Why Pierogi Are One Of Martha Stewart's All-Time Favorite Foods

martha stewart smiling
martha stewart smiling - Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

When it comes to favorite foods, Martha Stewart doesn't have just one. Through the years, the celebrity chef has made mention of a lot of different dishes. She described potato gaufrette as her favorite fried food during an interview with Food Network, and on an episode of "The Best Thing I Ever Ate," she highlighted fried eggplant and zucchini instead. She's also referred to both pickled herring and liverwurst as well as American cheese as her favorite foods to indulge in on "The Dr. Oz Show." But while Stewart clearly can't pick just one favorite food, there is a dish that has a special place in her heart: homemade pierogi.

"I am often asked: What is your favorite food?" Stewart reflected in an Instagram post. "Although I always answer Japanese, the real response should be and is pierogi, the delectable Polish dumplings that my mother, Big Martha, made so well in many incarnations." The reason she loves them so much, as she shared in a vlog posted to YouTube, is simply that it reminds her of her mother.

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What's So Special About Martha Stewart's Homemade Pierogi?

cooked pierogi served on white plate
cooked pierogi served on white plate - Zi3000/Getty Images

When talking about homemade pierogi in her 1999 cookbook "Favorite Comfort Food," Martha Stewart claimed she "can eat at least 20 of them." The fact that it's her childhood comfort food probably has a lot to do with this, but there's actually something special about the recipe Stewart's mom, Martha Kostyra, passed down. Typically, traditional pierogi are made with a basic dough that comes together with just flour, water, salt, and eggs (though some argue against the inclusion of the latter). Kostyra was in favor of using eggs, but she also added sour cream and milk. As she explained in an old clip from her daughter's cooking show, this makes the dough extra tender.

Martha's mom was definitely right about the sour cream and milk making the dough tender. Because sour cream is acidic, it weakens the gluten in the dough. The milk, meanwhile, softens the dough because of its fat content. These two ingredients combined yield a highly tender rendition of this Polish culinary tradition.

Martha Stewart's Favorite Pierogi

uncooked pierogi on cutting board near bowl of potato filling
uncooked pierogi on cutting board near bowl of potato filling - nelea33/Shutterstock

In her Instagram post, Martha Stewart shared that her mom also made delicious sweet pierogi, including ones filled with blueberry, peach, plum, and apricot. However, Stewart seems to favor the savory potato and cabbage ones, as they're the pierogi fillings highlighted in her show, website, and cookbook.

When it comes to cabbage pierogi, Stewart wrote on her website that her mom recommended using older rather than fresh cabbage because it doesn't contain as much moisture. Since her mom's recipe calls for rolling the dough very thin, older cabbage makes all the difference in preventing a soggy filling.

As for the potato pierogi, Stewart says they're made with Yukon gold potatoes as well as a "secret ingredient," cream cheese. Along with butter, the cream cheese is mashed into the potatoes while they're still hot, producing an extra velvety potato filling. Combined with the soft dough and served with brown butter, it results in the delicious pierogi that Stewart considers her favorite.

Read the original article on Daily Meal