Polish potato-filled pierogies make excellent comfort food, no matter the time of year, but to prepare them from scratch is an undertaking best suited for a long weekend. In order to make these dumplings in 30 minutes, you will need to take more than one shortcut — involving both the filling and the dough.
First, the filling: Since chopping, boiling and mashing potatoes can take 30 minutes on its own, you’ll need to employ instant mashed potatoes here. As long as you choose the unflavored variety, you’re not using much more than potatoes themselves, and their thick, pasty texture actually works to your advantage in this dish. No need to follow the directions on the box, either. Equal parts cold or room temperature water and dehydrated potatoes, plus a big handful of cheddar cheese, is all you’ll need.
Next, the dough: You've got a few options here. Any 3- to 4-inch round ready-to-cook dough will work; wonton wrappers are a good option, but frozen (and thawed) empanada wrappers, which I've found at Kroger, are even better. Whatever you choose, know that it won't be exactly a pierogi dough, but once you've coated the dumplings in melted butter, you'll be hard-pressed to find a problem with it.
The most work-intensive part of the dish is actually in filling the dumplings, so do this while your boiling water is heating to save time. Make sure to get a good seal using a fork (and with wontons, you may need to seal the edges with a bit of water as well). When you’re ready to cook, melt half a stick of butter in a large skillet and stir in plain, drained sauerkraut. Keep this mixture at the ready for the boiled pierogies.
The dumplings themselves need only a few minutes in hot water to cook through; you’ll know they’re done when they float. Use a slotted spoon to move them over to the hot butter, toss them to coat, and you’re ready to eat.
Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.