Reuben pierogies just happen to be Casey's favorite recipe from Pierogi Love: New Takes on an Old-World Comfort Food.
As you might deduce from its title, my new cookbook Pierogi Love: New Takes on an Old-World Comfort Food is chock-full of love and appreciation for the humble pierogi. But one thing's for sure about the book, as clichéd as it may sound: these are not your babcia's pierogies.
Yes, Pierogi Love features classic fillings like potato and cheddar, mushroom, sauerkraut, and farmer's cheese. But the real heart of the book is to take the idea of "if a pierogi could be anything, what would it be?" and see how far I can stretch it.
Featuring 60 recipes for both sweet and savory pierogies in flavors you've never envisioned—game day-ready jalapeño popper pierogies, elegant celery root pierogies with caramelized fennel, sweet potato pie-rogies with pecan praline and toasted marshmallow fluff, and the book's cover model, pickled strawberry jam pierogies with white chocolate sauce.
With this lineup, it's a fun excuse to introduce pierogi newbies to the wonderful world of Eastern European dumplings. You might not immediately be familiar with pierogi, or with vareniki, or pelmeni, or kalduny, or piroshky, or any of the various names by which these little doughy packages of deliciousness are called. But I'm fairly certain you're quite knowledgeable about the fact that dumplings from any culture—whether they're pierogies or ravioli or shu mai or potstickers or empanadas—are delicious.
Pierogi Love exists at that modern culinary intersection that brings good things from around the world together in surprising and tasty ways. It whisks the Polish dumpling away from its usual home in church basements and potluck suppers, updating what many consider to be a culinary relic of an older generation and bringing it firmly into the 21st century.
In that spirit, today I'm sharing what might be my favorite recipe from the book. I try not to play favorites with my pierogi recipes; they're all my children and I love them dearly. But… having said that… my unadulterated adoration of reuben sandwiches is the stuff of legend.
My husband and I joke that there's a reuben-shaped hole in my stomach that must constantly be filled up or I'll live in a perpetually cranky state. And since sauerkraut and smoked meats are also traditional elements of Eastern European cuisine, it seemed completely natural to transition the sandwich into pierogi form.
If you're a novice pierogi maker, you'll find this filling to be one of the easiest to handle and stuff into your pierogies. The dough, a tweak on the basic savory pierogi dough with the addition of a little rye flour and some caraway seeds, is also a pierogi newbie's dream: no yeast, no rising time, just a quick stir and a rest and a roll out into a supple, stretchy sheet. Put it all together, add some homemade Thousand Island dressing for dunking, and you've got yourself a winning meal.
As with every recipe in the book, these pierogies are freezer-friendly—perfect quick weeknight food to stash away and cook up at a moment's notice (plus, they take up much less space than a casserole!). You might not be able to resist eating these reuben pierogies fresh, but then, in Pierogi Love, you have 59 other recipes to try out and eat at your leisure.
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