The Pierogie Kitchen

With my husband’s Polish background, his mom’s side of the family loves traditional Polish cuisine like pierogies and kielbasa. A pierogie is a dough mixture stuffed with ingredients such as potato, cheese, and cabbage fried in a sauté pan with butter. When I first started dating my husband, I surprised him by making homemade pierogies-not an easy task to make from scratch-but I tried. My husband loved them, and that was all that mattered or at least he loved that I put such time and effort into making a meal that honored his family's traditions. Not being the most patient cook, I have not attempted that recipe since, but instead have often opted for the average frozen pierogies from the grocery store.

Every Christmas Eve, my husband’s family celebrates Wigilia, the traditional Christmas Eve meal in Poland. Wigilia also refers to the entire Christmas Eve day, which includes the evening meal and midnight mass at Roman Catholic Churches throughout Poland. Christmas Eve supper is a meat-free meal of many courses. Some of the traditional courses include red beet soup or mushroom soup, herring in oil, carp fillet, potatoes, a variety of salads and vegetables, stuffed cabbage (golabki), and pierogies. A special tradition from this day is always followed by my husband's family, The Koster's. The head of the household, my husband's grandfather, begins the meal with a prayer and the breaking of the Christmas wafer. The wafer or oplatek is broken and given to everyone at the table. Then each person breaks off pieces of their oplatek sharing it with everyone, and wishing each person individually good fortune and wishes for the next year followed by a kiss on the cheek.

Last Christmas Eve, the dinner started with a choice of soups usually a clam chowder (white and red) and a mushroom soup. The main course included a baked white fish in butter sauce topped with toasted, sliced almonds served with a variety of vegetables and of course a variety of meat-free pierogies. Since last Christmas, my husband was driving through the Philadelphia neighborhood of Roxborough, where he noticed a quaint storefront called The Pierogie Kitchen. The Pierogie Kitchen turned out to be the place to go for a lover of Polish cuisine and pierogies. Forget about being Polish, anyone would love this kind of comfort food- potatoes, cheese, sausage-what's not to like!

The menu from The Pierogie Kitchen is all about pierogies giving you more options than you ever thought were available for pierogies. This place has a modern, fun take on pierogies offering fillings such as cheese steak, kielbasa and cabbage, farmer’s cheese, loaded baked potato (potato, bacon, and cheddar cheese), and lump crabmeat. The standards are available as well like the potato and cheese and cabbage. The Pierogie Kitchen also makes a whole list of yummy, Polish style sandwiches like the PK Stacker, a Polish food lover's dream of kielbasa slices, kraut, potato and cheese pierogies stuffed between two slices of toasted rye bread. Side dishes of kielbasa, stuffed cabbage and kraut are also available. You can buy pierogies, kielbasa and many of the sides either frozen-to-go or made to order.

My husband and I are in the habit of stocking up on these delicious pierogies, which are 100 times better than anything found in the grocery store. With a dozen in a bag, we often buy a few different kinds at a time, which makes for a quick and easy meal whenever we want it. The frozen pierogies need very little thawing time, so these can come out of the freezer just an hour or two before dinnertime. In a large, non-stick sauté pan, I melt a tablespoon of butter on medium to high heat. I place six pierogies in the pan at a time, cooking for a few minutes on each side or until each side had a nice golden color. I serve the pierogies with sautéed peas, onions and kielbasa garnished with a dollop of sour cream. Although we will be out of town, my husband picked up a few dozen frozen, meat-free pierogies for his grandparent’s Christmas Eve dinner. We hope they love these as much as we have.

If you live in the Philadelphia area, then I highly recommend checking out The Pierogie Kitchen whether it is for a quick, hot lunch or to stock up on some frozen pierogies for your household. It sure is nice to have a quick and perfectly delicious dinner solution sitting in your freezer whenever you need. If you are having a football party or any kind of gathering, then these easy-to-make pierogies would make for a great appetizer with sliced kielbasa. If your family's Christmas traditions call for pierogies, then I suggest stocking up from The Pierogie Kitchen while supplies last!

Philadelphians, Yunkers, Roxys go to The Pierogie Kitchen today to place your order-you won’t be sorry.

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