Andrea Knows Noodles

“Luck is like having a rice dumpling fly into your mouth.”
~ Japanese proverb

So. The eldest is in town for spring break and loves any sort of dumpling, so tonight I made cheese pierogi. This requires making the noodle dough, which after resting gets a few pressings through successively thinner bands in the pasta roller (the hand-cranked machine is not necessary, but it does make the job a little quicker). Of course, once an eighth of dough has been properly flattened, it has to go someplace safe and the countertop is full of other stuff, so I hang the two-foot long sheets over the backs of the dining chairs.

The sheets of pasta are then cut into circles (my official dough cutter is an old tin can with both ends cut off), filled with a bit of cheese mixture, folded and sealed shut, and then boiled for a few minutes before being served all slippery in butter. Somehow there are never any the next evening for dinner, because a pieróg (or two) sounds like the perfect midnight snack. Or breakfast. Or second breakfastes. Or brunch. Or lunch. Or a tea-time nosh.

After we stuffed ourselves with pierogi, to the point that we know to quit because our tummies are saying, “Enough already!”, contented sighing ensued, and after a while I got up to put away the leftovers.

And then I discovered a forgotten sheet of pasta draped over the back of my chair. Having leaned back against my chair, the dough was now stuck to the slats. “Why didn’t someone tell me there was still noodle on the chair?!” I asked incredulously. (What a waste of perfectly lovely noodles.)

Hubby indicated that he’d seen the dough there, but didn’t think I would actually sit on it. As if!

“There’s some stuck to your jeans, too …” added the eldest. I twisted around to look at my tuchis, and peeled more pasta off the waistband. ::sigh:: If you’re one of those people who has trouble with figures of speech, I will explain that is not really what they mean by food that “goes straight to your hips”. Cheese pierogi are fattening, but they are also dense, so there’s a limit to how many you can eat in a sitting.

Make these for your family. Heck, share the fun and make these with your family by having them help roll out and fill the dough circles — just keep an eye out for stray dough pieces. Like so many things, they take longer to make than to eat, but they’re not really very difficult. The sour cream dough is not only delicious, it’s also more tender than traditional egg noodles. Pierogi are Polish dumplings; I’m not Polish, but like our eldest, I never met a dumpling I didn’t like.

PIEROGI WITH CHEESE FILLING

(“Pierogi” is plural; one dumpling is a Pieróg)

DOUGH
5 cups flour
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups sour cream
1 teaspoon salt

FILLING
1 pound Farmer’s cheese, grated
1 egg
2 tablespoons minced parsley (optional)
black pepper, to taste
melted butter

Mix together the flour, eggs, sour cream and salt to make a dough. Remove to a well-floured board and knead until the dough is smooth. Cover and let rest in the fridge for half an hour until rolling out.

Tumble together the cheese and other ingredients. Cut dough into eighths for more workable quantities. Roll out an eighth as thin as possible, cut out a circle, put 1-2 tablespoons of cheese filling to the side of the center, fold over and crimp shut.

Cut any leftover bits of dough into long noodles and add them into the pot to cook. Gently drop pierogi into a large pot of boiling water, and let cook until they have been floating at the surface for a couple minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and lay in a heated platter, drizzling with melted butter; you can garnish with some more fresh parsley.

3 Comments

  1. qw88nb88 said,

    20 March 2008 at 21:07

    Shiva,

    Sorry I forgot to put in the equivalencies! American recipes use volumetric measure, rather than weight measures. For flour, 1 cup is roughly equivalent to 110 grams. Two cups of sour cream is one pint, or 450 grams (per the carton label).

    Farmer’s cheese is a name used to refer to two different kinds of cheeses, one of which is a drier, firmer form of ricotta. The sort I use is a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese with a short aging period (about a month), similar to Monterey Jack or Queso Blanco. Just use any mild semi-hard cheese you like.

    andrea

  2. shiva said,

    20 March 2008 at 18:26

    What size cups?

    And what type of cheese is Farmer’s cheese?

  3. 20 March 2008 at 15:21

    Polish and, from what I’ve heard, Eastern European in general. My friend is Slovak and cooks them all the time, although she usually buys them pre-made first.


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