As has been evidenced by several of my previous posts, I love a good fish fry. Even more, I love a good homemade pierogi. Admittedly, some of my readers may not be from an area of the country with a strong Eastern European influence and knows what a pierogi even is. The easiest way to think of it is a pasta that is usually filled with potatoes, cheese, sauerkraut or some combination of those ingredients for savory, sweetened cheese or prunes for the sweet. These are then either boiled and served with butter and sauteed onions, or are cooked by sauteeing them directly in the butter.
My favorite preparation is actually a combination of both. I first gently boil them in water until they float to the top of the pot. I remove them with a slotted spoon into a dish. Once I've finished cooking my pierogi, I then take a tablespoon or two of unsalted butter and melt it in my skillet. I cook the butter until the foaming subsides and the butter solids begin to brown (this is called beurre noisette, or hazelnut butter). I then toss the pierogi into the brown butter and continue to flip them in the skillet until they are crispy on the outside. Plate them up with a little bit of sour cream and they are DELICIOUS. And highly addictive.
One thing that northeast Ohio has at this time of year are plenty of Lenten fish fries. Although I am not particularly religious myself, I have decided that after looking over the list of local fish fries compiled by the Akron Beacon Journal, I would venture out into the cold white world and bring you some insight into which locations had the best fish and best pierogi. Because the original list had some forty plus names on it, I decided to narrow it down to the locations which advertised pierogi being available. There may be other locations offering them, too, but I had to work with what I found on the ABJ's website.
My plan is to visit one or two of the locations each Friday and then write up my thoughts and post them by the following Saturday morning. If all goes as planned, I will visit eight different locations over the next five weeks. Hopefully by the final Friday in Lent, March 26th, you will have enough information at your fingertips to satisfy your own craving for fried fish and pierogi. In an unusual move on my part, I am actually going to list the locations and dates that I will be visiting each establishment so that if any of my gentle readers out there wish to join me, I would be happy to share a meal and some great conversation with you!
This list is courtesy of the Akron Beacon Journal with bolded time brackets indicating when I am planning on attending:
February 19th, 2010
Our Lady of Peace
1001 39th Street
Hours of Operation: 4:30 - 7:00 PM
February 26th, 2010
Peninsula United Methodist
1575 Main Street
Hours of Operation: 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM, 5:00 - 7:00 PM
St. Mary Church
340 North Main Street
Hours of Operation: 5:00 - 7:30 PM
March 5th, 2010
St. Joan of Arc Church
8894 State Route 14
Hours of Operation: 4:30 - 7:00 PM (early dinner)
Knights of Columbus Mantua
11845 State Route 44
Hours of Operation: 5:00 - 8:00 PM (late dinner)
March 12th, 2010
Our Lady of Grace
1088 Ridge Road
Hours of Operation: 4:30 - 7:30 PM
March 19th, 2010
Slovak J Club
485 Morgan Avenue
Hours of Operation: 4:30 - 7:30 PM (early dinner)
Queen of Heaven Church
Parish Life Center
1800 Steese Road
Hours of Operation: 5:00 - 7:30 PM (late dinner)
All of these dinners and one lunch run through March 26th with the exception of Our Lady of Grace in Hinckley which ends on the 19th. For those Fridays with two dinners listed, I will probably plan on arriving at the first location pretty early in the evening (between 4:30 - 5:00 PM) and arriving at the second location later in the evening (7:00 - 7:30 PM).
If you want to contact me to join me for dinner, feel free to email me here.