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Author Notes: Leniwe means "lazy" in Polish, so this is your recipe when a day-long traditional perogy-making bee with the whole family pitching in isn't in the cards. Classic recipes for leniwe don't include milk, but I've never been able to get the dough to hold together with moisture from the egg and cheese alone. And speaking of cheese, the extra-old cheddar in the ingredients list mimics the flavor of the potato-and-cheese perogies I grew up eating, but using tangy white Polish twarog would win you points for authenticity. Finally, don't get too hung up on the egg white ~ remember that you're making leniwe because you're lazy. Whisk it by hand just until it's frothy and thick and call it a day.
A note on toppings: From the photo you can see that these leniwe were served with fried bacon, onion and mushrooms simmered in the rendered bacon fat, and a dollop of sour cream (not picutred). Simpler topping options include minced onion fried slowly in butter, melted butter and a mixture of your favourite herbs, or just a lone spoonful of sour cream or Balkan-style plain yogurt. —Nostrovia_ca
- 1 cup packed, grated extra-old white cheddar cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, separated
- 1/3 cup 2% milk, plus extra if needed (see step 2, below)
- 3/4 cup potato flour
- generous pinches sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- In a small mixing bowl, mash together the cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and milk with a fork. The final mixture should be well combined, but don’t fret if there are a few lumps.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the potato flour, salt, pepper, and thyme. Stir in the cheese mixture. Begin adding the all-purpose flour gradually, using your hands to work it into the dough. The dough is ready for the next step when it is no longer sticky. Depending on humidity conditions in your kitchen and the creaminess of the cheese you use, you may need to add more flour or milk to achieve the desired consistency — don’t be afraid to do so!
- In a clean bowl, beat the egg white until it is frothy, opaque, and just holds its shape. Incorporate it gently into the dough. The dough is perfect when you can gather it into a pliable ball.
- Divide the dough into two balls. Dust a work surface very lightly with flour and roll each ball into a long, thin rope about 15 inches long and 1/2-inch wide. Slice the ropes on the diagonal into 3/4-inch pieces.
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Drop in the leniwe (about 10 at a time, depending on the size of your pot; don’t overcrowd them) and when they float to the surface after about 3 to 4 minutes, remove them with a slotted spoon, draining well. Serve immediately with any of the suggested toppings in the recipe headnote.