Sometimes I cook when I get stressed. Keeping track of ingredients, keeping my hands busy with making something delicious helps keep me calm.
The other night, I was feeling stressed, and knew I wanted to make something delicious and handmade. After squeezing all the liquid out of those zucchinis previously, I had been thinking about my Aunt Kathy's cabbage pierogies.
Not wanting to go quite as far as to steam and squeeze multiple heads of cabbage, I instead opted for the comfort food of cheese, potato and onion filled pierogies.
Aunt Kathy uses a Martha Stewart pierogie dough recipe, which I like. My filling consisted of salted boiled potatoes, some lactose free coffee creamer, crumbled queso fresco (it's what we had in the house -- but any salty cheese will do), and onions that I had carmelized into a sweet paste-like consistency.
About half the little dumplings got fried in the handy cast iron, while the other half were boiled in salted water. I like mine served with sour cream and any leftover carmelized onions (there weren't any this time). We also had leftover of the curried yogurt sauce from the zucchini fritters, so I dipped in that as well.
They're not quite the crunchy flaky consistency of the pierogies at Veselka but they have a nice, doughy, homey flavor to them. Sweet and savory, hot and filling -- the perfect comfort food.
Aunt Kathy's Pierogies:
(adapted from Martha Stewart)
1 beaten egg
2 TBS sour cream
1 cup water
1 cup milk
5 cups all purpose flour
Whisk the sour cream into the egg, then slowly add the milk, then the water. Stir in most of the flour, then use the rest to knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes.
Invert a bowl over the dough and let it rest for about an hour.
Cut off a softball sized chunk of dough, cover the rest with a damp towel. Roll the dough into an inch-wide rope and divide into walnut sized balls. Roll each one out until it's 4-5 inches in diameter and thin.
Use a small cookie scoop to fill in the center, shaping the filling slightly with your fingers. Fold the dough over and pinch on all sides.
Boil or fry (or in some cases, boil all of them, then fry -- depends on what you're in the mood for).
You made need to salt before serving.
Mashed potatoes + carmelized onions (I follow Serious Eats' guide to carmelizing onions) + a salty cheese
Steamed, squeezed cabbage + cream cheese + shredded cheese