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A perogie recipe in honour of the late Ken Kostick and his beloved mom, Helen

In television on 04/23/2011 at 6:02 pm
Ken Kostick has died at age 58.

Ken Kostick has died at age 58.

You might have already heard the news. Outsize Canadian food TV personality Ken Kostick has passed away at the age of 58 from complications of pancreatitis. (Sign the book of condolence here.)

You might remember him from TV, including his bickersons-in-the-kitchen show on CBC called What’s for Dinner? with Mary Jo Eustace or, later on the Food Network, Ken Kostick and Company where his guests included his mom, Helen.

Ken was pretty famous in his Winnipeg hometown, but probably not more beloved than his mom, Helen, who I had the great fortune to meet (and be fed by). I did a phone interview with Ken, who had moved to Toronto  to become a TV personality. I recall him being excited about his What’s for Dinner show and about the future, which would include more TV shows, several cookbooks and even a Toronto radio stint with Eustace. But the thing that impressed me most was his reverence for his mom. I’ll tell you, love for mom doesn’t come up in a lot of interviews with people promoting TV shows and books unless it’s strategic and there was none of that in Ken’s effusive praise for his mother’s hard work, good cooking and generosity to the many kids she fostered, kids who, as grown police officers would drop by for what Ken said was her famous perogies.

I said I’d love to meet her and, to my surprise, he said he’d make it happen. To my shock, it did happen and in short order I was sitting at Helen’s kitchen table getting the pre-arranged lesson in making perogies. I was thoroughly charmed.

So, for two very nice people and courtesy of the Food Network for the link, here is Helen Kostick’s perogie recipe.

Helen’s Perogies

Recipe courtesy Ken Kostick

Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 pounds red potatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1/2 pound bacon, chopped
  • 6 ounces mild cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 corn oil

Directions

Boil the potatoes until well done, drain and mash with butter. Set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat cook the onions and bacon together. Reserve 1/2 cup of mixture for spooning over the cooked perogies. Add the remaining bacon and onions to the potatoes. Stir the cheese into the potato mixture. Mix well. Chill until very cold. Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Make a well in the middle. Pour water and oil into the well. Mix together. Add more flour, 1/2 cup at a time until dough is firm. Knead dough until mixture does not stick to hands. Cover tightly and let stand for 1/2 hour in a warm place. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness and cut in 2-inch diameter circles. Add 1 teaspoon filling, fold over 1 half of circle and press the edges together to seal. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon oil, then add perogies. Stir occasionally to perogies won’t stick to the bottom. When perogies rise to the top, add 1 cup cold water to stop the cooking. Remove the perogies with a slotted spoon. Perogies will cook in 3 to 4 minutes. Serve topped with reserved onion-bacon mixture.

Denise Duguay

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Helen’s Perogies

Recipe courtesy Ken Kostick

Prep Time:

Inactive Prep Time:

Cook Time:

Level:

Serves:

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds red potatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1/2 pound bacon, chopped
  • 6 ounces mild cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 corn oil

Directions

Boil the potatoes until well done, drain and mash with butter. Set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat cook the onions and bacon together. Reserve 1/2 cup of mixture for spooning over the cooked perogies. Add the remaining bacon and onions to the potatoes. Stir the cheese into the potato mixture. Mix well. Chill until very cold. Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Make a well in the middle. Pour water and oil into the well. Mix together. Add more flour, 1/2 cup at a time until dough is firm. Knead dough until mixture does not stick to hands. Cover tightly and let stand for 1/2 hour in a warm place. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness and cut in 2-inch diameter circles. Add 1 teaspoon filling, fold over 1 half of circle and press the edges together to seal. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon oil, then add perogies. Stir occasionally to perogies won’t stick to the bottom. When perogies rise to the top, add 1 cup cold water to stop the cooking. Remove the perogies with a slotted spoon. Perogies will cook in 3 to 4 minutes. Serve topped with reserved onion-bacon mixture.

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