Every year around Easter, my grandparents make an annual trip down to North Philly. It is there that they visit the Polish market and buy specialty food for themselves and the family. Then, they make their rounds, dropping off large bags of goodies, specially curated for each family.
This is truly one of my mom's favorite times of year. She has prepared for this moment earlier in the week, stocking up on sour cream and sauerkraut Upon arrival of her Polish goodies, she pushes aside the kielbasa and pound cake. At the bottom the bag, she finds one of her greatest loves- genuine Polish pierogies.
Because of this, I always believed that the only pierogi worth eating was a genuine, fresh from the Polish market pierogi. It never occurred to me that they were something that could be made in the comfort of my own home, especially considering that they'd also have to be gluten-free and vegan to fit the bill in my kitchen.
But, a little over two years ago, Allyson posted a recipe for gluten-free vegan pierogies. It was a lifesaver at the time, considering the fact that Dayv had just become gluten-free and vegan, and I was struggling to find food to please his picky tastebuds. Do you want me to try to make you pierogies? I remember asking. The question was met with an enthusiastic YES!
Over two years later, Allyson's pierogi recipe is one I continue to make. It has never failed me and is one of our all-time favorite dinners in this house. Although it's a bit of a project that requires multiple steps, it is actually a very easy recipe. It definitely helps when you have two sets of hands working together, which I love because it's a great excuse to ask Dayv to help me in the kitchen. While I made the dumplings, he boiled them. We easily saved over a half hour of time by working together.
Notes: I'm sure that these pierogies would be delicious with all types of fillings. I chose the traditional route of mashed potatoes and cheese. Potato and sauerkraut is another delicious alternative, which also happens to be my mom's favorite. I make a batch of pierogies at the beginning of the week. I store the boiled dumplings in an airtight container in the refrigerator, taking a few out every night for dinner. It is then that I fry them.
Potato and Cheese Pierogies
makes approximately sixteen
one batch pierogi dough
3 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-3/4" cubes
1/2-1 c shredded vegan mozzarella style cheese(we use Teese)
1 1/2 tbsp Earth Balance plus more for frying
In a medium pot, bring water to boil. Add in potatoes and cook until easily mashed with fork. Remove from heat, strain, and transfer to a medium sized bowl. Add Earth Balance. Using a fork, mash the potatoes until fairly smooth, with still some smaller pieces still intact.
Line a flat surface with parchment paper. Roll out pierogi dough until approximately 1/4" thick. Cut dough using small round bowl that is between 4-5" wide(I used a small pyrex bowl). Place approximately one tablespoon each of mashed potatoes and cheese in the center of each circle. Fold each circle in half, making sure to keep filling in the center. Crimp edges until completely sealed. If desired, use a fork to make cute imprints along the edges.
Bring a medium pot to boil. Place two pierogies in at a time and boil until they begin to float to the top of the pot(about 3-5 minutes). Remove from pot and repeat with remaining pierogies.
To serve: On a large skillet over medium heat, melt a teaspoon of Earth Balance. Place three pierogies(or more depending on the size of your pan) on the skillet and fry for about 5-6 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. Serve with chunky tomato sauce, sauerkraut, vegan sour cream, or whatever strikes your fancy. Enjoy!