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:)
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.
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.
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.
Dumplings are Polish favorite dish. They can have a whole range of fillings: sauerkraut, meat, farmers cheese, fruits. For Christmas Eve meatless pierogi should be on your menu:) They can be served with Beets Borscht.
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).
Phrase “peas and cabbage” in Polish common language is defined as mixing two things which do not match. Peas and cabbage stew is not a mess, try:)
Historically in Poland cabbage is one of the most popular vegetables. It is cheap, so it’s available for poor people. Is easy to store during winter, so can be used during the whole year. For years people in Poland use it widely, so we have many traditional dishes with cabbage as ingredient.
Peas and cabbage stew appears on official list of traditional polish cuisine of Łódź voivodeship, but is known in the whole country. Can be prepared as fast dish with fried onion, or with greaves.
This herring salad has few layers of ingredients with herring on the bottom of it, that is why it is usually called Herring under a blanket. This is one of my favorite herring dishes for Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Beets Borscht with Uszka is traditionally prepared for Christmas Eve in many Polish homes. As the opposite to borscht sometimes forest mushrooms soup is prepared, however not in my family house- we love beets borscht:)