I didn't realize how much time I had on my hands when I was a student. Class was over by lunchtime on Friday and if it was my turn to host, I had all afternoon to cook.
One of the more memorable dinner parties I attended was Giles Grierson's big perogie party. Giles found the recipe on the sleeve of a Rythm Activism record sleeve. I think he actually quadrupled the recipe because of the number of people attending.
Making the perogies was quite the production. We started in the early afternoon and weren't finished until late in the evening. Aside from the massive amounts prep work involved, the recipe called for copius amounts of vodka which we assumed was meant for the chefs during preparation. While we did control ourselves, the alcohol surely contributed to the amount of time it took us to prepare the meal.
Ingredients for perogi dough
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
- 1 egg, beaten
- 8 medium sized potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed
- 1 grated large onion
- 500 grams cottage cheese
- 300 grams of sharp, old cheddar, grated
- an equal amount of milder cheese, grated
- 3 or more heads of garlic, peeled and chopped finely
- a handful of either chopped dill, or 2 tablespoons of dried dill
- 1 tsp ea. salt and pepper
- 6 or more onions peeled, diced
- 2 or more heads [Dan: no, that's not a typo] garlic peeled, cut finely
- 1/4 pound of butter
- big handful of fresh, chopped parsley or a handful of chopped green onions
- 1 tsp each salt and pepper
Mix flour and salt. Combine egg, milk and water, gently stir into flour mix. Knead 3-4 minutes, make 6 balls of dough. Flour rolling surface, then roll out dough to approximately 1/16 to 1/8" thickness. Cut into 3-4" squares.
Meanwhile, combine all the stuffing ingredients in a big ball, and season to taste. Don't be afraid of lots of garlic - it's good for you.
Begin boiling a large pot of water, add a teaspoon salt, a teaspoon oil.
Preparing the sauce
Brown the onions and garlic in the butter and then add remaining sauce ingredients and simmer.
Stuff the perogies: hold a dough square in the palm of one hand, wet to joining sides of it with your finger, add about 1 teaspoon of stuffing in the middle, the fold the dough dry corner to wet corner to form a triangular "hat" and pinch the two sides shup firmly. Lay the stuffed perogies gently on a tray keeping them seperate from each other, then add to boiling water, about 10 at a time, stirring gently 3-5 minutes, until they float to the surface. They're ready.
Back to the sauce: coat a good sized casserole dish with a bit of sauce, then alternate layers of perogies and sauce.
While perparing the perogies, don't hesitate to toast major accomplishments regularly with a coderate shot of vodka, followed immediately with a chaser of hot tea.
Serve perogies with sauerkraut, sour cream, mushrooms, pickles, tomatoes, and fresh bread. Dessert should be something light.
- 1 bottle for every two guests of either Polish, Ukranian, or Russian vodka, chilled.
- 1 pot of black tea.