Catholic Recipe: Pierogi
Also Called: Dumplings
The Wigilia is the traditional Christmas Eve supper of Poland. This is a meatless meal for it is a fast day [Editor's Note: This day was formerly a fast day. Fasting is no longer required in the Latin rite.--JGM]. The number of the courses is fixed at seven, nine, or eleven. It is considered unlucky to have an odd number of persons at table, and relatives are invited, especially those who have no family of their own.
The soups are three in number, and always include Barszcz (a beet soup). There are three fish dishes — whole pike or carp, fish puffs, and salt herring; three accompanying dishes — homemade noodles with poppy seeds, red cabbage with mushrooms, and cheese Pierogi (dumplings).
Heap flour on a bread board and make a hole in the center. Drop eggs into the hole and cut into the flour. Add salt and water and knead until firm. Let rest for ten minutes in a warmed bowl, covered. Divide dough in halves and roll thin. Cut circles with a large biscuit cutter. Place a teaspoonful of filling on each round of dough. Moisten edges with water, fold over, and press edges firmly together. Be sure they are well sealed. Drop pierogi into salted boiling water. Cook gently for three to five minutes. Serve with brown butterand bread crumbs and sour cream.Recipe Source: Feast Day Cookbook by Katherine Burton and Helmut Ripperger, David McKay Company, Inc., New York, 1951