Friday, April 18, 2014

P is for Puffins and Pierogis

Today being Good Friday, I wish all my friends a Happy Easter.

I’ve alwaysPuffins loved Puffins although I don’t think I have ever seen one, maybe in a zoo, but I don’t remember. Atlantic Puffins spend most of their life at sea, returning to land only once a year to breed. About 60% of the world’s puffins breed along Iceland’s coast. There are three species, the Tufted, Horned and Atlantic Puffin. Apparently their beaks which make them so distinctive are actually only coloured like this during mating season and they shed their bright colours afterwards. When they fly they beat their wings up to 400 times per minute, that is a lot of work. They feed by diving.

I love pierogis but have never actually made them myself. I have certain friends who specialise in them. However, when I came across this recipe I thought it looked delicious and maybe I will have a go.

Potato-Cheese Pierogi With Sauerkraut

Potato-Cheese Pierogi With Sauerkraut

WebMD Recipe from

Potatoes mashed with sautéed onions and sauerkraut makes a flavourful filling in these yummy pierogi. We used whole-wheat pastry flour for added fiber and substituted extra-virgin olive oil for margarine or butter. Pierogi freeze beautifully, so make a large batch if you like.

2 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, (see Tip)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2  large eggs
1-1 1/4 cups warm water
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1  medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
2 cups sauerkraut, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
5 tablespoons water
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
  1. To prepare dough: Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour and 2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl. Whisk 1/3 cup oil and eggs in a small bowl. Add to the dry ingredients along with 1 cup warm water and stir to combine. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring, until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms. Knead a couple of times in the bowl. Shape into 3 disks, wrap each in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
  2. To prepare filling: Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until very tender, 15 to 17 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. When the potatoes are done, drain well and return to the pan. Mash the potatoes with cottage cheese, then stir in the onion, sauerkraut, Cheddar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  5. To prepare pierogi: Put a large pot of water on to boil. Coat 1 large baking sheet with cooking spray; place next to the stove. Very generously dust 2 more large baking sheets with flour.
  6. Place a small bowl of water and the pierogi filling near your work area. Roll out one disk of dough on a well-floured surface until it’s about 1/16 inch thick (an approximate 16-by-20-inch oval). Using a 3 1/2-inch round cutter, cut out dough. Cover the dough scraps with a clean kitchen towel. Moisten the edges of each round with water. Place a level tablespoon of the filling in the center of each round. Fold the dough over the filling and press the edges (the pierogi will be very full); crimp with a fork to seal completely. Place on a floured baking sheet. Repeat this process with the two remaining disks of dough. Then repeat with the dough scraps, rerolling them as needed to make enough pierogi to use up all the filling (48-50 total). Discard any remaining dough.
  7. Cook the pierogi in 5 batches in the boiling water until they float to the top. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the baking sheet coated with cooking spray, letting water drain off from the spoon before transferring them.
  8. Preheat oven to 200°F.
  9. Heat 1 tablespoon each oil and water in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 8 to 10 pierogi and cook until browned on both sides, 6 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you prepare the rest. Add 8 to 10 more pierogi to the pan, drizzle in 1 tablespoon each oil and water and shake the pan to loosen the pierogi. Cook until browned on both sides; reduce the heat as necessary to prevent overbrowning. Repeat with the remaining pierogi, oil and water.
  10. Serve sprinkled with parsley, if desired.
Tip: Whole-wheat pastry flour is milled from soft wheat. It contains less gluten-forming potential than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure a tender result in delicate baked goods while providing the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Find it at large supermarkets and natural-foods stores.

Have a great day


  1. Hi Jo - Puffins are endearing creatures aren't they - love the photo you've posted. Pierogis - those sound very delicious ... and are something I've never made .. cheers Hilary

    1. They're delightful to look at certainly.

      Pierogis are not a thing I remember encountering in the UK. Mind you I'm talking close on 40 years ago. Of course one can buy them ready made in a good store.

  2. Puffins are cute. They look like penguins that can fly.

  3. I'm a Puffin fan too even although I've never seen one.

  4. I still remember making sausage, pierogis, and egg noodles at my grandmother's house for the holiday meals. Now I just buy them as we have some great Polish markets around here. I do make my own raviolis though as I can make different varieties not available in stores. Happy Easter.

    1. We have some Polish stores around here too. Never tried making ravioli.

  5. I usually buy the frozen cheese & potato pierogies and I love to sautee' them with onions, red bell peppers, sugar snap peas and a cup or so of frozen peas. SO YUM!

  6. The Alaska sealife center has a wonderful puffin exhibit.

  7. I loved your pairing of Puffins and Pierogis. Both unusual, fascinating, little known and under appreciated. Thanks for the recipe. Hope to read more. Good luck with the A-Z!

  8. I love a perogi and this one sounds super delicious...I should make them. (

  9. Only three types of puffins? I guess that's why you couldn't find a puffin recipe.

    1. You could always cook it like a chicken Alex.

  10. Oh yum, this does look good and easy. I'm going to give it a try. I can't use whole wheat pastry--allergies, but yum.

    I love the look of puffins. I've always thought them cute cuddly looking. Of course with that bill and those feet--I wouldn't consider or suggest cuddling. :-)

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

    1. Well obviously you can change the flour.

      I was surprised to learn their beaks weren't permanently coloured.

  11. I like perogies but the ones I've had have mostly been the frozen variety.

    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

    1. They are OK, but if you know someone who makes them the fresh ones are delicious.

  12. Oh my...those Puffins are so colorful, they don't even look real!

  13. Puffins. Their coloring is beautiful. Reminds me of that quote from the Bible; "Consider the lilies of the field. . ." Happy Easter to you and your husband, Jo."

    1. They are colourful, but it's only during the mating season.

      I return your Easter wishes thank you very much.

  14. Hi human, Jo,

    I love puffins. I'm thinking of taking my fictional human, Gary, to Puffin island and maybe leave him there.

    Pierogis are one of my pretend human's favourite food. Used to eat loads of them when he lived in Vancouver.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny, the friendly host of the Alphabark Challenge! :)

    1. He would enjoy Puffin Island I think.

      No pierogis in the UK? Somebody had better try making them.

      Pawsitive Easter wishes to you Penny and your fictional human.