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Pierogi or Pedaheh, Call It What You Want But Don't Call Me Late For Supper

So, After searching for my recipe for pierogies in vain, I realized that I had posted it on my other blog, NoReEats and it was originally posted on Feb 14, 2011. NoReEats was a year long challenge with two friends where we all commited to never repeating a recipe for dinner for an entire year. Each of us had to share a dinner twice a week (sharing the 7th day on a rotation) and, let me tell you, it was the WORST year of my life. Even the most creative cook with the most receptive family falls back on family favourites and when you take those away, pandemonium ensues.

Normally, I repost just the recipe when I do this and skip whatever I wrote to precede it but this one was funny and I felt like it deserved a full repost. It has it all:
marital discord over food
pine mouth
a great recipe

So, in the spirit of #TBT or #ThrowBackThursday I give you

How a Pierogi Saved My Marriage

Feb 10  Garlic Roasted Cauliflower Pasta
Feb 11  Sopa de Lima
Feb 12  ordered in Greek
Feb 13  Home made potato/cheese pierogies and alaskan king crab - yes I know they don't really go
             together but that is what we had lol

I could also call this post "How a Pierogi Saved My Marriage"

This blog is all about honesty so let's get real , yo.
I don't want anyone to think that this challenge is just a big cake walk where everyone loves every dish and where people aren't going to get grumpy about not being able to have their comfort foods over and over prepared exactly the way they like them.

loved the garlic roasted cauliflower pasta and would make it again in a heartbeat. What's not to love? We all love pasta, we all love roasted garlic and roasted cauliflower, we all love lemon and we all love pine nuts and olive oil. Put that all together in a big bowl and it's going to make us all jump for joy right?


The menfolk did not care for it all. I forced Little Shack to finish most of his because there was no reason not to. He couldn't have hated it, it's not like I snuck some sea urchin in there and it was making him gag, he just didn't love it. I am trying to teach him that you don't have to love something to eat it and to not be wasteful. You can eat it and then say "That wasn't my favourite thing" and I will take that under advisement.

Unfortunately, his father took a couple of bites and pushed it aside and refused to eat it and I blew my stack. Then he blew his stack. All over a bowl of spaghetti.

 Oh, and by some cruel twist of fate, I woke up with a terrible, metallic taste at the back of my throat yesterday which becomes almost unbearable every time I eat or drink anything, even water. After a bit of googling, it would appear that I am suffering from "pine mouth" which is a not uncommon phenomenon that is a result of eating a specific type of cheap chinese pine nut. The worst day is the second day after eating the pine nuts and it can last up to two weeks before it resolves itself!! Now, everything I eat or drink tastes like rusty tin!

Lesson learned. I need to not be emotionally attached to the new foods that i prepare and they need to learn to be a little more polite to the chief cook and bottle washer after she has spent the entire day trying to find a delicious recipe that seems to fit all of their taste parameters.

So, the domestic dealt with, I scored with Shack with the Sopa de Lima on Friday but that was a no brainer because I know it's already one of his favourite soups. Because I was still fragilay from the Great Cauliflower Pasta Incident, or the GPI as I will now refer to it, I didn't make anything to go with it. I am vindictive like that. Call it a mini strike if you must.

Saturday we were supposed to make risotto and eat the giant king crab legs that Shack bought for Little Shack but we were all tired and watching a movie so we ordered in chicken souvlaki instead.

Sunday was pierogi day (Shack pronounces it Pid A Ha because he is 1/4 Ukrainian and had a Ukrainian grandmother). I am co owner of a message board for wayward mothers called Sybermoms and we had decided, on masse, that we would all make pierogies this weekend. Our resident culinary school graduate and Russian superstar, Ana, posted a fabulous sounding recipe for us to try.

Shack immediately shot it down because there was no potato in the dough, there was sour cream in the dough, that is NOT a proper Pid A Ha and so a day long internet search ensued until I found a recipe for dough that he would approve of here. With the GPI still so fresh, I decided that now is not the time to force the issue and try something new with his beloved Pid A Ha.

With my terrible case of "pine mouth" I can't taste anything, which is not a good affliction to have on a day where you are making something for the first time. Throw in the fact that this Pid A Ha is basically a sacrificial offering on the altar of my happy home to make ammends for the GPI, it's essential that I get it right. Thankfully, Little Shack stepped in to fill the role of the King's taster and since he didn't keel over and die after trying them, I figured we were good to go.

Pedaheh  for Shack

made about 3 1/2 dozen

Potato Dough (3)

1 cup cold mashed potatoes
2 teaspoons melted butter
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour

Combine the potatoes with the butter, eggs, and salt. Add the flour and enough water to moisten the mixture sufficiently and make a soft dough. Knead lightly, cover, and let it stand for 10 minutes. Cut the dough into 2 parts for easier handling.

1/2 onion, sauteed in the butter
2 tbls butter
1 cup cold mashed potatoes
2 cups farmer cheese or dry curd cottage
2 to 3 egg yolks
salt and pepper to taste
more butter, bacon, sour cream to serve but that is also a personal preference. For god's sake, Shack's father ate his Ukrainian mother's Pid A Ha with ketchup, so I am not going to judge.
* this made almost 2X the amount I needed for one batch of dough. Either be prepared to make a double batch of dough or cut the filling recipe in half.

Peel and cut up enough potatoes to give you at least 2 cups of mashed potatoes. I added about a cup of chicken stock to my boiling water to see if it would give a little more flavour to the mashed potatoes. This really is a potato in a potato in a potato dish and I think it couldn't hurt.
Cook until soft, mash and set aside to cool. I am going to buy myself a ricer because I would have liked the filling to be just a bit less chunky next time.

Mix all of the dough ingredients together, either by hand or in your stand mixer. Add just enough water, a little bit at a time,  to make a nice, soft dough that is not too sticky. Turn it out on a floured counter and knead it for a few minutes, wrap in in plastic wrap or cover with a damp cloth and set aside to rest while you do the filling.
I mixed the dough in my kitchen aid because I can. I am pretty sure it's not at all necessary though.

Mix the ingredients for the filling in a big bowl (make sure that you let the onions cool down before adding them in so you don't make some scrambled egg in there). I was not terribly  precise but followed the recipe without any changes or additions.

We were going to use the pasta rollers with my kitchenaid to roll the dough out until setting #5 and treated just like we would pasta dough. Decide how big you want your pierogi to be and find a glass or a round cookie cutter to use to cut circles out of the dough. 
If you are not using a pasta roller:

On a floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Using a glass or cookie cutter measuring 2 1/2 inches in diameter, cut out as many circles as possible. Gather dough scraps together, rolling them out again, and continue cutting.

I ended up hand rolling the dough because it was a bit too sticky to go through the rollers this time.

Put about a tbls of filling on each dough circle, depending on the diameter of your circles, of course. If the dough is too dry to get a good seal, with a wet finger, wet the outside of the circle and then fold in half and pinch shut. You can use a fork like you would for ravioli to make sure you get a good seal if you like.

I am not going to go into huge detail because I am no expert and I just rely on photo tutorials like this one and so should you.

I boiled them, 12 at a time, in a large pot of simmering, salted water for about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and put them on a try in a single layer.

You can serve them just like that but we like them fried lightly in some butter. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and crumble some crispy bacon. They are also great with some caramelized or fried onion.

Shack declared them amazing and said that they tasted very much like his grandmother's so I am pretty happy. Even though all I can taste is rusty tin can, the very first bite, when I am tasting with the front of my mouth, before it hits the metallic pine throat at the back, did taste pretty damned fine.

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