Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pyrohy Making with Mom

Mom's visit would not have been complete (for me anyway) with out the obligatory making of the Pyrohy. I have always considered it to be one of the world's most perfect foods and Ike has inherited my love for them. Mom rarely makes them....she strongly favours making Holubtsi (Cabbage Rolls). Funny I am just the opposite, and will make Pyrohy, but find the Holubtsi too much work for me. Well, we managed to make both on mom's trip out......but for now is the Pyrohy recipe. We made two recipes...or about 130 pyrohy........Dad always laughs at mom because she must....and mean must count can see from her neat rows she's trying to make the counting faster. We even made a few blueberry pyrohy for Ike to try:)

Varenyky (pyrohy) (perogies)

3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tblsp. canola oil
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup warm potato water from boiling the potatoes
3 large red or yukon gold potatoes
2 tsp. melted butter
1/2 pound (1 cups shredded cheddar (old)
2 large cooking onions, small dice
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. white pepper

Potato/Cheese filling:

Place three large potatoes in pot, cover with water and 1 tsp. salt. Boil as you would for mashed potatoes. When potatoes are fork tender, drain and save 1 cup of the potato water for the dough.
Discard the rest. Add the cheddar cheese, 1 tsp. onion powder and the 1/2 tsp. white pepper. Mash potato mixture and taste for seasoning. You may need a touch more salt.

Pan Fried Onions:
Heat a skillet (medium heat) fry onions in 1 tblsp oil/1 tblsp butter and a sprinkle of salt, fry till onions start to caramelize for optimum flavour. Set aside.


In a large stainless steel bread basin (rinse under hot tap water) put 3 cups flour. Make a well in the centre and add the salt, canola oil, eggs, 3/4 cup of the potato water. With a fork bring the mixture together. You may need to add a little more water to get a nice soft dough. Put the dough on to a wooden warm work area. Pour the melted butter on to the work surface and knead the dough gradually in to the melted butter. Knead two to three minutes until dough is elastic and smooth. Rinse/dry the bread basin and put a few drops of oil into the bowl. Roll the dough ball into the oil to coat the surface. Place a damp tea towel touching the dough ball and leave to rest 30 minutes. Cut the dough in half; knead l minute to form a nice smooth ball and cover again with a damp tea towel, let rest 10 minutes or when you are ready to roll out the dough.

Lightly flour wooden work surface and roll out dough to 1/16 inch. Use a round 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter to cut out the circles and place them on to a large tray lined with a cotton tea cloth. Remove excess dough from board and keep under the damp cloth to keep the dough soft.

Place a teaspoonful of potato filling in the centre of each circle. Bring both opposite side up to the top to seal with your fingers; then pressing the filling down slightly continue pinching each side firmly to seal in the filling. When all pyrohy are filled cover them with a clean cotton tea cloth to stay fresh while you roll out the second half of the dough.

Fill a 2.5 litre pot with water ( 1 inch from the top ) add 1 tsp salt and bring to boil. When water begins to boil add 15 pyrohy to the water ( one at a time ) Reduce heat to about seven but the water must be continuously boiling. They will sink to the bottom. Stir gently with the end of a wooden spoon to avoid them sticking to the bottom. They will rise to the surface in about two to three minutes. When they are visible rolling around on the surface leave them cooking at the surface for 1 more minute ( if you leave them too long at surface they may begin to inflate and open and you will lose your filling and must then fill the pot with clean water to start over again). After one minute on the surface ladle out with a slotted spoon to a sieve and rinse under warm tap water 15 seconds to rinse off any starchy water. Immediately place them into a large oven proof basin. Sprinkle some of the fried onion over them. Add a tsp. canola oil and shake the pan to distribute the onion and oil to coat the pyrohy and avoid sticking together. Place cover over basin and put into 200 degree oven to rest. Must rest at least 20 minutes to tenderize before serving.

When second dough ball is rolled out and shaped into phyrohy repeat again: cut, fill, seal, boil, remove from water, rinse through sieve, add to basin in oven, add more fried onion, sprinkle oil over phyrohy, shake to distribute and remove to oven, covered, to rest again. Serve with a dollop of Dairy Land sour cream or your favourite brown or mushroom gravy.

yield: approximately 65

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