Can I see a show of hands for people who are absolutely mad for pierogies? I don’t see how there could be a much more perfect food: mashed potatoes and cheese (or maybe onions) wrapped up in a perfect pasta pocket.
Pierogies almost reduce my linguistic skills to guttural noises. Uhhhhnnnnnn.
For years upon years, I’ve made pierogies one of two ways: pan-fried with butter and onions (HELLO CHOLESTEROL) or baked. “Baked pierogies?” you ask? Oh yeah. Big time. It’s the fast, furious, fabulous way to make pierogies… no need to thaw them, just toss them with some oil and spices and throw them onto a sheet pan and into a hot oven. While they heat, they get puffy and turn a gentle golden brown. Crispy edges around smooth, fluffy mashed potatoes and cheese. Is anyone else drooling?
I wouldn’t have thought it could get any better than that until one night when I was DREADFULLY busy and needed a fast meal to feed my family. I cut up a couple packages of kielbasa, tossed some halved baby bell peppers and sliced onion with some olive oil and salt, and threw all of them around the edges of the sheet pan I had loaded up with pierogies. I banged that pan into the oven and went off to finish the project that was looming. Within fifteen minutes my house smelled so good I was tempted to gnaw on the ankle of some small passing child or dog.
Within thirty minutes I was taking a tray of plump, juicy, brown kielbasa, puffy pierogies, and lightly charred onions and bell peppers from the oven.
A little bit of everything from the pan made it onto our dinner plates (minus the scary, frightening bell peppers for the anti-veg crew) along with a lovely spoonful of grainy mustard, a salad (which is -inexplicably but still gratefully- okay with the anti-veg contingent) and dinner was served. Then it was devoured. Then it was requested again and again and again.
Ah, simplicity. You taste so darned good.