For (I believe) only the second time, I’m sharing a Vaughn household recipe rather than a Maine cookbook recipe. As I reiterate periodically, I prefer recipes with relatively short ingredient lists that deliver flavorful results – and I should add that I also like to keep the dirty dishes to a minimum. I think of this as my Maine practicality shining through. For this recipe, I cook the pierogies in the same deep skillet I use for the veggies and kielbasa after draining the pierogies and setting them aside. If you’re looking for another take without the pierogies, Sandra Oliver includes a one-skillet camp supper recipe in Maine Home Cooking that looks pretty tasty, too.
I began making this pierogies+kielbasa meal several years ago because it’s a quick dinner for week nights, and you can easily make it more colorful and healthy by adding the veggies of your choice. I typically use kielbasa (because I love it) or a smoked turkey sausage (leaner and healthier), but you could use any sausage of your choice. You can make this dish your own by adding everything from spinach or kale, to broccoli and cauliflower, to using a cream sauce, or a wine reduction… the options go on and on.
- 1 package pierogies
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup white wine
- Kielbasa or other pre-cooked sausage, cut into bite size pieces
I pretty much always include onion and spinach in my base for this dish. In fact, there is rarely a meal in which I don’t use onion. I once shared a lively debate with my best friends about the necessity of the onion in cooking – while E claimed (and rightfully so, I admit) that the onion offers minimal nutritional value and is merely a “nice-to-have,” M and I both protested that the flavor value and consequent impact of the onion overrode its nutritional shortcomings, making it a “must-have.” If you have any cooking “must-haves” or similar conditions, please share!
From this point on, you can embellish as you’d like, adjusting the cooking time and process accordingly if you’re adding harder vegetables like carrots, potatoes, or sweet potatoes.
In a deep skillet, boil water and cook the pierogies according to package directions (generally about 2-3 minutes in boiling water, until they float). Drain the pierogies and set aside.
Heat olive oil over medium heat and add onions (and garlic if desired). Saute for about two minutes, until somewhat tender, and add kielbasa. I like to add about a 1/4 cup of white wine at this point for flavor. It reduces nicely and turns everything golden. Once the wine is reduced, lower heat to medium-low and add the spinach (and other “soft” veggies like tomatoes, as desired).
Once the spinach is mostly wilted, I like to add the pierogies, stirring to combine the flavors and reheat the pierogies slightly.