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.
Early spring is the only time in the year when you can obtain fresh bear’s garlic (also called ramps or wild leek). In Poland it is a perfect time for it right now. Last year I made delicious Pesto, from this year’s batch I decided to make a bread spread: Bear’s Garlic Cream Cheese and a Bear’s Garlic Soup, which recipe is coming up soon. Stay alert not to miss my next recipe;) You can for example subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on Facebook or Instagram. Maybe you prefer Pinterest? Feel invited to choose your favorite way to stay in touch with me:)
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!
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:)
During Lent or if you just try to limit meat on your table, you may like to try this easy and healthy bread spread – Smoked Mackerel and Farmers Cheese Salad. Actually you can use any other smoked fish, if mackerel is not available in your area. I am using mackerel, because it is the cheapest and the most popular smoked fish available on Polish market. It have been always widely used by our Grandmas trying to feed large family on budget. Mackerel is a fat fish, soft and delicate.
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.
Kasza Manna with milk is one of the flavors of my childhood. My Grandma Emilka used to make it for us for breakfast. Alternatively we had rise or noodles with milk and sugar, served as a milk soup. Zupa mleczna – milk soup is something that many Poles don’t want to remember from their childhood:) Did you like them?
Kasza Manna is a fine semolina, when you add liquid and cook it, it makes a kind of Polish polenta. It may be called farina or cream of wheat, in UK it is known as semolina pudding.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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:)
Few days ago I prepared Homemade Polish Paprykarz. In Poland during PRL you could buy Paprykarz Szczeciński, which was low quality fish spread with rice. You could take it with you for camping or holidays abroad:) Bulgaria was popular destination in 1980ties, because of the fact that Poland and Bulgaria were under the same communistic regime and there were restrictions on traveling to Western Europe.
You can still buy Paprykarz in stores, which looks a little bit better if you check ingredients, but I invite you to prepare it yourself at home:)
Lithuanian Cold Borsch is my soup number one in Summer. When there is hot outside, you will love cold cooling soup made of beets and beet’s leaves, buttermilk and Spring greens: dill, spring onions and cucumber.
Early spring is a great time for using stinging nettle in the kitchen. Pokrzywianka – Stinging nettle soup is healthy and easy to prepare. Remember to get only top parts of the youngest nettles, away from the motorways.
For the soup I also use other herbs I find. This time it was young sorrel and lovage. I also used bluszczyk kurdybanek: ground- ivy, which is very aromatic. In Old Polish cuisine ground-ivy was as popular as parsley is nowadays (wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glechoma_hederacea).
Sweet and sour soup, easy to prepare, if you use vegetable stock – will be great for the last days of Lent. Try pickled cucumber sour soup, zupa ogórkowa – popular Polish soup. Dill Pickle soup is something specific to Polish cuisine, try your non- Polish friends with it’s taste:)