Gherkin Sauce – 2

  • This is a creamier sauce than gherkin sauce –  version 1.
  • Once again simple to make.
  • Goes well with cooked white fish or roast chicken or pork.
  • The tangy taste is refreshing in the summer.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of plain flour
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 125ml liquor from gherkins
  • 3 medium gherkins – chopped fine or coarse grated
  • 125ml soured cream
  • Sugar to taste – optional

Method

  • Melt the butter in a pan.
  • Add the flour – mix and cook gently.
  • Add the stock and gherkin liquor slowly.
  • Mix and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the gherkins and cook for a few minutes.
  • Stir whilst this cooks.
  • Add sugar to taste.
  • Stir in the soured cream before serving.

Illustration –  by Czesław Wielhorski from my Kuchnia Polska book – first published in the 1950s. 

  • Super with cooked white fish!

Gherkin Sauce – 1

  • I have a few more sauces to write about this year.
  • Gherkin sauce is Ogórkowy sos in Polish.
  • It is quite simple to make and can be made all year round.
  • It goes well with fish and also light meat such as roast chicken or pork.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion – chopped fine
  • 2 medium gherkins – chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of plain flour
  • 250ml of vegetable stock
  • Sugar to taste – optional

Method

  • Fry the onions gently in the butter till golden.
  • Add the flour, mix and cook for a few minutes.
  • Slowly add the vegetable stock.
  • Stir until the sauce thickens and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the gherkins and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add  a little sugar to taste.
  • Serve hot.

Illustration –  by Czesław Wielhorski from my Kuchnia Polska book – first published in the 1950s. 

  • Super with fish!

 

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.

Gulasz myśliwski

  • Having made sos myśliwskiHunter’s sauce. 
  • I thought how good this would be to make into a gulasz.
  • Cubed braising beef or shoulder pork would be super for this.

Ingredients 

  • 400g cubed braising beef or shoulder or spare rib pork
  • 4 slices of  thick cut smoked bacon – chopped
  • 150g – 220g  of fresh mushrooms – sliced or quartered
  • 3 large gherkins – chopped into cubes
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of plain flour.
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato purée
  • 2 onions – chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic – chopped
  • 3 grains of of allspice
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon of of ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of hot ground paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons of made mustard.
  • 500ml of vegetable or chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sunflower oil for frying

Method

  • Pre heat the oven to Gas Mark 3 – 1600C
  • Mix the tomato purée, allspice, paprikas and mustard into the stock.
  • Cut the meat into cubes and coat the pieces in a mixture of flour, salt and ground pepper.
  • In a frying pan heat the oil until it is hot and fry the meat until all the sides are sealed.
  • Place the meat into a casserole dish.
  • Fry the garlic and onions in the frying pan, adding some oil if necessary but trying not to use too much or the dish will be greasy.
  • Add the onions to the meat then add the bay leaf and some more ground pepper.
  • Melt the butter and fry the mushrooms for a few minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms to the meat.
  • Add the gherkins,
  • Pour the stock mixture into the casserole dish and put on the lid.
  • Cook in the oven until the meat is tender, this could be about 3 ½ hours  to  4 ½ hours but often I find it needs  longer.
  • *
  • I find that this is better cooked on one day and then reheated on the next.
  • *
  • Serve with boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes or rice.
  • *
  • Note – As the gherkins cook down – next time I would add them in the last hour of cooking.
  • *
  • Of course, this is reminiscent of Bigos, which is usually called Hunter’s Casserole – but here without the cabbage and sauerkraut.

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.

Cabbage & Gherkin Salad

I had half a sweetheart cabbage left after a meal and not much else in the fridge.

I put together the ingredients I had and got a delicious new salad.

Use red onions if you can as these give a good colour contrast.

Ingredients

  • ½ a sweetheart cabbage
  • 4-5 medium sized gherkins
  • 2 small red onions
  • 3 tablespoons of gherkins liquid from the jar
  • 2-3 tablespoons of full-fat mayonnaise
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  • Cut the cabbage into fine shreds.
  • Cut the gherkins into round slices.
  • Chop the onions into small pieces.
  • Mix the chopped ingredients with the gherkin liquid and the mayonnaise.
  • Season with salt and pepper.

 

 

Ogórkowa – Gherkin Soup -2

I posted the recipe for ogórkowa – gherkin soup, which is a classic Polish soup, over a year ago.

It is sour, a taste much loved by the Poles!

It is traditionally made from brine fermented gherkins but you can also use pickled gherkins.

I was sorting out my cutting and notes the other day and came across this recipe from my aunt in Białystok and decided it was time I made this version.

Ingredients

  • 250g gherkins
  • 125ml gherkin liquid
  • 1.5 litres of vegetable stock (can be from cubes or powder)
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled – boiled or steamed
  • 3-4 carrots whole – peeled – boiled
  • 125ml of soured cream
  • Chopped dill – some to add and some  to serve

Method

This is easiest to make if you have some potatoes and carrots boiled already.

  • 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.
  • Chop the boiled carrots into circles or half circles (depending on the size)
  • Add the potatoes and carrots, stir and simmer for around 5 minutes.
  • Stir in some chopped dill.
  • Stir in the soured cream.
  • Serve with extra dill sprinkled on top.

 

Served in Royal Doulton – Tapestry – 1966 – 1988.

 

Chłodnik- 5- with Gherkins

Here is another classic, chilled starter for a summer’s day.  It will be the last for this summer –  I will be looking out for more for next year!

Ingredients

  • 3 -4 gherkins
  • Spring onion – green parts or chives
  • 500ml of yoghurt
  • Handful of dill
  • Gherkin liquor and cold water
  • Salt & Pepper & Sugar to taste
  • *
  • Hard boiled eggs to serve

Method

  • Chop the gherkins into small pieces.
  • Chop the spring onions or chives into small pieces.
  • Chop the dill into small pieces.
  • Thin down the yoghurt with gherkin liquor and water to suit.
  • Mix with the chopped gherkins.
  • Add dill and spring onions or chives.
  • Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Chill in the fridge for several hours.
  • *
  • Sprinkle with chopped hard boiled eggs to serve.

 

Served in Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982 – 1998

Chłodnik – 2 – Beetroot & Gherkin

Chłodnik means coolant and it is a refreshing start to a meal in summer.

This classic version is usually make with botwiny for which I cannot find a good translation into English.

Botwiny are young beetroots with the stalks and some leaves still attached. In Poland you can buy bunches of these for sale or you can pick them early from your garden or allotment.  Here in England I have not see them for sale so if you want them you will have to grow them for yourself.

If you do have some you use all the parts – the roots, stalks and the leaves otherwise you just use cooked beetroot.

The classic version uses soured milk but unless you have access to this then Greek style natural yoghurt or soured cream and lemon juice are good alternatives.

I use beetroot concentrate which is convenient and very tasty.

 

1 tablespoon of beetroot concentrate to 250ml of yoghurt is a good proportion.

Ingredients

  • 250g of cooked beetroots
  • 3-4 gherkins
  • Spring onion – green parts or chives
  • 500ml of yoghurt or 300ml soured cream
  • 2 tablespoons of beetroot concentrate
  • Handful of dill
  • Lemon juice and gherkin liquor and cold water
  • Salt & Pepper & Sugar to taste
  • *
  • Hard boiled eggs to serve – ½ egg per person

Method

  • Chop the beetroot into small cubes.
  • Chop the gherkins into small cubes.
  • Chop the spring onions or chives into small pieces.
  • Chop the dill into small pieces.
  • Mix the yoghurt or soured cream & lemon juice with the beetroot concentrate.
  • Thin this down with lemon juice, gherkin liquor & water to suit.
  • Add the chopped beetroots, gherkins, dill and spring onions or chives.
  • Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Chill in the fridge for several hours.
  • *
  • Serve with quarters of hard boiled eggs and a sprinkle of chives or dill.

 

Served in Carnation by Royal Doulton – 1982 – 1998

Dutch Cold Dish & Other Salads

I recently returned from a trip to The Netherlands to visit my friend again.

I always have a great time visiting different parts of the country and enjoying the wonderful hospitality.

One dish I have had many times is Koudeschotel – this translates as Cold Dish.

I think it is a sort of  “posh cousin” to  several Polish cooked salads such as Potato Salad and Mixed Vegetable Salad.

It is often made in large quantities as the centrepiece in a buffet meal.

There is a central mound made with boiled potatoes mashed with mayonnaise, onions, peas, carrots and cooked meat like chicken, pork or beef.

This is then decorated with items such as hard boiled eggs, gherkins, silver-skin onions, prawns or shrimps, asparagus, tomatoes, cooked or smoked meats and dusted with a little sweet paprika.

 

The koudeschotel on my arrival from England this year.

If the central mound is made without meat it is sometimes called Huzarensalade – Huzar’s Salad.

Ingredients – for the central mound

The original recipe  was for a large amount suitable for a big party – I have scaled it down.

  • 1 Kg of cold boiled potatoes
  • Around 200ml of mayonnaise – real full fat is best
  • 100g of cooked peas
  • 1 large onion chopped fine
  • 2 boiled carrots – diced
  • 200g of cooked chicken, pork or beef – shredded (meat used to make soup or stock is good)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Notes

Many supermarkets and delicatessens in The Netherlands sell this mixture ready made.

Method

  • Mash the potatoes with the mayonnaise.
  • Add the peas, carrots, onion and meat and mix well.
  • Season to taste.

  • Arrange the mixture in the centre of a serving plate.

Decorate with a selection of the following:

  • Hard boiled eggs – sliced or quartered
  • Gherkins – small or large ones sliced
  • Silver-skin onions
  • Cooked prawns or shrimps,
  • Cooked asparagus spears or slices
  • Tomatoes – quartered
  • Cooked or smoked meats – chopped or in little slices
  • Dusted with a little sweet paprika.

Now is the time to be a little creative with the decoration – I tend to do rows of the different ingredients and dust with sweet paprika at the end.

(For smaller gatherings sometimes the mixture is placed in a bowl and the eggs and gherkins etc are just placed on top)

Other Salads

One day we went to a neighbour’s house for a BBQ and koudeschotel was one of the dishes served with the grilled meats.

We were also served the following two lovely salads –

Cabbage & Pineapple Salad

Ingredients

  • Small white cabbage
  • 8 rings of fresh or tinned in juice pineapple
  • 50 – 80g of raisins

Method

  • Soak the raisins in pineapple juice for at least 30 minutes
  • Shred and chop the cabbage
  • Chop the pineapple rings into small pieces
  • Mix the cabbage, pineapple and the raisins in juice together

Salad with Smoked Salmon & Capers

Ingredients

  • Crunchy lettuce such as Cos or  Little Gem – I used a Red Little Gem
  • 100g Smoked Salmon
  • 2 or 3 sticks of celery – finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of capers
  • 100g of cooked small sized pasta
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Ground black pepper

Method

  • Hand tear the lettuce into medium sized pieces.
  • Chop the smoked salmon into small pieces.
  • Mix the smoked salmon, capers and pasta together and
  • Mix this with the lettuce.
  • Pour the lemon juice over this and mix.
  • Season with black pepper.
  • Extra salt should not be needed because of the capers & smoked salmon.

 

You could serve this as a starter using a few lettuce leaves as a bed on each plate with the smoked salmon mixture in the centre.