Buckwheat Pancakes – New Ideas 2

I have recently returned from a super, short holiday in Gdańsk and in one restaurant I saw on the menu pierogi (Polish filled pasta) which had leeks, peas and soured cream as a filling –  I liked the idea of the sweetness of garden peas with leeks and thought  I could adapt this and use it as a filling with buckwheat pancakes.

Buckwheat Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 75g buckwheat flour
  • 25g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 125ml of milk (full or semi-skimmed)
  • 125ml of water
  • 25g of  melted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • Some extra milk might be needed.

Method

  • Beat the eggs and add then them first to the sifted flour.
  • Add the milk mixture to the egg and flour mix until you have a batter the consistency of pouring cream.
  • Mix the milk with the water
  • Add the milk mixture to the egg and flour mix until you have a batter the consistency of pouring cream.
  • Leave the batter to stand for at least 1 hour in which time it will thicken, then add a little more liquid.
  • Use a special thin pan which you use just for pancakes, mine has a base diameter of 20 cm and is made of steel, once seasoned, just wipe it clean between uses with kitchen roll – never scour it or use detergent.
  • Work out how much batter you need for a pancake and find a measure which will then give you a consistent amount – I use a small ladle which holds 45ml.
  • Have a dish of melted butter or margarine and sunflower oil for frying so you can add just enough and tip some back if needed.
  • Heat the pan – you want a high heat but not too much to burn the pancakes – you will find you have to keep adjusting the heat. (As I cook using gas this is easy to do).

IMG_20150705_172532980

 

  • Using the ladle 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.

Filling

  • 3 leeks – chopped
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 2-3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 -3 tablespoons of soured cream
  • 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 add the soured cream.
  • Place some of the mixture on a cooked pancake  in the centre and out to the sides – but not quite to the edge.
  • Fold in two of the opposite sides and then roll up the pancake from the long end to make a long parcel.

Other Ways to use the Filling

The leek & pea mixture goes really well as a vegetable to serve with roast chicken.

Or heat some cooked chicken breast pieces with the leeks & peas.

I think some pasta would also be good with this, though have not yet tried this yet.

Pea Purée

Pea purée is a very old Polish recipe and in its simplest version yellow split peas with cloves or allspice & bay leaves are cooked till soft and  mashed. Nowadays a blender is more often used – I use my stick blender.

Whilst doing research for this recipe I found that it is very much like the old English recipe for Pease Pudding – Remember the old Nursery rhyme – Pease Pudding Hot, Pease Pudding Cold! –  this would have had nutmeg, cinnamon or saffron added.

Version 1

Ingredients

400g yellow split peas

1 large onion – peeled and cut in half

2 – 3 allspice grains or 2 cloves

4 -6 peppercorns

1 -2 bay leaves

Salt & pepper to taste

 

 

Method

Place the split peas, onion, allspice or cloves and the bay leaves into a large saucepan.

Cover with boiling water so that there is about 2cm of water above the ingredients.

Simmer  gently until the peas are soft and mushy – stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and burning – add a little hot water if it looks like it is cooking away too quickly.

Remove the spices and the bay leaf.

Purée the pea mixture – I use a stick blender.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot – it goes very well with hot smoked sausages, bacon or ham hock.

Add skwarki (crispy bacon bits) or charred onion as a topping.

Version 2

Ingredients

400g yellow split peas

1 large onion

2 medium carrots

2 – 3 allspice grains or 2 cloves

4 -6 peppercorns

1 -2 bay leaves

Salt & pepper to taste

 

Method

Peel the carrots.

Place the split peas, carrots, onion, allspice or cloves and the bay leaves into a large saucepan.

Cover with boiling water so that there is about 2cm of water above the ingredients.

Simmer  gently until the peas and are soft and mushy and the carrots are soft, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and burning. – add a little hot water if it looks like it is cooking away too quickly.

Remove the spices and the bay leaf.

Puree the pea mixture – I use a stick blender.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot – it goes very well with hot smoked sausages, bacon or ham hock.

Add skwarki (crispy bacon bits) or charred onion as a topping.

 

 

This tastes sweeter than version 1 because of the carrots.

Note

I used a slow cooker the second time I made this – it made it easieras it prevented burning or all the liquid cooking off to soon.

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

 

Pea Salad

In earlier times this would have been made with bottled or tinned garden peas – nowadays I make this with cooked frozen peas.

The peas and Gouda cheese make this salad sweet and creamy.

Ingredients

Around 400ml of frozen peas -cooked and cooled

4 hardboiled eggs – chopped

3 large gherkins – chopped into little cubes

200g of Gouda(or similar) cheese – chopped into cubes

1 small onion – chopped fine

2 tablespoons of Mayonaise (full fat is best)

1 tablespoon of Greek style yoghurt

Salt & Pepper to taste.

Method

In a bowl mix all the vegetables and the cheese together.

Add the mayonnaise and yoghurt and mix well.

Add salt & pepper to taste.

Serve with hot or cold roast meats or smoked Polish sausage.

 

Variation

I think the addition of 2 or 3 strips of chopped herrings as in my herring salads would be good.

Will try this later and let you know!

Pea Soup with Dutch Connections

I have written about Polish pea soup which is usually made with yellow split peas.

My mother could not always get yellow split peas and sometimes used Marrow fat peas.

My Dutch friend in The Netherlands often talks about Dutch pea soup which is made using Marrow fat peas or green split peas.

The Dutch soup tends to be made as a much thicker soup and pork, such as a chop or pigs’ trotters, is often used and also as smoked bacon or ham; potatoes are often added as well.

I have made my soup more on the Polish thinner side and used a chunk of smoked  Polish bacon. – You can use smoked gammon or smoked bacon – use it in large pieces – cut it up after it has been cooked in the soup.

Version 1 – Using Marrow Fat Peas

 

 

 

Ingredients

250g Marrow fat peas

2 large onions chopped

400g piece of smoked Polish bacon (boczek in Polish, which means side)

8 peppercorns

2-3 allspice grains

1 Bay leaf

2 litres of vegetable stock (can be from a cube or powder – I often use Marigold powder).

 

 

 

Method

Put the marrow fat peas into a large bowl with around 800ml of boiling water poured over them  and leave overnight.

Some instructions say to add bicarbonate of soda to the peas – I prefer not to.

The following morning, drain and rinse the rehydrated peas.

I have started using my large slow cooker to make soups – you can also use a large stock pot and once brought to the boil, leave it to simmer on the stove or in a low oven.

Place all the ingredients into the pot and switch on and leave to cook for 4 – 5 hours until the peas have cooked to a soft pulp.

You might want to add some boiling water and stir the soup if it has become too thick.

Remove the piece of bacon and chop or shred the meat, then put it all back into the soup, stir and heat for a few minutes before serving.

You can use the cooked meat on for example in sandwiches and only put part of it back into the soup.

 

 

 

 

Served here with scalded rye bread on tea plates by Taylor and Kent of Longton.

 

Version 2 – Using Green Split Peas

As version 1, but use 300-350g of green split peas.

The split peas do not have to be soaked overnight, just use then as they are.

So this is much quicker to make as there is no overnight soaking.

 

 

You can add some chopped chives or the green part of spring onions before serving.

 

 

Variations

  • Add one or more  root vegetables such as:
  • 1 or 2 carrots – chopped,
  • around a quarter of a celeriac,
  • 1 or 2 parsnips – chopped
  • 1 large potato – peeled and chopped
  • Use smoked gammon, ham or smoked bacon
  • Add a pork chop
  • Use pigs’ trotters

Note

I have found that these soups freeze very well – portionned up into tubs for future use.

 

 

Pea Fritters

A few notes about peas

Pisum sativum is groch in Polish and pea in English.

The pea belongs to the legume family, the plant family with pods as fruit and from the botanical point of view the pea pod is a fruit, the round peas, the seeds, however from the  culinary point of view it is classed as a vegetable.

Peas are recorded in the Middle East over 4,000 years BC.

Dried peas were the stables of Mediaeval cooking in Europe.

The eating of the fresh green peas is a fairly modern idea – it started for the rich in the 17th & 18th centuries.

Mangetout (eat all in French) is a pea variety with an edible pod  The idea of eating the immature pea pods was known in the 17th century in France.  They only became popular in the UK in 1970s.

Marrow fat peas are a variety of Pisum sativum called medullare. They are sold with their skins still on and are often cooked with bi-carbonate of soda which helps break down this hard to digest skin.

Split peas  come as yellow & green – these are dried peas with the hard to digest skin removed and then the  pea splits naturally  into its 2 cotyledons(parts). This process came into use in the late 19th century.

 

20171008_074421

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My original recipe for pea fritters was exactly the same the same as my bean fritters recipe but using  dried split peas  – so I have added the instructions for doing this.

This variation is now the one I use the most.

Reconstituting the Spit Peas

Most packets of split peas give a variety of  method for reconstituting the split peas.

I do not usually bother to soak them over night.  I cover them with water and let them boil gently, this will take at least half an hour.  I keep checking on them giving them an occasional stir so they do not stick to the bottom of the pan & adding water if needed if it looks like it is going to run dry.

 

20171008_074709

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I cook them until  they are soft and all the water has been absorbed.

If you have added too much water then you will need to strain the excess off.

Using a masher, mash the peas until you have a thick smooth thick purée.

 

20171008_084544

 

 

 

 

 

 

Split Pea Fritters

Ingredients

250g of yellow or green split peas (reconstituted as above & mashed to a smooth purée)

1 carrot – chopped into small pieces

1 onion – chopped into small pieces

1 clove of garlic – chopped

1 red pepper – chopped into small pieces

Some butter for frying the onions, garlic, carrot & pepper

1 teaspoon Italian mixed herbs

1 teaspoon of sweet paprika

1 egg – beaten

Dried Breadcrumbs

Salt & pepper

optional – 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes

Method

Reconstitute the split peas, mash them and leave them to cool completely.

Melt some butter in a frying pan and gently fry the onion, garlic, carrots and the pepper until they are soft, then leave them to cool.

 

 

Mix the mashed pea mixture and the cooked vegetables together,

 

20171008_102802

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add the Italian mixed herbs, paprika and salt & pepper(& chilli flakes if using) and mix well.

Add the beaten egg and mix thoroughly – if the mixture appears to wet add a spoonful of breadcrumbs.

Put some breadcrumbs on a plate or board, make small balls and flatten them and coat all the sides with the breadcrumbs.

Shallow fry the fritters in hot sunflower oil till they are golden on both sides.

 

 

These fritters go well with a crisp salad, salsa or a sauce such as tomato or mushroom.  They also go well with meat dishes in a sauce  such as gulasz, pulpety or chicken casserole.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Polish Mixed Vegetable Salad

Before the days of shops that sell fresh and frozen produce all year round from all over the world, this salad could be made in the autumn and winter using bottled or tinned vegetables.

This salad is made using mainly cooked chopped vegetables and the aim is to make it colourful and to balance the colours and size of the ingredients.

The main three colours are white, green and orange.

IMG_20150826_184257660
Salad in a Royal Doulton Dish – Carnation – 1982 to 1998

White

The white is achieved from: potatoes, celeriac or  white beans such as haricot or cannellini  or even tinned baked beans with the sauce rinsed off.

Green

The green is achieved from peas , whole green beans or gherkins. I use frozen peas or whole green beans.

Orange

The orange is achieved from carrots or bottled paprika.

The following salad was made from potatoes, carrots and whole green beans which were cooked before assembling.

IMG_20150826_153017563
Steam the Potatoes and Carrots

IMG_20150826_153001188

Boil or steam the whole green beans.

Once the vegetables have cooled then chop them into small pieces.

IMG_20150826_154347559IMG_20150826_155112059

IMG_20150826_155125333

Mix the vegetables together with several tablespoonfuls of mayonnaise – original or light – just enough to lightly coat the vegetables.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

IMG_20150826_184307974

Variation 1

Add 2 hard boiled eggs which have been chopped to the salad.

IMG_20150902_161945936

IMG_20150826_184529924
Mixed Vegetable Salad with Hard Boiled Eggs

Variation 2

Use Celeriac instead of potato.

Peel the celeriac then cut it up into large pieces and steam these – chop the cooked celeriac into smaller pieces when it has cooked and cooled.