Speed Read: Pierogi Love

July 13, 2015

Pierogies made with delicious and innovative fillings along with classic combinations await us in Casey Barber’s new book, Pierogi Love. Come join us as we learn how to create these delicious dumplings at home.

The overview: Casey Barber’s new book, Pierogi Love, delivers 60 sweet and savory recipes. She shows us that the Eastern European dumpling can be an appetizer, main course, snack, and even dessert. Barber starts us off with a basic dough recipe that is “wonderfully forgiving” for novice dough makers and then gives us variations with cornmeal, rye, cocoa, oat, and whole wheat. Classic recipes are included, such as Potato and Cheddar, but we are also tempted with some interesting choices such as Reuben Pierogies with Thousand Island Dressing and Buffalo Chicken Pierogies with Blue Cheese Dip.

What we loved: The overall creativity and variety that Pierogi Love delivers to dumpling lovers. Greek Lamb, Santa Fe-rogies, Maple Breakfast Sausage, and even Cheesy Pretzel Pierogies. We could have a different pierogi every week for over a year! There are no shortages of sweet variations either. We are eager to try Sour Cherry, Nutella with Bananas Foster Sauce, Fried Apple Pie-rogies, and Pineapple-Coconut Pierogies. We are excited when a cookbook brings us wonderful choices and unusual twists on classic recipes. We also love that pierogies are the perfect plan-ahead food; they freeze well and cook quickly. Another bonus: While you will need typical kitchen equipment such as mixing bowls and a rolling pin, the only item that you need to purchase is a three-inch round cookie cutter (unless you want to fuss with grandma’s technique of using the rim of a juice glass).

What inspired us: There are countless recipes in the book, but Barber tells us not to stop there. She wants us to use our imaginations and create in the kitchen. Cookbooks that not only provide us with recipes but also spark new ideas are the ones that help us most. Recipes like The Elvis (Peanut Butter, Banana, and Bacon), Black Forest with Semisweet Chocolate Sauce and Apricot, Rosemary and Pine Nut Pierogies open our minds to the endless possibilities. We were inspired to make the BBQ Pulled Pork Pierogies using some leftover pulled pork and twice-baked potatoes; they were an instant hit.

What intimidated us: Homemade dough can be intimidating to some cooks. We often hear from friends that they have dough phobia which prevents them from attempting many dishes that require an element of dough making. It can be too tough, too dry, too wet—they are at a loss as to how to work around a sticky mess. Barber assures us that her dough recipe is very forgiving: No yeast, no rising time, and only a brief resting period to help the dough become easier to work. She gives us pointers on measuring and weighing dough so that we can replicate her success. We wish her step-by-step photos for preparing the dough were included in the book, but you can see them on her blog.

We look forward to making a variety of pierogi and suggest you start out with Barber’s Reuben Pierogis with Thousand Island Dressing. Get the recipe below.

Try a Recipe: Reuben Pierogis with Thousand Island Dressing

Reuben Pierogies with Thousand Island Dressing

Reprinted with permission from Pierogi Love (Gibbs Publishing), copyright and photograph copyright © 2015 by Casey Barber.

Jenny Hartin is the creator and founder of the Facebook group and website The Cookbook Junkies.

Cookbook ReviewsCookbooks of 2015Eastern EuropeanPierogisRussian RecipesSpeed Read
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