Last weekend I happened to catch a few minutes of Diners, Driveins, and Dives on Food Network. I don't watch much Food Network anymore, since it turned into Food Competition Network, but I was surfing and Triple D was on at the time. I like the show a bit, it features a spiky-haired guy traveling around and eating food from some of the country's best down- to- earth eateries. They all feature homemade everything. None of them rely on frozen, pre-packaged, anything, in other words, the kind of restaurant at which you'd actually want to eat.
Can you guess I don't like chain restaurants much? I don't really see why I should pay money to have someone heat up frozen, pre-packaged food for me. If I want that, I can do it myself. If I go out to eat, I want something I wouldn't make at home, or something that someone makes better than I do. (Is there such a thing?)
On this particular episode, the spiky blond guy was visiting an Eastern European place in Minnesota. I am not a huge fan of Eastern European food, it seems pretty bland to me, and not terribly interesting. But they showed the restaurant's homemade vareneky, or pierogies. They looked amazing. Nothing like the crap that comes out of a box. Since Rochester seems to lack a Ukranian/Polish restaurant, and since my Russian sister-in-law's pierogy is more like a cabbage filled bread than a savory dumpling, I decided to make my own. I couldn't find any recipes for the one's they make at the place in Minnesota, so I settled for finding a few different recipes and turning it into something approximating what I saw on the show. I don't know how it compared for taste, but mine were excellent. And not really terribly hard to make. One batch was enough for four of us for dinner, with no leftovers, and only a little fighting over the last two.
For the filling, I used leftover mashed potatoes and mixed in some sauteed onions and grated cheddar cheese. That's it. Pretty darned simple, huh?
3 C Flour
1/2 C Sour Cream
1/2 C softened butter
Mix all ingredients with a dough hook in a stand mixer, or kill yourself and mix by hand, I don't really care. I know which one I'll be doing. Roll out until 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 3 in circles, fill with 1 T filling (you want them pretty full, you should just barely be able to close them.) Seal by pinching together. Boil a few at a time in salted water until they float.