CHEDDAR CACIO E PEPE
EASY PEASY CINNAMON CRUNCH KNOTS

HOMEMADE CHEDDAR PEROGIES

Soft, tender, ever-so-slightly-tangy, pasta pockets filled with cheddary-smooth, mashed potatoes, crowned with hot-sauteed onions, and salty bacon bits.  Oh mama!!

Pierogies sunshineSunny, chilly, March weekends = Comfort Food.

Homemade Cheddar Perogies = Soul Satisfying Comfort Food.

Homemade Cheddar Perogies, topped with golden-brown-edged, fast fried, sweet onions and oodles of crispy, salty, bacon chunks, and of course, a smear of melted better and a dollop of sour cream = Robust, Bodacious, Yes Please, Comfort Food.

Boom shaka laka.

I don't know about you, but I love it when I can confidently justify these rather naughty, down-home, delicious feasts.  Especially on early Spring days, when chilly, winter breezes linger.  Or, maybe, when we're all supposed to just stay indoors, for fun, for health and for making the world a better place.

Cue, homemade perogies.  Piergies cut out

I like to serve perogies as a side dish when I'm having roast chicken, BBQ steaks, or sometimes, for Christmas Dinner  But this time around perogies were the main event. 

The dough is simple - flour, salt, melted butter, egg, and for a moist, tangy, little blast, plain Greek yogurt.  Cool, right?!   

Then, for the easy peasy filling, cheddar-riddled, mashed potatoes, touting just a dash of this, and a little schwack of that.  Ta da!

Piergies open filling
Pierogies on baking sheet
Making perogies is pretty darn easy, just a bit fiddly.  This dough cooperates well, and the filling consistency lends itself perfectly to being plopped, and wrapped.  You can make them for same day gobbling, or freeze, for later.  If cooking frozen perogies, they just take a tich longer to cook. 

Once the perogies are boiled, or fried, serve them up, topped with brazen helpings of aromatic, fried onions and bacon chunks.  Don't forget to offer up some butter and sour cream (or tangy Greek yogurt) just to amp up the comfort quotient. Irresistible!

Did you know?? 
The small town of Glendon, Alberta, Canada unveiled its roadside tribute to Ukrainian perogy, in 1991. Glendon’s perogy is a huge statue of one perogy, put on the fork. The statue is 25-foot height, weights 6000 pounds and is made of fiberglass and steel. 

Piergies best

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Adapted from Half Baked Harvest, for
The Last Wonton.  Thanks oodles, Tieghan.  You rock!

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Cheddar Perogies ~ Makes 35-40

FILLING:
2 large-ish russet potatoes, peeled, quartered
1 1/2 cups shredded 'old' cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 heaping tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

DOUGH:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup plain full fat Greek yogurt
1 egg, beaten

TOPPING:
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
4-6 slices thick bacon, roughly chopped

Butter
Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt


To make the filling:  Boil potatoes in a pot of salted, cold water, under fork-tender, about 20-30 minutes.  Drain.  Return potatoes to pot, and mash over low heat, adding cheddar, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 heaping tablespoon yogurt and
onion powder.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Set aside to cool.  Filling, done. 

To make the dough: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, butter, yogurt and egg.  Mix until combined.  Knead the dough, for 2 - 3 minutes.  Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes.  Dough, done.

Roll the dough, onto a floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness.  Using a biscuit cutter, or glass, cut out 3-inch circles. Spoon about 2 teaspoons filling into the centre of each round.  Brush the edges with water and fold half of the dough over the filling to enclose it.  Press down the edges to seal, pressing out all the air.  Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Perogies, made.

At this point, the perogies can be flash frozen, on the baking sheet for an hour, then transferred to a freezer bag, and frozen for up to 3 months. 

Or refrigerated until ready to prepare comfort feast.

Just before cooking the perogies, heat a large skillet over high heat, with 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon avocado oil.  Add the onions and fry and stir, about 5 minutes, adjusting the heat, if necessary, until onions are softened and have some of the marvelous toasty-golden-brown edges.   Transfer to small serving bowl.

Wipe the skillet clean and cook bacon, over medium heat, until crisp.  Drain on paper towlels.

When ready to cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Boil perogies, in batches, if necessary, for 1-4 minutes, or until they float.  Drain.

Divide the perogies onto plates.  Top with fried onions and bacon. Set out butter, sour cream or plain yogurt, for swooping.  Boom Shaka Laka!


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