Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Gramma Loran's Pierogies
by Guinastasia

Young Garrick Loran had been kidnapped and wounded in a firefight between a group of anti-Imperial terrorists and the Empire's rescue squad. His parents thought it best to send the boy to their own homeworld of Lorrd to recover. After he revealed to them what he had learned, they feared that the Imperials might come looking for him, and so they decided to send him somewhere remote. It had to be safe, yet comforting and familiar, because the boy called Face was showing signs of severe distress; his mental and emotional health was in even worse shape than his hideously scarred face. So he went to stay with his paternal grandparents on Lorrd.

Gramma Loran was frightened by the change in her formally cheerful and laughing grandson. She wanted to do something to comfort him, and and when Grandpa mentioned that the boy was hardly eating, she decided on a solution. As a child, her beloved grandson couldn't get enough of her special homemade pierogies. Because they were so much work, she enlisted the help of other family members and they hunkered down in the kitchen and got to work early one morning. Later that evening at dinner, when Face caught the familiar smell of potatoes, butter, and onions, his appetite instantly returned. Though he still had a long way to go to recover, a return of his favorite childhood dish certainly helped! He even offered to help Gramma make the next batch, knowing that she'd let him have the leftover extra potato filling all to himself for breakfast and lunch the next day!

    Dough (If you decide to double it — don't double the recipe itself. Instead, make each batch separately!)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt (1 pinch)
  • ½ cup water (approximately)
Mix the flour and salt together, then start to mix in the egg, and then add the water slowly until the dough is right consistency. Knead the dough until its soft, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for about ten minutes. Then roll out the dough thinly — about 1/8th of an inch thick. Cut into dough into rounds (Gramma uses a round glass about 2-inches / 5-cm diameter) or into squares, with a knife or pastry / pasta cutter. Be sure to keep these covered till you are going to use them, with plastic wrap or a damp towel. You don't want them to dry out before you get the filling into them.

    Mashed Potato Filling (This is the filling Gramma Loran uses, but there are all kinds of different types of filling — you can look in cookbooks and online for many different filling types.)
    NOTE: The measurements are very much a "guesstimate" — Gramma has been making them for so long, she hardly ever bothers to measure!
  • 8 large Idaho or Russet-Burbank (chip) potatoes, peeled, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons; 4 oz / 125 g butter or margarine (Gramma recommends butter — it tastes better!)
  • 1 finely diced onion
  • 6 to 8 oz / 170g to 225g cheddar cheese, grated or shredded
Place the potatoes in a pot of cold water, making sure they are covered by an inch or so of water. Add the salt. Cover with a lid and cook on the stove top. Bring the water to a boil then take it down to a simmer; you can take off the lid if the water keeps overboiling. Cook till a skewer poked into a cube goes in, then comes out easily.

While the potatoes are boiling, melt the butter or margarine in a skillet, then add the onions and sautée over medium-low heat till the onions are softened and starting to brown.

When the potatoes are done, drain them well through a colander, then put back into the pot. Heat the water-less pot and shake or stir to dry out the potatoes a bit, 2 minutes or so. Add the sautéed butter onions and the grated cheese. Mash it all together with a masher. Allow the potatoes to cool enough to handle. Do not put the lid back on the pot, as that will cause water to condense back onto the potatoes.

    Assembly
  • Dough
  • Filling
Using a small spoon, scoop up a bit of filling and put it into the center of the dough square or circle, then pinch the edges together tightly, being sure to eliminate as much air from inside the pierogy as possible.

These can be frozen if you aren't going to cook them immediately. Put the finished pierogy on a plastic-wrap lined cookie sheet. Put another sheet over them, then freeze. When are are frozen solid, you can store the hard pierogy in a plastic bag or container and take out as many as you need.

    Cooking & Serving
  • Fresh or frozen Pierogies
  • 1 stick / 4 oz / 125g butter or margarine (again, Gramma suggests butter!)
  • 1 large onion, diced
Boil a large pot of water. Add no more than 10 pierogies at a time into the hot water. The pierogies are cooked when they float to the top of the water surface. To drain them, use a slotted spoon and place them in serving dishes or on a clean dish towel to drain. Do not put into a sieve or colander, as they tend to fall apart if you do that. Repeat with the remaining pierogies.

Melt the butter in a skillet and fry up the onions. Top over the boiled pierogies while everything is hot, and serve immediately.

ALTERNATIVE: Drain the boiled pierogies very well and add a few at a time to the skillet with the butter and onions in it and fry them till they are lightly browned. Serve.

One batch makes about 3½ dozen pierogies.

BONUS: If you have leftover potato filling, you can heat them in a microwave oven and salt to taste. Absolutely delicious! Or fry up "cakes" in a bit of butter and onions. See if THAT doesn't chase away your blues!


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