Leftover Makeover: Pierogi
I meant to share this earlier but didn't have time to blog as I wanted. I'm all about making leftovers into a new to us dish. I know many people who tell me they want to be more frugal but then follow that statement with "I do not eat leftovers!" And they mean it! I say stop calling them leftovers and learn to make new recipes with them. I think my family has never minded leftovers because while they might be eating the same ingredients all over again, it was a new to them dish. And besides, some of the best recipes start with a bit of cooked meat or vegetable!
I like Pierogi. Pierogi are (and I'm not Polish so forgive me if my definition is over simplified) basically a potato filled ravioli. I've been wanting to buy Pierogi for weeks but the cost at best sale price, is roughly $3 for about a dozen frozen pierogi. Middle Georgia is not a hotbed of Polish speciality shops so frozen is as good as it gets.
So here I was a couple of weeks ago with 1 1/4 cups of mashed potatoes (left from another meal) and a partial package of egg roll wrappers. I have made pot stickers from ground chicken using egg roll wrappers, so I thought, "Why can't I make my own pierogi using egg roll wrappers?" I even went online to ask my friends who live in areas where Polish cookery is not uncommon. Every one seemed to agree that it was do-able so I spent a half hour in the kitchen and this is what I did, my way by the way, as I had no recipe to follow.
First I took my plain mashed potatoes and beat in an egg, a bit of garlic, some grated cheese, and a little bit of flour to keep the potato mixture from becoming watery when cooking. I reheated the potatoes only slightly before adding in the other ingredients, just enough to make them easy to stir.
Then I took my egg roll wrappers. You'll see two pierogi being worked on in the photo below. The wrappers were the larger ones and I cut them in half. I put about 2 tsp of potato on each piece, then used egg wash around all the edges so that I could seal them well.
In the photo above you can see the biscuit cutter I used to try and make round pierogi. No go...My cutter wasn't cutting it. You can see in the photo below that I tried to use it twice. Thereafter I decided that square pierogi were bound to taste as good. I went all around all the edges all over again with the egg wash (There was so much egg leftover) to be sure the edges stayed sealed.
You can see I ended up with 16 altogether, enough for 2 servings with leftovers if I serve them as the main entree and enough for 4 servings if used as a side to Polska Kielbasa if we aren't little piggies over the things, so we'll just say 2 servings with leftovers and leave it at that.
I then put down a sheet of waxed paper under the Pierogi to keep the egg wash from sticking to the pan, and popped into the freezer until solid. Then I bagged up in a freezer bag.
I froze mine as I said. When I took them from the freezer they stuck slightly to the waxed paper and some of the edges sort of broke. I heated water to boiling, dropped in a half dozen and then, as soon as they were thawed, lifted them out with a slotted spoon and dropped them into a frying pan in which I'd cooked half a sliced onion in butter and let the pierogi finish cooking there. They held up far better than I thought they might and tasted delicious. So happy I controlled the piggy tendency and we will have some for future meals!