Lazy Man's Cheese and Potato Pierogi Recipe

Here's a recipe for pierogi from Michael J. Baruch book, The New Polish Cuisine. According to the author this dish is good especially for those who like pierogi but have limited time or just can't stand working pierogi dough. This recipe combines cheese, potatoes and savory seasonings to produce an easy but tasty alternative to the more labor-intensive pierogi.

Lazy Man's Cheese and Potato Pierogi

  • 1 cup cottage or ricotta cheese (see note)
  • 1 cup dry mashed potatoes, chilled (see note)
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 to 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

The night before making pierogi, place cheese of choice into medium, fine-mesh strainer set over empty bowl and refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, to drain off excess liquid.

The next day, place mashed potatoes in large mixing bowl. Using heavy wooden spoon, thoroughly incorporate sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and nutmeg until mixture is smooth. Add drained cheese to bowl and thoroughly combine until well mixed.

Place medium, fine-mesh strainer over potato bowl. Working with 1/4-cup measuring scoop, add exactly 3/4 cup flour to strainer, then sift onto cheese-potato dough. Using heavy spoon, thoroughly incorporate flour into mixture until smooth. At this point, dough should be smooth and soft. If it still feels sticky, add 1 to 4 more tablespoons flour to dough, as needed. Remove dough from bowl and place on lightly floured work surface.

Boil 2 quarts lightly salted water. Add olive oil, then reduce heat to slow simmer.

Using your hands, lightly flatten dough to 6-by-6-inch square. Using sharp knife, make 5 vertical cuts through dough, equally spaced. Repeat process and make 5 horizontal cuts through dough, equally spaced. You should have 36 one-inch squares.

Using lightly floured hands, pick up piece of cut dough and very carefully with your thumb and forefinger, indent center of dough on both sides. Working in batches of 6, place dough pieces directly into simmering water. Let dumplings cook just until they float to surface, then remove with slotted kitchen spoon to platter. Repeat with remaining dough.

Heat melted butter in large non-stick skillet over medium heat and add pierogi, one by one, shaking skillet often. Saute for about 2 minutes on one side until lightly browned, then using kitchen tong, flip pierogi over and brown on other side another 2 minutes until lightly browned. Place cover over skillet exactly 1 minute, then remove. season tops with freshly ground black pepper and serve. Makes 36 pieces.

Notes: Make sure cheese is thoroughly drained of any excess moisture.

Dry mashed potatoes are peeled potatoes cooked in lightly salted butter until tender, then strained and mashed with no additional liquid.

Good luck!

This recipe and the photograph were provided by Michael Baruch (e-mail M.Baruch), Gregory Bertolini (Photographer)
This wonderful cookbook with recipes is available in Barnes and Noble:
The New Polish Cuisine

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