Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Potato Cheddar Perogies

I asked my friend last weekend what I should do as my cooking adventure this week. She said "perogies!".  Challenge accepted.
It was a brilliant idea.

Perogies are a favourite guilty pleasure of mine.  I say guilty because they're served with cheese and bacon on top and sour cream on the side.  Not very healthy, but definitely very tasty.

Friendly warning however, this took me a little over 3 hours.  It wasn't difficult, it was just a long process. I started by making the filling, and let it sit on the counter to cool down while I made the dough.   Also -- you really really want to get a dough press for this. You can buy them at the dollar store. It's inexpensive and super useful if you're ever going to make dumplings, or ravioli, or even fancy finger sandwiches.  My mum happened to mention that she had one last week so I traded yard work for the use of her dough press to make these.  I really dislike yardwork.

Potato Cheddar Perogies
(from Canadian Living)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 cup water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 2-3 large potatoes)
2 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup finely chopped or grated onion
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 - 1 large onion, sliced and separated into rings for sauteeing
1/2 - 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6-8 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)
sour cream
  1. Fill a medium pot with cold water, add salt and potatoes. Bring to boil.
  2. In a medium frying pan, melt butter then add onions. Fry until golden and tender
  3. Boil potatoes for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
  4. Drain and transfer to a large bowl, mash well.
  5. Add onions, grated cheese, salt and pepper.
  6. Stir to combine, then set aside.
  7. In a mixing bowl, combine flour and salt.
  8. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, egg and water.
  9. Gradually add wet ingredients to flour and mix to combine.
  10. If needed, add 1-2 Tbsp more water to bring the dough together.  It should be soft but not sticky.
  11. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, or using dough hook, beat in mixer for about 7 minutes.
  12. Separate dough into two balls. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and set aside for 20 minutes. 
  13. This is a great time to pour a glass of wine, or do some dishes. 
  14. On a lightly floured surface, turn out dough, one ball at a time and roll to be ~1/4" thick.  
  15. Using dough press or cookie cutter, you want circles approximately 3" in diameter.
  16. If you're using a dough press, put the circle on the open face, pressing firmly against the "crimping" edge.  
  17. Add about 1 tsp of filling, then wet the edges of the dough circle to help them stick. Fold in half, pressing firmly to seal. Repeat.  Re roll scraps to make the most of your dough.
  18. Set finished perogies on a baking tray or lightly floured surface and cover with a dish towel.
  19. This recipe makes 24-36 perogies, so any that you aren't planning on eating tonight, can be put into the freezer on a baking tray overnight, then transferred to a Ziplog freezer bag.
  20. Fill a large pot with salted water, bring to a boil.
  21. In batches, gently drop uncooked perogies into boiling water.
  22. Remove the perogies when they float to the surface (~5 minutes).  Allow to drain.
  23. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Sautee onion rings for topping.
  24. When onions are clear and soft (8 minutes), set aside.  Add drained, boiled perogies to pan.
  25. Turn after about 5 minutes, to get them golden brown on either side.
  26. Serve topped with sauteed onion, crumbled bacon, grated cheese and sour cream.
  27. To prepare frozen perogies, boil from frozen (will take ~10 minutes), then fry.

These perogies were fantastic, but they're definitely a special occasion treat.  They took an entire afternoon to make.  I haven't tried the frozen leftovers yet, but the fresh ones were better than the frozen ones you can find in the grocery store.

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