Pierogi is a traditional Polish food that has many variations. Basically, it's something like a dumpling with a filling. The filling can be almost anything you choose. Here's one pierogi recipe from a chef in Pittsburgh. As he points out, Pittsburgh is pretty much the U.S. epicenter for pierogi—apparently, they eat 11 times the national average!
The Pittsburgh recipe is relatively restrained, with a suggested filling of potatoes and cheese. But that barely scratches the (delicious) surface of pierogi, which can be filled with anything that strikes your fancy. Although many pierogies are on the savory side, some are delicious desserts, with the dumplings filled with fresh or preserved fruits. On variation is a pierogi filled with both savories and sweets—bacon and strawberry preserves, for example.
Like many recipes with folk origins, pierogi dough can also be made in a variety of ways. Some use eggs —like the one below—and others don't. Some, like this recipe, use sour cream as one of its ingredients. You can also substitute yogurt for the sour cream and save a few calories. Another interesting possibility is the use of non-fat sour cream available at many large food markets, such as Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus flour to dust the work surface
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 egg
- 1 cup water
- Combine flour, salt sour cream, egg and water in a large bowl. Mix until the dough comes together. If the dough is dry, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time, until it's moist and springy. If the dough is sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it's smooth.
- On a floured work surface, knead dough for 3 or 4 minutes until elastic. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.