Gammon & Apricots

  • Grilled gammon and grilled pineapple (usually tinned) is a very popular dish in England.
  • Whilst doing some research I discovered that a much older idea is to have apricots with gammon.
  • Apricots were very popular in Elizabethan times, when fruit and meat together were often served.
  • Apricots in these dishes could have been dried apricots but here I have used tinned apricots halves.
  • Apricots in Polish are morela.
  • Apricots are from the Genus Prunus and they are drupes – stone fruits.
  • *
  • Fruit served with meat is very popular in Poland and I think this dish would be well liked.
  • Gammon slices have been used here but this dish could be adapted to use a large piece of ham or gammon.

    Ingredients

  • A thick piece of gammon per person
  • 2 apricot halves (tinned) per person – ones in syrup are the best.

Method

  • Grill the gammon on both sides.
  • Drain the apricots from their juice/syrup.
  • Grill the apricots.
  • Serve the gammon with the apricots.
  • *
  • This would go well with potatoes & garden peas and/or a cabbage salad.

Dark Mushroom Soup

  • I have recently returned from a trip to the Netherlands to visit my old school friend.
  • We were invited out to dinner and had a lovely meal, which gave me several ideas for new recipes.
  • Our host had cooked venison and had used venison stock to make a soup.
  • Now I am unlikely to get any venison in the near future so I decided to used beef stock (from a cube) to make this soup.
  • Whilst eating this soup I thought it had ingredients, which could easily be a soup that would be very popular in Poland.
  • These were: fresh mushrooms, sauerkraut and smoked bacon. 
  • I did not have any flat leaved parsley on the day I made this or I would have used it to garnish the soup.

Ingredients

  • 200g mushrooms – white or brown caps.
  • 1 large onion 
  • 3-4 rashers of smoked bacon
  • 100 – 150g sauerkraut 
  • 1½ litres of beef stock (can be from cubes or concentrate)
  • Sauerkraut liquor – to taste 
  • Salt & pepper to taste.
  • *
  • Flat leaved parsley to serve

    Method

  • Chop the onion into small chunks.
  • Slice the mushroom caps into thin slices.
  • Add the onion and mushrooms to the stock.
  • Bring to the boil and then let it simmer with a lid on the pan.
  • Simmer for around 30 minutes.
  • Cut the bacon into thin long pieces.
  • Drain sauerkraut and chop it into smaller strands.
  • Add the bacon and sauerkraut and let these simmer for another 30 minutes.
  • *
  • Adjust the sourness with sauerkraut liquor to taste.
  • Season to taste.
  • *
  • Serve with flat leaved parsley if available.
Soup Plate by Royal Doulton – Carnation

Pancakes with Bacon

  • These are the thick American style pancakes not the thin crepes.
  • A good way of serving the bacon.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • 180 – 200ml of milk
  • 180g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 6 rashers of streaky smoked bacon
  • *
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • *
  • Fried eggs, maple syrup or sugar, butter – to serve

Method

  • Chop the bacon into small squares.
  • Fry till crisp & strain of any fat.
  • Keep to one side & warm.
  • *
  • Mix the flour and the baking powder together.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour.
  • Mix in the eggs.
  • Mix in enough milk to make a thick batter.
  • *
  • Fry large tablespoons of the batter on a hot griddle or frying pan.
  • Add some bacon bits to the top.
  • Turn over the pancakes and fry on the other side.
  • *
  • Serve as savoury with scrambled or fried eggs or more sweet with butter and maple syrup.
  • This Pyrex design from the 1970s is called Carnaby.

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.

Lentil Soup

  • This recipe is based on Lentils-Polish style.
  • As autumn is approaching I thought I would share this warming soup recipe.

Ingredients

  • 150g – 200g dried Puy lentils
  • 100g smoked bacon – chopped into small squares
  • 1 large onion or 2 leeks – chopped.
  • 1 courgette – chopped into small pieces
  • ½ tube of tomato purée
  • 1½ litres of chicken stock (can be from a cube or concentrate)
  • 5 grains of allspice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika (not smoked)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter for frying
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt might not be needed because of the bacon

Method

  • Cook the lentils in water until they are soft.
  • Fry up the bacon and the onions in the butter.
  • Add the courgettes and put them into a large saucepan.
  • Add the stock, tomato puree and lentils.
  • Add the bay leaves and allspice.
  • Bring to the boil and then let simmer for around 30 minutes.
  • Season with the black pepper to taste.
Here served in Royal Doulton – Carnation (1982 – 1998)

Bean Soup

  • This is a lovely winter soup.
  • It would once have been made with reconstituted dried beans but now it is easy to open tins of beans.
  • Any white beans are good such as Haricot, Cannellini or even Black-eyed beans.
  • This can be made in a stock pot on the cooker or in the oven however I find that using a large slow cooker to cook it makes life a lot easier.

Ingredients

  • 2 tins of white beans such as Haricot, Cannellini or Black-eyed beans.
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 1½ litres of vegetable stock – can be from a cube or powder
  • 150g smoked bacon.
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 3 allspice grains
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram  or 1 tablespoon of fresh
  • Butter to fry the onions.
  • Salt & pepper to season – may not be necessary depending on the bacon and stock.
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley or chives to garnish when serving

Method

  • Chop the onions into small pieces.
  • Gently fry the onions till golden.
  • Chop the carrots into circles and halve or quarter them.
  • Chop the bacon into small pieces.
  • Drain the beans from the cans.
  • Put all the ingredients into a pot.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer – or use a slow cooker.
  • Cook until the carrots are soft.
  • Allow the soup to cool slightly.
  • Remove about half of the beans and carrots with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl.
  • Purée the soup left in the pan – using a stick blender is good.
  • Put the beans and carrots back into the soup and stir.
  • Bring back to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped flat-leaf parsley or chives.

 

Royal Doulton – Tapestry soup plate – 1966 to 1988.

Karoflanka – Potato Soup

When I was young and I told my friends that my mother made potato soup, they all thought this sounded rather weird & tasteless.

Whereas, it was one of my favourite soups and like most Polish soups, it is not a purée, it has chucks of potato in it.

This following is based on my memory of my mother’s recipe.

For the best results, I use rosół (chicken bouillon) or homemade chicken stock when I have it.

Ingredients

  • 750g – 1 kilo of potatoes
  • 2 large onions
  • 200g smoked bacon
  • 2 litres of chicken stock or rosół
  • Large bunch of flat leaved parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 grains of allspice
  • 4-5 peppercorns
  • A little oil for frying
  • Chopped flat leaved parsley to garnish
  • Extra seasoning may not be necessary because of the bacon and rosół/stock.

Method

  • Chop the smoked bacon into small squares.
  • Slowly heat the bacon in a heavy bottomed pan or good Teflon red spot non stick pan without oil.
  • Let all the fat cook out.
  • Chop the onions into small pieces and fry them with the onions.
  • You want the onions well browned, even some slightly charred.

 

 

  • Peel and chop the potatoes into chunks.
  • Fry them lightly in oil so all sides are done.
  • Mix the potatoes with the smoked bacon and onions in a large pan.
  • Add the chicken stock or rosół.
  • Chop the parsley leaves and add them with the allspice, bay leaf and peppercorns.
  • Add 1.5 to 2 litres of water and bring this to the boil.
  • Reduce the heat, put a lid on the pan and simmer gently for around 15 minutes.
  • You are aiming for cooked pieces of potatoes – do not let it disintegrate to a pulp! 
  • Garnish with chopped flat leaved parsley when serving.

 

Served here in Royal Stafford – Blossom Time from the 1950s

Creamier Version

Looking through other recipes for this soup, I found that often some soured cream was added at the end just before serving.

So add 3 to 4 tablespoons of soured cream to some slightly cooled soup in a little dish and then mix this into the pan and serve.

 

 

Served here in Royal Doulton –  Burgundy – 1959 to 1981.

Note

Both are super –  but my vote is for my mother’s version!

Salads with a Hint of Breakfast!

Having written several posts recently with different ideas for breakfasts,  I started to think about how to use some of these ingredients such as smoked bacon & eggs in salads.

Version 1 with lemon juice

Ingredients

  • 1 iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 250g smoked bacon
  • Lemon juice
  • Chives to garnish
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method

  • Cut the lettuce into shreds with a sharp knife.
  • Peel the cucumber or part peel in stripes lengthwise.
  • Chop the cucumber into small pieces.
  • Chop up the hard boiled eggs into small pieces.
  • Chop up the bacon into small squares and fry without extra oil until all the fat has come out.
  • Use kitchen roll to soak up the excess fat and leave to cool completely.
  • Mix all the ingredients together
  • Add salt & pepper to taste.
  • Add the lemon juice and stir.
  • Add chopped chives to serve.

 

 

 

Version 2 with soured cream

  • 1 iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 250g smoked bacon
  • Lemon juice
  • 2 -3 tablespoons of soured cream
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Chives to garnish

Method

As version 1 with the addition of the soured cream at the end.

 

Version 3 with tomatoes

  • 1 iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 250g smoked bacon
  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • Lemon juice
  • Chives to garnish
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method

As version 1 with the addition of the chopped cherry tomatoes.

 

 

 

Served in 1930s Glass Dishes

 

Polish Pea Soup

Grochówka – Pea Soup – just reminds me of when I was young – the smell and taste just bring back so many memories.

The yellow split pea type are the ones used in all the traditional recipes and the soup should not be very thick.

 

 

You can make this soup in a stockpot on the stove top or put it in the oven and leave it to simmer gently for many hours. I have found that making this in my slow cooker is much easier; you can leave it without worrying about it sticking or burning.

Any type of Polish smoked sausage can be used – here I used  Toruńska.

I have given recipes for two slightly different versions

Version 1

Ingredients

  • 350 – 400g yellow split peas
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 2 litres of vegetable stock – can be from a cube or powder
  • 300g of Kielbasa Polish smoked sausage.
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 2-3 grains of allspice
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley or chives to garnish when serving.

Method – version 1

  • Peel the carrots and cut them into rounds – cut the larger ones into halves.
  • Dice the onions.
  • Chop the sausage into rounds and then cut these into halves or quarters – depending on the size of the sausage.
  • Place everything except the garnish into the slow cooker and switch it on to high.
  • Leave the soup mixture to cook for around 4 hours, giving it an occasional stir.
  • Cook until the peas “fall apart”.
  • This soup should not be a “thick mush!”  – add some boiling water to thin it down if necessary.
  • Sprinkle the chopped parsley or chives on the top of each serving.

 

 

 

 

Served in Royal  Doulton – Carnation – 1982 – 1998

Version 2

Ingredients

  • 300g yellow split peas
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 2 litres of vegetable stock – can be from a cube or powder
  • 200g of Kielbasa – Polish smoked sausage.
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 2-3 grains of allspice
  • *
  • Garnish
  • 4 slices of smoked bacon
  • 1 onion

Method – version 2

  • Peel the carrots and cut them into rounds – cut the larger ones into halves.
  • Dice the onions.
  • Chop the sausage into rounds and then cut these into halves or quarters – depending on the size of the sausage.
  • Place everything except the garnish into the slow cooker and switch it on to high.
  • Leave the soup mixture to cook for around 4 hours, giving it an occasional stir.
  • Cook until the peas “fall apart”.
  • This soup should not be a “thick mush!”  – add some boiling water to thin it down if necessary.

Garnish

  • Chop the bacon into small squares and fry gently till very crispy – these are called skwarki in Polish.
  • Dice the onion and fry in a little oil until the pieces are lightly charred.
  • Mix the bacon and onions together.
  • You either use these straight away or you make them in advance and leave them to go cold.
  • Use some kitchen roll to mop up any excess fat.

 

 

When you serve the soup, place a largish tablespoon of the garnish on top of each portion.

 

Served in Royal  Doulton – Carnation – 1982 – 1998

 

Lentils – Polish Style

The lentil  is Lens culinaris,  an edible legume –  which means its seeds grow in pods.

The seeds are lens-shaped from whence it gets its name –  meaning  little lens.

The Polish is soczewica and is also from a word meaning a small lens.

It belongs to the bean family and these seeds are classed as pulses – dry seeds for consumption.

Lentils originated in the Near East and Central Asia and are the oldest  pulses and among the earliest crops domesticated in the Old World.

The first evidence of pulses comes from 11,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, a region in the Middle East which was home to some of the earliest human civilizations.

They are mentioned in the Bible –  Genesis 25:29-34 – when Esau gives up his birthright to Jacob for a mess of pottage.

” …let me eat the red soup … then Jacob gave him bread and lentil soup

Figures for 2016 show the top four countries for lentil production as:

    • Canada
    • India
    • Turkey
    • United States of America

I bought a packet of whole allspice (ziele angielskie) and this recipe was on the back.

20180812_084806

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think it is related to Breton beans – a popular Polish recipe.

Ingredients

200g – 250g dried lentils

100g smoked bacon – chopped into small squares.

200g Polish sausage (I used Toruńska) – sliced

2 onions – chopped

3 cloves of garlic – sliced

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

200 ml of chicken stock (can be from a cube or concentrate)

5 grains of allspice

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon of sweet paprika (not smoked)

1 teaspoon of Italian herbs

Sunflower oil for frying

Ground black pepper

(salt might not be needed because of the bacon and sausage)

Yoghurt and chopped flat-leaved parsley to serve

Method

Pre-heat the oven to GM3 – 160°C

20180812_080932

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cook the lentils in water until they are soft.

Use a sieve to remove some of the excess water – if any.

Fry up the bacon and the onions and garlic.

In a jug or bowl mix the stock, paprika, herbs and pepper.

Get an oven proof dish with a lid and add the lentils, fried bacon, onions and garlic.

Add the tomatoes and the stock mixture.

Add the sliced sausage, the bay leaves and allspice and mix all together thouroughly.

 

Put the lid on the dish and place into the oven.

Cook for 45 -60 minutes.

 

 

Serve garnished with flat – leafed parsley or this and a dollop of plain yoghurt or soured cream as well.

Here served in Royal Doulton – Carnation (1982 – 1998) dishes.