Yesterday was the last day of Summer:( In order to keep some Summer tastes for short cold Winter days, I made Polish Pickle Cucumber Salad. Canning has a long story in Poland, Polish housewives from 1980ties and 1990ties all the Summer were busy with packing cucumbers, red peppers, forest mushrooms, jams and compotes into jars. I remember pickled cucumber salad my Mum prepared those days, it was called Swedish Salad and had cucumbers and carrots in vinegar solution. My version has also red peppers and onions. Try this recipe, you will have crunchy spicy vegetables to reach for and accompany your meals in Winter.
You may also like simple and easy recipe for Quick Pickled Cabbage, that is ready on the very next day from preparing. I don’t preserve it, it can be stored in a fridge even for a month.
Review of Polish Potato Dumplings – check if you know them all!
Potatoes are one of the most popular food ingredient in Poland. They are cheap and can be easily stored during winter. Potatoes may be easily called a poor food. In the cities you can have pasta and rice more often, but in historically poorer countryside – you have potatoes! It is a popular side dish and a start to many other dishes, such as delicious Potatoe pie, Polish Farmer’s Casserole with sausages or: Polish potato dumplings. Check if you know all 5 kinds of Polish Potato Dumplings, I’m sure you will love it.
There is a whole variety of Polish potato dumplings, they vary in size and ingredients, whether cooked or raw potatoes are used, what kind of flour is used and is it served as a side dish or a main course.
Kartacze – Polish Potato Dumplings are made of raw potatoes with small (or non) addition of cooked ones. They are regional dish in Podlasie – North- Western part of Poland. Go to Białystok to try the best Kartacze ever:) Or make them yourself:)
In my family house we called them Kołduny, so the naming may vary:) My Grandma and Mum were born and raised on the present territory of Belarus, but back then it was Poland, language and cuisines mixed. Kartacze can also be called Cepeliny (dish with Lithuanian origins).
There is a range of Polish potato dumplings, they vary in size and ingredients, whether cooked or raw potatoes are used, what kind of flour is used and is it served as a side dish or a main course. If you are not sure which potato dumplings you like the most, check my short comparison of Polish potato dumplings with pictures and recipes: http://cookinpolish.com/5-kinds-of-polish-potato-dumplings/.
When I was a child we loved pate – Pasztet bought in stores. Unfortunately this meat bread spread had and still have a long list of low quality ingredients: the worst parts of meat, water, thickeners, preservatives and who knows what else. Nowadays children still love meat pates, so I decided to prepare home made pasztet using good quality ingredients. It worked! My daughter approved it, I’m happy:) I decided to go for no baking version of pate made of turkey leg. I found recipe on Polish culinary website: posmakuj-to.blogspot.com, which I like very much.
Apple Racuchy are one of the favorite Polish suppers. Children love them and they are simple and easy to make. I don’t add sugar inside, so you can keep them low caloric or sprinkle Racuchy with lots of powder sugar. My Racuchy are crispy and fluffy, even though I don’t use yeast nor baking powder – are you ready to find out what is the secret of my perfect Racuchy: fluffy, crispy and moist inside? 🙂
I cooked Polish Redcurrant Kompot, as lately I got a plenty of redcurrant from my friend. Kompot is a drink, that Poles usually drink to dinner. It is served in every Polish office and school’s canteen.
Kompot is a fruit drink made of fresh or dried fruits. Wikipedia says that the tradition of kompot drinking has more than 700 years! The most special kompot is made for Christmas Eve- you cook dried fruits with seasonings like cloves and cinnamon. It smells like Christmas:)
In the Summer when there are many fresh fruits available, you can easily have this nice, healthy, simple drink for kids and adults. You can cook kompot using cherries, apples, rhubarb, strawberries, plums or peaches. You can also mix few different fruits in one pot. It is much better than soda. It’s fresh, with no preservatives and you control the level of sugar, or use healthier sweeteners, such as stevia.
Polish Leczo is a vegetables stew with Polish pork sausage. It is a dish with Hungarian origins. You cook seasonal, use red peppers, tomatoes and zucchini the moment they are the best and the cheapest. You can cook a big pot of food for a family of 6 for a week:)
In Poland Leczo started to be popular in hard times of PRL, when there was shortage of everything in stores. There was also time when garden plots where very popular, Poles where growing their own carrots, tomatoes, parsley, cucumbers, peppers. Totally bio and eco:)
Taste of the childhood in Poland. My Grandma was baking this traditional Polish plum yeast – risen cake on Saturdays afternoons. We were eating still warm piece of cake with cold milk. Yummy:)
You can have this Polish Yeast Cake actually with any seasonal fruits. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, rhubarb – all will go great with a yeast cake. I love a smell of baking plums, so I choose plums:)
If you prefer apples and crusty desserts you may want to check my Polish Szarlotka recipe.
Last Saturday I found fresh forest chanterelles on a local farmers market. They are not cheap, they cost 60 PLN per 1 kg, which is more than 15 USD. However they are sooo good, that I couldn’t resist:) I was waiting the whole season to cook Chanterelle Cream Sauce.
I had some for delicious scramble eggs for breakfast.
For dinner I cooked cream sauce, which I served with grilled turkey breast, young potatoes and mizeria (cucumber salad). However you can have any nice piece of grilled or fried meat with chanterelle sauce: pork chop, beef steak or pork tenderloin. If you prefer to stick with veggie, potato dumplings, crepe and pasta would go very well with this sauce.
Polish Plum Potato Dumplings are one of my favorite Summer sweet dinners from childhood. Sweet & cinnamon flavored plums, soft potato dough and crispy buttered breadcrumbs, topped with sweet cream, make knedle a special dish, that is loved by all Poles.
One of the tastes of Polish Summer. If you have potatoes left from dinner, it is just half an hour of preparation and less than 10 minutes of cooking.
If you follow the recipe you will get 9 potato dumplings, it is 2-3 servings. Feel free to adjust the portion to your needs.
If you prefer potato dumplings to accompany meat dishes, you will love Kluski Śląskie recipe.
I remember when I was 6-8 years old, we were spending vacations on our large garden plot and sleeping in a Summer small house. My father was planting tomatoes & cucumbers for sale and other vegetables for our own use. We had zucchinis, but not eating them while they are small, but waiting them to grow to 2-3 kg each:) Then my Mum was cooking Polish Stuffed Zucchini.
Nowadays it is hard to find these big zucchinis in stores, but when I go to Farmers market, I get them from real farmers, not the sellers that buy in wholesalers and just distribute goods. They cost about 1 USD per kilogram.
Polish Stuffed Zucchini was one of the dishes that my Mum made for our big family those days. It was quite cheap to make: you use minced meat mixed with rice, so you can manage on your own the ratio between them:)
Polish farmer’s potato and sausage casserole is a simple, but complete dish, with origins in Polish countryside. My Grandma was cooking this casserole for us quite often, I loved it. I still do. It’s a budget dish, the main ingredient are potatoes, which are cheap and filling.
Polish Kaszanka is a sausage made of pig’s blood and groats (buckwheat or barley). Some cooks add pig’s liver, depending on the region. It’s traditional polish food. Originally it was a dish prepared after pig sticking, to use all the parts of the pig. It has quite high levels of fat and cholesterol, but at the same time it supplements iron and zinc. Use it cautiously and enjoy your Kaszanka – Polish black pudding fried with onion:)
Kaszanka can be served cold, grilled or fried on the pan.
It is the middle of the Summer, fortunately in Poland you can still buy young spring cabbage. The taste and texture is delicate and sweet, exceptional:) Yesterday I bought one on a local market, I paid 7 PLN, which is about 2 USD. I prepare Young cabbage salad according to the directions of my sister:)
Most of the farmers in Poland would say that Pigweed is just a weed, quite hard to get rid off, and you actually hate it if you plant vegetables. But on the other side, you can have it free, use in the kitchen and have healthy Pigweed soup – Zupę z młodej komosy.