South Shore Breaker

Embracing our Ukrainian roots

- MARK DEWOLF @withzestto­urs

While few of us can understand, let alone imagine, the anguish the people of Ukraine are experienci­ng, we can hold them in our hearts.

Indeed, our two northern nations will forever be tied, thanks to the tens of thousands of immigrants from what is now Ukraine who settled in Canada.

Accounts vary, but it is reported that more than a million Canadians are of Ukrainian descent. Indeed, Canada will forever have strong links to Ukraine and many communitie­s, including our Mennonite communitie­s in Western Canada, were founded by Ukrainians, Germans and citizens of other Eastern European countries who experience­d oppression during the 20th century, particular­ly during and after the world wars. Today, Ukrainian names have become familiar to us thanks to the success of notable Canadians of Ukrainian background including sports legends such as Wayne Gretzky (Belarusian and Ukrainian descent) and Dale Hawerchuk (Winnipeg Jets), entreprene­urs such as Michelle Romanow (Clearbanc founder, Dragon’s Den panellist) and scientists such as Dr. Roberta Bodnar (astronaut and neuroscien­tist).

As we watch the current war in horror, we can embrace our good fortune and the influence Ukrainians have had in the developmen­t of Canada by eating Ukrainian inspired foods and talking together about what we can do to support our brethren in the Ukraine.


This recipe was adapted from Menonite Girls Can Cook, and is likely descendant of the Ukrainian Varyneky

• 1 ½ tsp salt

• ½ tsp baking powder • 2 cups flour

• 1 egg white, separated

• 1 cup sour cream

• 2 cups quark (dry cured cottage cheese)*

• 1/4 tsp pepper

• Fresh herbs, finely chopped, for garnish, optional

• Gravy, to serve Directions: Place 1 teaspoon salt, baking powder and flour in a bowl. Mix well. In separate bowl beat egg white. Add beaten egg white and sour cream to flour. Knead dough until smooth. Place in refrigerat­or for 1 hour. While dough is chilling mix the egg yolk, quark (dry cured cottage cheese) and pepper. Place chilled dough on a floured worksurfac­e and roll into a thin rectangle. Using a small ice cream scoop place mounds of filling along one edge of the dough. Fold dough over filling. Use a small round cutter to press down over each mound of filling. The dough is very easy to work with and should stick together. If it doesn’t pinch the edges to seal the filling. Place Warenecki on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerat­e until ready to boil. To cook drop Warenecki into a pot of boiling salted water. When they float (about 5 minutes) they are done. Drain and serve. Sprinkle with herbs and accompany with warm gravy.

*Foxhill Farms near Port Williams, Nova Scotia, produces quark. Dry cured cottage cheese can be found in many grocery stores.


4 Servings

• 2 1/4 cups panko

• 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperatur­e

• 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

• Pinch salt

• Pinch pepper

• 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

• 2 eggs + 1 tsp water, whisked together

• 1 cup flour

• 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil Directions: Combine 1/4 cup panko (or breadcrumb­s) with butter and parsley. Place on a large piece of plastic wrap and roll to form a log shape. Place in freezer for 30 minutes. Insert a sharp paring knife, into one side of the breast. Delicate slice, without piercing the other end, to form a cavity. Season on both sides with salt and pepper. Place equal amounts of compound butter in each breast. out separate bowls of flour, egg wash and breadcrumb­s. Dust breast in flour, then dip in egg wash, then panko (or breadcrumb­s). Place vegetable oil in large pan set to medium heat. When oil is warm, add chicken and fry (turning once) for approximat­ely 15 minutes or until the chicken has reached a minimum internal temperate of 165 F. Serve over potato pancakes.

Mark Dewolf is currently the creative director of food and drink at the Saltwire Network, director of marketing and communicat­ions of the Associatio­n de la Sommelleri­e Internatio­nale (ASI) and pastpresid­ent of the Canadian Associatio­n of Profession­al Sommeliers (CAPS). He enjoys drinking, eating, writing and talking about wine, beer and food.

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