Polish Spring Menu

For me Spring in Poland has a flavor of fresh vegetables: dill, radish, beets, cucumbers, young cabbage and potatoes. In Spring you can get first wild mushrooms – chanterelles. Very popular ingredient of Polish desserts is rhubarb. You can get first strawberries and cherries. So yummy! I tried to choose the best of Polish ingredients and recipes in Polish Spring Menu.

Today I’ve got 2 dinner menus for you, one is for usual Spring day, the other one is more special. Actually as I was writing this I decided, that I need to mention few wild plants soups, as an alternative to standard Polish Spring menu, as they are underappreciated, but so worth trying – full of vitamins, ecological and the main ingredient is usually free (like stinging nettle) 🙂

Let’s cook seasonally and let’s cook Polish dishes!

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Chłodnik – Cold Soup

This Chłodnik – cold soup – my Grandma was making us quite often, we loved to eat it accompanied by boiled potatoes sprinkled with sauteed onions and/or fried bacon. I remember that we used to have only one shared plate of potatoes (with onions, bacon and dill) for the whole family and we would scooped some potatoes and fill the spoon up with chłodnik from our own bowl.

Chłodnik – cold soup is easy and really quick to do. It’s enough to cut the vegetables and combine them with sour milk or other favorite milk drink, such as buttermilk or kefir. We’ve usually used sour milk- zsiadłe mleko, as it was the most easily available at that time. Our neighbor had a cow and we used to get fresh milk from her. My Grandma would left some milk on the counter covered with a cloth and after 2 days sour milk have been ready. Now it is hard to make a decent sour milk out of the carton milk or it may be even impossible.

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Grandma’s Potato & Cheese Pierogi

Today there is something special for you, a great guest on my blog, let me introduce you my friend’s Grandma. She is leaving in the Eastern Poland in Włodawa, near Belarus and Ukrainian border and has made thousands of pierogi in her life:) Her favorite are Pierogi Ruskie, made with potato and cheese filling. Ladies and Gentelmen, best Grandma’s Potato & Cheese Pierogi!

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Onion Syrup for immunity

It is always worth to care about your immune system, not only while coronavirus pandemonium. Onion Syrup for immunity will help you to stay healthy, strong and not to get ill. In my family it is a first help for my children while first moments of caught. And surprisingly- they like it’s taste!

Recipe is easy, there are only two ingredients. Onion is widely available all over the world and is a source of taste in many culinary dishes. Onion is also very healthy, as it has strong antibacterial effect, it contains vitamin C, magnesium, silicon and zinc for immunity boost. It’s not only folk medicine, it really works.

Remember, if you are sick you need to contact your doctor. Do not ignore fever and other flu symptoms. Onion Syrup will help you not to get sick, but if you do – you need professional medical advice.

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Prażoki

Mashed potato and flour Polish regional dish

Prażoki is a dish made of cooked potatoes with the addition of wheat flour. Kind of mashed potatoes, usually served with sauteed onions and greaves.

I saw Prażoki for the first time in a food TV programme and they were introduced as a Kurpie dish. When I checked internet cooking forums I found out that Prażoki are known all over the Poland, but under several names. Some people call it prazoki, other prażuchy, but also completely different names are used like: porka, fusier, psiocha, kamza or lemieszka:)

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Forest Mushrooms & Sauerkraut Dumplings

Pierogi z Kapustą i Grzybami

Are you fasting during Lent? Whatever you will answer, it is always good to limit quantity of meat in your diet. But, let’s admit, having Forest Mushrooms & Sauerkraut Dumplings is not fasting, this is something you look for and desire. This is a treat:) The best served with sauteed onions.

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10 Traditional Polish Soups

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?

10 Traditional Polish Soups
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Roast Duck and Apples

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.

Roast duck and apples in the baking dish.
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Sauerkraut and Mushroom Croquettes

Krokiety z kapustą i grzybami

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.

Sauerkraut and Mushroom Croquettes served on the plate
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Polish Bigos – Hunter’s Stew

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.

Bigos served with bread and vodka
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Polish Beans with Kiełbasa

Fasolka po Bretońsku

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.

For more Polish comfort food, check the link: Comfort Food.

Polish baked beans with kiełbasa served in a bowl.
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Polish Oven Roasted Sausage and Sauerkraut

Polska Kiełbasa Zapiekana z Kapustą Kiszoną

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.

Check other ideas for Polish comfort food: http://cookinpolish.com/category/recipes/autumn-food-recipes/.

baked kiełbasa over Sauerkraut served on a folk plate.
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Rosół and Drop Noodles

Rosół z kluskami lanymi

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:)

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Sauerkraut and Mushrooms Buns

Paszteciki z Kapustą i Grzybami

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.

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Zamojskie Buckwheat Dumplings

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).

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Mushroom Barley Soup

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:)

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Onion Water from Kurpie

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.

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Polish Pickle Cucumber Salad

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.

Polish pickle salad in jars.
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Polish Yeast Sweet Rolls

Plum & Cheese Yeast Rolls

Sunday afternoon is a perfect time for Polish Yeast Sweet Rolls. This kind of rolls are very popular in Poland to have it for ‘second breakfast’ at school or in the office.

For more Polish desserts check: http://cookinpolish.com/category/recipes/desserts/.

Polish Yeast Rolls with cheese and plums served on the plate.
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