August 14: St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe Pierogi

Five things you should know Maximilian Kolbe for:

1. He was a baby baptized by the name of Raymond; he was a saucy lad until his Mother (ahem, our Blessed Mother) came to him at the age of 12.

2. He longed to be a solider, but had poor health; he did travel as a missionary to India and Japan.

3. His primary objective in missionary work was to spread the message of the Militia Immaculatae. To do this, he also ran a radio station and had a publication going.

4. He was a well loved Franciscan priest.

5. JP named him the patron saint of the 20th century.

Exhibit A for Tip #1

4 tips for this recipe:

1. You are able to make this army of a recipe…and then freeze them! They are great snacks and are well loved by even the youngest members of the family.

2. We usually roll these out on our counter, but you can use a cutting board of your choice!

3. In step 7, a few lumps in the flour are okay!

4. Serve with sour cream or caramelized onions for extra flair.

Ingredients:
½  pound bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2  pounds red or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks, rinsed
Salt
4  slices cheddar cheese
1  large egg
1  cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
3 ¼  cups flour, plus more for board

Preparation:

1. Place the bacon in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. When the bacon is cooked and browned (but not crispy), turn off the heat; let the bacon sit in fat.

2. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan; and add cold water (to cover) and 1 tablespoon salt.

3. Bring them to boil over high heat, then lower heat to a simmer for 25 minutes, or until the potatoes break apart easily but are not falling apart.

4. Drain the potatoes, and place them back in the pot.

5. Add the cheese, and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Taste, and season with salt if necessary.

6. When the potatoes are boiling and cooking, beat the egg and 1 1/2 tablespoons salt together with a fork in a large mixing bowl. Let rest for a few minutes, then beat in the milk. Add the flour in thirds, stirring well, until you have a sticky dough.

7. Flour your cutting board with 1/2 cup flour, spread it in an 18-inch circle and turn the dough out into the flour. Lightly knead the dough, rolling flour in it as necessary, until it is mostly smooth and well floured, about 5 minutes. Pat it into a 1-inch-thick disc, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

8. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out 1/8-inch-thick. (If you like a more delicate wrapper, roll it a little thinner.) Punch out wrappers with a small round cookie cutter/ smaller cup.

9. Hold a wrapper in one hand, and place 1 to 1 1/4 tablespoons potato filling in it, pressing on the filling slightly to spread it nearly to the edge of the wrapper. Bring the edges of the wrapper up, as if folding a taco, and pinch one end closed.

10. Stabilize the pierogi on the outstretched fingers of one hand. Use your other hand to pinch around the pierogi’s top to seal the dumpling into a half moon, pinching the wrapper snugly against the filling to prevent an y air pockets from forming. Use the thumb of the stabilizing hand to block the filling from squishing out as you pinch. (If you have air pockets, they may cause the pierogi to explode while boiling.)

11. Place finished pierogies on a lightly floured surface and serve.

Notes:
Recipe from Francis Lam

St. Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us!

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