Sunday, August 14, 2011

Slovak Perogi's (Grandma's Recipe)

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While I was in Ohio, my aunt said we could make a small batch of perogi's.  YAY!!!!!!  This is another traditional Christmas Eve dish that we've made for years and years in our family.  We make a few different variations.  There are the potato ones, cheese, and sometimes we do sauerkraut filled perogi's.  (though, those aren't as popular as the other two)  
My aunt and I decided to make cheese perogi's because neither one of us wanted to take the time to bake the potatoes and mash them up.  (though, the potato ones are my fave)
The key to this dish is the dough.  For years my family made it a certain way, and had a hell of a time getting the dough to turn out properly.  Then, a family friend suggested the addition of the sour cream.  (picture angels singing)  The dough was perfect!  
The next important part of this dish is the browned butter.  Make sure you don't burn the butter...if it gets too dark, just dump and start over.  :)  
Happy cooking!  (and enjoy my families fave recipes!)

melt in your mouth deliciousness... 
Slovak Perogies
Cheese Filling:
Dried curd cottage cheese (if you can't find this, use Large Curd cottage cheese and drain it)
1 egg
2 Tbs sugar
1 tsp salt

1 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 eggs

To make the filling:
Combine the cheese, egg, sugar and salt in a bowl and stir to combine.  Set aside.

To make the dough:
Get a large cutting board.  Pile the flour on top and then create a little "hole" in the middle.  Carefully crack the eggs into the hole.  Then, using your hands, gently mix the eggs into the flour.  
Once the eggs are mixed in, add the sour cream.  Mix with your hands to create a nice pliable dough.  If it's too sticky, you can add a little more flour.  

Remove the dough from the board.  Spread some flour over the cutting board and then roll out the dough.  You don't want it too thin...and make sure it's even all the way around.  
Score the dough into squares.  Place about 1Tbs to 2Tbs of the cheese filling in the middle of each square.  (not too much or the perogi will burst while cooking.)
*as you make the perogi's, get a large pot of water boiling*

Remove any excess dough, re-form and then roll out again.  Repeat procedure until all your filling is gone.  You may have some leftover dough.

Next, fold over the dough to create a triangle.  Now here's the REALLY important part.  You have to make sure that you pinch all the way around and seal the dough.  Any open areas and the filling will leak out.  If the dough is a little dry, try wetting your fingers with a little water to make sure it sticks.

Once you've made all your perogi's, gently add them to the boiling water.  Now, here's where the family instructions come in:  you'll know they are done when the perogi's are floating in the water.  Yep, that's as good as an answer as I could get.  No specific time.  So, use your best judgement here.

When they are floating and ready, use a slotted spoon and gently remove them one at a time to a waiting colander.  (do not rinse)  Now, you may lose some while cooking.  We lovingly call these broken ones "cripples."  (my cousin coined the term and it stuck)  Cripples are free to eat at any time.  :)  No need to wait till dinner.  

Get a large skillet ready and melt a whole stick of butter.  (yes, the whole stick)  Over medium heat.  You need to keep an eye on the butter.  You want a beautiful brown color.  You can test to see if the butter is ready by taking a bit of cooked perogi (like the ones that broke) and placing it in the skillet.  If the butter coats the perogi and sticks, it's ready.  
Next, add two or three perogi's at a time.  Turn to coat with the butter.  (you are not sauteing here...just coating).  Remove and set in a waiting casserole dish.  Repeat with all remaining perogi's.  

Now...dig in!!!  These wonderful perogi's are an all time family fave. 


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