Carrot Pancakes – 2

  • I posted a recipe for carrot pancakes more than three years ago.
  • These are normally eaten as a sweet dish – usually served with sugar.
  • This recipe is for a savoury carrot pancake.
  • Both are the American style of pancake.
  • Both in Polish would be called racuszki (z marchwi).

Ingredients

  • 8 spring onions
  • 2eggs
  • 80ml of milk
  • 90g plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 350g peeled and coarse grated carrots
  • Ground black pepper
  • Butter for frying the spring onions
  • Sunflower oil for frying the pancakes.

Method

  • Chop the white and green parts of the spring onions into little rounds.
  • Fry gently in butter with soft.
  • Leave to go cold completely.
  • Put the grated carrots into a clean tea towel and squeeze out excess liquid.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 1- 140°C.
  • Line a baking tray with kitchen paper and put this in the oven.
  • Mix the egg and milk together.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder, paprika and salt together.
  • Mix the flour mixture and the eggs and milk together till smooth.
  • Stir the carrots and spring onions into the mixture.
  • Add some ground black pepper.
  • A Danish whisk is good for mixing batter.
  • Heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan.
  • Drop in tablespoons of the batter and flatten them slightly with the back of the spoon.
  • Fry on both sides until golden brown.
  • Lift onto the baking tray and keep in the oven whilst cooking the rest.
  • *
  • When first cooked the carrots are crunchy – they soften in the oven.
  • *
  • Serve as a starter with a yoghurt or soured cream sauce and some salad or
  • As a vegetable with a roast or with a gulasz.

 

Plate – Royal Doulton – Carnation , 1982-1998

Pierogi with Leeks & Peas

  • Well over a year ago when on a trip to Gdańsk, in one restaurant I saw on the menu pierogi (Polish filled pasta) which had leeks, peas and soured cream as a filling.
  • Although I did not try these, I thought they sounded good and tried out this  mixture as a filling for buckwheat pancakes.
  • At last I have had the time to try this out as a filling for pierogi.
  • I adjusted the filling I had made for the pancakes by using cream cheese (or twaróg or yoghurt cheese) rather than soured cream.

Filling

  • 2 leeks – chopped
  • 50 – 75g frozen peas
  • 2-3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 -3 tablespoons of cream cheese, twaróg or yoghurt cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Using a deep large frying pan with a lid (a glass one is best), melt the butter and gently cook the leeks to soften them but not brown.
  • Add the frozen peas and cover with the lid and cook for a few minutes.
  • Stir the mixture and continue to heat without the lid to drive off excess liquid.
  • Purée most of the mixture – keeping some of the peas whole.
  • Stir in the cream cheese (twaróg or yoghurt cheese).
  • Season to taste.

Ingredients – Dough

  • 250g pasta flour or plain flour & 2 tablespoons of fine semolina
  • 150ml water
  • 1 tablespoon oil – sunflower or light olive
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk

Method – Dough

  • In a jug or bowl mix together the water, oil and the yolk.
  • Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
  • Pour in the liquid from the jug and initially use a knife to mix this into the flour and then use your hands to mix the liquid and flour to get a ball of dough.

 

  • Turn this out onto a floured board and knead the dough for a few minutes until you have a smooth ball.
  • Cover and leave to rest for about ½ an hour.
  • *
  • Cut the dough into half.
  • Prepare a large tray and cover it with a clean cotton or linen tea towel and sprinkle this with flour.
  • On a floured board roll out the dough a half at a time until you have a sheet of thinly rolled dough.
  • Cut out circles using a 7 cm diameter cutter.
  • The excess dough can be re-mixed and rolled out again.
  • Around a half tablespoon of filling is put on  each circle and then they are folded over and the edges pinched together to make a good seal.
  • You learn from experience how much filling to put in as too much will make it hard to seal them and if not properly sealed they will burst on boiling.  Do not worry if you have a few mishaps – it still happens – even with experience – it is hard to salvage one that has gone wrong – just accept that there will be a few that you do not cook.
  • Place the sealed pierogi on prepared tray until they are all made, do not let then touch each other.
  • *
  • To cook the pierogi, use a large pan of boiling water to which you have added some salt and a drizzle of oil.
  • Drop the pierogi in one by one and allow them to boil.  I usually do about 6 to 7 at a time.
  • As they cook they will float to the surface, let them boil for 2 minutes and then remove them with a slotted or perforated spoon and put into a colander above a pan for a few seconds to drain and serve with melted butter.
  • Continue boiling batches in the same water.
  • If you want to make all the pierogi to serve together then you need to get a large oven proof dish.
  • Melt lots of butter in the dish.
  • Keep the dish warm in a low oven.
  • As you take out the cooked pierogi add them to the dish and coat them with the melted butter.
  • Keep on adding more as they cook.

Plate- Alfred Meakin – Midwinter – Spanish Garden 1960s

To Serve

  • These are good served just with the melted butter.
  • I also liked the gently refried ones, in the butter, the next day.

 

Over the Moon – Beans

  • Butter Beans – Phaseolus lunatus – are also known as Lima beans  as they originally came from Peru and Lima is the capital city.
  • Phaseolus lunatus – means beans shaped like a crescent moon.
  • The Polish name –  Fasola pȯłksiężycowata  – also means beans shaped like a crescent moon.
  • This is a very old recipe for butter beans.
  • The dried beans would have been soaked overnight before being boiled till soft and then used to make this dish.
  • Nowadays you can use tinned butter beans to quickly make this delicious dish.

The recipe calls for a large amount of butter – do not skimp on this!

Ingredients

  • 2 tins of butter beans, drained
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 125g of butter
  • Large handful of fresh flat leaved parsley – chopped
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • Melt the butter gently in a large deep frying pan.
  • Gently fry the onions till soft and golden – do not brown.
  • Add the butter beans and simmer, stirring occasionally till they are soft.
  • Use a potato masher to lightly break up the beans.
  • Add some of the parsley and stir.
  • Serve with the rest of the parsley sprinkled on top.

 

Served in a dish by J&G Meakin – Cadiz – 1964 – 1970

Sourdough Crackers

  • Have you got a lot of wheat sourdough starter?
  • Many  instructions say to discard some of your wheat flour starter before feeding it.
  • Do you consider that is a big waste?
  • Here is a recipe that uses some of your starter.
  • Use equal weights of starter and flour.

Ingredients

  • 100g of unfed sourdough starter
  • 100g strong flour
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 30g butter (or 30ml more oil)
  • Large pinch of salt
  • *
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh rosemary

Method

  • Pre-heat your oven to GM4 180°C.
  • Line a large baking tray.
  • Melt the butter.
  • Mix all the ingredients to give a soft dough.
  • Roll out the dough as thinly as you can.
  • Put the dough onto the tray – pulling it out to make it thinner.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt and press in some rosemary.
  • Use a knife or pizza wheel to cut the dough into rough squares.
  • Bake for around 25- 30 minutes.

Wholemeal Flour & Rosemary

Rye Starter & Caraway Seeds

These are great as soup accompaniments, with dips or cheese.

I have made some with 50g demerara sugar in the dough and sugar not salt sprinkled on top. and then with 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds as well as the sugar.

 

Other Variations to try

  • Buckwheat flour
  • Rye flour
  • Mixture of flours
  • Other herbs
  • Other seeds
  • and so on ….

More Lovely Liver!

  • For many people  – liver is love it or loath it.
  • I think certainly for me and most Poles it is love it!
  • I have written about cooking liver in 2018.
  • I had some liver that I had got to make dinner last night.
  • I had cooked some leeks and peas, which I use as a filling for  buckwheat pancakes.
  • I also had a red pepper left and decided to combine them all.
  • It turned out really delicious
  • *
  • The amounts are not critical – depends on how many you are cooking this for.

Ingredients

  • Liver – whichever you like best
  • 2-3 leeks – chopped into rings
  • 100g of frozen peas
  • 1 red pepper – chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons of soured cream.
  • Butter & sunflower oil for frying
  • Flour for dusting the liver
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • You need two large deep frying pans to made this.
  • In one frying pan melt the butter and gently cook the leeks to soften them but not brown.
  • Add the frozen peas and cover with a lid and cook for a few minutes.
  • Stir the mixture and add the soured cream.

 

  • Dip the liver in flour.
  • In the other frying pan lightly  fry the liver slices in a mixture of butter & sunflower oil on both sides.
  • Add the chopped peppers and simmer for a few minutes.
  • Mix the liver and peppers with the leek mixture.
  • Season to taste.
  • Serve immediately.

 

 

Delicious with boiled potatoes, creamy mashed potatoes, boiled rice, noodles or pasta such as tagliatelle or just with fresh bread.

 

 

 

 

Sernik – Simple Version

  • At the end of 2020 I looked at the statistics for my blog.
  • I found that over the five and a half years  – sernikbaked cheesecake is my most looked at post and has been for a few years.
  • As today is The Epiphany – The Three Kings – I thought another version of a Polish Classic would be good.
  • Recently I got this recipe from my cousin in Wembley.
  • This is  a simple version – not very different from my mama’s but does not have any added butter or soured cream.
  • The original recipe was on a packet of bought twaróg.
  • The original recipe used 1 kilogram of  twaróg and as you can imagine it was large!
  • I have cut down the amount of ingredients to make a more manageable sernik.
  • I have adjusted some of the other ingredients as my own yoghourt cheese is always a little “wetter” than the bought twaróg.
  • There is no cake base at all in this recipe – but of course you can add one.
  • Be aware that the cake rises and then collapses on cooling.

Royal Grafton – Woodside – 1940-1959

Ingredients

  • 500g twaróg – yoghurt cheese or cream cheese
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 140g icing sugar & 2 tablespoons & extra for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon of semolina
  • 2 tablespoons of potato flour (cornflour should be okay)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence or rum

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM3 – 160°C
  • Use a cake liner to line a loose bottomed 20cm or 22cm cake tin.
  • Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until the mixture is pale and creamy.
  • Add the twaróg or yoghurt cheese and the vanilla essence or rum and whisk all together.
  • Fold in the semolina and the potato flour.
  • In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites till they are stiff.
  • Add the 2 tablespoons of icing sugar and whisk again till stiff.
  • Fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture.
  • Spoon the mixture into the lined cake tin.
  • Bake in the oven for  60 – 70 minutes.
  • Check earlier and cover if it is starting to catch.
  • When the cake is ready switch off the oven and leave it in there for at least 40 minutes.
  • Take out the cake to cool in the tin.
  • Once it is cold – take the cake out of the tin by loosening the outer ring or placing the cake tin with the loose bottom on a tin can and sliding the cake tin down.
    *
  • Dust the cake with icing sugar before serving.
  • *
  • I think this cake is best made the day before you want to serve it – so it is well cooled and set.

Options

  • You can use this basic mix with a number of variations:
  • Chocolate drizzle on top.
  • Mixed peel added to the mixture.
  • Different cake bases.
  • Fruit in thickened syrups served with it.
  • and so on ….

Served on a Vintage glass cake stand and Paragon – hand painted tea plates with a sauce made from thinned down raspberry jam.

Duszona Kapusta- 2 options

Duszona kapusta is usually translated as braised cabbage. However it literally means suffocated cabbage, which I think is a lovely phrase. It indicates that the dish is cooked with the minimum amount of liquid with a lid on the pan whilst it is cooking.

A few months ago Mari (Mariana) who blogs as gourmermarichef.com  posted her recipe for duszona kapusta.  So I thought I would add my versions.

I used sweetheart cabbage as I really like this but you can use any white cabbage and even savoy cabbage ( but you will have to cook this a little longer).

My mother would have cooked this till the cabbage was very soft – I prefer to cook it for less time so the cabbage still has a little bite.

Ingredients – version 1

  • 1 sweetheart cabbage
  • 1 small onion – finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
  • 125ml of vegetable stock (can be from a cube or powder)
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Method

  • Use a deep frying pan – with a lid.
  • Gently fry the onion in the butter till soft and golden.
  • Finely shred the cabbage.
  • Add the cabbage and stir.
  • Cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the caraway seeds and the stock.
  • Stir and bring to a gently simmer.
  • Put on the lid (a glass one is good) and simmer until the cabbage is soft.
  • Check the progress and stir a few times to make sure the liquid does not dry out.
  • Adjust the seasoning and serve.

Served in Royal Doulton –  Carnation 1982 – 1998

Version -2

Ingredients – version 2

  • As version 1
  • Plus 125ml of soured cream

Method – version 2

  • As version 1 until the cabbage is cooked.
  • Add the soured cream, stir and cook for another minute.
  • Adjust the seasoning and serve.

Served in Royal Doulton Tapestry – 1966-1988

 

 

Mincemeat – Squares

  • Fruit mincemeat pies I think of these as very British – but we all love them and they have become part of our Christmas Day and New Year celebrations.
  • I use my mother’s recipe for the pastry  –  kruche ciasto – shortcrust pastry.
  • I like the size and proportions of little mince pies, which seem to just jump of the plate into my hand!
  • However they are time consuming to make so I have come up with this easier version, which I make after the holidays.
  • Poles would say the mincemeat is a version of bakalie and this recipe is a placek – flat cake.

Mincemeat

I always make my own mincemeat using the recipe in Delia Smith’s Christmas cookery book but without the chopped almonds (I do not like the crunch of the nuts).

 

When using the mincemeat I add a little extra brandy or sherry and stir it in.

Ingredients – Pastry

  • 225g plain flour
  • 110g butter
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 5 tablespoons of water
  • *
  • 1 tablespoon of caster sugar to sprinkle

Method – Pastry

  • Rub the butter into the flour to make “breadcrumbs”.
  • Mix in the granulated sugar.
  • First with a knife and then with your fingertips mix in the yolks and  some of the water – until it comes together.
  • You are aiming to get a dough which is not wet.
  • Chill the pastry for around 30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 5 – 190°C.
  • Grease and line a shallow tray 21cm x 26cm.
  • Divide the pastry into two.
  • Roll out one piece to line the bottom of the tin.
  • Spread the mincemeat evenly over the pastry – not quite to the edges.
  • Roll the second piece of pastry out and use to cover the filling.
  • Press the edges down to seal.
  • Bake for around 30 minutes until golden.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the caster sugar.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.
  • Cut into squares when cold.

Tea plates by Queen Anne – unknown pattern name

 

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Hot Spiced Apple Drink

  • Earlier this year I wrote about apple Kompot  –  a refreshing drink which can be served either hot or cold.
  • Recently I made some apple soup, which as it was autumn I served warm.
  • These recipes started me thinking and I made a variation on the kompot to be served warm.
  • I used more spices.
  • I used Bramley apples from the garden.
  • The apples are cooked for longer in this version.
  • I did not make this drink very sweet so people can add sugar to taste.

Ingredients

  • 750g of Bramley apples (or other cooking apples)
  • 1½ litres of water
  • 1 small stick of cinnamon
  • 8 cloves or allspice grains
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

Method

  • Put the water into a large saucepan.
  • Add a small stick of cinnamon and the cloves or allspice.
  • Peel and core the apples.
  • Cut the apples into chunks
  • Add the apples to the pan.
  • Bring to boil.
  • Simmer till the apples are nearly disintegrating.
  • Add the sugar.
  • Leave to cool slightly.
  • *
  • Remove the spices.
  • Remove the larger pieces of apple.
  • Purée the rest of the mixture.

Serve hot and let people add their own sugar to taste.

Sugar bowl with lid by Royal Doulton – Sonnet 1971 – 1998

Cranberry & Apple Soup

  • This fruit soup is is both refreshing and warming in the winter.
  • Do not make it too sweet – it needs to be slightly tart.
  • Just like other soups this is served as a first course.
  • This soup is delicious served hot.
  • *
  • Although not traditional I think it could be super for Wigilia (Christmas Eve).

Ingredients

  • 300g cranberries
  • 2 large cooking apples
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of potato flour or cornflour
  • Small cinnamon stick
  • 8 cloves or allspice grains
  • 1 – 1.5 litres of water
  • *
  • Little sponge cakes  to serve

Method

  • Put the water and spices into a large saucepan.
  • put the cranberries into the pan.
  • Peel and core the apples, chop into large pieces and add them to the pan.
  • Bring to the boil then simmer with a lid on the pan till the fruits are very soft.
  • Remove the spices.
  • Leave to cool a little and purée the liquid.
  • You will find there is a lot of foam and cranberry skins on the top – remove these with a slotted spoon.
  • You might want to sieve the remaining liquid through a sieve.
  • Add the sugar to the liquid and bring to the boil.
  • Mix the potato flour with a little water.
  • Add this to the soup.
  • Bring to the boil, stirring gently.
  • Simmer and stir until the soup thickens.
  • Serve with little sponge cakes.

Alfred Meakin – Midwinter – Spanish Garden soup dishes from the 1960s.