Fish Pierogi

  • I decided to try these after making fish pulpety, which were so good.
  • I adapted the filling slightly.
  • I used frozen basa fish but cod or haddock would also be good.
  • I have not made pierogi with a fish filling before – the verdict – delicious!

Ingredients – Filling

  • 150-200g cooked white fish
  • 1 onion chopped fine
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 1 slice white bread or a small bread roll
  • 1 tablespoon of dried breadcrumbs
  • Chopped flat-leaved parsley
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • *
  • Melted butter – to serve

Method – Filling

  • Fry the onions gently in the butter till golden.
  • Leave the onions to cool.
  • Make crumbs from the white bread.
  • Chop the fish into small pieces.
  • Mix the ingredients together.
  • Season to taste.
  • Use the filling to make pierogi *in the usual way.
  • *
  • *Quick recap of pierogi instructions below

To Serve

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

*Pierogi Instructions

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 5 to 6 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.

No Bake Chocolate Cake

  • My mother would often make this and I liked to help as it was easy – there was no baking required.
  • She would use plain biscuits such as:  Morning Coffee, Petit Beurre or Rich Tea.
  • These are called herbatniki – (biscuits to go with a drink of tea) – in Poland.
  • The biscuits were roughly crushed using a potato masher – they do not want to be too small.
  • Chocolate, butter and sugar are melted together and the biscuits are added.
  • My mother would press this into a square or rectangular tin, which was well buttered and lined.
  • This was then easy top cut up into small cubes or rectangles.
  • You can make make this in a small (15 cm) circular, loose bottomed tin and pour a chocolate glaze or icing over this.
  • With the given proportions it is easy to double-up etc to make a large cake or a two tiered cake.
  • *
  • I had always thought of this as a Polish recipe but have read recently that the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge had a similar one as one of their wedding cakes.
  • Also I have read that Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II enjoys this cake too.

Ingredients

  • 180g biscuits
  • 90g butter
  • 180g dark and milk chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons of cold water.

Method

  • Butter and line a small rectangle 27 x 18 cm tin.
  • Crush half of the biscuits finely.
  • Roughly crush the other half of the biscuits.
  • Melt the chocolate in a bowl over some boiling water.
  • Add the butter and mix.
  • Add the water and mix
  • Mix  in the biscuits till they are all coated.
  • Press into the prepared and flatten the top with a wooden spoon.
  • Leave in a cool place or refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Crown Devon – Du Barry Cake Stand – 1930s.

Placek po węgiersku

  • Po węgiersku  means in a Hungarian style
  • This is not so much a recipe but a way of serving two well known dishes – 
  • Kartoflane placki – Polish potato pancakes and gulasz. 
  • Usually the pancakes are made around 6-7cm in diameter, here each one is made the size of a breakfast plate around 18 – 20cm in diameter.
  • Try and made the pancake as thin as possible ( I think mine were a bit too thick!)
  • Serve with a portion of your favourite Hungarian style gulasz on top and a large dollop of soured cream and a sprinkling of sweet ground paprika.

Ingredients – Kartoflane placki

  • 4 large starchy potatoes such as King Edward or Maris Piper
  • 1 medium or large onion
  • 1 egg or just the egg yolk
  • Plain flour
  • Salt & pepper
  • *
  • Oil for frying

Method

  • Peel the potatoes then grate them using the fine size of the grater into a large bowl –  this is the part that takes time – I have tried using the coarse grate but they are not as good.
  • Leave to stand for a few minutes and the water from the potatoes will rise to the surface. If the potatoes are very watery pour of some of the water. The easiest way is to tip up the bowl slightly over the sink and hold down the potatoes with the palm of your hand.

  • Peel the onion and also fine grate it and add to the potatoes. This is the part that would often result in the grating of my knuckles as I tried to use every last bit of onion – I now often use some form of electrical mini-chopper to get a pulp of onion.

  • Add the egg, salt & pepper.

  • Add enough plain flour so that the mixture is thick.

  • Heat some oil in a frying pan, a thick cast iron one is ideal.
  • Place large spoonfuls of the mixture onto the hot oil and flatten it out to make a large circle.
  • Fry till golden on both sides.
  • It should be thin and  slightly crispy at the edges.
  • Do not have the pan too hot or it will burn on the outside and be raw in the centre.
  • Do not have the pan too cool or it will end up too greasy and not crispy.

To Serve

  • Have ready your favourite Hungarian style gulasz – cooked and hot.
  • Place a portion in the centre of the pancake.
  • Add a dollop of soured cream.
  • Sprinkle with sweet, ground paprika.
  • Served on Meakin – Topic plates – from the late 1960s.

Spinach Pancakes – 2

  • This version of pancakes is the thicker type more like an American style pancake.
  • In Polish they would be known more as  racuszki or placki.
  • In England more like dropped scones or Scottish Pancakes.
  • This recipe uses milk.
  • Though not tried you could make a version with yoghurt & milk.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 100g fresh spinach
  • 90ml milk
  • 70 – 90g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • *
  • 50g granulated sugar for a sweet version
  • *
  • Sunflower oil for frying

Method

  • Shred the spinach in a mini-chopper or blender.
  • Mix the eggs with the milk.
  • Mix the baking powder with the flour.
  • Add the spinach to the egg mixture.
  • *
  • Add sugar if using.
  • *
  • Add the flour to the mixture until it is thick enough to drop off a spoon.
  • *
  • Fry tablespoonfuls on both sides on a hot oiled griddle pan.

Good served with sweet or savoury extras

 

Served here on Vintage Pyrex, Royal Doulton – Tapestry and Carnation.

Pear & Walnut Salad

  • A very simple and slightly sweet salad.
  • Good with hot roast meats, chicken or duck.
  • Or even serve as a light lunch with bread and butter.

Ingredients

  • 2 large pears – peeled and chopped.
  • 100g walnuts – chopped
  • 100g crumbly white cheese – dry twaróg, Wensleydale or Lancashire
  • Mixed salad or shredded lettuce
  • *
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of virgin olive oil

Method

  • Put the salad leaves or lettuce at the base of the serving dish.
  • Mix the pears and walnuts together.
  • Put these on top of the salad leaves.
  • Crumble the cheese on top.
  • Mix the dressing together and pour over the top.
  • Mix the salad together and serve.

Cheesecake with Rhubarb

  • I live in West Yorkshire not far from the Rhubarb Triangle. 
  • However I do have rhubarb growing in my garden.
  • In the last week or so the rhubarb has started to spring up and I thought I would use it in a baked cheesecake – sernik.
  • There is cooked rhubarb in the cheese mix and a thick rhubarb syrup poured over the cake when it is served.
  • As the rhubarb has to be cold – best to make this the evening before.
  • In England ginger is often added to rhubarb – so here the biscuit base was made from crisp ginger biscuits.
  • This cake was a great hit with everyone who tried it.

Ingredients

  • 150g ginger biscuits
  • 70g butter
  • *
  • 400g rhubarb (leaves and ends removed)
  • 90g granulated sugar
  • 100ml water
  • *
  • 400g curd cheese (twaròg, yoghurt cheese  or cream cheese)
  • 90g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg & 2 yolks
  • 125ml soured cream

Method – Rhubarb

  • Cut the rhubarb into small chunks.
  • Simmer gently with the sugar and water.
  • Once the rhubarb is cooked – leave to cool.
  • *
  • Place the mixture into a large sieve for an hour or so,
  • *
  • Use the rhubarb pulp in the cake.
  • *
  • Pour the liquid into a small saucepan and simmer gently.
  • Reduce the liquid until you have a thick syrup.
  • Leave to cool completely.

Method – Cake Base

  • Butter well a 20cm diameter loose bottomed tin.
  • Melt the butter.
  • Crush the biscuits till fine crumbs.
  • Mix the crushed biscuits and the melted butter.
  • Press the mixture down into the tin to cover the bottom.
  • Leave to cool completely.

Method – Cake Filling

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM3 – 160°C
  • Mix the curd cheese and sugar well.
  • Beat the egg and the yolks.
  • Add the egg mixture to the cheese mixture.
  • Mix in the soured cream.
  • Add in the rhubarb pulp and mix well.
  • Put the mixture on top of the biscuit base.
  • Flatten with a spatula.
  • Bake for around 1 hour 15 minutes.
  • *
  • Turn off the oven and leave the door open 
  • Leave the cake inside to cool.
  • *
  • To serve pour some rhubarb syrup over each portion.
  • Served on Royal Doulton – Carnation.
  • Rhubarb napkin from the Hepworth Gallery from a Rhubarb exhibition several years ago.

Note – this cheesecake does not keep as long as most- you need to get your friends and family round to eat it quickly!

Mixed Vegetable Sałatka – another version

  • This recipe is a slightly different take on the classic Polish mixed vegetable salad.
  • Rather than potatoes, I used boiled parsnips and carrots.
  • This is a salad you can tinker with often – depending on the ingredients you have at hand. 

Ingredients

  • 2 – 3 cooked carrots cut onto small pieces
  • 2-3 cooked parsnips cut into small pieces
  • 1-2 gherkins cut into small pieces
  • Bunch of spring onions cut into small pieces
  • 3-4 hardboiled eggs – cut into small chunks
  • 2-3 tablespoons of mayonnaise 
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

  • Mix all the vegetable together.
  • Add the mayonnaise and mix all together.
  • Season to taste.
  • Place in a dish.
  • Add the eggs and spring onions on top.
  • Mix together when serving.

The dish is Freiberg – Cordoflam made in East Germany.

Spinach Pancakes – 1

  • I kept hearing about spinach pancakes and looked for a good recipes.
  • In the end, I adapted my own pancake recipe
  • This version is the thin type – often called a crêpe or in Polish  naleśnik.
  • This is adapted the recipe the perfect pancake 
  • Using  less flour and
  • Less liquid.
  • *
  • Butter and oil for frying

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 100g fresh spinach
  • 200ml milk
  • 100ml water
  • 150g plain flour

Method

  • Shred the spinach in a mini-chopper or blender.
  • Mix the eggs with the milk and water.
  • Add the flour until well blended.
  • Add the spinach.
  • *
  • If you leave this batter for a while, you will have to mix up the spinach.
  • *
  • Get a pancake pan hot with a little oil and butter.
  • Use a standard ladle amount of batter to pour the mixture into the pan.
  • Tilt the pan so that the mixture covers the surface completely and evenly.
  • Cook the pancakes on one side and turn then over.
  • You can make them up one by one or stack then up with a piece of greaseproof paper in between them.
  • You can do this and leave then for later use.
  • Pancakes with sweet fillings are normally folded into triangles – fan -shaped  by folding the pancake into half and half again.
  • Pancakes with savoury fillings are normally rolled up.
  • *
  • Pancakes rolled up without a filling can be cut and used as noodles or added to soups.

 

Coconut Meringue Cake

  • As I  said in my coconut macaroons recipe, my mother did not use coconut in her baking.
  • This is an English recipe that I have made for years.
  • Egg yolks are used in the cake base and whites in the topping.
  • The egg whites are whisks till stiff but then the sugar and coconut are just folded in.

Ingredients

  • BASE
  • 75g butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2-3 drops vanilla essence
  • TOPPING
  • 2 egg whites
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50g desiccated coconut

Method

  • Grease and line a 26 x 20cm baking tin.
  • Preheat the oven to GM3 – 160°C.
  • Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy
  • Beat in the egg yolks, vanilla essence and milk.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.
  • Fold the flour mixture to the creamed mixture.
  • Spread this over the base of the tin.
  • *
  • Whisk the egg whites stiffly.
  • Fold in the sugar and coconut.
  • Spread this mixture over the cake base.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.
  • Cut into slices when cool.
Stardust by Colclough Tea Plate

Fish Soup

  • I thought that this soup would be excellent for Good Friday.
  • The base is a simple vegetable soup with mainly “green” vegetables and a few carrots.
  • You can vary the vegetables that you use.
  • Any white fish will be good and  you just need small pieces.
  • Where my late father used to live the small river formed part of the border between the then Poland and Russia.
  • He would often catch river fish, which he really liked.
  • I am sure he would have enjoyed this soup. 

Ingredients

  • 150g white fish  (Basa, Cod or Haddock)
  • 1 onion 
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • ½ tin of sweetcorn
  • 1 large carrot
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1½ litres of vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons of soured cream
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

  • Chop up the onion and leeks.
  • Fry them gently in the butter.
  • Chop the celery into thin slices.
  • Chop the carrots into small pieces.
  • Mix all the vegetables together and add the stock.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer till nearly soft.
  • Cut the fish into small pieces and add them to the soup.
  • Simmer till the fish is cooked.
  • Stir in the soured cream.
  • Season to taste.

 

Royal Doulton Burgundy Soup Plate

Optional – If you use more fish you can serve this more as a main dish .