Holiday Cooking – Pierogies!

Well we are somewhat settled into our new home, just in time for Christmas! My parents came up from Whitehorse to be with us for the holiday so us girls decided to have a Holiday Cooking Day!  My sister came over and on the menu today is Pierogies and Cabbage Rolls!

We grew up in small northern communities for almost all our lives, and instead of the Moms having cookie swaps they did food swaps.  They would all get together and teach each other new recipes!  Each of them would bring a recipe and ingredients to make it and then swap with each other so that each Mom went home with a couple different meals.  This year I went to a cookie swap at a friends place and it made me want to go back in time and be there at my mom’s food swaps.  I wonder if they would have had the same discussions that we had? Probably…but it would be fun to be there!

Back to the food!

This is my mom’s Perogi recipe that she got from a friend of hers in 1977 when we lived in Churchill, Manitoba.

Dough:

3.5-4cups of All Purpose Flour
1 Pint of Sour Creme
Pinch of Salt

Filling:

Mashed Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes (sweet potatoes is something new we are trying)
Shredded Cheese
Fried Bacon & Onions

Tips from Mrs. W: Use full fat Sour Creme and do not fill the Pierogies to full or you will have a mess on your hands! 

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Slice Bacon & Onion into small pieces and fry all together.  You just want the Bacon & Onion to go a light brown, not crispy!

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In a large bowl, put the flour, sour creme and a pinch of salt and mix.  Get your hands in there and mix everything up!

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Take a chunk out of the dough and kneed a bit and then roll out.  We used a glass cup to cut out the dough into a good circle size.

Mrs. W tip: are too make sure the dough is rolled out nice and thin.  

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Take your cooked potatoes and sweet potatoes and mash them up.  Add a little salt and pepper and any other seasoning you would like.  Take a dough circle and a small scoop of the potato mixture and place it in the middle of the circle.  Fold your dough over and press along the edges so that all the edges are sealed up.  Repeat the process until all ingredients are used up.  Place Pierogies on a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer until frozen solid, once that is done you can then transfer them to a ziploc bag.

When you are ready to eat them (we didn’t have ours til Christmas Day), bring a pot of water to a boil and place a few of the frozen Pierogies into the water.  They will be ready once they rise and float to the top.  Some people will eat them like that with a little bit of Sour Creme.  My mom has always fried up a little extra bacon and onions and then she would fry the cooked Pierogies in a little bit of butter and then serve them with the Sour Creme, bacon and onions.

CABBAGE ROLLS! My mom was first taught how to make Cabbage Rolls from my Grandma Newman-Jones.  She was a nurse and again was taught the recipe from a friend.  Typically my mom would make the cabbage rolls with a mixture of ground beef and ground pork.  However, this year for Christmas we had a couple of family members that you do not eat beef or pork, so we decided to try out ground Chicken instead!  They turned out awesome!

Ingredients:

Full head of Cabbage
Ground Chicken
White Rice (Uncooked)
Salt & Pepper
White Onion (Uncooked)
Garlic (Of Course!)
Tomato Sauce
Worcestershire
Chicken Broth
Tobasco
Herbs
Brown Sugar

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First things first, get out a large pot, place the whole cabbage head inside and and fill with water, bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling and the cabbage is cooking my mom just took a very sharp knife and cut around the stalk of the cabbage.

Mrs. W tip: do not rush cutting the cabbage, once you cut around the stalk the cabbage should come off in layers

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While the cabbage is cooking start working on your meat mixture.  Take a bowl and combine the ground chicken (or whatever ground meat you are using), rice, garlic, chopped onion, Worcestershire, herbs, salt and pepper.

At this time you also want to work on your tomato sauce.  So take a pot and start to simmer the tomato sauce, garlic (of course), some herbs, salt and pepper.

Mrs. W tip: put in a little bit of brown sugar with your tomato sauce to help sweeten it up a little bit!

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Now you are ready to roll! Grab a Cabbage leaf and you cut out part of the stem so you can roll them up easy.  Then take some of the filling and put into the “pocket” of the leaf.  Fold in the sides and roll them up! We put ours into a big aluminium roaster to make it easier for cooking.  Continue the process til your filling is all used up.  My mom just puts any extra cabbage leafs over the top and then pour over your tomato sauce all over.  My mom also pours in broth in the bottom of the pan to help keep them moist when you cook them.

Once you are all down cover and put them in the freezer.  We had ours on Christmas dinner, make sure you plan out your time so that you have enough time to cook them for dinner! Mine took a lilttle bit longer then I thought they would!

Enjoy!