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:)
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.
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.
Last weekend we went to Mazuria Lake district in the North East of Poland. We went mushroom picking twice and they both were successful:) Check more photos from the woods on my Instagram account. I was hunting for parasol mushrooms and I was lucky to find them in one of my places:) I made fried parasol mushrooms for dinner. They were a delicious alternative for a piece of meat. Remember to pick only mushrooms that you are absolutely sure that are edible or ask for expertise someone experienced and trustworthy, who can recognize them.
Check more seasonal recipes under section: Autumn food.
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.
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? 🙂
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:)
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.
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.
In July in Poland string beans are getting cheaper and cheaper, so I’m having them every second day. I eat it steamed, keeping it low caloric or.. fry and add garlic and breadcrumbs:) Believe me, once you try it, you will love string beans with breadcrumbs. Or not, hmm, maybe it’s just me:)
Smalczyk – Polish pork lard with cracklings is made of pork fat, you need to agree: it is not healthy. But as the fat carries a flavor – it is also goood:) Tastes best on rye bread with pickled cucumbers. Yummy.
In Poland lard is served in restaurants with polish traditional food, as a pre-starter. It is something that you get free once you place an order and wait for your food. This Smalczyk is posh and exclusive;)
However the origins of it are not so rosy. In the past people in Polish countryside were poor. When they have a pig killed, they used all the single part of it. A lard made of fat was high caloric bread spread, that gave energy for the whole day of hard work.
Young cabbage is sweet and delicate, it is cooking fast. It is not likely to give a stomach problems as may an old cabbage, stewed for hours. In case of young cabbage soup I minimize the seasoning, just to keep the taste natural. Try Young Cabbage Soup cooked on pork bones.
For broth I used pork bones, which are really cheap. You can also buy pork chop with bone, use pork chop for Breaded pork cutlets and use bones for the soup. I remember my Grandma was using bones for soups, the reason were savings and her approach- not to throw away any food and have respect for food.
Traditionally ‘Zasmażka’ can be added to the soup to make it thicker and reach.
Home made Polish Chocolate Bar – Blok Czekoladowy, was a way for a treat in hard times of communistic PRL. Anyway it is really tasty and worth trying, I assure you that not only kids will like it:) You don’t bake it, it’s easy and quick to prepare.
In 80-ties in Poland it was very common to celebrate a name day. One checked the calendar and if your name was in it, he could come to you without invitation with potted flower and best wishes. You needed to be prepared for the day: polish vegetable salad, Bigos (Hunters Stew) and Chicken Aspic were common dishes to put on the table.
Polish Gyros Salad is very popular on parties in Poland, it is easy to prepare and delicious. It’s name comes from very popular seasoning used here to marinate the meat- Gyros, which is a mix of garlic, coriander seeds, charloc, sweet pepper, fenugreek, chilli pepper, rosemary, oregano, thyme and black pepper.
This is a piece of Polish contemporary cuisine, not traditional one, still- worth to try, as it is delicious:)
Baked Polish Sausage and Onion is my idea for May Saturday’s lunch. Sausage is an important part of Polish cuisine:) There is a great range of different sausage types and Poles love: baking them, cooking, frying and grilling. Actually grilling is a new religion in Poland:)
1st and 3rd May are bank holidays in Poland, so majority of people get additional day off and enjoy ‘the long May weekend’. People in Poland start celebrating- they meet with friends and family in gardens and grill, grill, grill!
If you don’t have a garden and staying at home, this is not the end of the world – bake sausages in the oven.