Potato-Spring Onion Vareniki (Pierogi)
(courtesy of Eric Alexander, executive chef, Carpe Vino in Auburn. Serves 6)
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1⅓ cups warm water
3 tablespoons canola or olive oil
1 egg yolk
Place flour and salt in large mixing bowl and create a well in the center. In separate bowl, mix together warm water, oil, and egg yolk. Pour wet mixture into well created in flour and fold with hands or fork until combined. On floured surface, gently and quickly knead dough until smooth and firm but not sticky. Cover dough with plastic and allow to rest.
3 tablespoons butter
4 large, white spring onions, thinly sliced
2 pounds russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
¼ cup crème fraîche
1 cup sharp white Cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat butter in large pan on medium heat until melted. Add spring onions and sauté until soft and golden brown but not caramelized. Season with salt and remove from heat. Place potatoes in large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to boil and cook until tender. Drain potatoes and pass through food mill or ricer into bowl. Add sautéed onions, crème fraîche, cheese, salt, and pepper. Mix well and allow to cool.
Cut dough into quarters. On floured surface, roll out 1 quarter of dough until ⅛ inch thick. Cut out 3-inch circles using biscuit cutter or juice glass. Place a tablespoon of filling in center of each dough circle and fold over to seal, making half circle. Crimp edges of vareniki in 5 places. Place on a floured platter or sheet pan. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bring large pot of water to boil. Add vareniki to water. Meanwhile, heat additional butter in large skillet until melted and starting to bubble. Once vareniki rise to surface, cook for additional 3 minutes. Remove from water and place in hot skillet with butter. Cook on 1 side until golden brown.
Serve, if desired, with sour cream, onions, and fresh dill, as Alexander does at home.