Bay Biscuits

  • I came across this recipe for rich buttery biscuits flavoured with bay leaves, which sounded interesting.
  • You use dried bay leaves.
  • I think they are super.

Ingredients

  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g butter
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons of water (approx.)
  • 2 dried bay leaves

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180ºC.
  • Grease some baking trays.
  • Take a tablespoon of sugar out of the 100g.
  • Grind with the bay leaves.
  • *
  • Rub the butter into the flour to get breadcrumbs.
  • Mix in the sugar and the bay leaves and sugar.
  • Slowly add the egg yolks and enough water to make a stiff dough.
  • Roll out thinly on a floured board.
  • Cut out circles using a 7.5cm round cutter.
  • Bake for around 12 minutes.
  • Leave to cool on a wired rack.

Macaroni Cheese

  • Makaron is the general term for pasta in Poland.
  • Pasta and cheese casseroles were recorded in the 14th century in Italian cookbook.
  • This recipe would be described as makaron z serem in Polish.
  • In 1802, Thomas Jefferson, the American President, served “a pie called macaroni” at a state dinner.
  • In 1824, an American cookbook, The Virginia Housewife by Mary Randolph (Jefferson’s daughter) included a dish of macaroni, cheese, and butter, layered together and baked in a hot oven.
  • This was the start of the American classic – Mac & Cheese.
  • Most recipes use a thick cheese sauce with boiled pasta.
  • Here the pasta is boiled in milk and water and a cheese sauce is not used.
  • Cheddar or Gouda cheese has been used rather than Parmesan.

Ingredients

  • 225g macaroni (or other small pasta shapes)
  • 130g butter
  • 230g of Cheddar or Gouda cheese
  • 600ml milk
  • 1 litre of water
  • 50g of fine white breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Grate the cheese.
  • Divide the cheese into 2 portions – 60g and 170g
  • Use a large pan and bring the milk, water and some salt to the boil.
  • Drop in the macaroni and boil till tender stirring occasionally.
  • Watch carefully so the liquid does not froth and boil over.
  • Melt 30g of the butter in a small saucepan.
  • Drain the macaroni and put it back in the warm saucepan.
  • Mix in the 100g of butter and the 170g of cheese with the macaroni.
  • Stir in the pepper.
  • Place in an oven proof dish.
  • Mix the 60g of cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle on top.
  • Pour the melted butter over the breadcrumbs.
  • Brown the top under a hot grill.
  • Serve immediately.

Served on Royal Doulton Carnation 1982 – 1998

Lemony Vegetable Soup

  • This soup was inspired when making lemony chicken sauce.
  • The addition of lemon juice just before serving gives this soup a lovely tang.
  • It gives it the sour taste that is loved by Poles.
  • Use green vegetables mostly such as celery, lettuce, white & green part of leeks, chives and kale.
  • A little chopped carrot and  sweetcorn can be added.

Ingredients

  • Sliced or finely chopped green vegetables such as: 
  • celery
  • chives
  • kale
  • leeks – white and green
  • onions (if not using leeks)
  • sorrel
  • *
  • 1 carrot – chopped small
  • *
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 – 1½ litres of chicken or vegetable stock
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt & pepper to taste. 

Method

  • Melt the butter in a pan and lightly fry the leeks or onions.
  • Stir in the rest of the vegetables.
  • Cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the stock.
  • Simmer for 20 – 30 minutes till all vegetables are soft.
  • Season to taste.
  • Stir in the juice of the lemon.

Cauliflower Croquettes

  • My mother usually served cauliflower with buttery dried breadcrumbs – 
  • Known as – à la polonaise.
  • In England cauliflower is often served with a cheese sauce.
  • I often make potato croquettes – krokiety kartoflane 
  • I saw this recipe and thought it sounds like the two combined.
  • They were delicious.

Ingredients

  • ½ of a large cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 3 tablespoon of plain flower
  • 200ml milk
  • 50g grated cheese – Cheddar or Gouda
  • *
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • Breadcrumbs
  • More plain flour
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Cook the cauliflower by boiling or steaming.
  • Leave to go completely cold.
  • Remove any liquid with a clean tea towel or kitchen roll.
  • Mash the cauliflower with a potato masher.
  • Make a very thick cheese sauce.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  • Add the flour and cook together, stirring all the time.
  • Slowly add the milk and keep stirring until you have a thick sauce.
  • Add the cheese and cook a little more.
  • Stir in the cauliflower.
  • Mix all together to have a uniform mixture.
  • Season to taste.
  • Leave to cool.
  • You need 3 plates or shallow dishes – 
  • Flour in one, beaten egg in the second, dried breadcrumbs in the third.
  • Divide the cauliflower cheese mixture into 12 even pieces.
  • Roll them out into sausage shapes.
  • Dip in the flour and then in the egg.
  • Roll in the breadcrumbs. 
  • *
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan.
  • Fry the croquettes on all sides till golden – 3 or 4 at a a time.
  • Keep them warm in a low oven, whilst frying the rest.
Vintage Pyrex Plate

Though not tried yet –  I think you could do variations  by – adding cooked peas or chilli flakes or similar to the mixture.

Sos myśliwski – Hunter’s Sauce

  • Sos  myśliwski  – this translates as Hunter’s sauce.
  • I can understand the name if wild mushrooms are used but otherwise I do not know why it gets this name.
  • Gherkins are used in the sauce and this addition verges on “magical”.
  • I had never made this before but will now be making it often as it is so delicious.

Ingredients 

  • 2 slices of smoked bacon – chopped
  • 100g of fresh mushrooms – sliced
  • 2 large gherkins – chopped into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of plain flour.
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato purée
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic – chopped
  • Large pinch of allspice
  • 1 teaspoon of of ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of hot ground paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of made mustard.
  • 500ml of vegetable or chicken stock.

Method

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  • Fry the mushrooms, onions and garlic.
  • Add the bacon and fry together for a few minutes.
  • Add the flour and stir and cook for a few minutes.
  • To the stock add the tomato purée, allspice, both paprikas and mustard. 
  • Stir it all together.
  • Slowly add this to the fried ingredients and stir whilst it thickens. 
  • Add the bay leaves and gherkins.
  • Simmer for around 20 minutes till the ingredients soften.
  • Serve the sauce hot with roast meats.

Orange Tort

This is my 450 post – I hope everyone enjoys reading them – I love doing the research, cooking and writing.

  • My mother used to make an orange sponge cake with orange icing.
  • This was one of my favourite cakes.
  • This is a fancier version, sandwiched with orange butter cream with orange icing on top.
  • I made a small version but it is easy enough make a larger version.

Orange Cake – Ingredients

  • 2 Eggs – weight in shells
  • Equal weight of:
  • Butter
  • Caster Sugar
  • Plain Flour
  • *
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • Grated rind of 1 orange
  • 30ml orange juice.

Orange Cake – Method

  • Grease and line the base of 18cm sandwich tins.
  • Weigh the eggs and then the other ingredients.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy.
  • Add the orange rind.
  • Add the eggs, one by one whisking until the mixture is light and fluffy again.
  • Stir in the orange juice.
  • Add the baking powder to the flour.
  • Sieve the flour.
  • Fold in the flour with a metal spoon taking not to over mix the mixture and knock out all the air.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the 2 prepared tins.
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for around 20 to 25 minutes.
  • The cakes should be golden brown and be clean when a cake tester is used.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  • Make sure the cake is completely cold before assembly.

Note – You need 1 large orange or 2 small oranges for the butter cream & icing

Orange Butter Cream – Ingredients

  • 50g butter (unsalted is best)
  • 100g icing sugar (approx)
  • Grated rind of ½ large orange (or 1 small)
  • 1 tablespoons of orange juice

Orange Butter Cream – Method

  • Cream the butter and icing sugar.
  • Add the rind and juice and mix well.
  • Adjust thickness with icing sugar if necessary. 

Orange Icing – Ingredients

  • 100g icing sugar (approx)
  • 1 tablespoon of  orange juice
  • Grated rind of ½ large orange (or 1 small orange)

Orange Icing – Method

  • Mix the juice and the rind .
  • Mix together with the icing sugar till smooth and thick.
  • Adjust the icing for top of cake or thick as a dripped down glaze.

Assembling the Cake

  • Do this when the cake is cold.
  • Save all the juice not required in the cake, buttercream and icing.
  • Divide the juice into two.
  • Place one round of cake onto a serving plate.
  • Skewer the cake with a wooden BBQ skewer
  • Spoon half of the orange juice over the top of the cake.
  • Leave for 5 minutes.
  • Spread the orange butter cream over the cake.
  • Place the second round of the cake on top.
  • Skewer the top with a wooden BBQ skewer.
  • Spoon the rest of the orange juice over the top of the cake.
  • Leave for a 5 minutes.
  • Spread the spread the orange icing over the top of the cake.
  • Served on Cake Plates by Allertons Ltd Pattern Number ALL5

Mushroom Sauce – Fresh Mushrooms

  • Nowadays you can get fresh mushrooms all year round so this sauce can be made at any time.
  • In Poland you can buy mushroom stock cubes which are very useful especially for making sauces.
  • Years ago I brought loads back to England – now you can find these in the many Polish food shops.
  • The ones I use are made by Knorr and contain a small amount of dried mushroom extract.*
  • * If you cannot get these maybe use a few drops of  Henderson’s sauce or Lea & Perrins – NOT TRIED.

Ingredients

  • 150g fresh button mushroom caps – white and/or chestnut
  • 500ml hot boiling water
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of cornflour
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 2 large tablespoons of soured cream.
  • Butter to cook the mushrooms in.

Note

I rarely have to add any more salt or pepper as the stock cube has enough seasoning in it.

Method 

  • Dissolve the stock cube in the hot water.
  • Slice the mushroom caps into fine slices and fry them gently in some butter till they are soft.
  • Simmer gently for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • In a little dish mix the cornflour with the milk.
  • Add the cornflour mixture to the cooked mushrooms and stir gently over the heat until the sauce thickens.
  • Remove from the heat and add the 2 large spoonfuls of soured cream and mix.

Note

None of these amounts are exact – they are a rough guide depending on what you have – you can use more water, milk or soured cream and so on.

Super served with boiled or creamy mashed potatoes – sprinkle chopped dill or parsley over them before serving.

Great for any roast dinner – especially on Christmas Day.

Served on Carnation (1982 – 1998) and Burgundy (1959 – 1981)  by Royal Doulton.

Miodownik – 3

  • This is honey & spice cake, which could be made for Christmas time.
  • I saw this cake recently in a post by Thistles and Kiwis thistlesandkiwis.org whose interesting blog I follow. 
  • It is adapted from “In Good Company” by Sophie Hansen.
  • I have adapted it a little to make it more like a Polish Cake.
  • In this cake butter is used rather than oil as in my Mama’s miodownik.
  • This cake can be made at the last minute for Wigilia(Christmas Eve) or Christmas Day.

Ingredients

  • 150g butter
  • 240g runny honey
  • 260g plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 3 eggs – beaten
  • 200g full fat Greek style yoghurt
  • *
  • Icing sugar to dust or lemon icing

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C
  • Grease and line a 32 x 22cms or 26 x 20cm cake tin.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  • Add the honey and mix well together.
  • Add the orange zest.
  • Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Mix the baking powder and flour together.
  • Add the sugar and spices.
  • Add the eggs and yoghurt and mix well.
  • Add the butter and honey mixture.
  • Mix everything together to give a thick batter.
  • Pour into the prepared tin.
  • Cook for 30 -35 minutes.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  • *
  • Dust with icing sugar to serve or glaze with a thin lemon icing.*

Royal Standard – Lyndale tea plate – 1949 – 1960.

*Option – Add a Chocolate glaze – this one was some Chocolate with Orange Peel melted with butter.

 

  • The china tray is by Ross Dean in Burslem
  • The octagonal tea plate is by Paragon – Made in England and hand-painted. 

Szary sos – Grey sauce

  • This is a very old Polish recipe.
  • Szary is translated as grey but it can also mean dusky or dark, which sounds better.
  • Some books call it Polish Sauce.
  • Wine is not a Polish product.
  • I think you could use a sweet vermouth or sherry – will try that next time.
  • Maybe if you do not have any piernik – honey spice cake – you could use plain sponge and some peirnik spices such as cinnamon and cloves.
  • *
  • It is often served with fish such as carp, perch or pike.
  • I think it would go well with roast meats such as chicken or pork.

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion – finely chopped
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of plain flower
  • 50 – 70g piernik (honey spiced cake)
  • 300ml vegetable stock (can use chicken or fish)
  • 125ml red or rose wine
  • 50g sultanas or raisins
  • 20g flaked almonds
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Sugar & lemon juice to taste
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method

  • Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan.
  • Add the onion and stir.
  • Cook until they are soft and golden.
  • Add the flour and cook with stirring for a few minutes.
  • Stir in the stock and cook till the liquid thickens.
  • Add the wine and stir and cook again.
  • Break up the piernik into small pieces and add this to the sauce.
  • Cook for a few minutes until the cake falls apart.
  • Add the sultanas and gently simmer for a minute or two.
  • When ready to serve adjust the thickness with a little more wine if needed.
  • Add the lemon juice.
  • Adjust the taste with sugar, lemon juice and seasoning.
  • Pour the sauce over the food.
  • Sprinkle with the flaked almonds.

Carrot Piernik – 2

  • This is a variation of my previous carrot piernik and I think even better.
  • Demerara sugar is used, which is not really found in Poland, but you could used granulated sugar instead – should not make too much difference.
  • The use of vegetable oil in this recipe would not have been possible until the early 20th century.
  • The spelt flour that is used in this recipe is the flour of an ancient wheat grain – Triticum spelta.
  • It has been cultivated since 5,000 BC.
  • It is the precursor of modern wheat – Triticum aestivum.
  • Spelt has a lower yield than modern wheat but it will grow in poor soil and many different regions.
  • Spelt is thought to be easier to digest than modern wheat.
  • Spelt makes this piernik extra nice
  • You could use whole-wheat flour if you cannot find spelt.
  • This piernik can be made at the last minute – it stays moist for 3-4 days.

Have you ever baked with spelt flour?

Ingredients

  • 125ml sunflower oil
  • 120g demerara sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g spelt flour
  • Grated zest of a small orange
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 200g coarse grated carrots
  • 50g chopped walnuts (optional)

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Grease and line the base of a 20cm diameter tin.
  • Mix together the flour, baking powders, spices, salt and pepper.
  • Whisk together the oil, sugar, orange zest and eggs.
  • Mix in the grated carrots.
  • Mix in the flour mixture.
  • Stir in the nuts.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin.
  • Level off the top.
  • Bake for around 45-50 minutes.
  • Dust with icing sugar when serving.
Royal Doulton – Sonnet – 1971 – 1998