Perogies, also called pierogis, are stuffed Polish noodles. These flat, round noodles are filled with finely chopped ingredients, folded over and boiled until hot. More dumpling than pasta, you can stuff perogies with a variety of ingredients, in various flavors, from sweet to spicy. Serve the half-moon shaped noodles as appetizers, a main dish, a side dish or a dessert, depending on the filling.
Mix flour, egg, oil and water to create a basic dough for perogi noodles. Roll out the raw dough and cut small circles from it; stuff each dough circle with filling and fold it over. To cook them properly, you must boil the perogies until they float. After they're boiled, you can serve your perogies plain or saute or fry them. Since perogies are boiled to cook the noodle, not the filling, some filling ingredients, such as meat, must be precooked. The perogies don’t boil long enough to properly cook the filling without falling apart.
Classic fillings for perogies typically include cabbage and/or potatoes. Stuff the noodles with mashed potatoes and cheese for a lightly flavored side dish with a smooth texture. Fill each noodle dumpling with sauerkraut, onions and mashed potatoes to make a main dish with a traditional taste. Pack the pierogies with minced pork and cabbage for a filling main dish.
Berries are a typical sweet filling for perogies. Simmer any type of small berries in some sugar, water and cornstarch to create a sweet filling with its own sauce; let the filling cool and stuff it into the noodle. Use the same technique with strawberries, but first chop the berries into small bits. Pack minced prunes and honey into each noodle for a sweet dessert with an old-fashioned flavor. Stuff grated apples, honey, cinnamon and nutmeg into each noodle for perogies that taste like mini-apple pies.
Savory fillings for perogies include mixtures of heavy ingredients, such as meats combined with cheeses. Fill the perogies with ground beef, mozzarella cheese and some tomato sauce to create savory appetizers with an Italian twist. Stuff each noodle with minced sausage, ground beef, crumbled bacon and shredded cheddar for a meaty main dish with a robust flavor. Alternatively, pack the noodles with minced chicken, Swiss cheese and lemongrass to make a main dish with a sophisticated flavor.
Spicy fillings help balance out the mellow flavor of perogi noodles. Pack each noodle with minced bell peppers, jalapeno peppers and cheddar cheese for a spicy dumpling with a Southwest taste. Stuff the perogies with shredded cheddar, pepper jack and Monterey cheese to make gooey appetizers with some bite. Fill each perogi with crumbled pepper bacon, minced green onions and sour cream for a tangy side dish with a hint of spice.
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