9.14.2009

Baba's Perogies on Video

nostalgia Rule #1. Never go to Baba's house, yours or anyone's, if you are not prepared to eat. And eat. And hopefully, if you are lucky, you will be eating a mountain of perogies. I have made perogies with Baba a number of times, but even still, I really wasn't sure how to get the perogies so very perfect. I think I'm closer, but I'm not a certified-genuine Baba. For years, I have been trying to get a "recipe" from Baba which didn't always involve, "just another pinch of this", and a "little less than of that", and "you'll just know", and, and, and. As a kid, this just never made sense. How could the perogies taste the same each and every time, when the recipe never was exactly the same? Now, I understand. However, it is still nice to have a few general guidelines. Plus, it really helps to be able to watch the perogy expert in action, with a few of her tips. For most any type of dough I would make, if it is too sticky, I would add more flour, and it's the same with perogies. I have to tell you that was very, very hard to get Baba to nail down her recipe, not to make everything in advance, so we could see what she does other than only assemble the perogies. Oh, and to get her to actually stick to the recipe... albeit somewhat. Even today, I ask for clarifying details on how she would make certain elements, like the dough, because that is what really matters (!!), and she would reply that I don't have to make it that way, or I don't have to have the same cheese, or the same potatoes, or the same... you get the idea. The recipe IS flexible. However, to REALLY make Baba's perogies. This is how they are made. After all, one of Baba's boyfriends from her youth named his perogy company after her, "Bessie's Perogies". But of course, no bought perogy could ever, ever compare to the real thing. This video is humorous, but this is exactly what it's like making perogies with Baba and her friend Leon. Up Close of 7 pounds of boiling russet potatoes for the perogy filling. mashed potatoes for perogies Baba had Leon mash the potatoes with one cup of old cheddar. cheesy mashed potatoes for perogies Leon working hard. Leon mashing potatoes Perogy assembly line. It's much easier to get dozens of perogies made quickly with an army of help. perogy assembly line One person to cut the circles. One to roll out balls of filling. And two to pinch the perogies closed. perogy assembly line Baba told me to carry the perogies to the stove. You do what Baba tells you, she's the boss. perogie row Jeff and Baba taking a quick break from all their hard work. jeff and baba Baba's Perogy Dough 5 cups flour 1/2 cup canola oil (scant) tsp salt 2 cups of hot potato water, really hot, almost boiling 1. Combine the flour, canola oil, and salt. Then stir in the hot water until combined. Knead the dough until it comes together. Add more flour, as needed, to prevent it from sticking to your hands. Potato Filling 7lbs potatoes, russet potatoes 1/2 cup diced onion sauteed with canola oil 1 cup old cheddar, grated/chopped tbsp salt, tsp of pepper 1. Peel and boil the potatoes until fork tender. Drain. 2. Dice a large white onion and saute with 1/4 cup canola oil. 3. While still warm, mash the potatoes with the cheddar cheese. Season with salt, pepper, and combine with the onion in canola oil. Perogy Assembly 1. Divide the dough into smaller sections, approximately 1 cup in size. 2. On a floured board, roll out on section of dough, until approximately an 1/8th of an inch thick. Use more flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. 3. Using an open-ended soup can to cut circles in the dough. 4. Using one circle of dough, place 2-3 teaspoons of potato filling in the middle of the circle. Pinch the sides of the dough closed. It is necessary to stretch the dough a little bit to get the filling inside, but be careful not to stretch it too thin or the perogies will fall apart when boiled. Cooking and Storing the Perogies 1. The perogies can be frozen now, or they can be boiled now and then frozen which makes for a quick meal later. 2. To boil the perogies, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the perogies, no more than 2 dozen at a time, and cook for 7-10 minutes (depending on the resulting thickness of the dough - taste the perogies to check doneness!). Drain in a pasta strainer, and immediately thoroughly coat with canola oil, or expect a giant blob of perogies. 3. To freeze the perogies, line cookie sheets with parchment paper and place in the freezer. Once frozen, the perogies can be transferred to zip bags. 4. If the perogies were boiled and then frozen, it takes only a couple minutes to serve them. In a non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of butter, 1/4 cup cream, and large pieces of chopped green onion. Let simmer for at least 3-4 minutes. Add the frozen perogies, and a couple tablespoons of water. Reduce the heat, and cover the pot with a lid. Continue to heat until the perogies are warmed through.

12 comments:

bethany (dirtyKitchenSecrets) said...

What a great post! Baba's awesome. I'm looking forward to trying the perogies. never knew of them till now.

Pierce said...

Looks like fun and good eating too!

Jen (Running With Cake) said...

I love pierogies! I am probably 1/2 Polish so have been eating them all of my life. I love the potato/cheddar filling the best. I've never actually seen a recipe for them before, thanks for sharing one!

Kevin Kossowan said...

Great post - fantastic idea to immortalize your baba's chops with perogies. Her dough texture looks like perfection.

Jessie said...

this is such an awesome post! I love Baba! she has such a great team helping her with the best tasting perogies around.

Cajun Chef Ryan said...

Wonderful!

Olga said...

How fun! This is so similar to what my grandma made too. Great memories.

This recipe will be also good w/sauteed mushrooms.

The Hungry Mouse said...

Oh my goodness, I love it! And I love Baba, too! :D

It's so funny. I have a lot of similar memories cooking with my family. You're brilliant to catch it on video.

Cheers!
+Jessie

Sam@BingeNYC said...

Oh God, perogies are one of my favorite, favorite things. With loads of 'kraut. wish i had a lovely baba to whip some up with! yum.

them apples said...

...and now I know how it's done.

It's funny how a recipe comes alive in one little film.

That's my next weekend project...

Hillary said...

Love this! You have no idea how much I love pierogies and these how to videos. I would love to go to Baba's house! :)

Pat said...

Since leaving Ohio 7 years ago, and moving to Las Vegas, I have been searching for Perogies. I watched your video and used your recipe today and I just have to THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!! I used a fruit can because we like them a little bigger, and next time I will put more cheese bit you made it easy and painless and I owe you a debt of gratitude! HAPPY HOLIDAY!!!

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