Monday, January 12, 2009
Perogies have been on my mind for a while, since they have comfort food status in my area of Canada (Edmonton through Northern Alberta), and I knew I would have to make them if I wanted to eat them. I can't remember ever making them at home - we always bought them frozen or had them homemade by an amazing neighbour. I decided to try a basic filling of potato with onion and fresh white cheese (sometimes sold as baking cheese) that is tangy and a little thicker than sour cream. Drained, thick Balkan style yogurt or lebnah would work as well.
Boil 1 kg of potatoes, peeled, until soft and mash. Dice and caramelize one large onion in a little oil. Add 3/4 cup of fresh white cheese and onions to potatoes with 1 tbs salt and 2 tsp of pepper. You will have a generous 1 kg of filling.
Near me is a dumpling and noodle shop where I can always buy fresh three inch dumpling skins, and that is what I used for the wrappers. I definitely encourage this if you have the option; if not, you can use another recipe for the wrappers or use frozen dumpling skins (though they often use an egg based dough and will end up more like ravioli then perogies). Or, dare I suggest, layer the filling in a 9X13 pan between cooked lasagna noodles, cover with more onions cooked in melted butter, and heat through covered in a 350 degree F oven.
Filling the perogies took my unpracticed hands the better part of an hour (notice my not very neat seals). It's a good job for sharing, or something for your hands to do during a movie or game. Each skin held not quite two teaspoons of filling, and I ended up with about eighty perogies, which will serve ten generously. To cook, boil in plenty of salted water until they float. Eat with sour cream and bacon bits, or chopped green onion, or more onions cooked in butter. They freeze well too - don't thaw before cooking.