South Shore Breaker
Embracing our Ukrainian roots
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.
QUARK FILLED WARENEKI
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.
• 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.