Winter school break in Poland has just finished. This year there was not much snow or almost not at all, the only destination for skiing was Mountains. Zakopane, Karpacz, Białka and Bukowina Tatrzańska – these are the most popular Winter resorts, that deserve to go, you can feel and see there the magic of Polish Winter. And of course you can eat there something delicious, specific to this region:) Polish highlanders cuisine is not sophisticated. There is lots of cabbage used, potatoes, sheep cheese – oscypek and sheep meat. I love most of these dishes, but eating Kwaśnica is a must for me when I’m in mountains. Kwaśnica – Polish Sauerkraut Soup is cooked with lots of meat. It is quite fat, perfect to get warm and comfort yourself after a whole day of skiing.
Lately I gathered most delicious Polish soups all together here: 10 Traditional Polish Soups, try them all and decide which one you like the most:)
Few weeks ago I met a Greek couple leaving in Warsaw. Dimitris asked me to show him how to cook Bigos. When we talked about Polish cuisine, Anja said that soups are something special for Poland. And this is a fact: in Poland soups are a staple in Polish homes for dinner. You can get it also in any restaurant, served as an appetizer. Check my review of 10 Traditional Polish Soups, soups I like the most and which are the most specific to Polish cuisine.
Which one have you tried and which one is your favorite?
Are you ready for something special for Sunday dinner? Try this easy recipe for Roast Duck and Apples. Roasting the meat with apples gives a duck moisture and fresh flavor. Rub the meat with marjoram and rosemary and grease with butter to get the perfect Polish dinner for special occasions. Roast Duck and Apples is often served on First Communion and Christening celebrations in Poland. It will be great for Easter dinner as well.
Roast Duck and Apples is a dish known in Poland from centuries. In old Poland the duck served in palaces and manors was rather wild, hunted by Polish nobility on popular those days hunts.
I don’t agree with hunts nowadays, there is a lot of farms that breed animal and there is a lot of meat in stores. Wild animal have less and less forest to live in and the number of wild animals is getting smaller. Let’s admire them free in their environment and not on our tables. Not only humans are inhabitants of the Earth.
Chicken Gizzard stew is one of the dishes my Grandma Emilka was cooking for us from time to time. I was used to it, as I had it from the early childhood, but some may even doubt that chicken gizzards are edible at all;) If you tried, you will probably find it tasty and nothing strange about the flavor. Actually Chicken gizzards stew was often served in our house on Sundays, so it was always considered special and tasty meal.
Housewives of communistic Poland did not have much choice, they bought what was available in stores. However it was not a reason to complain, our Grandmas were using their imagination, and – what is important for the environment, they were cooking zero waste 🙂
Polish smoked sausage is always good, but if you need a quick and easy dinner, buy few pieces and serve it boiled. For boiled Polish smoked kiełbasa choose good kind of sausage. In Poland there is a lot of them, but you need to be careful and check the ingredients, as producers are often trying to save and put many strange and unwanted food enhancers in it.
Boiled Polish Smoked Kiełbasa tastes best with horseradish and mustard. Choose the level of intensity of both to your taste. I like strong horseradish sauce and a mustard with character. In Poland I buy a mustard called Russian, for it being really strong.
Sauerkraut and Mushroom Croquettes are one of the staple dishes in Poland for Wigilia. We serve it to Beets Borscht instead of Uszka. If you changed the filling to meat, you can just have it for family dinner as a separate dish or with chicken soup. There is quite a lot of frying involved, so I limit krokiety in my diet to few times a year.
Beef Tongues in Aspic is a dish that in Poland is served for Christmas or New Years Eve. This is an old style food, zero waste cooking and oh so yummy:) The best beef tongues in aspic I remember made our neighbor, Mirka:)
The whole preparing process may be repulsive to some people, but the tongue’s meat is very tasty and quite usual in texture.
Polish Bigos (Hunter’s Stew) is one of the most known Polish dishes. It’s pronounced: [ˈbʲiɡɔs]. Each family has it’s own recipe for bigos and each bigos is different, but the core is sauerkraut or/and fresh shredded cabbage and various kinds of chopped meats. You can use meats you like or which have left in the fridge. Yes, this is a great way to get rid of leftovers:) The more kinds of meats you use, the richer the taste, just follow your likes.
You need to stew all the ingredients for couple of hours. Some cooks are making bigos for 3 days, each day stewing again and cooling, so that bigos’ flavors combine and give the best taste:) People in Poland say that the more times you warm up bigos, the better it tastes.
The recipe for Polish Beans with Kiełbasa is very easy, there is a lot of freedom involved, you can add more beans or more kiełbasa or seasoning according to your taste. Once you make it, you won’t need a recipe any more. Making is quite intuitive, try and let me know in comments how you liked it.
Let’s be honest, this is not a dietetic food;) Beans and sausage? But once in a while – why not? they will bring you back to your childhood and mom’s and grandma’s cooking. At least I have this feeling. I remember that my mom in Fasolka po bretońsku used all the meat leftovers, which I hated, because she had tended to use too much fat. Those days it was quite hard to feed a multi-generational family of 7-8 people, so all the food was used, no throwing away a thing.
Polish Oven Roasted Sausage and Sauerkraut is a perfect idea for Autumn and Winter warming, hearty and comforting Polish meal. Choose good Polish smoked kiełbasa – it should have some fat in it, to spread the taste all over the sauerkraut and make the dish complete:)
Don’t forget about caraway seeds – in Polish: kminek. As the cabbage is rather hard to digest and can cause gases, caraway seeds are here to help you and ease your stomach.
Rosół with Drop Noodles is a special homemade soup in many Polish families. It reminds our Grandmas and childhood. One of the readers on facebook said: “First soup and noodle making lesson I had, standing on a stool, at the stove with my babciu”. Thank you DaMo!
Rosół in Poland is the best medicine, if you are cold or get a flu, your Polish Mama would start making rosół, to take care of you in the best way she knows:)
Kluski lane are easy to make, they will be great in other soups as well. You can prepare them in few minutes, so if you suddenly run out of pasta, you will be fine with this recipe:)
Delicious vegetarian Millet Stuffed Peppers are a staple in my house. In fall months peppers are cheap, so I buy them often and serve them fresh and baked. This time I had them stuffed with vegetables and millet. I cook seasonally and locally.
Check also other Polish recipes best in Autumn: Autumn food.
Mid November is perfect to think ahead about Christmas. This confirms a fact that in some areas of the world first Christmas decorations are already set! For me it’s to early, but there are some aspects of Christmas that need to be taken care of before. Just like homemade Orange Christmas Liqueur.
I make a lot of tinctures in Summer: cherry, bird cherry, rowan berry, strawberry, black currant and few more. I prefer to call them a tincture than a liqueur. Polish nalewki are to cure: an alcohol is extracting all the beneficial substances from fruits and other tinctures ingredients. Of course they need to be drunk in small amounts. Orange Christmas Liqueur is actually a liqueur not a tincture – not a cure it is just purely to enjoy:) It smells like Christmas:)
My Mum used to bake this kind of small Sauerkraut and Mushrooms Buns to accompany beets borscht on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately when I asked her, she did not remember the recipe, what is more interesting, she even didn’t remember that she has been actually baking them:) Eventually I decided to go for Paszteciki recipe I found on Kwestia Smaku, one of my favorite cooking websites.
I don’t remember my Grandma using pumpkin, it was not popular those days. It became popular only recently, my sister would cook spicy oriental version of the soup, with curry powder and chili. I decided to cook delicate Baked Pumpkin Soup, milky, buttery, with a hint of garlic.
Try also other Polish seasonal Autumn food recipes: Autumn food.
Dumplings are Polish favorite dish. They can have a whole range of fillings: sauerkraut, meat, farmers cheese, fruits. I had Zamojskie Buckwheat Dumplings for the first time when I was in college. I went with other students for hiking in Bieszczady Mountains. On a way back my friend Kasia took me to her hometown: Krasnystaw, near Lublin and Zamość. Her mum cooked Buckwheat Dumplings and they were delicious. My new favorite dumpling flavor:)
Lately I found out that buckwheat dumplings are specialty of this area of Poland. They are called Zamojskie (from Zamość), and sometimes Lubelskie (from Lublin).
Mushroom Barley Soup is a great seasonal food idea for Autumn. If you happen to get fresh wild mushrooms you need to try it. The add of barley makes the soup more filing and comforting in chilling weather.
In September my friend Agnieszka took me to her old Summer place at the end of small Masovian village. She did not go to this place for few years, it appeared that a lot of young trees have grown there, most of all – spruces. How surprised we were to find a lot of Slippery Jacks all over the place:)
Last weekend we went to Mazuria district to visit my parents. It was the second year we celebrated our family’s Baked Potato Day:) After dark we lighted a campfire and we baked sausages and potatoes. My sister-in-law, Marzena told us about an onion water from Kurpie, she tried few years ago visiting her friends. It sounded interesting, so I asked google and found an easy recipe I followed: Woda cebulowa. Actually when we were drinking it, we remembered that our Grandma was sometimes preparing this kind of drink and we had it with boiled potatoes, only she was also adding sour cream and called it Kvas.