“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
"Winter is dead.”
~AA Milne, when we were very young
NOTE: I am away at the moment helping my mother with her treatment for lung cancer. I have set up a few posts to post whilst I am away as a special surprise. Some are new and some are reposts of old favourites that you may have forgotten, or if you are a new reader may not even have seen. I'll be back at the end of May, but in the meantime . . . Enjoy!
PS - I will only have sporadic internet use, so if you ask a question and I don't get back to you . . . it's not that I don't want to. It just may take me a while.
Friday, 18 January 2013
One of the things I love to make are Pierogi's. If you are not familiar with what they are . . . they are an Eastern European Dumpling with is made with a type of pasta dough covering and a potato based filling. The filling can have mushrooms in it with the potato, or meat, sauerkraut, cabbage or cheese, or sometimes even a mixture of several of those . . . but almost always it will have potato.
They are kind of like Eastern European Ravioli . . . and you boil them in lightly salted water and then fry them in butter with onions. Served up with a dollop of Sour Cream, they are a real treat! I normally make my own from Scratch following a recipe given to me by a Hungarian friend many, many years ago. (If you click on that it will take you to the recipe and some tasty photos of them.)
I have had this Pierogi Lasagne recipe in my to do file for quite some time now. I think I originally printed it out from the Mr Food site, but I can't be sure, as it was a copy and paste job. I finally got around to making it the other day and let me tell you . . . it was F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!! It tasted just like the real thing, with a lot less faff!
There was no rolling out and filling dumplings, or boiling them. There was no frying them in butter. You simply fry some onions, boil some lasagne noodles and make some mashed potatoes. The potatoes are mixed with cheese and some of the fried onions, and then layered with the noodles in a baking dish, and baked. It was really easy!
The recipe does make a rather lot and it says you can freeze it, but in all honesty . . . I have never liked the texture of potato dishes once they've been frozen. I was able to successfully cut the recipe down to a third the original quantity, serving only 4 so that was great! We had it fresh one night, served up with a salad and then we had the leftovers reheated for a quick supper the day after with some vegetables.
It's probably not the healthiest meal in the world . . . mostly because of the cheese and fried onions . . . but it's probably a lot healthier for you than regular pierogis because you are not sauteeing anything but the onions in fat. And in fact, I cut the amount of oil used to fry the onions down quite a bit as well, only using 1 TBS for the whole lot, which divided between 4 servings would be quite considerably less.
Using half fat cheese for the filling, and low fat sour cream for the garnish meant that it wasn't all that bad for us. It was cheap to make, filling and incredibly tasty! We both enjoyed it very much . . . even the pasta hater in the house!
This is fantastically delicious! It's also very easy to make and quite economical. It's also quite easy to cut the recipe down. I cut it down by a third today and it was fabulous.
1 package of lasagne noodles, cooked as per package directions
2 TBS vegetable oil
5 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 dessert spoons of cream cheese
8 ounces grated strong cheddar cheese (2 cups)
6 cups of warm mashed potatoes (seasoned to taste with salt and pepper, a bit of nutmeg, a knob of butter and some warm milk)
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until they are lightly browned. Don't let them burn. Reserve several TBS to sprinkle over the top of the casserole. Stir the remainder into the mashed potatoes, along with 3/4 of the cheddar cheese and the cream cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter a 9 by 13 inch glass baking dish.
Cover the bottom of the dish with 1/4 of the noodles. Top with 1/3 of the potato mixture, spreading it out with a fork. Top with another fourth of the noodles. Repeat with 1/3 of the potatoes. Top with another fourth of the noodles and then the remainder of the potatoes. Top with the last of the lasagne noodles Sprinkle with the remainder of the cheese and sprinkle with the last of the sauteed onions.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until heated through and golden brown on top. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.
Optional: Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream.