Singing the post-Thanksgiving leftover mashed potatoes blues? Tom Birchard, owner of 55-year-old Ukrainian eatery Veselka, shared a pierogi recipe from his new Veselka Cookbook. You’ve got the whole day; may as well be ambitious in the kitchen.
Serves eight to ten
For pierogi wrappers
1 large egg yolk
1 c. whole milk
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
½ c. water
3¼ c. all-purpose flour
For topping and filling
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
5 c. finely chopped onion
4 c. leftover mashed potatoes
4 oz. farmer’s cheese
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 large egg whites
2 tbsp. water
All-purpose flour as needed
Sour cream or applesauce, for serving
1. To make wrappers, combine egg yolk, milk, oil, and water in a small bowl. Place flour in a large bowl, pour in wet ingredients, and fold together to form dough.
2. Transfer dough to a lightly floured board and knead for 3 minutes. If too sticky, add small amounts of flour. When dough is smooth, form into a ball, transfer to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
3. To make filling, melt butter in a large pan, add onions, and saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes.
4. In a large bowl, combine ¾ cup of cooked onions, potatoes, cheese, salt, and pepper. Set aside at room temperature. Reserve remaining onions for topping.
5. In a small bowl, combine egg whites and water. Set aside for assembly.
6. Remove dough from refrigerator and divide into three sections. Place one section on a well-floured work surface and roll out until very thin (about 1/16 inch). Cut circles of dough using a round cookie cutter (or a jar lid or juice glass).
7. Place a heaping spoonful of the filling in the center of each circle, leaving a border. Brush some egg white mixture on half the outer border and fold dough over into a half-moon shape. Crimp edges with a fork.
8. Transfer pierogi to a floured board or platter. Do not stack. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
9. Cook pierogi in batches for 4 minutes in a large stockpot of salted boiling water. Drain and transfer to a serving platter. Repeat with remaining pierogi, allowing water to return to a full boil each time.
10. Serve with the reserved sauteed onion and oodles of sour cream or applesauce.
Try them fried: Cook in boiling water as above for 2 minutes rather than 4, then saute in butter until golden brown.
Or let the pros do it at Veselka, 144 Second Avenue, at 9th Street (212-228-9682 or veselka.com).
Photo: Sally Davies / Courtesy of Veselka