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Pierogi recipe and filling from my grandmother

8 Aug 2006 #1
I have been reading all the different versions for pierogi filling. My grandmother made her filling by cooking finely chopped onion in butter, then she mixed that into a batch of hot mashed potatoes, and then added sharp cheddar cheese cut into small pieces so it melted into the potates. She then mixed that well and used as the filling for her pierogi. I can't give amounts here as I never had exact measurements for the recipe- I just do it from memory and like grandma- a little here and there. I know what it tastes like, and it is good... She also used an egg in her pierogi dough. After they were assembled, they were boiled til they floated, and greased with butter and put in the fridge til dinner. Then she just fried some in butter. Anyone else make it like this??? I'd like to try some of the other recipes I've seen here.

Also, on other recipes I have seen farmer's cheese as an ingredient. Now, please describe the "farmers" cheese. When my grandma said farmers cheese, she used a VERY dry pot cheese, that was sold by the butcher shop, but you could still buy in block form at the local supermarket.... Now that I live in PA, I do not find that product anywhere, and what is known as "farmers cheese" here, is a hard deli cheese, something like mozzarella. I don't have any real Polish neighborhoods around here that would cater to the old time recipes. I usually drive 2 hours to NJ for my Polish food for the holidays (back to the old neighborhood). Where can I find real Polish food near Reading, PA?????
bossie 1 | 123
11 Aug 2006 #2
I know "farmers cheese" as "cottage cheese", if that's any help. It's similar to mozarella but probably most Poles will disagree it's the same. Mozarella is more dense, has a less intensive flavour and a different consistence. But I suppose for pierogi is should do as just one of many ingredients and not the one that gives the flavour.
11 Aug 2006 #3
yes that's the kind of cheese I always knew "farmers cheese" to be. But it is more dry - not watery or creamy like cottage cheese. Do you know of any alternate names for it ? I live in the Reading PA area and don't really know of any local Polish neighborhoods where there may be a deli or grocer that sells it.

19 Aug 2006 #4
I have the deli at my local Shoprite order the Farmers cheese for me in bulk or you can also buy a small 7.5 oz package in the cheese aisle (near the cream cheese). The brand at Shoprite is Friendship.
19 Aug 2006 #5
sometimes they refer to it as "hoop cheese " also ( exes grandmother was ukranian, used farmers cheese alot. If you cant find it anywhere- she used to drain large curd cottage chees and use it after draining it in cheesecloth to remove all excess liquid.

Hope that helped :)
20 Aug 2006 #6
Yes, I was able to buy that brand at Shop Rite - but the one in the Passaic, NJ area where there was a Polish neighborhood. I live in PA now, and there are no Shop Rite stores in my area. I am wondering if you can freeze that kind of cheese. Do you know if you can?

Thanks for your reply.

I thought about substituting the large curd cottage cheese but never tried it. I wasn't sure if the cheese would still be too soft or watery. But I'll definitely give it a try. Thanks for the idea. My grandmother called that kind of cheese "pot cheese" but she would still be able to buy it fresh, not prepackaged like "Breakstones" brand. The local butcher shop would sell it. It was a large curd cottage cheese but not watery.

Thanks again
8 Sep 2006 #7
17 Sep 2006 #8
That is the same recipe that that was passed down to me from my grandmother. I use 5 pounds of potatoes, 2 pounds of onions, 2 pounds of sharp cheddar cheese (I usually used Kraft Cracker Barrel Sharp Cheddar - in the gold wrapper).

Of couse she also used saurkraut, pot cheese and a few others for fillings. I remember busha calling cottage cheese "pot cheese".
she would wrap large curd cottage cheese in cheesecloth and squeeze to remove the liquid. This is how I do it also and it works great.
22 Sep 2006 #9
You can make your own "farmers cheese". Just take a screen/strainer, line it with cheese cloth, and put the cottage cheese on the cheese cloth. Most of the liquid will drain out and make it dryer = farmers cheese. Also, HELLO to you in Reading, PA. My Dad was born and raised in Reading, PA. We all consider Pennsyvlania to be "the promised land"! :)
2 Oct 2006 #10
that is the way I was taught to make pierogies. Glad to see the tradition is still going on. I am looking for a borscht receipe. Could you email it to me please?
10 Oct 2006 #11
HELP! I can't find Dry Cottage Cheese (not farmers cheese) in Florida?! Does anyone know where one can get some without paying mucho $$$ for shipping from the north.

Thank you!

My mom always made her potato filling with Velveta cheese along with a sauted onion. Mom would let the potatoes cool then roll them in little balls, cover them and put them in the fridge overnight. They would harden just a little bit. Next day she would make her them and pop the balls into her circles then pinch, pinch, pinch! It saved quite a bit of time and the mess of spooning the fillings. She did this with the dry cottage cheese and sauerkraut filling. She would always add one mashed potato to every pound of sauerkraut or cheese just to hold the fillings together. She taught me how to make them the last year of her life and how I love making them...all the time.

I used to live in McKeesport, PA and we were always able to get Dry Cottage Cheese in Shop N Save and Giant Eagle. Check with the manager at your local grocery store. You can ask them to order it in. if they can't get it for you then call the 800 number for Dean's Dairy. They ship all around the north but not as far south as Florida. I can't find it anywhere. My mom did not like the farmers cheese, she said it wasn't the same as dry cottage cheese. Have Fun!
28 Oct 2006 #12
In the Philadelphia area, there is a Polish neighborhood known as Port Richmond. There are some Polish food stores in the area of Richmond and Allegheny Aves. One in particular, is a store called "Krakus Mkt". 3150 Richmond Street, Philadelphia, PA. They have a wide variety of Polish food products. They sell many imported Polish food products including their own brand. They even sell frozen "Homemade" pierogies.

As far as farmer's cheese can get it buy name (Farmer's Cheese) at: "Net Cost Market", 11701 Bustleton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. This is a somewhat International Market primaraly catering to the Russian community, but, they do carry a significant amount of other imported Baltic region items. I do hope I've helped you with this information, allthough it's not exactly Reading, it's a little closer than New Jersey.:)
31 Oct 2006 #13
hello everyone. We recently returned from a trip to the States where we stayed with a Polish lady. She cooked us some scones for breakfast which began with 'S', ans she said she used Farmers cheese in them. She thought a UK equivalent might be feta cheese. Does anyone know what these scones are called and have a recipe?
dziwna_gruszka - | 197
31 Oct 2006 #14
Well in my pierogi when i cook them i put boiled mash potatoes mixed with feta cheese... like goat cheese and they are amazing...
FISZ 24 | 2,116
31 Oct 2006 #15
Ok. Farmers cheese is Cottage cheese minus all of the liquid (pressed). Scone or Sgonn is a pastry. Was it baked or cooked on a griddle? Maybe it was a "griddle scone". You can probably google a recipe. They're very common to have with coffee or tea.
31 Oct 2006 #16
I have to say thank you to all of you who posted your recipe ideas! And glad to hear that somebody else makes pierogies the same way! I am going to write all your ideas down and try them.. I will have to check out the store in Philly that one of you posted. I don't travel to the Philly area much, but for holiday food, I would make the trip for sure! There are Giant supermarkets near me, (don't know if it is a Giant-Eagle) but I have to look more closely for the farmer cheese. It may be in a different part of the store than the regular dairy stuff.

I had a friend in Michigan who put sliced apples as filling for pierogi. I never tried it, but it sounds interesting.

Thanks again for all the input.
1 Nov 2006 #17
The store I spoke of in my previous post in Philadelphia, called: Krakus Market in the Port Richmond area has a vast array of different filled pierogi. They have apple, plum, blueberry and of course the old standbys... Potatoe, Potatoe and cheese, Sauerkraut and mushroom, etc. I've tried the later, never tried the fruit filled, but maybe will someday. Good eats!
FISZ 24 | 2,116
1 Nov 2006 #18
Fruit filled is good .... esp. when you sprinkle a little suga on top
1 Nov 2006 #19
Isn't the Reading/Lancaster/Philadelphia area the home of Pennsylvania Dutch/Amish cooking??

The Amish make a wonderful cow's milk farmer's cheese which is moist but still dry enough to make the filling for pierogies. I'm sure if you visit your local farmer's market you will find an Amish/Mennonite dairy booth that carries farmer's cheese. You don't have to go to Jersey to get it. Otherwise, put large curd cottage cheese in a coffee filter placed over a sieve overnight in the refrigerator. The whey will separate from the milk solids. Voila! Farmer's cheese.

Have fun,
15 Nov 2006 #20

I am looking for the recipe for the cheese filling of pierogi and also the the plum ( or Prune filling ) ( My father likes that one) I would love to surprise him for Christmas What else would be better for a man in his 70s? Maybe Duck blood soup? ( would love that one too0

Thanks for your help
krysia 23 | 3,058
15 Nov 2006 #21
14 Dec 2006 #22
Dry cottage cheese is farmers cheese, I've been in the grocery business for over 35 years, I do know.
Dagmara 1 | 38
14 Dec 2006 #23
Publix carries "Friendship" Farmers Cheese.
FISZ 24 | 2,116
14 Dec 2006 #24
If you're in Florida
Amathyst 19 | 2,700
14 Dec 2006 #25
Well in my pierogi when i cook them i put boiled mash potatoes mixed with feta cheese... like goat cheese and they are amazing...

now that sounds nice....I havent tried pierogi yet, i dont think, what is that thing served with the beetroot soup - its a long shape looks like its been deep fried in breadcrums but inside its like a pasta with a filling, if it is pierogi, sorry folkes Ive had it twice and both times it wasnt very nice...
rafik 18 | 589
14 Dec 2006 #26
long shape looks like its been deep fried in breadcrums but inside its like a pasta with a filling

these are "krokiety"-something different.:)
Amathyst 19 | 2,700
14 Dec 2006 #27
oh okay I shall try pierogi when Im back in Poland in Feb...because Krokiety are not very nice, well they are not to my taste and Ill eat almost anything.
14 Dec 2006 #28
Pierogi filling:

Farmers Cheese, add sugar and vanilla. Excellent!
Fried Cabbage and Onion. Very Good!
Potatoe and Cheese. Good
Blueberry: More for dessert, but excellent

You have to boil all pierogi to cook the dough. Then fry them in butter for the killer flavor.

Now, let's talk about blintzes with home made apple sauce, or farmers cheese! Christmas isn't the same without Polish food. Have a good one!
Crazy Horse - | 13
14 Dec 2006 #29
The Polish food market , KRAKUS is simply wonderful. Many imported Polish foods. They must have a dozen different types of Kalbasa. Wedding, Juniper, Coarse ground, fine ground, the list goes on forever. Chocolates from Poland, jams.

But, if your looking for the very best Pierogies, let me repeat...THE VERY BEST PIEROGIES this side of the Atlantic just go across the street to the Polish deli "Syerianka's" (Spelling?) and buy the frozen Pierogies they sell (by the dozen). They are, without a doubt, the very best Pierogies.

I also make Pierogies. I use the Farmers cheese. I have used large curd cottage, strained and pressed, but the farmers chees is better. I also make a cabbage and mushroom filling. I simply par-boil the cabbage in water with sugar added. I fry some finely chopped mushrooms in butter (and a little white wine) and strain the moisture from them, mix with the cabbage and fill the pierogi.

Of course I top them with bread crumbs fried in butter untill brown. Sometimes I also mix in some finely chopped onions.

Now I'm hungry!
Eurola 4 | 1,900
14 Dec 2006 #30
I grew up in Poland, but I never made pierogi or goloabki myself. They require a lot of work. Besides, I lost my Mom early and had nobody to teach me how to do that.

There are tons of Polish Deli's in Chicago who make them just great! Works for me.

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