Friday, August 04, 2006
A How-To For Pierogies
Pierogies with bacon, onions and sour cream served with steamed broccoli coated with cheddar cheese. This meal is, by far, one of my favorites. It's also a heart attack on a plate. But I love the way the flavor of the cheddar mingles with the bacony goodness. Just typing this post is making my mouth water.
You start by chopping up about half a pound of bacon and putting it in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon until crisp and remove with a slotted spoon, leaving the bacon fat in the pan. Drain the bacon on some paper towels.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil for the pierogies. In another pot, put the broccoli that you've chopped into bite-sized pieces. The broccoli only takes a few minutes, so that can be started when you put the pierogies in to cook.
In the pot where you cooked the bacon, add one large onion thinly sliced. Cook until the onion is very soft and starting to brown. This usually takes about 20 minutes.
When the onions are almost done, add the pierogies to the boiling water and cook according to package directions. I use Mrs. T's pierogies because I can get them in bulk at my local BJ's.
To the pot with the broccoli, add about half a cup of chicken broth, cover and allow the broccoli to steam in the broth. This might seem like an odd step (why can't I just use water? you might ask) but the flavor the broth brings to the broccoli is unsurpassed. I got this tip from my good friend C, who was kind enough to share this recipe with me. While you're waiting for the pierogies to cook, grate about 2 cups of cheddar cheese.
Once the pierogies are cooked through, drain them and add them to the pan with the onions. Stir to coat so all the pierogies get some of the bacon fat on them and all the good onion flavor.
When the broccoli is tender (which should also coincide with when all the broth has evaporated), remove the broccoli to a bowl. I take out half the broccoli and then cover it with cheese.
Add the other half of the broccoli to the bowl, cover with the remaining cheese and then cover the bowl tightly with aluminum foil so the cheese melts. Once the cheese has melted, place a heaping spoonful on a plate, add pierogies (I allow 4 or 5 per person), cover the pierogies with some onions, sprinkle bacon on top and add a dollop of sour cream.