Sweet Knedle – 2

  • In some parts of Poland the dough for plum knedle is made from cold boiled potatoes.
  • Best to boil the potatoes earlier than you need them.
  • In Poland small dark plums called węgierki (Hungarian plums) are used.
  • I think that in America these are called Italian plums.
  • Use ripe plums – small ones are best.

    Ingredients 

  • 8 plums
  • *
  • 600g cold boiled potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter
  • 1 egg and 1 yolk
  • 120g plain flour (approx)
  • Pinch of salt
  • *
  • To serve
  • Butter
  • Dried breadcrumbs
  • Ground cinnamon
  • or
  • Soured cream
  • Icing sugar
  • Ground cinnamon 

Method

  • Make sure the potatoes are cold.
  • Mash the potatoes or use a ricer so you do not have any lumps.
  • Add the melted butter, egg, yoke and a pinch of salt.
  • Mix well together.
  • Add the flour bit by bit – you want a dough that you can handle but not too stiff.
  • *
  • Mix around 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
  • Wash and dry the plums and remove the stalks.
  • Remove the stone but do not cut through completely.
  • Put ½ to 1 teaspoon of the sugar mixture in the cavity.
  • *
  • Divide the dough into 8 equal balls.
  • Flatten each ball.
  • Put a plum in the centre of the dough.
  • Shape the dough around the plum.
  • Seal up the “seam”.
  • Fashion a ball or oval with your hands.
  • *
  • Fill a wide pan with water and a tablespoon of salt and bring to the boil.
  • Drop in the knedle in batches – 3 or 4 at a time.
  • Boil for around 8-10 minutes.
  • They are ready when they float to the surface.
  • *
  • Serve with hot buttered breadcrumbs and a pinch of cinnamon
  • or
  • Serve dusted with icing sugar and soured cream and a large sprinkling of cinnamon.

Note

I have read that some people serve these as a side dishes with roast meats.

Potato Layers

  • When I made liver with potato topping, everyone said how much they liked the potatoes (as well as the liver of course).
  • So I have made a dish with just the potatoes.
  • It is similar to the French recipe for Boulangère potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 2 onions thinly sliced
  • 150ml of chicken stock
  • 500g of starchy potatoes
  • Butter & sunflower oil for frying
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Salt & pepper

Method 

  • Butter a rectangular ovenproof dish
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C
  • Fry the onions in the butter & oil mixture till golden.
  • Cut the potatoes into thin slices.
  • Par-boil them for 5 minutes in the milk and water.
  • Remove the potatoes from the liquid.
  • Place a layer of potatoes in the dish.
  • Season as you go along.
  • Place the onions on top.
  • Stir slightly.
  • Finish with a layer of potatoes.
  • Pour the stock into the dish.
  • Cover the dish with foil.
  • Bake for an hour.
  • Remove the foil.
  • Dot the butter on top.
  • Return to the oven for 30 – 45 minutes.

White Bean Potato & Sorrel Soup

  • Spring is upon us, though it is still cold.
  • Sorrel started to grow in my pots a few weeks ago – the first green to grow in my herbs.
  • I saw this recipe, which used rocket and thought I could use sorrel.
  • It is delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion – finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks – finely chopped
  • 300g salad potatoes – eg Charlottes – cut into small pieces
  • 1 litre chicken stock – can be from concentrate, cube or powder
  • 1 can white beans – butter, cannellini or haricot – drained
  • 50 – 100g sorrel leaves – chopped
  • 50g of butter
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  • In a heavy based saucepan melt the butter.
  • Add the onions and celery and cook on a low heat.
  • Stir occasionally and cook for around 10 minutes.
  • Add the potato chunks and season with salt.
  • Cook for about 5minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock.
  • Simmer gently for about 15 minutes.
  • Check with a knife that it slices easily through the potatoes.
  • Add the beans and cook for around 15 minutes.
  • Season to taste.
  • Add the chopped sorrel, stir well and serve.

Liver with Potato Topping

Here are a couple of super liver recipes.

I have also found that the potato topping is easy to make and is so delicious and will be using this for other recipes.

The first recipe is a version for liver and onions with sage and the second recipe does not use sage but has fresh mushrooms in the mixture.

Ingredients – version 1

450g pig’s or lamb’s liver

1 tablespoon of plain flour

3 onions

Large handful of sage leaves

250ml of chicken stock

500g of starchy potatoes

500ml of milk & water

1 tablespoon of butter

Butter & sunflower oil for frying

Salt & pepper

Method – version 1

Butter a rectangular ovenproof dish.

Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.

Cut the potatoes into thin slices.

Par-boil them for 5 minutes in the milk and water.

Remove the potatoes from the liquid.

*

Slice the onions and fry them in a butter and oil mixture until golden.

Season and add to the buttered dish.

Slice the liver into small pieces.

Dip the pieces in flour.

Fry in the butter and oil mixture on both sides.

Season and add to the onions.

Mix the liver and onions together.

Add the sage leaves and stir.

Pour the stock over the liver and onions.

*

Arrange the par-boiled potato slices over the liver and onions.

Cover the whole of the dish.

Cover the dish with a piece of foil.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour.

Melt the butter.

Remove the foil.

Pour the butter over the potatoes.

Put back in the oven and bake for at least 30minutes.

Served on Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982 – 1998

Ingredients – version 2

As in version 1 but without the sage

150ml stock – a mushroom stock cube is good

200g sliced mushrooms

Method – version 2

As in version 1 plus

Fry the mushrooms and add them to the liver and onions.

Served on Royal Doulton – Tapestry – 1966 – 1988

Dauphinoise Potatoes

  • The recipe for Dauphinoise Potatoes is from the Dauphiné region in France.
  • The traditional recipe uses just cream, which can be very rich.
  • I like to use this version with half double cream to milk.
  • Double cream is not usually available in Poland – if I were making this there I would try it with 2/3 soured cream to 1/3 milk.
  • I do not add any cheese, which is given in some recipes.
  • The amounts are not critical.
  • I make these potatoes often now with a roast as the cooking time is very flexible and makes life a lot easier than with many other potato recipes.
  • You need a large (rectangular) shallow oven-proof dish.
  • You can heat up any left over in the oven or the microwave.
  • You can freeze portions wrapped in foil to re-heat later.

Ingredients

  • Around 2kg (8 large potatoes) starchy potatoes – Maris Piper or King Edward are good
  • Equal amounts of double cream and milk – around 500ml of each. (Can use 300ml cream to 600ml milk if short of cream)
  • 3 cloves of garlic – peeled
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • DO NOT USE PEPPER – makes it look grey.

Method

  • Peel the potatoes.
  • Cut them into thin slices – use a mandoline if you have one – I have an electric grater and slicer – which is wonderful!
  • Put the slices in a bowl of water whilst doing all of them.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 3 – 160°C.
  • Put the cream and milk with the garlic and salt into a large pan.
  • Bring to a simmer.
  • Put the potatoes into the cream mixture.
  • The cream/mix mixture should cover the potatoes.
  • Continue to simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Stir occasionally with a wooden spatula so not to burn the bottom of the pan.
  • Take off the heat.
  • Use a slotted spoon to layer the potatoes in the dish.
  • Take out the garlic.
  • Pour the creamy liquid over the potatoes to cover them completely with a little extra.
  • Cook in the oven for around 1 hour till the potatoes are soft.
  • Cover with foil if not fully cooked so as to stop the top burning.
  • Leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Cooking times are very flexible – you can lower the heat and leave for longer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note – A previous post for  potatoes po-nelsońsku  is a Polish recipe, which is similar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pyzy

Pyzy are potato dumplings, usually stuffed with meat and then boiled.

Traditionally they are served with some skwarki – crispy smoked bacon bits or slightly charred onions, a mixture of the two or just melted butter poured over them.

  • There are many recipes, some made with raw potato, others with boiled or steamed potatoes and some using a mixture of the two.
  • I have found that using a 50:50 mixture of  fine grated raw potatoes and boiled potatoes gives the best results.
  • You will need some flour, which can be wheat flour, potato flour or a mixture of the two (I prefer just wheat).
  • You also need eggs or egg yolks – around 1 egg to 1 kilo of potatoes.
  • For the filling you needs some cooked meat such as from a klops – meat loaf, cooked kotlety (meat balls/burgers) or meat filling for pierogi.

My mother never made pyzy and I must admit the first time I had them in Poland, I thought they were much too big & heavy! Since them I have tried out many different version and have liked them very much.

In Gvara, a restaurant in Gdańsk, I tried a soup with some pyzy in it.  It was utterly delicious.

Dried mushroom consommé with thin sliced mushroom carpaccio* and pyzy filled with pork & shrimp.

* Usually thinly sliced raw meat or fish -named by Giuseppe Cipriani (1900 – 1980) bar owner in Venice, because of the colours used by the Venetian Painter Vittore Carpaccio.

Ingredients

  • 750g of raw potatoes
  • 750g of cold boiled potatoes
  • 1 egg and 1 yolk
  • 1-2 tablespoons of plain flour  & extra for dusting
  • Salt

Method

  • Grate the raw potatoes using a fine grater.
  • Place the potatoes on a clean tea cloth.
  • Squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  • Mash or use a ricer to get the boiled potatoes smooth and lump free.
  • Mix the two sorts of potato together in a large bowl.
  • Add the egg and the yolk and mix together.
  • Add enough flour to make a stiff dough.
  • Add some salt.

 

Ingredients – Filling

  • 250g of cooked and then minced or finely chopped meat(usually pork)
    such as from:

    • Klops – meat loaf
    • Cooked minced kotlety (meat balls/burgers)
    • Meat filling for pierogi.
  • Half a grated onion
  • 25g of melted butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons of dried breadcrumbs – bułka tarta
  • Salt & pepper

Method – Filling

  • Mix all the ingredients together to make a stiff filling.
  • Season to taste.

Making the pyzy

  • You are aiming for balls around the size of a large walnut.
  • Take a small handful of the mixture and shape it into a flat disc.
  • Place this onto a floured board.
  • Add a teaspoon amount of the meat filling.
  • Bring the potato mixture around the filling and with floured hands shape into a ball.
  • Repeat this with the rest of the potato mixture and meat filling mixture.
  • Have ready a large pan of boiling water to which you have added some salt.
  • Place around 5 pyzy at a time into the hot water.
  • Let them rise to the top then simmer for 4 – 6  minutes, depends on the size –  not too long as they will start to disintegrate.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a colander over a pan.

 

  • Place into a warm serving dish and top with skwarki – crispy smoked bacon bits, slightly charred onions, a mixture of the two or just melted butter.
  • Keep the dish warm and continue adding to the pyzy in the dish as they cook.
  • The fat in the topping stops them sticking together.

Serving tureen – Gaywood by Ridgeway – Made in England.

 

Kapuśniak- Hunter’s Style

I am continuing on the theme of  the Polish classic kapuśniakcabbage soup made with sauerkraut.

I would call this a “posh” version – Kapuśniak myśliwskiHunter’s style  and it could  also be called po staropolsku – in an old Polish style.

Half a large jar of sauerkraut  is enough for this soup, I often freeze the other half to use at a later date.

Ingredients

  • 400g Sauerkraut
  • 200g Polish smoked sausage
  • 200g Smoked bacon
  • 1 large onion
  • 10g dried mushrooms
  • 3-4 grains of allspice
  • 4 juniper berries.
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 litres of vegetable stock (can be from powder or cubes)
  • oil for frying (originally pork fat/lard would have been used)

Method

  • Put the mushrooms into a little bowl and cover with boiling water.
  • Leave to reconstitute for at least 30 minutes.
  • Remove the mushrooms and  chop into small pieces.
  • Chop the sauerkraut into shorter strands.
  • Into a large pot of vegetable stock add the sauerkraut, the mushrooms and the liquor from the mushrooms.
  • Bring to the boil, then cover the pan and allow it to simmer until the sauerkraut is tender.
  • Chop the onion into small pieces and fry till nearly charred.
  • Chop the bacon into squares around 2.5cm in size.
  • Fry the bacon on both sides.
  • Chop the sausage into small pieces.
  • Fry the sausage .
  • Add the onion, bacon and sausage to the sauerkraut.
  • Add the allspice, bay and juniper.
  • Continue simmering for around 30 minutes.
  • I do not usually have to adjust the seasoning or sweetness of this soup.

To Serve

  • This soup is served with a  bowl of hot boiled potatoes topped with skwarki *and the fat poured over them or with fried charred onions.
  • You can have the potatoes on the side or add them to the soup.
  • *
  • Or for an even more olden touch serve with slices of rye bread with skwarki * and the fat poured on top.

Potatoes in a dish by J & G Meakin – unknown design name.

Soup in my late mother’s plates – 3 only left – Crown Devon Fielding – Glenwood from 1939. (Where my mother got these I do not know).

 

Plate by J & G Meakin Topic by Alan Rogers 1966 – 1979.

 

*Skwarki – very small pieces of smoked bacon, heated in a pan until all the fat has rendered out.

 

Kapuśniak made with Sauerkraut

In the first year of writing this blog,  I wrote a post – Poles love to eat cabbage and now as I am writing about soups I am going to write about a Polish classic – kapuśniakcabbage soup.

There are two types – ones made with fresh cabbage (written about in my previous post) and ones made with sauerkraut.

Now I am going to write about ones made with sauerkraut and these are certainly soups that have the sour taste loved by Poles.

As half a large jar is enough for each of the soups, I often freeze the other half of the sauerkraut to use at a later date.

 

Kapuśniak – Version 1

Ingredients

  • 400g sauerkraut
  • 200g smoked Polish sausage
  • 1.5 – 2 litres of vegetable stock (can be from powder or cubes)
  • 3-4 peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 1 large onion
  • Oil for frying (originally pork fat/lard would have been used)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • **
  • More sugar & lemon juice  to adjust the sourness might be needed at the end.

 

Method

  • Chop the sauerkraut into shorter strands.
  • Chop the sausage into small pieces.
  • Into a large pot of vegetable stock add the sauerkraut, sausage, peppercorns and bay leaf
  • Bring to the boil, then cover the pan and allow it to simmer until the sauerkraut is tender.
  • Chop the onion into small pieces and fry up till nearly charred.
  • Stir in the flour and heat till well browned.
  • Add a couple of tablespoons of soup liquid and stir to get a thick roux.
  • Add this onion mixture to the soup, mixing it in well.
  • Add the sugar.
  • Add salt and pepper if necessary.
  • You might want to adjust the sourness which will depend on the sauerkraut used.
  • I rarely add more lemon juice but sometimes add a bit more sugar.
  • The soup is supposed to be a little sour!

 

 

 

 

 

Served here in Royal Doulton – Burgundy  -1959 to 1981

Kapuśniak – Version 2

Ingredients

  • 400g sauerkraut
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 100g chopped smoked bacon
  • 2 litres of vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-4 peppercorns
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of caraway seeds
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • **
  • More sugar & lemon juice  to adjust the sourness might be needed at the end.

Method

  • Chop the sauerkraut into shorter strands.
  • Chop the bacon into small pieces.
  • Chop the onion into small pieces
  • Into a large pot of vegetable stock add the sauerkraut, sausage, peppercorns and bay leaf
  • Bring to the boil, then cover the pan and allow it to simmer until the sauerkraut is tender.
  • Add the caraway seeds.
  • Chop the potatoes into small to medium chunks.
  • Add the potatoes to the cooked sauerkraut and simmer gently till cooked.
  • Add the sugar.
  • Add salt and pepper if necessary.
  • You might want to adjust the sourness which will depend on the sauerkraut used.
  • I rarely add more lemon juice but sometimes add a bit more sugar.
  • The soup is supposed to be a little sour!

 

Served here in Royal Doulton – Tapestry  -1966 to 1988

 

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.

Żurek – Sour Rye Soup

Sour is a word to describe a lot of Polish food – it is a taste well-loved by Poles!

Often this sour comes from lactic acid which is made during fermentation by Lactobacillus bacteria to produce such foods as: gherkins, sauerkraut, sourdough, soured cream, soured milk and yoghurt.

Żurek is a soup made with sour rye (zakwas) as a base.

Water is added to rye flour or rye bread and it is allowed to ferment for a few day.  In olden times this soup was often made on the same day as rye bread was being made.

Nowadays you can buy  żurek starter or zakwas in the Polish supermarkets and this is what I use, (one day I will make my own) and it tastes very good.

My mother never made this soup and in fact I had not heard of it until my Polish cousin’s daughters worked in a Polish restaurant in London in the 1990s and I had some there.

It is often cooked with smoked bacon and Polish sausage – kiełbasa – and then served with quartered or chopped hard boiled eggs.

Some people serve this at the Easter breakfast using the sausage and hard-boiled eggs which have been blessed on Easter Saturday.

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of Żurek concentrate
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 medium boiled potatoes (waxy type can be better but not essestial)
  • 2 medium boiled carrots.
  • 50 – 100g of smoked bacon
  • 100-150g of Polish sausage*
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 peppercorns & 3-4 allspice grains
  • 4-5 tablespoons of soured cream(optional – but worth it)
  • Season as necessary but the bacon and sausage usually provide enough salt.

****

Hard boiled eggs to serve – at least one per person

*I used Torunska but you can use any sort  – even hot dog type sausages – a sausage called biały (white)(one that is boiled normally) is often used and this gives another name to the soup – biały barszcz – white barszcz (red barszcz being beetroot soup)

Method

  • Peel the carrots and parboil them whole.
  • Parboil the potatoes.
  • Once cooled, chop the carrots and potatoes.
  • Chop the onion roughtly.
  • Chop the bacon into little squares.
  • Chop the sausage into small pieces.
  • Use a large pan and add all the ingredients
  • Add water to cover the vegetables & half to three quarters fill the pan.
  • Bring to the boil, then cover the pan and simmer for a couple of hours.

Chop the hard boiled eggs into long quarters or roughly chop them.

Pour the soup into dishes and place the quarters on top or scatter the chopped egg on top.

Żurek with just vegetables

In olden times when fasting & abstinence in Lent was much more strict, many people did not eat meat or eggs in Lent.

Many lived on a very meagre diet of meatless żurek with hardy any vegetables and there was often a ceremony of burying the żurek at the end of Lent.

This recipe is not as meagre as that, it is made with lots of vegetables and served with hard-boiled eggs or rye bread croutons.

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of Żurek concentrate
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 leeks
  • 3 medium potatoes (waxy type can be better but not essential)
  • 2-3 medium carrots
  • 2 kohlrabi*
  • 1/2 a celeriac*
  • 1 white turnip*
  • 2 parsnips*
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 peppercorns & 3-4 allspice grains
  • 125 – 250ml of soured cream
  • Flat-leaved parsley -small bunch chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon – optional

*Depends on what is available – try and have at least 2 of these root vegetables & adjust the amounts to suit what you can get.

I think the sweetness in the root vegetables counteracts some of the sourness of the sour rye, so I add lots of soured cream & sometimes some lemon juice.

Hard boiled eggs to serve – at least one per person or rye bread croutons.

Method

  • For all the root vegetables, peel as necessary – you can parboil or steam them if that makes them easier to prepare.
  • Chop the root vegetables into rough cubes.
  • Chop the onion into small pieces.
  • Add all the vegetables & onion to a large pan or stockpot of water.
  • Add the żurek concentrate.
  • Add the bay leaf, allspice and peppercorns.
  • Add some of the parsley
  • Add water to cover the vegetables & half to three quarters fill the pan.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer for around two hours until the vegetables are soft or place in a low oven for several hours.
  • Gently stir in the soured cream – whisk a little if it starts to go into lumps.
  • Season to taste.
  • Add some lemon juice to the required sourness!
  • Sprinkle in the rest of the parsley.

To serve – add the quartered or chopped hard-boiled eggs on top,  or the rye bread croutons.

 

Served in soup plates  – Glenwood by Crown Devon Fielding, Made in England.

These are the only 3 left from my Mama.

I think she must have had 8 or even 12, they are there in memories of my childhood with lots of people sitting around the table.

I have read that they were produced from 1939 -how my Mama aquired these I do not know!