I'm working at a Polish bar on Roncesvalles in Toronto. It allows me to experiment with a cuisine which is often ignored in contemporary restaurant kitchens. Italian, French, Japanese, Latin, etc, are all well represented in various forms around the globe but, Polish, Ukrainian, and the cuisine of the Baltic states tend to be the reserve of neighbourhood restaurants serving traditional food to locals looking for an authentic taste of their homeland. The restaurant is not quite as traditional as most Polish places in the area, so I can play around with dishes like pierogi or cabbage rolls and create my own interpretations.
Pierogi are popular all over Northern Europe. They have different names eg. vareniki in Russia or
pirukad in Estonia, and have various shapes, but tend to have the same 4 or 5 traditional fillings. Meat, cheese, sauerkraut, spinach, or fruit. I bought some smoked mackerel and decided to do something with a French Languedoc twist. "Smoked Mackerel Pierogi with Swiss Chard in a Sundried Cherry Walnut Beurre Noisette".
The recipe for pierogi dough is from a cookbook I found in the basement of my work. It has many good recipes and I'm experimenting with several.
2-2½ cup flour
1 cup water
salt to taste
put flour in a bowl, create a well in the center and add egg, water, and salt. Mix and knead ingredients well to create a soft and slightly sticky dough. I used closer to 3 cups of flour in the end to get the right consistency.
roll out a manageable portion thinly and cut out 3-4 inch rounds with a small bowl or cutter
Smoked Mackerel Filling
1 cup boiled diced potato
½ cup smoked mackerel carefully picked of the bones
1 onion diced
1 clove garlic crushed
tbsp chopped chives
salt and pepper
Saute onions and garlic in a little butter until soft and slightly browned
transfer to a bowl and add potato and mackerel
roughly mix until larger chunks are broken up but individual components are still visible.
place some filling in the center of the dough rounds, fold in half and crimp the sides together tightly. Boil in salted water for 8 minutes and let cool.
Sundried Cherry Walnut Beurre Noisette
Here is a video on making beurre noisette:
once you have the beurre noisette, warm in a pan with very finely slivered garlic, chopped toasted walnuts and a handful of sundried cherries , salt, and cracked pepper
I fry the pierogi in half butter half olive oil until golden brown and place on a bed of Swiss chard. Top with warmed beurre noisette and a drizzle of sour cream.