inverted bowl and let rest 30 minutes.
Make your filling now.
Bring the diced sweet potatoes to a gentle boil, cooking until just fork tender. While the potatoes cook, heat olive oil in a medium sized skillet on low heat, adding the sliced onions and garlic, cooking until lightly browned. Add the seasonings and cook another two minutes; then remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Reserve half of the caramelized onions for serving time.
When the sweet potatoes are ready, drain and add them to the skillet of onions. Add a teaspoon of milk, mashing potatoes completely until relatively smooth. Set this mixture aside while you roll out the dough.
Bring a 6 quart pot of salted water to a light boil.
Halve the dough and roll out 1 half, wrapping the remainder in plastic wrap. Roll on a lightly dusted surface to 1/4 inch thick, then cut out your rounds of dough with a 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter or glass of the approximate same size. Make heaping teaspoon size balls of cooled sweet potato mixture and center on the dough rounds. Brush the dough around the centered sweet potato ball with egg wash. Now holding the round in the palm of your hand, fold the round in half, enclosing the filling, crimping the edges with your fingers. You can then fork crimp to ensure an even better seal.
Take your finished pierogies and drop gently 4 or 5 at a time into the pot of boiling water, stirring a couple of times to keep them from settling on the bottom or sticking together. Once the pierogi float to the top of your pot, they are done. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the boiling water, transferring them to a plate to drain.
Now they are ready to eat, or you can go one step more and melt 1 TBLS of butter in a skillet and infuse this butter with a sprig of fresh rosemary and sage for just a minute or so. Then remove the herbs and lightly pan fry the pierogies over medium heat until lightly browned and crisp. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve hot with reserved caramelized onions. Enjoy!