January 01, 2015

Happy New Year!



I really wanted to begin this post by saying that the Poet Tree is back up, but it's not.  Clearly a Grinch is at work in the city of London.

Bah.

I have just finished reading my 2013 New Year's post - HNY 2013 - and I am not sure what to say except that resolutions are meant to be broken.  Oh and this is a Terrible picture.  What was up with my hair?  I look way better at 45 than I did at 44 :-)


Okay, enough vanity from me.  In 2014, I didn't write a crossword (surprise) and I didn't write a novel (I have written 50 pages of one and I'm not sure that I'm happy with what I've produced).  I am not going to focus on my epic fail, instead, I will revel in the writing that I did do - blog posts, poetry, short fiction and nonfiction, and several knitting patterns (Pompom was added to Ravelry's database).

And hey, there's always this year.  :-)

Dare I make some resolutions for 2015?  Let me think on that while I share my New Year's treat for you, my loyal readers.   Here are two of my favourite, tried and tested seasonal recipes: Perogies and Potato Latkes.

The rogies first.  I recruit the family to make many dozens of these treats at Christmastime:



Seriously?  I can't find all my rogie pics (rogue pics?  groan).  They are gone.  Dammit.  Hold on.

Here's a poem to read, by haiku master Kobayashi Issa, while I look for my missing pics:

New Year’s Day--
everything is in blossom!
I feel about average.

I really love these simple and funny lines.
*****


Okay, I found the pics.  They were hiding on me.

Here are the rogies, frying in the pan in a LOT of butta:


And on the plate, with fried onions and sour cream:

T.B.O. (taste bud orgasm)
Apologies to those of you who are feeling less than fresh this New Year's Day.  If you had been smart like me, and drank only 1.5 glasses of wine, you will think that these look delish!  And if you overindulged, you might want to skip this post.

And now the latkes.
My daughter is so sweet; she brought this amuse-bouche to me as I was typing merrily away:

Holy shizzlesticks! It is so lipsmacking delicious, I am going mental.

Here's a pan full of them:

I put the hubby to work frying. I cleaned the kitchen from last night's shindig, and then peeled and grated all of the potatoes and the onion. He owed me :-)

Without further ado, I give you the recipes with pictures.

PEROGIES

This recipe is from Ken Kostick's mother, Helen.  You might remember Ken and his wacky cooking show:



I loved that show.

I have used his Mom's recipe for years; I think it's fantastic.



You start by making the filling (red potatoes, milk, cheese, bacon, fried onion, butter) and the dough (flour, salt, oil, water).

Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface and use a beer glass to cut out circles.  Place about a tbsp of filling on each perogy.  





It is very important to properly seal the edge of the perogies when you fold them in half.  Pinch around the half circle, making sure that there aren't any holes where the filling can leak out when you're cooking them.  You will only make that mistake once.  :-)




Drop the perogies into a pot full of boiling, salted water.  They are cooked when they float to the top. Remove the perogies with a slotted spoon and place them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet to cool.




They can be eaten at this point, but I like them fried in butter with a lot of onions.  I won't eat them any other way.   


Oh yeah, baby.

Once you've finished making the perogies, cover the cookie sheets with saran wrap and put them in the freezer.  Once the perogies have frozen, remove them from the cookie sheet and dump them into a large ziploc bag.  If you try to skip the "freezing them individually" step, and chuck them into a bag and into the freezer right after you've made them, they will stick together in a giant frozen ball of perogy, ruining all your hard work. You will only make this mistake once :-)

Bags of homemade perogies make great gifts.  People love them. 


LATKES

This recipe is from Martha.  I don't use sweet potatoes, I prefer to use red potatoes.  



Peel your potatoes, and put the peels in the compost:



Do not use a box grater to grate the potatoes and onion unless you want shredded fingers in your latkes.  Get that food processor out.  I don't care if it's "hard to clean".  Suck it up.


Martha does not tell you to strain the grated potatoes, but I do this to remove excess liquid.  Let the potaotes sit in a colander for 20 minutes or so, or if you're in a hurry, just use your hand to mash the shredded potatoes down, forcing out the liquid through the holes in the strainer.  


It looks like shredded mozzarella, doesn't it?

Quick aside.  Did I mention that I love my food processor?  Today, I wanted freshly squeezed o.j. so I thought I would try out the juicer attachment, but because I am a dunderhead, I misplaced the strainer part of the juicer.  The processor wouldn't operate without it, so I McGyvered it with a plastic fork.  Yes!  This picture makes me very happy:


Back to the latkes.

I also shredded a large sweet onion using the FP:


Onions are very juicy, so I strained them too.  Don't cry!  Onions are pungent and powerful, and tears welled up in my eyes even though I used the fp.



Mix everything together (see recipe) and fry until golden.  Serve with lots of full fat sour cream:


Stroking out here, but damn!, is that good.



Happy New Year!



Optional musical pairing:  Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines because I couldn't stop singing it this morning.