Same goes for hearty cabbage rolls, which we, slattern, make unstuffed: sauteed ground beef or turkey, onions, green pepper, cooked rice, a package of raw coleslaw, tomato sauce, dill, and black pepper. (Full disclosure: we grew up calling the cabbage stuffing mixture Putty Mutty. Weird)
Our Big Sis makes a mean perogi casserole. All of the taste, none of the hassle. Luscious layers of potato, dilled sour cream (our idea!), cheddar, bacon, and sauteed onions between sheets of pasta baked and topped with, yes, more cheese.
The first day of autumn upon us. We have great memories of attending a random church fund-raiser fall supper, complete with perfect fried chicken thighs, sausage, and perogies. When the first frost comes and a craving for a bit of Prairie comfort hits, we’re going to try scuffles, and make this lasagne-like casserole. Maybe some cardio first to combat all that luscious carb glory.
But we’re thinking of adding goat’s cheese and artichokes to the potato filling for a modern twist (see bottom recipe). Or maybe layering a bit of squeezed sauerkraut.
If you’re trying to cut back on fatty bacon, why not just use a few rashers and use slices of leaner turkey kielbasa to layer?
While we’re commiting acts of blasphemy, why not add mashed sweet potatoes with cheese?
SISTO’S PEROGY CASSEROLE
Cook bacon until crispy & remove from pan.
Crumble and set aside. Keep a bit of the bacon grease in the pan. (Toss the rest if there’s a gross amount.) Add chopped onions to the bacon pan with a bit of olive/grape seed oil if it starts to seem dry. Saute until translucent.
Boil/mash potatoes. Add dilled sour cream, a bit of milk and salt/pepper to taste. (You can also add cheddar cheese if you want to bump up the cheese flavor &/or add a bit of color to the potatoes so they stand out against the white lasagna noodles)
Boil a 500g pack of lasagna noodles.
I usually use a 380g package of shredded cheese because I hate grating. Old Cheddar/Italiano/Mozza-Cheddar/Double Cheddar… whatever sounds good to you (you could always grate it if you don’t hate that)
500 g sour cream (optional)
Once all the ‘parts’ are prepared I start assembling it like you would lasagna:
lasagna noodles (basted in a little melted butter to keep them from drying out – genius)
layer of sour cream (optional)
top with crumbled bacon and chopped green onion for colour.
Cover & bake at 325-350.
For another non-traditional twist on perogies:
Traditional Hand-Pinched Goat’s Cheese Vareniki
Chef Michelle Ducie
2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
3 cups (750 mL) white flour
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
water as needed to form dough
“The un-heart-smart filling.”
2 cups (500 mL) regular mashed potatoes
1/4 cup (50 mL) snow goat cheese
1/4 cup (50 mL) diced canned artichokes
2 tbsp (30 mL) minced fresh basil
1 tsp (5 mL) crushed garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Combine the egg and oil, add water to make 1 cup (250 mL) and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt. Slowly add the egg-oil mixture to the dry mixture and mix by hand. Add water or flour as needed to make a dough.
When combined, form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and let rest 3-5 minutes.
Combine the filling ingredients, mixing well to eliminate any lumps.
Lightly flour the table surface so the dough won’t stick. Roll out to a pasta-like thickness, less than 1/4 in. (.5 cm). Cut the dough into squares, add a small spoonful of filling in the middle. Bring corner to corner to form a tight seal, pinching.