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Wednesday
May092012

Sweet Perogies with Bananas Foster

This past weekend my girlfriend took me to Pittsburgh for a birthday getaway. All I wanted for my birthday was to shut my phone off in a hotel room and get room service and watch TV and movies all night. Wish granted. We were served these cute little, yes I said it, fried make shift perogies with a Bananas Foster sauce on top. When I read dessert perogies on the menu I was more than intrigued, I had to get them. Now they were very tasty, but like I said in previous posts I like to alter things to make them better or different. In this case different is better. Their perogies, pictured above, were puff pastry shells filled with straight ricotta cheese and deep fried golden brown. Not exactly what I was expecting but very interesting to say the least. I figured a traditional dough with a twist would make it that much better and I was right. Kudos to my girlfriend for giving me everything I wanted for my birthday, but sorry Mr. Hotel Chef, my dessert perogies are better.

Serves 4

Dough to Make Perogies

1 Cup of all-purpose Flour

½ tsp Salt

1 Egg Yolk

3 Tbsp Melted Butter

½ tsp Ground Ginger

¼ Cup Cold Water

 

for the filling:

½ Cup Ricotta Cheese

½  tsp Vanilla extract

¼ tsp Cinnamon

pinch of salt

 

                Start off with mixing the perogie dough. I am not sure about you but I absolutely despise making dough. In college I use to make all my own pizza dough; trying new and exciting ingredients while standing over my pretty KitchenAid mixer. What do I remember most about it? Kneading and folding, kneading and folding over and over again for an endless amount of time. Luckily this recipe isn’t that difficult and does not require kneading at all! YAY! If you are lucky enough to have a mixer with a dough hook use this, if not using your hands works perfectly fine. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, ginger and salt. Beat the egg yolk in a separate bowl then add it to the flour mixture. Add the melted butter and slowly add the cold water. Make sure you do this slowly or you’re going to have a clumpy watery mess all over the place. Now I tell my mother and my girlfriend that a messy cook is one of the best. This isn’t always true if you’re the one that has to do the cleanup. Work the dough until it loses most of its stickiness. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or overnight if needed. Now since this dough does not have yeast, which needs time to rise, it does not need to sit long. I was always told by my managers and lead cooks that if the dough doesn’t have time to sit it won’t taste right and you ruin it by speeding up the process. Then I met a Pastry Chef. She broke the truth down for me. Yeast-less dough doesn’t need any time to set, it is just easier to fold, fry, bake, and boil when it is chilled. So take that all the cooks and managers that took advantage of my childlike innocence! Ya….

                Ok so… filling time! Mix the ricotta, vanilla, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl. Feel free to taste this mixture. It should be sweet yet a little savory. It if it too salty you messed up. My directions say pinch for a reason. Once the mixture is set, start rolling your perogie dough. You can do this one of two ways. You can roll out the entire dough mix to an 1/8th of an inch and cut out circles of dough with the top of a cup to make each perogie, or you can pull a ball of dough one at a time and roll it individually. I prefer the latter as each perogie is a little different and gives it that homemade look, rather than using a cookie cutter. I rolled mine into small meatball size balls and rolled them each to an 1/8th inch thick. Be sure not to make them too thin as they will burst when cooking. Once you have them all rolled out take a small spoon and dish out about a tablespoon of the ricotta mixture in the center of each dough round. Fold each in half making sure to line up each side of the dough so you don’t make any openings in the side. Pinch the ends with your fingers so they are tight. Once you have done this to all of the perogies and used all of your mix drop each perogie in boiling water for about 3 minutes or until they float and remove with a slotted spoon. Try it first with one or two at a time before you go on. The first time I made asiago filled gnocchi I threw them all in the pot quickly and each and every one wasn’t closed and I just had a pot of boiling potato balls and asiago floating on top. After they are done boiling rinse them with cold water and set them aside to dry. This is when you can start your Bananas Foster.

Bananas Foster

½ stick butter

1 cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup crème de banana

4 bananas Sliced

¼ cup dark rum

 

                Now this Bananas Foster recipe is very traditional. I found it one time while cooking for my girlfriend’s family in New Jersey. You have never seen pressure from a significant others family until you are a Chef. They always expect you to come up with something delicious on the fly with the ingredients they have on hand. This recipe is very similar to the original from the actual creator of the recipe in New Orleans. Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a skillet. Put the pan on low heat on top of the stove and cook, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved. Now if you’re a guy like me that has ignored your mothers warnings about cooking butter over high heat before, LISTEN. We like things done quickly, or in one trip. We try carrying all the groceries from the car in one trip even if it hurts the whole way and we break a jar of her favorite jelly. Are you listening? Melting butter=slow on low heat. I think I’ve made my point. Stir in the banana liqueur and throw the sliced bananas in the pan. When the banana sections soften and begin to brown carefully add the dark rum. Now dark rum does not mean Captain Morgan spiced rum, it means dark rum like Myers. I also say carefully because I have more than enough scars to show you from adding liquor to a hot sugar mixer. It does not feel good. Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot and then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum. If you do not have a flame top stove lighting with a lighter will work also. When the flames die off, and they will just don’t panic, turn the stove off and set the pan aside. The sauce can cool for a minute while you pan fry the perogies in a little butter until they are golden brown. Pour the sauce and bananas over the perogies evenly on each plate and serve. Voila!

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