Pirok ~ Russian Salmon Pie

Pirok ~ Russian Salmon Pie

I had trouble imagining this dish—I had guessed it would be disgusting, potentially, or actually excellent, but I didn’t think it would end up in the “very good, but not worth the calories” camp. I love salmon and I love pies, and salmon and brown rice is always good. But cabbage, mushrooms, and vinegar? Actually, that part came out pretty tasty, too.

I used this recipe for the puffed pastry—I made my own to avoid hydrogenated oils in the store-bought kind, but, man, the homemade kind comes out so much better anyway. (Just for reference if you want to try it and you’re an American reader— roughly two cups of flour is about the same as 250 grams). Although the crust was supreme, I think the best thing I’ve gotten out of that recipe is the rolling pin technique for pie crusts—which is to start at one end and just keep rolling the whole thing out that way. I’ve never been able to get a dough as thin as this one previously.

I used this recipe for the salmon pie itself. Cooking the salmon, by the way, took me five minutes total, rather than five minutes on each side. Go by its color rather than a timer. In the end, just the middle was still dark pink, so I cooked those pieces a little longer. The pan-fried salmon in the olive oil with a touch of sea salt is heavenly on its own.

I think I’m finally getting a hang of the whole pie-making thing, and I love salmon (and brown rice, and onions, and cheese, and breadcrumbs), but that said, the pie somehow doesn’t reflect the richness of all the butter and heavy cream I actually added to it. My first thought (after approving of the pie crust’s taste—it’s great if it looks awesome, but it’s even more important for it to taste awesome) was that this pie tastes healthy, but actually isn’t healthy. That’s is one of the worst possible combinations, isn’t it? Don’t get me wrong—it tastes really good, but I’m sure there are ways to enjoy salmon and brown rice and veggies without the excess calories that don’t do much for the taste.

That said, this was definitely an interesting dish to try and an interesting combination of flavors that actually let me taste Alaska’s Russian heritage.

 

Written by A. Alexander


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