St. Andrew Ukranian Catholic church in Parma produces pierogi by the hundreds of dozens. After sharing the secret of its potato-filled pierogi in our December feature story about classic Cleveland eats, the church also told us how to produce some of its other favorite pierogi fillings.
Bacon Pierogi Chop one-quarter pound of fresh bacon and fry until crisp. Add three tablespoons of drained bacon to potato mixture (see the original pierogi story for this recipe) and mix until bacon is incorporated.
Garlic Pierogi Chop or mince six to eight cloves of garlic. Lightly sauté in butter until golden brown. Do not darken garlic or it will become bitter. Butter (use one tablespoon) works better than oil because the oil will change the consistency of the potato mix. Mix the garlic into the potato mix with butter until incorporated.
Jalapeno Pierogi Use three jalapenos — more if you want very spicy pierogi. Cut and seed jalapenos and chop them into very small pieces. If you like your pierogi hot, put the jalapeno seeds and ribs in, but remember you can always add more but you can’t take them out. Saute chopped peppers in one tablespoon of butter for three to five minutes. Add the peppers and butter to the potato mix.
Dill Pierogi Add one-and-a-half tablespoons of fresh dill cleaned and chopped fine to the potato mix. Use fresh dill (feathery), not pickling dill.
Cheese Pierogi Two pounds of dry cottage cheese Two large eggs 1/2 cup sugar One and one-quarter teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. If the mixture is too wet add unflavored breadcrumbs one tablespoon at a time until the mixture is able to ball and hold up.
Note: Ricotta cheese can be used, but you will need 2 1/2 pounds of it. Put in colander or cheese cloth and let all the liquid drain out. Put dry mixture into a bowl and mix as above.
Freezing Guidelines Potato pierogi and potato mixes: Don’t freeze for more than four months Kraut pierogi: Don’t freeze for more than two months Cheese pierogi: Don’t freeze for more than one month.