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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pierogies with Marsala Sauce

The origins of pierogi are generally accepted as being Polish. The Polish word pierogi is plural; the singular form pieróg is rarely used, as a typical serving consists of several pierogi. In English, the word pierogi and its variants: perogi, pyrogy, perogie, perogy, pirohi, piroghi, pirogi, pirogen, pierogy, pirohy, and pyrohy, are pronounced with a stress on the letter "o".

There is a similarity to Italian ravioli and tortellini or Ashkenazi kreplach. In Turkey, Transcaucasus, and Central Asia round pockets of dough with a meat filling are called manti, khinkali, or chuchvara. In East Asia, similar foods are served, such as Chinese wonton or Jiaozi, Korean mandu or Songpyeon at the Chuseok, Korean Thanksgiving day, jiaozi, Japanese gyoza, Mongolian buuz, Nepalese/Tibetan momo, and Afghani mantu. In the Indian state of Gujarat, a similar item is called 'Ghooghra' (or Ghugra), which is of very similar shape, stuffed with grainy sweet flour and small pieces of dry fruit. It is usually eaten during India's biggest (Hindu) festival of Diwali.

Pre-packed frozen perogies can be found everywhere Eastern European immigrant communities exist and are generally ubiquitous across Canada, even in big chain stores. Typically frozen flavors include potato with either Cheddar, onion, bacon, cottage cheese or mixed cheeses.

Home-made versions are typically filled with either mashed potatoes (seasoned with salt and pepper and often mixed with dry curd cottage cheese or cheddar cheese), sauerkraut, or fruit. These are then boiled, and either served immediately, put in ovens and kept warm, or fried in oil or butter. Popular fruit varieties include strawberry, blueberry, and Saskatoon berry. Potato and cheese or sauerkraut versions are usually served with some or all the following: butter or oil, sour cream (typical), fried onions, fried bacon bits or kielbasa (sausage), and a creamy mushroom sauce (less common). Some ethnic kitchens will deep-fry pierogi, both dessert and main course dishes can be served this way. A good method is to par-boil the dumplings, then after drying, they are then deep-fried.

The frozen varieties are sometimes served casserole-style with a mixture of chopped onions, peppers and Cheddar cheese or with an Italian-style mixture of meat, onions and tomato sauce.

Since I don't eat meat I always buy potatoes or potatoes cheddar pre-packed / readymade Pierogies. I like the local brand better than the national one, reason being the local brands have more filling and less pasta covering. You can use any brand with any filling that you like. I like to make it with Marsala wine sauce to spice them up a little because they are very bland when served plain.

Here is how I serve my readymade pierogies.


• 10 ready made pieorigies I used Sophie's choice (a local brand) with potato cheddar filling

• 2 small yellow onions sliced

• 1 pack of sliced mushrooms (8-12 oz)

• 1 green pepper sliced

• 4-5 cloves of garlic finely chopped

• 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)

• One bay leaf fresh or dried

• 1/4 cup Marsala wine

• 1/4 cup sour cream

• 1/4 cup milk or cream (I used 1% milk)

• 1/4 cup Habanero or any spicy Ketchup (you can use plain, I used Habanero this time)

• 1 teaspoon salt


• Mix milk or cream and sour cream until smooth, add Ketchup, mix well, set aside.

• Heat frying pan, melt butter in it.

• Add bay leaf and add Onions and garlic sauté for 2 min on high heat intermittent stirring.

• Add mushroom and green peppers, sauté for another min.

• Add pierogies.

• Let the get light brown on medium-high heat with occasional stirring ( 2-3 min)

• Add salt, toss everything well.

• Add Marsala wine and the sour cream/milk/ketchup mix.

• Cook on stove for 2-3 min on medium - low heat.

• Serve hot, may sprinkle few flakes of crushed red pepper for extra kick.

Pierogi description source:

Recipe and Photographs by Surekha.

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