Paszteciki – little savoury pastries

Paszteciki are little savoury pastries often served as a soup accompaniment. They are made with with a pre-cooked filling which sometimes contains meat but vegetable versions are very popular and mushroom or sauerkraut & mushroom ones are very often made for Wigilia – Christmas Eve.

They are shaped like little sausage rolls or diagonal slices cut from a large roll.

I think they are best served warm.

You can make these using many sorts of pastry doughs – the following yeast dough is one that is often used.

Yeast Dough

Ingredients

  • 250g plain flour or a mixture of spelt & plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon of dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • 125-150ml of milk
  • 1 egg & 1 yolk
  • 40g butter – melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 egg white used for glaze

Method

  • Put 50g of the flour into a bowl.
  • Add the yeast and sugar.
  • Add enough of the milk to make the mixture like double cream.
  • Leave in a warm place to bubble and froth up.
  • Place the rest of the flour into a bowl.
  • Add the salt and mix.
  • Lightly beat the whole egg  and the yolk together.
  • Add the egg mixture to the flour.
  • Add the yeast mixture to the flour.
  • Start to mix together using a wooden spoon.
  • Slowly add as much milk as needed.
  • Bring the dough together using your hands until it leaves the side of the bowl.
  • Knead the dough lightly until it is smooth.
  • Flatten the dough into a rectangle.
  • Slowly pour on the butter and fold over the dough.
  • Keep kneading the buttery dough until it is all incorporated.
  • Knead a little longer until you have a nice glossy ball.
  • Put the dough back into a bowl.
  • Cover with a cloth or cling film and leave to rise in a warm place.
  • ***********************
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM7 220 °C.
  • Grease several baking trays.
  • Take the pastry and shape into a rough rectangle.
  • Roll out thinly into a large rectangle.
  • Cut the rectangle into two lengthwise so you have two long thin rectangles.
  • Place the cold filling in the centre lengthwise.
  • Fold the two long sides over the filling so the pastry just meets and is not too thick.
  • Turn the roll over so the seam is underneath.
  • Cut the roll into diagonal slices about 5cm thick.
  • Place the pieces on the baking trays.
  • Glaze the pieces with beaten egg white.
  • Leave for around 30 minutes.
  • Bake for 14-15 minutes.
  • Allow to cool a little and then remove from the tray and place on a cooling rack.

Served on Royal Worcester  – Evesham – tea plates –  a design from 1961

Fillings

A variety of  fillings can be used such as ones that you would use for pierogi – Polish filled pasta, for example mushroom or sauerkraut & mushroom or you can  use pre-cooked vegetables, meats and also include hard boiled eggs.

All fillings should be cold when used.

Below are two fillings that I made for my paszteciki.

Fresh Cabbage & Mushroom Filling

Ingredients

  • Small head of white cabbage or sweetheart cabbage.
  • 150-200g of mushrooms (I used the chestnut ones)
  • 1 large onion
  • 100g of butter
  • 2 or more hard boiled eggs
  • Salt & pepper to taste

 

Method

  • Shred and then chop the cabbage into small pieces.
  • Chop the onion into small pieces.
  • Chop the mushrooms into small pieces.
  • Melt the half the butter in a large deep frying pan.
  • Slowly cook the onions and the cabbage but do not brown.
  • Cover with a lid and let them simmer till they are both soft.
  • Stir occasionally – you might need to add a little hot water.
  • In another pan melt the rest of the butter and fry the mushrooms.
  • Add the mushrooms to the cabbage and onion mixture and mix well.
  • Heat gently together to remove all the excess liquid.
  • Leave to go cold.
  • Rough chop the hard boiled eggs and add them to the mixture.
  • Season to taste.

Notethis might be more filling than you need – you can always freeze what is left.

Mushroom Filling

This is a new filling for me using just fresh mushrooms.

Ingredients

  • 250 -300g mushrooms(I used chestnut)
  • 1 onion
  • Around 50g  of butter
  • 3-4 tablespoons of soured cream
  • Salt & pepper to taste.

Method

  • Slice and chop the mushrooms into small pieces.
  • Chop the onion into small pieces.
  • Fry the onion in butter till they are soft – do not brown.
  • Add the mushrooms and fry together.
  • Keep stirring and cook gently till the mushrooms are soft.
  • Add the soured cream and stir together.
  • Heat for a little while to remove excess liquid.
  • Leave to go cold.
  • Season to taste.

Notethis might be more filling than you need – you can always freeze what is left.

 

Szczawowa – Sorrel Soup

One of my earliest food memories is walking from our street in a little town in Lancashire to the fields beyond and picking fresh sorrel with my mum to make this soup.

At that time my English was limited and my mum was much amused when one of our English neighbours came to inquire about the “grass” that I had told her we had picked that morning to make into soup.

One of my sisters, much younger than me, came to visit a few weeks ago and out of the blue she suddenly asked if  I remembered picking sorrel.  She did not know I had just been writing about it.

Yesterday I had lunch with a new Polish friend who was born in Lincolnshire and whilst talking about food our mothers cooked, she too remembered  going down to the fields with her mother and her friends to pick basket-fulls of sorrel, much to the bewilderment of their English neighbours.

Rumex acetosa is sorrel – szczaw in Polish.

The word sorrel comes from the Old French  – sorele –  meaning – sour.

Sorrel belongs to the Polygonaceae family and it is related to the dock – Rumex obtusifolius and to buckwheat.

It has a pointed broad leaf which has a sharp taste due to oxalic acid in the leaves.

At the moment I am growing this in pots in the garden, when I do a sort out in the garden I am going to move some to a patch in the ground.

I tried growing Rumex sanguineus – red veined sorrel once but I found it tasteless.

Szczawowa is such a typical Polish soup made from fresh picked ingredients and has the sourness so loved by the Poles.  It is usually served with lots of chopped hard boiled eggs on top.

Note

Because of the oxalic acid in the sorrel do not use cast iron or aluminium pans.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 chicken wings
  • Lots of chopped sorrel leaves – around 500ml if possible.
  • 1 onion – finely chopped
  • 1 coarse grated carrot
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable stock powder or vegetable stock cube
  • 3-4 peppercorns
  • 125ml of soured cream
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped hard boiled eggs to serve – at least one per person

Method

  • Place 4-5 chicken wings in a pan of water and bring to boil and simmer for about half hour.
  • And the chopped onion, grated carrot  and peppercorns and bring them to a boil and simmer for another half hour.
  • Add the vegetable powder or cube.
  • Add chopped sorrel leaves – lots, bring to a boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken wings (they are not served with the soup).
  • Add salt and more ground pepper if liked – it should be sour! (lemony but more so).
  • You can do this and then leave for it later – just bring to boil and then simmer when ready to use.
  • Add the soured cream and stir this in.
  • Have prepared some hard boiled eggs  – chopped finely.
  • Pour soup into soup plates and sprinkle the chopped eggs over the top to serve.

Served in Royal Doulton – Carnation 1982  – 1998.

 

Ogórkowa – Gherkin soup

Four years of blogging today!

I can hardly believe it!  I posted my first post four years ago today. The time has gone so quickly and there is still much more to do.

This will be post number 208 – so averaging at 1 per week.

Today it just has to be a very Polish recipe.

Ogórkowa gherkin soup is a classic Polish soup.

It is sour and as I have written before, this is a taste much loved by the Poles!

It can be made in the winter from stored ingredients but it is also very refreshing on a summer’s day.

The most traditional soup is made from brine fermented gherkins but you can use pickled gherkins.

 

Ingredients

  • 250g gherkins
  • 125ml  gherkin liquid
  • 1.5 litres of soup greens/vegetable stock (can be from cubes or powder)
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled – boiled or steamed
  • 125ml of soured cream
  • Chopped dill to serve

Method

If you have some potatoes boiled already this is a very quick soup to make.

  • Add the gherkin liquid to the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
  • Rough chop the gherkins.
  • Drop the gherkins into the liquid and simmer for around 20 -25 minutes.
  • Chop the boiled potatoes into rough cubes.
  • Add the potatoes, stir and simmer for around 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in the soured cream and chopped dill.

 

Using brine fermented gherkins

 

 

Served in Royal Doulton, Burgundy soup plates, 1959 – 1981.

Using pickled dill gherkins

 

Served in Royal Doulton, Tapestry soup plates, 1966 – 1988.

Sauerkraut Rye Bread

My cousin who lives near Chicago recently sent me a recipe that has been used by her mum for Polish sauerkraut rye bread.

The recipe was from a bakery in Chicago and was printed in the Chicago Tribune on 2 March 1989.

Well of course I had to try this out!

 

The recipe is in cups, which except for liquids, I find hard to work with for consistency – so I  did some conversions into grams.

Note -The amount of sauerkraut was  3/4 of a cup – I measured out a loosely filled cup and weighed it.

This recipe makes one very large loaf – you can use it to make two loaves.

There is a large amount of flour – I mixed it by hand which was quite hard work but after the first rise it was a good dough to work with.

Ingredients

  • 880g plain flour (650g & 250g)
  • 170g rye flour
  • 40g butter
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of dried yeast
  • 100g sauerkraut
  • 500ml warm water
  • Cornmeal or semolina for the baking tray
  • 1 egg yolk & 1 tablespoon of milk to glaze
  • 2 teaspoons of caraway for topping.

Method

  • Into a large bowl add 650g of plain flour and rye flour.
  • Rub in the butter.
  • Add the salt, sugar and yeast.
  • Chop the sauerkraut with a sharp knife into small pieces.
  • Add the sauerkraut to the flour and mix together.
  • Slowly add the water and bring the mixture together.
  • Slowly add the rest of the flour (you may not need it all) until the dough does not stick to the sides and start to gather it together into a ball.
  •  Knead the dough for around 5 minutes.

 

 

  • Cover the dough with a cloth or clingfilm.
  • Leave it to rise until it is double in size.
  • Punch the dough down and knead it again for a few minutes.
  • Allow the dough to double in size again
  • Punch the dough down again and knead it again lightly.
  • (You can divide it into two here if you want to make two loaves)
  • Put the dough onto a board and flatten it into a rectangle.
  • Shape into an oval.
  • Cover a baking tray with cornmeal or semolina.
  • Place the dough onto the baking tray.
  • Cover and let the dough rise until it is double in size.

 

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 6  – 200°C.
  • Brush the glaze onto the loaf
  • Sprinkle with caraway seeds note I would cover the seeds with glaze again as well next time.
  • Using a sharp knife make 4 or 5 diagonal cuts in the top of the loaf.
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • Turn the oven down to GM4  – 180°C.
  • Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.

 

It was delicious with a great texture!

I sliced up some of the loaf and froze it  – that worked well.

I might just add some more caraway seeds to the dough itself next time.

Pierogi with Duck

I have recently returned from a super, short holiday in Gdańsk during which I tried out many old favourites and several new dishes.

I tried pierogi in several restaurants, choicing some unusual fillings and have been inspired to make them with some new fillings.

I did find that some of the meaty ones were too big – I use a 7cm diameter cutter, which for me gives a better filling to pasta ratio. and have been inspired to make some with some new fillings.

I had several delicious meals in a restaurant in the Old Town called Gvarathe name is based on the Polish word gwara which means dialect (Polish does not have the letter v !). This restaurant serves Polish cuisine – often with a modern take and it has given me much inspiration for some new recipes.

One of the dishes there was pierogi with  duck in the filling.

On the way back to the airport the taxi driver told me that his wife would be cooking duck with red cabbage for Easter Sunday – this set me thinking!

Because I had several ducks in the freezer, I roasted these and took off all the meat – however in the future I would just buy duck breasts or legs and roast or poach them.

3 Duck Fillings

Cooked duck meat – roasted or poached  – is used in these recipes – amouts are not critical.

Fillings must be left to go cold before using.

Duck & Apple

  • 150g of cooked duck meat
  • 4 eating apples – Braeburn or Coxes are good

Method

  • Core the apples and place them in a oven proof dish
  • Cook them in a medium oven until the flesh is soft
  • Scope out all the apple flesh
  • Chop or mince the cooked duck meat
  • Combine the duck and apple flesh together.

 

Serve with melted butter – here on Royal Worcester – Evesham from 1961 onwards.

 

 

Duck, Red Cabbage & Cranberries

  • 150g of cooked duck meat
  • 300g red cabbage
  • 50g of dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon of butter

Method

Rather than boiling, steaming or slow cooking the red cabbage, I used a sort of stir-fry & braising method which worked really well.

  • Put the cranberries in a dish a cover them with some boiling water and leave them for about half an hour.
  • Shred the cabbage.
  • In a deep frying/ saucepan heat some water and add the butter.
  • Stir in the cabbage and simmer gently for a few minutes.
  • Cover the pan – a glass lid is good so you can see what is happening – you need to check and stir occasionally.
  • Simmer for around 10 minutes.
  • Add the cranberries & water, stir and on put the lid back on.
  • Simmer for around 10  to 15 minutes.
  • Keep a check on the water so it does not dry out.
  • If the cabbage has not cooked enough – adjust the water and cook for a bit longer.
  • Leave to cool completely
  • Use a mini-chopper or stick blender to shred the cabbage mixture.
  • Chop or mince the cooked duck meat.
  • Combine the duck and cabbage & cranberry mixture together.

Serve with melted butter – here on La prune by  Jet for Ter Steege in The Netherlands.

Duck & Sauerkraut

  • 150g of cooked duck meat
  • Around half a large jar of sauerkraut
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Pepper to taste

Method

  • Put the sauerkraut with the liquid from the tin or jar into a pan and cover with boiling water.
  • Simmer the sauerkraut gently for about 30 minutes.
  • Then uncover and boil off as much of the liquid as possible – without burning the sauerkraut.
  • Allow the boiled sauerkraut to cool.
  • Strain it using a sieve and pressing it down with a spoon to get the mixture as dry as possible (If you want you can put the strained mixture into a clean dry cotton or linen teacloth, twist the ends together to squeeze it to get it really dry).
  • Chop the sauerkraut finely with a sharp knife.
  • Chop the onion finely  and fry it gently in the butter until it is soft and golden – leave it to cool.
  • Chop or mince the cooked duck meat.
  • Combine the cabbage mixture, the fried onion and the chopped sauerkraut.
  • Add some pepper to taste.

Fried pierogi

All the butter coated pierogi that are not eaten can be fried up later – equally delicious!

 

I have written much previously about pierogi  – but have included the instructions for the dough again below.

Ingredients – Dough

  • 250g pasta flour or strong 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

  • 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.
  • Cut the dough into quarters.
  • On a floured board roll out a quarter at a time until you have a sheet of thinly rolled dough.
  • Now prepare a large tray and cover it with a clean tea towel and sprinkle this with flour.
  • Have a large surface such as a tray covered with a cotton or linen cloth which has been lightly floured ready  and place the sealed pierogi on this until they are all made, do not let then touch each other.
  • I cut them out 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 to me 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.
  • 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 8 at a time (I only do 6 at a time if using frozen ones).
  • As they cook they will float to the surface, let them boil for 2 to 3 minutes, a bit more if they were frozen, 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.
  • 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 shallow dish and put the melted butter into the dish
  • Keep the dish warm in a low oven.
  • As you take out the cooked pierogi add them to the dish, mix them with the butter to prevent them sticking.
  • Keep on adding more as they cook and keep shaking the dish to coat and mix them.

 

 

 

 

Rosół – Chicken Soup

This is my 200th post!

So it is fitting that this one is a Polish classic.

Rosół – Chicken Soup – must be the most well know of Polish soups and can be the basis for many others.

It is a clear soup which is known as a bouillonbulion in Polish. The word consommé which I thought was interchangeable with it, in fact denotes a clear soup which has been cleared with egg whites cooked in it.

Rosół is usually served with cooked pasta, often fine noodles and is the origin of chicken noodle soup.

In times gone by the chicken used would have been an old broiler – these are not as available here as much.  Nowadays for taste it pays to use the very best free range chicken you can get.

A whole chicken is simmered for around 2 hours with Wloszczyzna – Soup Greens.

I was talking with my Polish friend who lives in Leeds and she told me that the addition of  LubczykLovageLevisticum officinale leaves enhances the flavour.

I have this herb, which belongs to the celery & parsley family , growing in a pot in my garden but as it was still a bit early in the year when I made this, I have not been able to try this out – I must do so later!

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 onion – halved (leave some dark skin on to add colour) or 2 leeks – trimmed
  • 3 whole peeled carrots
  • 2 whole peeled parsnips
  • Half a celeriac – peeled
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 2 -3 allspice grains
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Leaves & stalks of fresh herbs such as thyme, parsley and lovage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • Chopped parsley to serve

Method

  • Place all the ingredients into a large stock pot and cover with boiling water.
  • Bring it all to the boil and put on the lid.
  • Either lower the heat to let it all simmer or put the pot  into an oven at around GM 2 – 150°C.
  • Leave to simmer for around 2 hours until the meat is tender.
  • Remove the chicken.
  • Strain the soup.
  • Leave the liquid to cool and then place in a cold place or fridge preferably overnight.
  • Remove as much fat as possible from the top of the liquid.

Note

The soup should have some oczka – little eyes on the top – these are the fat droplets –  tastes have changed somewhat and less fat is prefered by many now.

To Serve

Heat up the soup gently to boiling and simmer for a few minutes.

Pasta & Noodles

This is the classic way of serving.

Very small pasta shapes or larger pasta cut into small pieces or noodles are all cooked beforehand and a small amount is placed in the soup dish and hot rosół poured over them to serve.

 

 

Chopped flat-leaved parsley is added on serving.

Served in Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982 – 1998

 

You can add some of the cooked carrots, sliced, to the soup and/or some of the cooked chicken meat, chopped.

Uszka (Polish filled pasta) can be added and the convention is to add three or five uszka to each soup serving.

 

Note

The cooked chicken can be used in many dishes which require cooked chicken such as in the filling for pierogi.

I find that the meat is really tasty and succulent and makes super sandwiches with some mayonnaise.

Note

Rosół  is often used as the base of many other soups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.