Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Mrs. T's Potato and Cheddar Pierogies
If you're not familiar with them, pierogies are basically a sort of Slavic ravioli. They're hugely popular in places like Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia, Belarus etc., and in all areas of the world where immigrants from Eastern Europe have settled.
A pierogi is a pasta pocket that can be filled with pretty much anything that appeals to traditional Eastern European tastes -- i.e., shredded meat, cabbage, mushrooms, onions, sauerkraut, and so forth -- and not surprisingly, cheese and potato is also a popular choice. Tonight I had Mrs. T's Potato & Cheddar version. You can cook them a number of ways, but I chose to steam mine and use only a splash of olive oil, so I could get a taste of it "pure." (Yeah, I know, butter would have been more "authentic"...so sue me.)
The pasta cooked perfectly. It came out al dente, was not gummy, and was well proportioned to the center. The pasta itself doesn't have a lot of flavor -- but the filling more than makes up for it, and with a sauce or a garnish I don't think it would be an issue at all.
I give them extra points for not exploding or leaking during cooking, as such pasta pockets are prone to doing.
The center is a smooth mashed potato that is flavored with Cheddar. Aside from the fact that the potato is a buttery yellow, there is no visible evidence of the cheese, but you can taste it in the slightly grainy potato. The potato tastes more like boxed mashed potato than "real" mashed -- but in what is probably NOT a shocking confession, I actually really, really, really like boxed mashed potatoes (just like Mom made!). I'm sure I just lost some foodie street cred there, but I don't care. Everyone has some low-rent, processed, questionable food that they like, and that's mine. Hell, even Tony Bourdain professes love for KFC. If you have ever had those microwave twice-baked potatoes found in the freezer section, then you know what the filling tastes like.
For a fast meal, these were pretty good. I know that you could make homemade version with much better quality ingredients, but for frozen these are definately tasty and I will be having them again.
Also, check out THIS review over at Heat Eat Review.