Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Pressed for time? Lazy perogies fill bill

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TIME-PRESSED cooks who still have a hankering for comfort foods like perogies will welcome today's first recipe for lazy perogies. Val Bishop sent in the recipe for Bonnie Stefaniuk.

Linda Vernon filled a long-ago request from Celine Beaudette for tart Key Lime cheesecake squares.

Now onto recent requests:

Elaine Janke of Starbuck is after an old recipe her mother used to make for raspberry yeast cake. It consisted of two layers of cake (made with yeast) with a layer of strawberry jam in between the layers. It was baked in a 13 x 9-inch (3.5 L) pan and topped with an icing sugar glaze while it was still warm.

Dorren Maryk puts out a call for taco soup.

Michele G. would love to get her hands on the recipe for Vidoni's chicken Dracula and its accompanying sauce.

Joanne Racey deJong is on the hunt for a favourite recipe she lost. It included graham wafers stacked with a date filling and then iced with a white stiff butter icing. It was cut on an angle to display the layers.

Finally, Elly Hudson requests a light, Thai salad dressing that has a slightly sweet, smoky taste.

In advance of the upcoming holiday season -- and the annual baking bees, cookie exchanges and holiday entertaining -- Recipe Swap launches another Home for the Holidays contest.

Memorable food is an essential ingredient for successful festivities. So we're asking readers to send in their favourite holiday recipes in the following categories: appetizers, side dishes, Christmas goodies and desserts. Two winning recipes will be selected in each category with winners receiving a copy of the new Company's Coming's Decadent Desserts cookbook by Jean Pare.

Please send all entries, including your recipe and a recipe request, to Home for the Holidays Contest, c/o Ilana Simon, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6, send a fax to 697-7412 or e-mail to ilana.simon@freepress.mb.ca. Please include name, address and daytime telephone number in case any ingredients or directions must be checked. All entries must be received by Oct. 31, 2003.

To respond to one of this week's Recipe Swap requests or send in a request, please write to Recipe Swap, c/o Ilana Simon, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6, send a fax to 697-7412 or e-mail to ilana.simon@freepress.mb.ca. Please include name, address and daytime telephone number in case any ingredients or directions must be checked.

Lazy perogies

9 lasagna noodles (not oven-ready variety)
8 to 10 large potatoes, peeled
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) grated cheddar cheese
1 onion, chopped fine and lightly sautéed
Salt and pepper
Topping:
2 onions, coarsely chopped and sautéed

Boil lasagna noodles in salted water until tender (not al dente!) Drain.

Meanwhile boil and mash potatoes

Sauté finely chopped onion.

Mix mashed potatoes with cheese, onion, salt and pepper.

In greased 13 x 9-inch (3.5 L) pan, place one layer of lasagna noodles.

Top with half of mashed potato mixture. Repeat.

End with final layer of noodles.

Cover with coarsely chopped sautéed onions and bake at 325º F (160º C) for approximately 1/2 hour.

Serve with same condiments you would with perogies such as sour cream and fried bacon.

Taste-tester notes: This easy-to-prepare casserole is delightfully reminiscent of perogies -- minus all the work. Be sure to cook lasagna noodles well since they are not covered in sauce and may dry out a little. For the topping, I suggest slicing the onions in rings and sautéing both the onion rings and finely chopped onions for the filling until browned and well done (not lightly sautéed.) Also, to ensure it's heated through, bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for 30 minutes.

Key lime cheesecake squares

Crust:
3/4 cup (175 mL) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 mL) packed brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 mL) ground almonds
1/4 cup (50 mL) butter or margarine

Filling:
8 oz (250 g) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
1 egg
4 teaspoons (20 mL) lime juice
2 teaspoons (10 mL) grated lime zest

Crust:
Combine flour, sugar and almonds in mixing bowl. Cut in butter or margarine until mixture is crumbly. Press firmly in 8-inch (2 L) square cake pan.
Bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for 15 minutes.

Filling:
Beat all ingredients together at medium speed of electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Spread evenly over baked crust. Bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for 15 minutes or until set. Cool on rack. Chill before cutting into small squares. Freezes well.

Taste-tester notes: This tasty square calls for fresh lime juice (or the more concentrated bottled Key Lime juice from Florida.) I found it needed an additional 5 minutes of baking (for a total of 20 minutes). I then left the pan in the oven, turned off the heat and left the oven door ajar for another 20 minutes. The cheesecake top set perfectly.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 8, 2003 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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