Tuesday 8th March 2022.
March 8, 2022
It is Tuesday, but more to the point today is International Women’s Day and in honor of the day, it is an all woman music show.
Also we have back with us after our Carnival break our Feisty Foodie Sara. And for today? “I thought we could do some Ukrainian recipes today in honor of supporting peace and spreading love through food. We’re going to start with some Ukrainian Perogies (or varenyky), which are much easier to make than you’d think…you just need a little patience! To continue this Ukrainian theme, we’re going to make Syrniki: Ukrainian Cheese Pancakes. These make a great breakfast or snack item. A delicious Ukrainian accompaniment is this Creamy Cucumber Salad recipe…it would go great with the perogies! It’s quick and easy with the perfect bit of tang! The perfect cocktail to show some support to Ukraine is a Ukrainian Flag Shooter! It’s got perfect yellow and blue layers and is sweet and easy going down.”
Ukrainian Perogies (varenyky)
5 lbs. potatoes (large russet), but into 1” chunks
1 lb sharp cheddar cheese, grated
½ medium onion, small dice
1 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste
6 cups all purpose flour
2 tsps salt
2 cups warm reserved potato water
2 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
5-6 slices bacon, cut into ½” pieces
½ medium onion, julienne
1 tbsp butter
Sour cream for garnish
Chives, small dice
Make the Filling:
Peel potatoes and cut into quarters. Cook in boiling water 17-20 minutes until soft enough to mash. Drain well. Reserve 2 cups of potato water for dough. While potatoes are boiling, sauté diced onions in butter over med-high heat until translucent and golden brown.
Return potatoes to the pot and add the grated cheese and sautéed onion. Mash until smooth and all ingredients well combined and season with salt and pepper. Place filling in the fridge to cool. Prep filling ahead of time and let it cool overnight if possible. Otherwise let cool for at least an hour or so while making the dough.
Make the dough:
In a large bowl, sift flour and combine with salt. Mix together the water, the oil and the egg and pour half of this mixture into the flour. Mix and slowly add the remaining liquid. Knead by hand until flour and liquid are well combined. You may need to add a small amount of either flour or water, depending on the consistency of the dough. You should end up with a ball of dough that is very pliable but not sticky.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap or a clean plastic bag and let dough rest for at least 30 minutes.
While dough is resting, fry up bacon pieces and remaining julienne onion until golden and slightly crispy. Set aside.
Cut dough in half or in thirds, keeping unused dough well wrapped in plastic until needed. Flour the table or counter lightly and roll dough to about 1/8 inch thickness.
Cut the dough in rounds using a biscuit cutter or a small, upside down glass (2.5-3”)
Fill each round of dough with about one tablespoon of potato filling and seal the edges of the dough together with your fingers. Make sure there are no gaps when pinching the edges because if there are, your perogies will boil out when you cook them and you’ll be left with just the dough (although this is still really yummy).
To cook, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook in small batches (10-15 perogies at a time), stirring gently to prevent dumplings from sticking together. Perogies are finished cooking when they float to the top.
Use a slotted spoon to remove them from water and drain before transferring to a serving bowl. Toss with butter and top with bacon onion mixture. Top with sour cream, sprinkle some chives and enjoy!
TIP: To freeze perogies, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flash freeze them. You can layer parchment paper on top of perogies to freeze more on one tray, just don’t let the perigees touch each other or they will stick together. Once perogies are frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer bag and store for up to 6 months. Be sure to write the date on the bag.
Creamy Cucumber Salad
1 1/2 lbs cucumbers, 2 english cucumbers or 7-10 small ones
1/2 medium purple onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp fresh or frozen dill, chopped
3/4 cup sour cream, reduced fat is ok
1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 small lemon)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp sea salt and black pepper to taste
In a small bowl, combine sour cream, lemon juice, garlic, dill, salt and pepper. Stir and set aside while prepping salad.
Slice cucumbers into thin rounds and place in a large mixing bowl. Add thinly sliced onion. Just before serving stir sauce into the salad and mix to coat cucumbers. After adding sauce, the salad will stay fresh for about 2-3 hours if refrigerated.
Syrniki: Ukrainian Cheese Pancakes
1 lb Farmer’s cheese
½ + ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
½ cup raisins (optional)
6 tbsp Vegetable oil for frying
Sour cream, jam, honey or icing sugar as garnish
In a large bowl, crumble farmer’s cheese with a fork. Add 2 eggs and mix well. Add ½ cup flour (reserving ⅓ cup flour for the next step), ¼ cup sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt and mix well until smooth with no lumps and thick. Mix in ½ cup raisins (if using). In a shallow dish, spread ⅓ cup flour. Using a ¼-cup ice cream scoop, scoop out the syrniki mixture, form into a patty and drop it directly into flour. Shake off excess and continue with the remaining batter. In a large skillet on medium-low heat, heat 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil and place the syrniki in a skillet one by one. Cook the syrniki in batches until golden brown on both sides. Add more oil if needed to prevent from sticking. Once cooked, transfer the syrniki to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Serve with sour cream, honey or jam or dust with icing sugar.
Ukrainian flag shooter
1 part Blue Curacao
1 part orange juice or pineapple juice
Pour the pineapple or orange juice into a shot glass until ½ full. Then pour the blue curacao over a bar spoon slowly onto the juice being careful that they don’t mix. They should layer beautifully and look like the Ukrainian flag.