Growing up in Saskatchewan I had a lot of friends of Ukrainian background, like my best friend, Christian, whose family regularly invited me over for dinner—even for holiday meals. I got to understand Ukrainian food quite well. The best thing was that they introduced me to perogies. Christian’s grandma taught me how to make them from scratch—from the dough to the filling to how to cook them just right. That was a very memorable food moment in my life. Today I still make those perogies in two of our restaurants. They’re on the menu full time at Ayden. People in the Prairies can’t live without them! — D.M.
- 650 g (4 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 tbsp salt
- 50 ml (1⁄4 cup) melted butter
- 1 egg
- 2 large russet or Yukon Gold potatoeS
- 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) grated Gruyère
- 50 ml (1⁄4 cup) grated cheddar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1⁄4 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 250 ml (1 cup) sautéed minced onion, warm
- 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) crisp bronzed lardons, warm
- 50 ml (1⁄4 cup) chopped dill • 2 tsp smoked Paprika
- 50 ml (1⁄4 cup) sour cream
Combine flour and salt in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix at low. Add butter and egg and then 225 ml (1 scant cup) of ice water. Mix until smooth—5 to 6 minutes. Remove dough, roll into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Place in fridge for at least an hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Transfer potatoes to centre rack and bake until tender—about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove to countertop to cool slightly, then split lengthwise. Place a wire rack on top of a bowl, arrange potato halves on top, flesh side down, and push the flesh through. Transfer about 500 ml (2 cups) of the crumbled potato to a mixing bowl, add the cheeses, salt and pepper, and combine until smooth.
Let dough rest on countertop for 20 minutes. Then pass it through a pasta maker to form thin sheets. Cut these into 8-cm (3-inch) squares and arrange on a work surface. Place 1 tbsp of filling at centre of each square, then fold dough corner to corner to form triangles. (If the dough is dry, first brush inside edges with water.) Then pinch to seal.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add perogies and cook until they float. Remove with a slotted spoon to a lightly oiled tray. Heat a large skillet on medium and heat remaining oil until it shimmers. Add perogies and then butter. Once bronzed, flip, then distribute among warm plates—about 8 per serving. Garnish perogies with warm onions and lardons, sprinkle with dill and paprika, and finish with a few dollops of sour cream.
Add dumplings and simmer until cooked through, another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, drain the chicken livers, pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet on medium, add (preferably smoked) butter with a couple of sprigs of savory and sear livers until bronzed and still pink inside—about 2 minutes a side. Distribute shredded chicken among 6 shallow bowls. Add to each a liver and heart (optional). Ladle soup, vegetables and dumplings over top and serve with a stack of ployes.
We suggest a vibrant red blend such as the Canada’s Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Meritage or a fresh and layered white, such as the Australian Penfolds Bin 311 Chardonnay. For more on these fine wines, visit Mark Anthony Wines & Spirits.