Kapusta “Parzybroda”

  • The name for this cabbage dish translates as ‘scalds your chin’ or ‘burns your beard’ .
  • I am not sure why  – but if you serve it straight from the pan it is very hot.
  • In some parts of Poland this is more like kapuśniak – cabbage soup – one that is made with fresh cabbage.
  • Here it is dish that can be eaten on its own or as a side dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 sweetheart or white cabbage
  • 500g starchy potatoes
  • 200g smoked streaky bacon
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Cut the cabbage into largish squares.
  • Peel and chop the potatoes into medium sized chunks.
  • Mix the two together in a large saucepan with the stock.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer gently until the stock is all absorbed and the cabbage and potatoes are cooked.
  • In the meantime – chop the bacon into small squares and fry till all fat is cooked out and the bacon crisp.
  • These are called skwarki.
  • Add the caraway seeds to the cooked cabbage and potatoes – mix gently.
  • Gently mix in the fried bacon and the fat.
  • Season if necessary to taste.
  • Serve straight away.
  • Here served in a Royal Doulton – Burgundy dish

Belgian Buns

  • These would be called ciasteczka belgijskie in Polish
  • This is a  recipe that was popular in the 19th century in Belgium.
  •  The mixture of spices is slightly different than in many Polish or English recipes.

INGREDIENTS

  • 80g blanched almonds
  • 85g butter
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 125g icing sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 75g currants
  • 40g mixed peel
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • (a little milk maybe needed)
  • *
  • 1egg yolk & 1 tablespoon of milk for egg wash

METHOD

  • Pre-heat oven to GM3 – 160°C.
  • Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  • Chop the almonds into 4 and keep around 36 pieces back for the tops.
  • Mix the flour and baking powder together.
  • Rub in the butter until you have breadcrumbs.
  • Mix the icing sugar and the spices together.
  • Mix the sugar mixture into the flour mixture.
  • Mix the currants, almonds, peel and lemon zest together.
  • Mix the fruits with the other ingredients.
  • Add the eggs, mixing until you have a soft dough.
  • (You might have to add a dash of milk – depending on the size of the eggs.)
  • With floured hands divide the dough into 12 equal parts.
  • Form these into balls.
  • Space these out on the baking tray and flatten them slightly.
  • Brush the tops with the egg wash.
  • Put 3 pieces of almonds on the top of each.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden.
  • Leave to cool for a while on the tray before putting them on a wire rack.

Vintage cake plate on a chrome foot.

Fresh Cabbage & Apples

  • I came across a Polish idea to cook white cabbage with apples.
  • The writer did not give a method nor did they say whether they made it sweet or tart.
  • I went for a slightly sweet version and I thought the result was delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 sweetheart cabbage or a small white cabbage
  • 2 large Bramley apples
  • 500ml water
  • 2-3 tablespoons of granulated sugar

Method

  • Preheat the oven to GM 3 – 160°C.
  • Use a large oven proof dish with a lid.
  • Chop the cabbage into rough squares.
  • Peel and core the apples and chop these into chunks.
  • Mix the cabbage, apples and sugar together and put in the dish.
  • Add the water.
  • Cook for around 1 hour.
  • Keep an eye on this about half way through as the apples can fluff up and escape from the dish.
  • *
  • Serve with roast chicken, duck or pork.
  • *
  • You can add part of the sugar and add the rest to taste at the end.

  • Served in Bavarian china with a forget me knots pattern

Sponge Cake with Peaches

  • This cake is loosely based on one I made with pears.
  • However rather than use fresh peaches – I used tinned peaches.
  • My peaches were in syrup – but one in juice should also be fine (but not tested).
  • This sponge is made with sunflower oil and is very easy to make.

Ingredients

  • Tin of peaches – drained
  • *
  • 230g of plain flour
  • ½ tablespoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 125ml of sunflower oil
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • *
  • Icing Sugar to dredge – optional

Method

  • Pre-heat oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Use a 22cm loose bottom tin with a cake liner – (like a huge bun case).
  • Chop the peaches into small chunks.
  • Leave whilst you prepare the cake mixture.
    *
  • In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • In another bowl whisk the oil, sugar, vanilla extract and the eggs until they are thoroughly mixed.
  • Add the flour mixture to the oil mixture and mix thoroughly.
  • Place half the cake batter into the cooking tin.
  • Place half the peaches on top of the cake batter.
  • Cover with the rest of the cake batter.
  • Place the rest of the peaches evenly over the surface of the cake.
  • Bake for 60 – 65 minutes – cover and maybe another another 10 minutes if not done.
  • Leave to cool in the tin before turning it out.
  • *
  • Dredge with icing sugar when serving – optional.
  • Served on Royal Doulton – Sonnet  and Duchess – Bramble Rose tea plates
  • *
  • I tried this out also in a rectangular tin – 26 x 21cms.
  • The batter was poured into the tin and the peaches all put on the top.
  • This took 40 – 45 minutes to cook – check after 35 minutes and cover with baking paper if necessary.

Pierogi with Chicken & Spinach

    • I have been trying out new fillings for pierogi – all with chicken – here is the third and last for now – will be trying out different ones  later.
    • The filling is  made with cooked chicken as usual but I have found that chicken thighs make a tastier dish than chicken breast.
    • I cooked the chicken as for  rosȯł – chicken soup.
    • Spinach is often added to twaróg or yoghurt cheese but I wanted a more meaty mixture.
    • Lots of spinach cooks down to quite a small amount so the amount can be whatever you have.
    • You can mince the chicken and spinach but I used a mini-chopper, which gave a great smooth filling.

Ingredients – Filling 

  • 150 – 200g cooked chicken thighs
  • 150 -200g fresh spinach
  • 1-2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • *
  • Melted butter to serve

Method – Filling

  • Blanch the spinach in  rosȯł,  chicken stock or boiling water for several minutes.
  • Let it cool and drain it.
  • Whisk the spinach in a mini chopper.
  • Minch the chicken or use a mini chopper.
  • Mix the spinach with the chicken until well mixed.
  • Mix well in the cooled, melted butter.
  • Season to taste.
  • *
  • Serve with melted butter.
  • *
  • Instructions for putting the pierogi together are below the photographs.

How to make pierogi

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.

Coffee Tort

  • I wanted to make a coffee tort using strong ground coffee rather than instant.
  • I think my mother used Camp Coffee – concentrated syrup flavoured with coffee and chicory.
  • It was first produced in 1876 by S. Paterson & Sons Ltd in Glasgow.
  • Camp Coffee is still made today and used mainly in home baking.
  • I made two sponge cakes with the method of weighing the eggs in their shells and then weighing the same amounts of butter, caster sugar and plain flour.
  • I made a 2 egg  version but you can easily make a bigger cake and adjust the ingredients and cake tin sizes.
  • You can make more butter cream to cover the sides.

Ingredients – Cake

  • 2 eggs
  • Equal weights of – 
  • -Butter
  • -Caster sugar
  • -Plain flour
  • 2½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of strong coffee
  • *
  • 125ml strong coffee & 2 tablespoons of sugar – mixed so the sugar dissolves
  • * you can use a larger volume of coffee- say 180ml or even 250ml – adjust the sugar

Method – Cake

  • Line the bases of 2 x 18cm diameter sandwich tins.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Mix the flour with the baking powder.
  • Cream the butter and sugar till pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in the coffee.
  • Beat in the eggs – one by one.
  • Fold in the flour.
  • Divide the mixture between the two tins.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 mins.
  • Leave to cool in the tins on a baking rack.

Ingredients –  Butter Cream

  • 100g butter
  • 200g icing sugar – more may be needed
  • 3 tablespoons strong coffee

Method – Butter Cream

  • Cream the butter with half of the icing sugar.
  • Mix in and cream the coffee.
  • Add the rest of the icing sugar, bit by bit until you have the consistency you require. 

Assembling the tort

  • Place one of the two cakes on a flat cake plate.
  • Use half the coffee and sugar mixture and spoon it over the cake.
  • Spread half the butter cream over the cake.
  • Put the second cake over the butter cream.
  • Use the rest of the coffee and sugar mixture over the top.
  • Spread the rest of the butter cream over the top.
  • Using a pointed spatula, make a pattern in the butter cream.
  • Vintage cake stand on a central chrome/steel foot
  • Tea plate – Crown bone china

Pierogi – Mexican Inspired

    • I have been trying out new fillings for pierogi – all with chicken – here is the second.
    • This was on the menu in a restaurant in Kraków that I went to a few years ago  I did not choose this but noted it down.
    • The filling is  made with cooked chicken as usual and  I have found that chicken thighs make a tastier dish than chicken breast.
    • I cooked the chicken as for  rosȯł – chicken soup.
    • You can mince the chicken and beans but I used a mini-chopper, which gave a great smooth filling.
    • This makes a lot of filling so I  have given instructions for 500g of flour for the dough.
    • The amount of chilli will vary depending on how fresh your chilli powder is and your tastes.
    • Use paprika instead of chilli if you do not like food hot.

Ingredients – Filling

  • Tin Kidney beans – drained
  • 250 – 350g cooked chicken
  • 2- 3 teaspoons chilli powder  (to taste or paprika)
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method – Filling

  • Mash the beans well or use a mini chopper.
  • Mince the chicken or use a mini chopper.
  • Combine the chicken and beans.
  • Add the melted butter and the egg yolks and mix well.
  • Add the chilli and season to taste.

To Serve

  • Serve with melted butter.
  • Serve with onions – char cooked in butter.
  • Serve with onions cooked with chopped peppers – can also add some chopped fresh chilli.
  • Serve with melted butter with chilli flakes add – NOT tested.

How to make pierogi

Ingredients – Dough

  • 500g pasta flour or plain flour & 2 tablespoons of fine semolina
  • 300ml water
  • 1 -2  tablespoons oil – sunflower or light olive
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg yolks

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 quarters.
    • 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 quarter 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.

Honeyed Plum Sauce

  • Super with meats such as chicken, duck and pork.
  • Also with great with desserts and with yoghurt.

Ingredients

  • 10 plums
  • 250ml water (maybe a little extra)
  • 4-6 tablespoons of runny honey

Method

  • Simmer the plums gently in the water.
  • Stir until the plums fall apart.
  • Add extra water if needed.
  • Add as much honey as required to taste.
  • Remove the pips – optional.
  • Serve hot with meats or chilled with desserts.

Pierogi with Chicken & Carrots

  • This is my 500th post – so I thought I would do a variation on a classic!
  • I have been trying out new fillings for pierogi – all with chicken – here is the first.
  • The fillings are made with cooked chicken as usual but I have found the chicken thighs make a tastier dish than chicken breast.
  • I cooked the chicken as for  rosȯł – chicken soup.
  • 5 – 6 carrots were in with the chicken.
  • You can mince the chicken and carrots but I used a mini-chopper, which gave a great smooth filling.

Ingredients

  • 200g of cooked chicken thighs – without bones or skin
  • 5-6 carrots boiled with the thighs
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method

  • Mince or use a mini-chopper to get a smooth mixture of chicken and carrots.
  • Mix in the melted butter and egg yolk.
  • Season to taste.
  • Use the filling to make pierogi in the usual way.
  • *
  • Serve with melted butter.
  • *
  • I have added how to make pierogi – below the photographs.
  • How to make pierogi

  • 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.

Little Honey Cakes

  • This recipe, which only uses honey as the sweetener, is based on an old Yorkshire recipe.
  • It would be quite “at home” with Polish recipes for pierniczki.

INGREDIENTS

  • 100g butter
  • 225 plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 130g runny honey
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • (A little milk – maybe needed)

METHOD

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 5 – 190°C.
  • Grease two large baking trays.
  • Mix the baking powder with the flour.
  • Rub in the butter till it is like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the mixed spices, caraway seeds and ginger.
  • Mix in the honey and egg to give a soft dough.
  • (Should it not be soft enough – add a dash of milk).
  • With lightly floured hands make balls with the dough (larger than walnut).
  • Place the balls on the baking tray – leaving room for them to spread.
  • Flatten the balls slightly.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Leave them to cool on the trays before removing.