Perogi Casserole (On the Truck)

   I love pierogies and I love a challenge, so creating a pierogi casserole or pierogi lasagna was definitely something I was willing to try. The biggest difference between myself and the Martha Stewartesque person who created the one pictured in the photograph is that I have two appliances to work with, did most of my prepping while rolling down the highway, oh, and I cooked it on a big rig.

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This incredibly flawless photo of a potato casserole just goes to show how much of a glutton for punishment I am. But every so often I surprised myself and make something that doesn’t look like dog food and actually tastes delicious.

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I started by cheating and preparing instant mashed potatoes (mostly because I would have created a huge mess having to prepare from scratch, but also, if you carry a potato masher on the truck… wow!) I followed box directions with the exception of substituting milk with heavy cream (which I had on hand from another recipe) added a 1/2 brick of cream cheese, 1 tbsp dehydrated onion and 1 tbsp of minced garlic all in the Aroma cooker and cooked on the “white rice setting”. Once it was done, I removed from pot and set aside, covered.

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I bought the no-boil noodles, the kind you just add “as is” to your casserole dish and your sauce softens them, thinking I was a smarty pants. Well, this recipe has no sauce so I ended up doing a soft boil (still leaving them a bit rigid) in the Aroma on “white rice setting” and then placed them on a paper towel.

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After pouring out the water, I rubbed a little butter onto the bottom and up the side 1/4 of the way up (honoring my inner Julia Child).

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To prepare my first layer, I took 1/3 of the potatoes and added 2 tbsp of sour cream, 3/4 cu of shredded cheese, 3 tsp fresh chives and 1/4 cu cooked bacon (which I prepared ahead of time in my lunchbox cooker) and mixed together. For spatial reasons, I don’t have a large enough bowl to mix entire filling in at once but this worked just fine.

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I placed one layer of lasagna noodles into bottom of pot followed by a layer of potato filling. I added 2 more layers of pasta and potatoes for a total of 3 layers.

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I topped the final potato mixture layer with shredded cheese (because, let’s face it, we’ve already failed with carb overload, may as well put all our chips in).

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Only 20 minutes later and it was done! I got overzealous and removed the first piece before taking the photo so it’s a little messy.

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But this is the finished product. The bottom layer of noodles slid out as I was transferring it to the bowl because it was so cheesy and gooey, so be prepared for rogue noodles!

   Let me tell you, this tasted just like a perogi! It had plenty of flavor and the combination of slightly al dente noodles and rich, creamy mashed potatoes was so good. I will definitely make this again.

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