Perogies are part of a worldwide family of filled pastas and dumplings, with close relatives in many culinary traditions worldwide. They're made by wrapping a small amount of flavorful food in dough, which is inexpensive and filling. The wrappers can be thick or thin, the fillings made from meat, potatoes, cheese or seafood, and the dumplings can be boiled, steamed or fried, but the resemblance is always visible. Perogies are an Eastern European variation on the theme. In America they're usually filled with potatoes or cottage cheese, but cabbage, sauerkraut, sausage and even fruit are all traditional options.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil on your stove top, with 1 tbsp. salt for each gallon of water.
Dust any excess flour from the perogies and drop them into the water in small batches. The water should remain at a full boil the whole time.
Boil each batch of perogies for approximately five minutes, depending on the thickness of the wrappers. They usually aren't quite done when they float, but need another minute or two for the wrappers to soften. Test by scooping up one perogie and pinching the edge -- where the dough is thick -- to see if it's cooked all the way through.
Remove each batch to a skillet, if you like yours browned, and fry them in a small amount of butter while the next batch is boiling. If you don't brown your perogies, toss them with a small amount of butter to prevent sticking and keep them warm in a serving bowl.
Serve your perogies hot. Traditional accompaniments include sour cream, fried onions and fried or grilled kielbasa.
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- "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen"; Harold McGee; 2004
- "Please to the Table: The Russian Cookbook"; Anya von Bremzen; 1990
- Fine Cooking; Pierogi -- Polish Potato Dumplings; October 2009
- Food Network; Potato and Mushroom Perogies; Tyler Florence
- Canadian Living; Plump Perogies Cooking Lesson; January 1990
Fred Decker is a trained chef and prolific freelance writer. In previous careers, he sold insurance and mutual funds, and was a longtime retailer. He was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. His articles have appeared on numerous home and garden sites including GoneOutdoors, TheNest and eHow.