Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cheater Pierogi – This is No Polish Joke

During this video for quick and easy cheese pierogi, I joke about my Polish grandmother rolling over in her grave, but after eating several batches of these delicious dumplings, I’m pretty sure Grandma Sophie would have approved. 

I’ve always been a big fan of wonton skins. Not only have I used them for wonton soup, but also for tortellini, ravioli, and various other dumplings.  They’re very user-friendly, but use a damp paper towel to cover the open package as you work, since they can dry out quickly and become harder to work with.

Whenever I post a video like this, the most common questions usually revolve around what alternative fillings would work. Let me handle that issue right now. Anything will work as a filling. Literally. Most high-end grocery stores will have farmer’s cheese, but if you can’t find it, a mixture of half cream cheese and half ricotta would get you very close.

I decided to break with family tradition and serve these with bacon and caramelized onions, as we usually just fry in a little butter and serve with sour cream. I blame Chicago’s Pierogi Heaven for this, since it was during a recent visit that I had a plate served similarly, and it was amazing.

Anyway, whether you’re an old pro, or brand new to the joys of pierogi, I hope you give these easy, cheesy dumplings a try. Remember the old saying...if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 50-60 Pierogi:
1 1/2 cups warm mashed potato
1 1/2 cup farmer’s cheese, or any cheese blend
1 large egg
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne
50-60 wonton wrappers
sour cream and chives as needed

Bacon and Onion Sauce (enough to garnish about 12 pierogi)
4 slices bacon, sliced thin
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
2 tsp butter
*After bacon is crisp, drain excess fat, reserving about 2 tbsp to fry pierogi.

View the complete recipe

21 comments:

Phong Hong said...

I'm all for cheating if I can get great food without a lot of hassle. Those pierogi are certainly delicious what with bacon and onions. A nice change from the usual wontons that I eat.

Adriana @ FoodCocktail said...

My bf's mother is from Poland and she actually makes pierogi quite often, because since I've tried them first I have become obsessed with them, and now all I want to eat when we're visiting is pierogi filled with a beef mixture and caramelized onion on top...

My goal is though to make my own pierogi from scratch some day :)

Pantalone said...


'round the outside ... 'round the outside ... LoL!

Anonymous said...

Chef Jon you have done it again! I just started using the versitile wonton wrapper but never though of Pierogis! Thanks for the idea.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef,
Can you cheat even more and use instant potatoes?? I'm really lazy!!

Huru said...

news from Poland:
wonton skins for pierogi ??!11
This means WAR!
:P:P

just joking, your army is too strong :P... and i guess we're allies :P

sahrish ali said...

This cheater Pierogi looks very soft fluffy:P
Anyways that for sharing this interesting idea of using wonton skin for pierogi.

inchrisin said...

Hi John:

I was about to make wantons this week, but now I'm going to make pierogis instead. I really like the recipe, but garlic is a MUST. Maybe that will work its way into the onion and bacon.

I have had lots of luck with just using water to seal this brand of wanton wrap. Egg wash would probably hold it together even tighter--no blow outs!

Any advice for a sauerkraut filling? I want to experiment around a bit.

The X-man said...

Just when you think Chef John can't get any more awesome, he busts out the Eminem reference!

Looks delicious, can't wait to try these!

Rathai said...

I know this is a little off-topic, but I just want to know if it is alright to post your recipe (that I have tried) on my blog with a link and attribution to you?

Many thanks in advance and the dumplings look delish.

Anonymous said...

Chef, you are awesome!
PS I'm from Russia, and there this dish called "vareniki". But if you call this vareniki, you must have some vodka on the table =)
I will be very happy if you're make video about russian dishes! Like a borsh' or holodez... =)
I can help =)

And, because I'm from Russia, sorry for my English =)

nul said...

In Poland, pierogi with potato-cheese filling are called “ruskie”, i.e. Ruthenian. Ruthenian Wonton Pierogi: it's not cheating, it's innovation!

Steven K. said...

OK, no offense towards your recipe, but here's what happened when I tried to make this:

I made a test pierogi, boiled it, fried it and thought it was OK. Then I dumped all the carmelized bacon/onions into the potato/cheese mixture, added the chives and put in some heavy cream and butter and just had some great mashed potatoes.

Anonymous said...

You are a brave man, Chef John! I can't believe these comments aren't full of inflamed food puritans.

bob said...

Been doing this for years. Even easier is to microwave the potatoes.
Green onion and garlic excellent in them as well.

Amanda said...

I'm always looking for ways to cut corners in the kitchen when I can. Love pierogis, can't wait to try these! Thanks Chef John!

KPeff said...

Made some of these this evening with square wonton skins. They were great and straightforward. The technique I used was to egg wash four wantons, fill them, fold them, finish them, and repeat. I used the whole stack of wontons and have some filling leftover for tomorrow. I froze half the dumplings for my little sister who's in grad school.

Doc Simonson said...

Chef, those look pretty good and I will try them. My Ukrainian Grandmother used to make them from scratch every month at her church, for fund raising. She made them occasionally for her family. (*sigh*) I've made them from her recipe once and it was a lot of work. I made some mistakes in technique. If you ever get around to making these from scratch on one of your videos, I would be very thankful!

Gergy said...

We do this mainly during the summer when it's hot out and you don't want to do all the work to make the dough but still want pierogi. Using this cheat for several years now. But come around xmas, I go over to my mom's place and help her make about 12doz or so of the real deal pierogi.
She uses a mixer to help with the dough if making it herself, I make it by hand when I come over. so much better.

will dukeshire said...

awesome Idea!!! I haven't failed yet with any of your recipes so I know this will be delish!! thanx Chef John, from a realy big fan....well I am big but...also a big fan. thanx, willy

Couisine Marocaine said...

It gave me great quinces, and the recipe that I am not happy, I am very grabs! thank you in advance
I board a good recipe already dealt a site like this http://le-couscous-marocain.blogspot.com/