this past weekend i went on my every-10-years apple picking adventure with a friend and her kiddo. as one would expect, a solid 20% of the flexible space in my fridge (as compared to the space that houses condiments and other semi-permanent fixtures) is now stuffed with apples. which will be perfect for putting pierogies with sautéed apples and sausage on repeat this fall.
pierogies are super adaptable little potato stuffed wonders and here they get the full *early* fall treatment (early = not pumpkin). while the pierogies boil, the apples get sautéed with an onion until they both soften a little bit and then we add in pinches of all the cozy fall (non-pumpkin pie spice) herbs: thyme, rosemary, and sage. precooked chicken sausage (apple and garlic flavors are both lovely here) gets tossed in the skillet and then we’re basically done. OH! except for a sprinkling of coarsely grated cheddar; we can’t forget the cheese.
in terms of the apples themselves, you can use any apple that won’t completely turn into applesauce when you heat it. i tend to be quite, uh, particular about the apples that i prefer to eat as a snack (do i have a written list of the apple varieties i’ve tried and my impressions of them? i admit nothing. incidentally, i recommend keeping the list in the cloud so you can reference it at the farmers’ market/grocery store. you know, if you *were* to keep a list…).
as a result of my strong apple preferences, the apples that we have on hand are always crisp and are tart or tart with sweet notes but you should use what you like/have on hand for snacking/just picked a peck of (pro tip: check the websites of orchards near you to see what varieties of apples they have and which ones are available when so that you can be sure that you don’t end up with a refrigerator full of not-your-favorite apples).
and while these pierogies with sautéed apples and sausage only use 2 apples, if i make this every week from now until thanksgiving, i just might make a dent on my apple haul…
ps – if this recipe kicks off a pierogi craving requiring a multitude of pierogi recipes in order to satiate it, 1) i understand and 2) i also have a recipe for pierogies with onions, peppers, and sausage (what can i say, i like this formula…).
- 1 box pierogies, see notes
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 apples, cored and diced (i keep the peels on)
- 2 links of precooked chicken sausage, sliced into thin coins, see notes
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried sage
- coarsely grated sharp cheddar, for serving
- bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pierogies according to package directions. they usually cook in about 5 – 7 minutes – quick! pro tip: stir the pierogies as soon as you add them to the boiling water and then again about a minute later so that they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan before the water reboils and gets them moving around. to determine if they are done, once they are all floating, i check to make sure the outer dough is all a uniform color (edges and center) and i just gently rap on the centers to see if they seem a bit soft. it’s not terribly scientific but i’ve never bitten into a partially frozen pierogi so i think they are pretty forgiving. drain and set aside once they’re done cooking.
- while the water is boiling, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. when hot, add the onion and apples. stir them around to coat in the oil and sauté for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. when the apple is starting to soften and the onion is becoming translucent (but nothing is browning yet), add the herbs and sausage. stir well to distribute the herbs around and cook, stirring occasionally, a few minutes more, until the apples and onions have softened and browned a little bit on the edges and the sausage has browned a little too.
- divide the drained pierogies among your serving bowls and top with the apple/sausage mixture. sprinkle with cheddar and enjoy immediately.
pierogies are (hopefully) available in the freezer section at your local grocery store. i often see them with either the other frozen potato products (fries, etc.) or with jewish/ethnic food, if the population who shops that store is such that there is a dedicated section in the freezer. mrs. t’s is the brand that i see most often and their website has a “find in stores” feature.
i like this with either apple or garlic varieties of chicken sausage. if you go the apple route, check the nutrition label to see how much sugar there is as i find some of the apple sausages to be too sweet for a dinner application. for reference, the ones at trader joe’s have 5 g. of sugar per 68 g. link and i found them to be borderline too sweet. al fresco, one of the main supermarket brands i see, has 9 g. per 85 g. link. so for my personal preference, i’d probably skip that one and get the garlic ones instead. ok, i’ll stop micromanaging your dinner now…
leftovers keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator. i store the pierogies and apple/sausage mixture together in the same container. they reheat well in the microwave.
sorry to do this to you but the nutrition label generator that i use doesn’t know what pierogies are (!). so, here is a label for the apples and sausage. your exact nutrition facts will depend on what pierogies and sausage you select anyway, so at least this gives you an idea.