In my family house I am the person, who is responsible for making Dried Fruit Christmas Eve Kompot:) It is a healthy drink that is always on our Wigilia table.
It’s made of dried fruits and spices. Actually you can use your favorite dried fruits, but the core are dried apples and pears. You can change ratio of fruits and finally get the flavour that suits you and your family the best.
I also add freshly squeezed orange juice, which might be not so traditional, but makes a difference and helps me to get my favorite taste of Kompot z suszu.
Lately, while looking for some new not so popular Polish Christmas Eve traditions and foods, I came across recipe for Christmas Eve Beans. Next day I found this year’s fresh “Jaś” beans on a farmers market and decided to check it out.
Recipe is really easy, I tried it and I loved it. Let me present it to you.
Polish jellied carp is very popular in Poland, it is traditionally served on Christmas Eve. My sister loves it, so each year she makes it for us. If you are not so much for carp, you can use another fish you like, it will be just as good:)
Galareta, Zimne Nogi, Zimne Nóżki, Studzienina, Nóżki w Galarecie, Galert
All of the names above have the same meaning, they describe one Polish dish – Jellied Pigs Feet. In my family house we called it Galareta as it actually is and looks like a meat and veggies jelly. You don’t add extra gelatin as bones and skin has plenty of collagen and makes natural jelly. This is why pigs feet cannot be omitted in this recipe, you wouldn’t get broth set without it, you’ll get a soup instead of Jellied Pigs Feet.
I think that Gołąbki – Polish cabbage rolls are one of most popular and most liked Polish dish. Exactly as is in my family home. When my mum asks my children what to cook for our visit, they say: Gołąbki:)
There are many ways to prepare gołąbki, my Mum boils, while many people bake them. Many people cook them in tomato sauce, I prefer to cook gołąbki in a light broth and make a tomato sauce for serving.
I found Potato Copa Śląska recipe looking for plum cooking ideas. It so reminded me of Plum Knedle – the same ingredients, the same deliciousness. Making Copa is for me actually a lazy way to have the same great flavor, without time consuming knedle preparation. Silesian cuisine is still a greenfield for me, but all silesian dishes I know are super delicious.
Once I came across fresh large bean on the local farmer market, I wanted to cook bean and sausage soup. The bean was called Piękny Jaś, meaning: Handsome Johnny:) This flat, kidney-shaped bean is white, large, delicate and a little bit sweat in taste. It is actually a regional specialty, specific to south of Poland, original Piękny Jaś is the one grown in Nowy Sącz areas.
An egg is a symbol of life. It’s an inevitable symbol of Easter, part of the Easter tradition. We dye eggs, decorate them and these pisanki and kraszanki we display all over the house for Easter. Decorating eggs is also a great time spend with children and family, time to recollect family tradition and just be together. We eat a lot of eggs for Easter:) We stuff hard boiled Easter eggs with yolk mixed with mayonnaise or make more complicated, for example stuffed with mushrooms and onion and pan fried in egg shells.
In my neighborhood there is a place with best cream horns in Warsaw. It’s called Rurki z Wiatraka, they were established in 1958. It’s family own small business, once pandemic started and we all got locked down, they came to the edge of the bankruptcy. They ask for support via Facebook and soon there was 2 hours’ queue of people wanting to try their delicious horns. Fortunately I was not forced to wait, I could make Homemade Cream Horns by myself, thanks to my neighbor Ewelina, who borrowed me her Grandma’s horns molds:)
I remember my sisters making Jello Cold Cheesecake years ago, when we were all living with parents. I don’t know if they used this recipe, but I know for sure it was as delicious and colorful and we all loved it:) My son Pit, who is a picky eater, even if it comes to sweets, he liked this cheesecake:)
Note: In Poland we have standard jellos packages for half liter of water. If they are different packages in your country, please take this into account and recalculate recipe or amounts of jello used.
Pasztet Świąteczny – Christmas and Easter Baked Pate
Baked pate is one of the meats we have for special occasions. It’s delicate and moist, so you can also just spread it over the bread. It takes quite a lot of time to have it and is rather costly, as we need a lot of meat, but totally worth it:) I also freeze few portions to enjoy baked pate later on, as having too much on one time make you not appreciate it as much as you could:)
When you choose meat – consider that you need rather fat parts of meat, otherwise pate would be dry. I choose mixed meat- pork and beef, sometimes poultry, but you can choose whatever you like or your religion lets you.
Years ago my Grandma Emilka was preparing these yeast dumplings for Christmas Eve, she was using her own recipe – some of this and a handful of that, just like an experienced Polish cook. Nowadays my sister Kasia got over- she recreated recipe and now she is making the best Grandma’s Yeast Dumplings. They are filled with either forest mushrooms and sauerkraut (perfect with beets borscht too) or: poppy seed filling (served as a Christmas Eve dessert).
I advise you to make the filling a day before, because one day preparations might be overwhelming.
Make a double or triple portion of the filling, if you plan to make also dumplings or poppy seed roll. Filling can be stored in a fridge for 2-3 days or you can freeze it for later.
Polish Poppy Seed Roll Makowiec is traditional Polish dessert, in my family we always have it for both: Christmas and Easter. My mum makes it without any recipe and makes 4 rolls each time, I made my best to put her instructions in writing and limit the amounts to make 2 rolls. Makowiec for me smells like Christmas. The last few years when I go home for Christmas I always assist my Mum to make Poppy seed rolls. We would seat in the evening, when all the family is resting, my Mum would knead and then we all waiting for yeast dough to rise.
Apple and vanilla custard shortcrust is a kind of Polish Szarlotka, an extra layer of custard makes this pie smell like vanilla, it’s creamy and sweet. I used Polish >budyń<, which is a very popular dessert in Poland, available to buy in instant version. All you need to do is bring milk do boil, and mix in a mixture of budyń powder dissolved in a small amount of cold milk. Budyń may be served warm or hot, alone or with raspberry juice and berries. You don’t have to be worry, if there is no budyń in your convenient store, you can make it yourself and it’s easy too.
In two weeks we are going to visit Lublin. Each time we are going for holidays we try to get to know as much as possible about the region we go. Kids task was to check Lublin area legends, I am checking regional cuisine and trying to find places to eat the best regional food. One of the most popular regional dishes from Lublin voivodship are Cebularze Lubelskie – Onion Rolls with onion and poppy seeds filling. We are definitely having them once we are on holidays, but first I made them myself. They turned out aromatic, filling and comforting. Very nice for Polish second breakfast 😀 or a perfect snack while Lublin sightseeing.
Blueberry Pierogi is the best food in Summer, specially made from wild, picked in the forest blueberries. This year I picked blueberries myself, as a matter of fact I didn’t believe I would make it, but I made it! 2 hours in the forest and I got 3 liters of delicious blueberries. It was enough to make pierogi, blueberry yeast rolls and blueberry tincture 😀
I am lucky to have birthday in June! I love this month, as strawberries are in full and best season, the cheapest and the most sweet. Polish Cheesecake with Strawberries is a must for me to take to the office for my colleagues:)
This time I prepared baked cheesecake, very easy to make, delicate and not very sweet. It take some time to finish it, as the jelly needs to settle, but this is a case of work organization. Make cheesecake one day before serving, it needs a night in a fridge to get the best of it.
I like to have lot of jelly on my cheesecake, I use double package of it and together with strawberries I add some blueberries, this is the best mix I know:)