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.)

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