Unfortunately for students, the temperature is not expected to rise far above zero degrees in the week ahead. In the absence of a tropical breeze or a miraculous climate change, another option to keep warm is to stay home with a hearty dinner; however, when one thinks of comfort food, they shouldn’t be limited to macaroni and cheese or chicken noodle soup. Pierogies, a Polish dumpling usually filled with potatoes and cheese, make for the ultimate warming meal, and can be found in the frozen section of any grocery store. In this filling recipe, they are combined with mushrooms and (optional) kielbasa, a Polish sausage, in a creamy sauce to warm one up on cold winter nights. Be sure to remove the pierogies from the freezer an hour or two before cooking to allow them time to thaw. Any variety of pierogie can be used here, and the recipe can be made vegetarian if desired. Feel free to increase the amount of bell pepper or mushrooms if desired. This recipe makes four servings, but can easily be doubled for leftovers.
1 teaspoon of olive oil
2 cups of mushrooms (or 4 if vegetarian), sliced
1 package of kielbasa (optional), sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, any colour, sliced
¼ teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of dry sherry wine (or dry white wine)
1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
2/3 cup of milk (dairy or soy)
¼ cup of chicken or vegetable broth
1 (1 lb) package of frozen pierogies, any flavour, thawed
2 tablespoons of sour cream
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped (optional, for garnish)
1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onions, salt, pepper, bell peppers, and kielbasa. Sautée for around four minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and lightly browned.
2. Stir in sherry (or white) wine and cook until evaporated. Mix in the flour.
3. Stir in milk, broth, and pierogies. Bring the mixture to a boil.
4. Remove skillet from heat and stir in sour cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley if desired. Serve immediately. Allow leftovers to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container and refrigerating.