This month at Allergic to Salad, we’re focusing on regional culture and cooking. Even though almost nine million people call New York City home, all of us have a unique family heritage that links us to every corner of the globe. Diversity is what makes our city great, and the holiday season is the perfect time to honor it.

In celebration of our monthly theme, Educator Gabi will be sharing her family’s recipe for pierogies! The daughter of Polish immigrants, Gabi loves making these potato and cheese dumplings during the colder months.

Here’s what Gabi has to say about her family’s culinary traditions:

“Cooking and sharing family meals are at the center of Polish tradition. Every meal growing up, was a sit down, made from scratch affair. I remember from a young age helping my mom make schniztle, my fingers coated in egg, flour and breadcrumbs. Or we would make aromatic soups, ranging from tomato to beet to cucumber-dill, that typically mark the start of a Polish supper. But one of the most wonderful aspects of Polish cuisine, is that there is so much meaning and tradition linked to its food. For Christmas, for example, we make 12 savory dishes and 12 desserts and if you don’t try each of them, then it’s said you will have bad luck for the new year! For Easter, we share good wishes with our loved ones by splitting a hard-boiled egg with one another. And of course, who could forget…Polish people really do adore pierogies! Berry-filled pierogies mark the beginning of summer while hearty meat or potato-cheese filled pierogies warm our bellies in the winter. I find great comfort when I cook a Polish meal or find a Polish restaurant in the city – it’s a link to my family, my home land, and a tradition that in an ever-changing world somehow manages to stay a constant comfort.”

Gabi and her sisters in the kitchen!

Hungry for Polish food yet? Good! Because now it’s time to share Gabi’s pierogi recipe.

Gabi G's Potato and Cheese Pierogies

Course Appetizer, dinner, Side Dish, Snack
Keyword cheese, dumplings, pierogies, Polish, potato

Ingredients

Potato and Cheese Filling

  • 500 grams farmer's cheese
  • 500 grams potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 small onion minced

Pierogi Dough

  • 300 grams flour
  • 125 mL boiled water (hot)
  • 20 grams butter
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

Potato and Cheese Filling

  1. Slow cook minced onion on butter (or butter alternative) on low heat until onion is translucent – about twenty minutes and then set aside.

  2. Peel the potatoes, rinse them thoroughly and put them into a large pot. Cover potatoes with cold water and turn on high heat until water boils. Boil on medium heat with the lid partially covering the pot for half an hour or until potatoes are tender. Drain the boiled potatoes and then put them back into the pot and mash them until they are smooth. Then set the potatoes aside to cool off.

  3. Break up the farmers cheese with a fork. Mix cheese with the mashed potatoes and add salt and pepper. Mix in minced onion.

Pierogi Dough

  1. In a large bowl, mix flour and salt.

  2. In a large glass measuring cup (or other glass vessel), mix hot boiled water and butter until butter melts.

  3. Slowly pour the water mixture into the flour, slowly mixing with a spoon. Add the egg and fold ingredients together.

  4. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for 7-8 minutes. Once you have a nice dough formed, wrap the dough in plastic wrap for about 30 minutes if time allows so that the dough can relax.

  5. Cut the dough into four smaller pieces and roll out into thin sheets. Flip while rolling out and continue to flour surface to ensure that dough does not stick.

  6. Using a round glass cut out circles in the dough. Put one tablespoon of filling into the center of each round. Fold dough over the filling and pinch together the dough to close the dumpling. Use a little moisture on your fingers if dumpling is not pinching shut.

  7. Boil immediately or freeze dumplings to preserve for another day.

These pierogies sound amazing. We hope you give them a try!

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving, readers!

See you next time,

The Allergic to Salad Team

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