29 February 2012

Ukranian Burritos

What do you do with leftover perogy filling when you are too lazy to make more perogy dough?

Stuff it into some mini tortillas to make Ukranian burritos!

Layer every single thing together: sauerkraut, beets, and pototo-cheddar filling, and don't forget the sour cream and friend onions.

Mmmmm Ukranian burrito close-up.

28 February 2012


Lynley was in town a couple weeks ago, which meant that it was time for the second annual perogy fest! Which is a tiny dinner party with a handful of guests drinking wine and trying to assemble perogies.

While Peanut appropriates a guest's bag as his new cave.

We launched the tradition when Lynley bought me this dumpling press thing last year. Using it was actually kind of labour-intensive, so we were happy to discover a seasoned pro in our midst this year, who taught us a thing or two about perogy assembly.

Mostly because beets are purple, I thought it would be cRaZy to make a beet filling for the perogies. This had already been done, albeit in a very unappetizing-looking way, on the internet: it was a simple mix of grated beets and chopped red onion, sautéed together. We also opted for the more classic fillings: sauerkraut, and pototo-cheddar (with lots of cracked black pepper). The latter remains king of perogy fillings in my books.

While the ladies worked on the dough, I prepared a paleoperogy -- filling served in a sandwich of thinly-sliced turnip -- for the paleolithic-dieting Gary.

Reports on the paleoperogy were that it tasted... turnipy... and sauerkrauty. (Sadly, the cheese in the pototo-cheddar filling disqualifies it as a menu item on the paleo diet.)

I really liked the texture of the turnip chips though, and for days later I was eating raw turnip chips, first dipped in the potato-cheddar filling, and when that ran out, dipped in peanut butter! (The density of the peanut butter masks the taste of the turnip, so that all you really get is a crisp, peanut-buttery crunch.)

But back to perogies. If you are not following some kind of crazy diet, here's the traditional perogy dough recipe:
Perogy Dough
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp oil
3/4 cup water (or water that the potatoes were cooked in)

Mix the dry ingredients together and form a well in the middle. Add egg, oil and water, and mix together. Roll out the dough. With a rolling pin or empty wine bottle; both worked just fine.

As I mentioned, this year we had a pro in our midst, who let us in on the secret to easy perogy-making: you place a few scoops of filling on the rolled-out dough, then fold the dough in half right at the filling.

Then, using a glass, you cut a half-circle around the filling.

Pinch the sides together and they're ready to boil.

Boil until they float. (If you are me, then you would pan-fry them until golden and crispy on the outside. Or if you are me, and lazy, you would just eat them now.)

Preferably with some delicious fried onions.

Or, if you ran out of fried onions, some Mennonite summer sausage on the side will have to suffice. (And by suffice I mean be the best sausage you have ever tasted.)

27 February 2012

Just think of your taxes as a big juicy hot dog.

Two days left to get your RRSPs, guys! Thanks, BMO, for making banking more delicious.

15 February 2012

Non-Vegetarian Tofu

How To Get A Tofu-Hater To Like Tofu

First, you need to cut it into fairly skinny cube-type shapes. (It = the extra-firm kind.) Season with some salt and pepper and toss into a pan over medium-high heat with some kind of oil (preferably a kind that won't burn at higher temperatures).

Secondly, it is essential that you get a good sear. This means it's going to be frying in the pan for a while, and don't turn the cubes too often! When they start to brown, then the sugars that are naturally present are caramelizing (read: turning delicious). The browner the better, so long as it doesn't burn.

Now: Smother it in a meat-flavoured sauce! Like President's Choice Butter Chicken. Sure, some chickens died to make this meal. But not nearly as many as if you were making the authentic dish.

Now it's time to WOW your tofu-hating friend! And get ready to hear them say, I can't belieive it's not chicken! (Nope: it's just chicken-flavoured non-chicken.) Oh yeah: Serve on a bed of field greens with a side of veggies for extra healthiness bonus points.

09 February 2012

No-Name Rolled Oatmeal Cookies


Oh, there's more of you. Hey guys. These dudes came from a recipe on the back of a no-name bag of old-fashioned rolled oats.

No-name oatmeal cookies recipe
I followed it pretty closely, except for the part where I didn't have any granulated sugar, so I replaced it with (almost the same amount of) chopped dates. Between this and a heavy hand with the coconut ribbons, the dough turned out on the dry side.

Tip: If your cookie dough seems too dry, the resulting cookies will most likely be dry.

After the first batch, I added a little water to the remaining dough to make it, well, wetter.

* Best consumed in the company of coworkers, past and present.

01 February 2012

Vegetable Lasagne

Sorry about the hiatus. I promise I've been eating. I made sure of that by turning a catching-up-with-friends night into a making-vegetable-lasagne-together night. I'm pretty sure this is the best way to hang out with friends. Everyone should do it, all the time.

Before we get down to work, a moment should be taken to watch the Vegetable Lasagne Seinfeld clip. There you go.

Our recipe comes courtesy of Jackie, complete with important notes -- eg. "Simmer 30 mins., but whatever." It's important to know when you can say whatever to a recipe and still have it turn out.

Delicious cheese sauce preparation: 2 eggs, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 475 g ricotta, 2 cups shredded mozzarella and 1 cup grated parmesan.

Fresh chopped veggies! The extent of my work this evening was chopping the eggplant and red pepper that I brought, and then consuming a bunch of wine.

Which by the way was one of the wines we picked up on our Okanagan wine tour last summer, a truly exceptional 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon from Burrowing Owl Estate Winery.

Our taster told us the bottle had been aerating for about an hour in a fancy expensive aerating machine, and this helped to soften the tannins and unlock the complex flavours. We didn't have an aerator on hand this time around, so we used a meauring cup and a whisk.

This really seemed to do the trick. Yes those are martini glasses.

Ok, the noodles are GOING IN. Spinach noodles for extra tastiness.

Everything gets layered together.

Here is plateful number one. It's not the most intact-looking lasagne, but it only existed for less than a minute before disappearing into my belly.
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