Having lived in Northeast Ohio for several years now, I decided that it was darn time I jumped on the pierogi bandwagon! Honestly, before moving up here, I didn't know a thing about these little dumpling darlings. A traditional Cleveland pierogi is simply a dumpling stuffed with potato and cheese or sauerkraut. I mean, what's not to love there?!
Immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe paved the way for the peirogi to become a staple that Cleveland is known for. I by no means claim to be an expert on making them, but I sure had fun with different fillings during my first experimental session... braised collard greens, spicy sauerkraut, and lots of cheesy potato-y goodness. They were all scrumptious, but my favorite was a spin on the classic version: garlic potato (from leftover mashed redskin potatoes), homemade goat cheese, caramelized onions, and some fresh thyme.
You can dip pierogis in a sauce of your choice, or simply sour cream, but I also recommend topping with sauerkraut or kimchi. A chef buddy at work gave me a bit of his recent batch of red kimchi, and I eagerly piled it on!
For the dough, I used this recipe:
- 2 cups mashed potatoes
- 1/2 cup caramelized onions
- 1/4 cup goat cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves
Mix all filling ingredients together. Set aside as you work with the dough.
Make sure that you roll your dough out very thin, as per the recipe. Otherwise, I have found that they turn a bit bready instead of having a standard dumpling texture.
I used a lid from a wide mouth mason jar to cut out the dough, since I didn't have a cookie cutter that size.
After stuffing and boiling the pierogis, I opted to throw them in a skillet for a bit to give them a nice crisp.