Mushroom Sauce – Fresh Mushrooms

  • Nowadays you can get fresh mushrooms all year round so this sauce can be made at any time.
  • In Poland you can buy mushroom stock cubes which are very useful especially for making sauces.
  • Years ago I brought loads back to England – now you can find these in the many Polish food shops.
  • The ones I use are made by Knorr and contain a small amount of dried mushroom extract.*
  • * If you cannot get these maybe use a few drops of  Henderson’s sauce or Lea & Perrins – NOT TRIED.

Ingredients

  • 150g fresh button mushroom caps – white and/or chestnut
  • 500ml hot boiling water
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of cornflour
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 2 large tablespoons of soured cream.
  • Butter to cook the mushrooms in.

Note

I rarely have to add any more salt or pepper as the stock cube has enough seasoning in it.

Method 

  • Dissolve the stock cube in the hot water.
  • Slice the mushroom caps into fine slices and fry them gently in some butter till they are soft.
  • Simmer gently for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • In a little dish mix the cornflour with the milk.
  • Add the cornflour mixture to the cooked mushrooms and stir gently over the heat until the sauce thickens.
  • Remove from the heat and add the 2 large spoonfuls of soured cream and mix.

Note

None of these amounts are exact – they are a rough guide depending on what you have – you can use more water, milk or soured cream and so on.

Super served with boiled or creamy mashed potatoes – sprinkle chopped dill or parsley over them before serving.

Great for any roast dinner – especially on Christmas Day.

Served on Carnation (1982 – 1998) and Burgundy (1959 – 1981)  by Royal Doulton.

Mushroom Sauce using Dried Mushrooms

  • Mushroom sauce must be my favourite sauce.
  • I posted a long post with two versions of  mushroom sauce over a year ago.
  • As I have been posting lots of sauce recipes lately I thought I would re-visit mushroom sauce and have split the old post into two.
  • I looked through my Polish cookbooks and many of the mushroom sauces are made with only dried mushrooms.
  • These are delicious and have a strong flavour however it works out very expensive and are not available everywhere.
  • Dried & fresh mushrooms are used in this recipe.
  • The best dried mushrooms are Boletus edulis, in Poland they are called borowik or prawdzik (translates as the “the real thing”), in Italy porcini.
  • I recently got some other dried mushroom which are also good.

Podgrzybki Xerocomus badius

Mushroom sauce 

Ingredients

  • 150g fresh button mushroom caps – white and/or chestnut
  • 5g of  dried mushroom (around 3 slices)
  • 500ml hot boiling water
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of cornflour
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 2 large tablespoons of soured cream
  • Butter to cook the mushrooms in
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method

  • You need to start this sauce the night before or in the morning for use in the evening.
  • Cover the dried mushrooms with 500ml of boiling water and leave to soak.
  • The following day take out the reconstituted mushrooms and using a knife you can chop then up into tiny pieces or if the are soft enough you can  spread out the pulp on a chopping board.
  • Slice the mushroom caps into fine slices and fry them gently in some butter till they are soft.
  • Add the dried mushroom pulp and the liquor in which they were seeped.
  • Simmer gently for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • In a little dish mix the cornflour with the milk.
  • Add the cornflour mixture to the cooked mushrooms and stir gently over the heat until the sauce thickens.
  • Add salt & pepper to taste.
  • Remove from the heat and add the 2 large spoonfuls of soured cream and mix well in.

Note

None of these amounts are exact – they are a rough guide depending on what you have – you can use more water, milk or soured cream and so on.

Super served with boiled or creamy mashed potatoes – sprinkle chopped dill or parsley over them before serving.

Served on Burgundy (1959 – 1981) and Carnation (1982 – 1998)  by Royal Doulton.

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.

Plum Soup

  • Last year in the summer I wrote about 3 fruit soups – rhubarb, sour cherry and strawberry.
  • Later in the autumn I made an apple soup.
  • This year I have made plum soup.
  • Just like other soups this is served as a first course.
  • This soup is best served hot.

Ingredients

  • 500g plums.
  • 50-75g granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons of potato flour or cornflour
  • Small cinnamon stick
  • 1.5 litres of water
  • 125ml of soured cream
  • *
  • White bread croutons or cold cooked pasta to serve

Method

  • Put the water and cinnamon  into a large saucepan.
  • Add the plums to the pan.
  • Bring to the boil then simmer with a lid on the pan till the plums are falling apart.
  • Strain the liquid into a large bowl.
  • Return the strained liquid to the pan.
  • Add the sugar to the liquid (check for sweetness – should be slightly tart).
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Leave to cool a little.
  • Mix the potato flour with a little water.
  • Add this to the soup.
  • Bring to the boil, stirring gently.
  • Simmer and stir until the soup thickens.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the soured cream.
  • Serve hot.
  • Can serve with white bread croutons or cold cooked pasta.
Royal Stafford – Blossom Time from the 1950s

Łazanki with Mushrooms

  • I have adapted a recipe for  łazanki with mushrooms from there.
  • I used ready bought flat pasta – tagliatelle.
  • Break up the dry pasta or snip it up at the end.
  • Boil the pasta as per the instructions – do not over cook it.

Ingredients

  • 250g flat pasta (such as tagliatelle) (broken up)
  • 1 onion – diced
  • 250g button mushrooms – sliced
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 125ml soured cream
  • 40g cheese eg Gouda – grated
  • Butter
  • Salt & pepper to taste.

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM5 – 200°C
  • Have ready a large shallow oven proof dish.
  • Mix the egg yolk and the soured cream in a little dish.
  • Cook the pasta as per the instructions – do not over cook.
  • Fry the onion in quite a lot of butter until soft and golden.
  • Add the mushrooms and cook these together.
  • Add the mixture to the drained pasta.
  • Mix well together.
  • Season to taste.
  • Put the mixture in the oven proof dish.
  • Pour the yolk and soured cream mix over the pasta
  • Stir lightly.
  • Scatter the cheese on top of the dish.
  • Bake in the oven for around 10 minutes until the cheese has melted.

 

 

More Lovely Liver!

  • For many people  – liver is love it or loath it.
  • I think certainly for me and most Poles it is love it!
  • I have written about cooking liver in 2018.
  • I had some liver that I had got to make dinner last night.
  • I had cooked some leeks and peas, which I use as a filling for  buckwheat pancakes.
  • I also had a red pepper left and decided to combine them all.
  • It turned out really delicious
  • *
  • The amounts are not critical – depends on how many you are cooking this for.

Ingredients

  • Liver – whichever you like best
  • 2-3 leeks – chopped into rings
  • 100g of frozen peas
  • 1 red pepper – chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons of soured cream.
  • Butter & sunflower oil for frying
  • Flour for dusting the liver
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • You need two large deep frying pans to made this.
  • In one frying pan melt the butter and gently cook the leeks to soften them but not brown.
  • Add the frozen peas and cover with a lid and cook for a few minutes.
  • Stir the mixture and add the soured cream.

 

  • Dip the liver in flour.
  • In the other frying pan lightly  fry the liver slices in a mixture of butter & sunflower oil on both sides.
  • Add the chopped peppers and simmer for a few minutes.
  • Mix the liver and peppers with the leek mixture.
  • Season to taste.
  • Serve immediately.

 

 

Delicious with boiled potatoes, creamy mashed potatoes, boiled rice, noodles or pasta such as tagliatelle or just with fresh bread.

 

 

 

 

Duszona Kapusta- 2 options

Duszona kapusta is usually translated as braised cabbage. However it literally means suffocated cabbage, which I think is a lovely phrase. It indicates that the dish is cooked with the minimum amount of liquid with a lid on the pan whilst it is cooking.

A few months ago Mari (Mariana) who blogs as gourmermarichef.com  posted her recipe for duszona kapusta.  So I thought I would add my versions.

I used sweetheart cabbage as I really like this but you can use any white cabbage and even savoy cabbage ( but you will have to cook this a little longer).

My mother would have cooked this till the cabbage was very soft – I prefer to cook it for less time so the cabbage still has a little bite.

Ingredients – version 1

  • 1 sweetheart cabbage
  • 1 small onion – finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
  • 125ml of vegetable stock (can be from a cube or powder)
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Method

  • Use a deep frying pan – with a lid.
  • Gently fry the onion in the butter till soft and golden.
  • Finely shred the cabbage.
  • Add the cabbage and stir.
  • Cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the caraway seeds and the stock.
  • Stir and bring to a gently simmer.
  • Put on the lid (a glass one is good) and simmer until the cabbage is soft.
  • Check the progress and stir a few times to make sure the liquid does not dry out.
  • Adjust the seasoning and serve.

Served in Royal Doulton –  Carnation 1982 – 1998

Version -2

Ingredients – version 2

  • As version 1
  • Plus 125ml of soured cream

Method – version 2

  • As version 1 until the cabbage is cooked.
  • Add the soured cream, stir and cook for another minute.
  • Adjust the seasoning and serve.

Served in Royal Doulton Tapestry – 1966-1988

 

 

Beetroots & Apples

This is a delicious way of serving beetroot warm with a roast dinner.

Ingredients

  • 500g boiled or roast beetroots
  • 2-3 cooking apples
  • 60g of butter
  • Juice and grated rind of a lemon
  • 2-3 tablespoons of creamed horseradish sauce
  • 125ml of soured cream
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method

  • Grate the beetroots using a medium grater.
  • Peel and core the apples and grate using a medium grater.
  • Mix the beetroot and apple together.
  • Mix in the lemon rind and juice.

  • Melt the butter in a large shallow frying pan.
  • Gently cook the mixture in the butter stirring often.
  • Cook for around 5-10 minutes.
  • Take of the heat.
  • Add the horseradish sauce and the soured cream.
  • Mix well together.
  • Season to taste and serve immediately.

Serve in Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982 – 1998.

Note

Should you have any left you can serve it cold with cold meats.

Beetroot Fritters

These beetroot fritters are not from an old Polish recipe.  I got the idea from making Polish potato pancakes and  carrot pancakes and seeing all the new season beetroot.

Ingredients

  • 250g cooked beetroots
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 2 tablespoons of soured cream or creamed horseradish sauce*
  • 2 tablespoons of plain flour
  • Salt
  • Sunflower oil for frying

* If you have a little fresh grated horseradish that would be super.

Method

  • Grate the beetroots using a coarse grater.
  • Add the beaten egg and the soured cream or horseradish sauce and mix together.
  • Add the flour and mix thoroughly.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and use large tablespoonfuls of the mixture to make the fritters.
  • Fry them on both sides.
  • *
  • Keep them on a heat proof plate  in a low heat oven whilst you make the rest.

They can be served with many hot roast dinners or separately with a dollop of soured cream or creamed horseradish sauce.

 

 

Plates

  • Arc – Arcopal  – from the 1970s
  • Royal Bone China – The Poets’ Garden – Columbine & Sweet Amber

 

 

 

 

 

Fruit Soups

Fruit soups are very popular in Poland especially in summer.

Many may think they seem rather strange, however once tasted, I hope, like me you will think that they are “nectar from the gods!”

Just like other soups they are served as a first course.

They are eaten – hot or warm, at room temperature or chilled. – This can vary with the time of the year and people’s preferences.

  • Many are served with a variety of soup accompaniments such as cooked pasta or croutons – either from white rolls or rye bread.  Sponge fingers or little biscuits are also often served with them.
  • They can be made from fresh (or frozen) fruit or bottled fruit and also from dried fruit.
  • Most recipes are for single single fruit versions but you can use mixed fruits depending on what is available but try to keep to just 2 or 3 fruits.
  • These soups should not be over sweet.
  • Potato flour is usually used as a thickening agent but you could substitute cornflour for this.
  • Some recipes had soured cream added, sometimes before serving.

I am going to look at 3 different summer fruit flavours in this post:

  • Rhubarb
  • Sour cherry
  • Strawberry

Later I will look at others including using dried fruits, which are more for the winter time and would usually be served warm or hot.

Rhubarb Soup

Ingredients

  • 500g rhubarb
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of potato flour
  • Small cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 1.5 litres of water
  • 125 ml of soured cream

Method

  • Cut the rhubarb into small chunks.
  • Put the rhubarb and spices into a large saucepan.
  • Add the water, bring to the boil then simmer till the rhubarb is falling apart.
  • Sieve to remove the pulp.
  • Add the sugar to the liquid.
  • Mix the potato flour with the soured cream.
  • Add this to the soup.
  • Bring to the boil, stirring gently.
  • Serve hot or warm with rye bread croutons or cold cooked pasta.
  • or add a few fresh strawberries or alpine strawberries to each portion.

Sour Cherry Soup

I have never seen fresh soured cherries for sale in England, so my recipe is based on using bottled soured cherries, which works very well and can be made all year round.

Ingredients

  • 500 -600g of bottled cherries
  • Small cinnamon stick
  • 4- 6 cloves
  • Strips of peel from 1 lemon
  • Water to make the juice amount  up to 1.5 litres
  • 1½ tablespoons of potato flour
  • *
  • I did not add any extra sugar to the bottled cherries

Method

  • Depending on the jar of cherries – you may have to stone them.
  • Put the cherries, cinnamon stick, cloves and lemon peel into a saucepan.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer gently, with a lid on, until the cherries are very soft.
  • Leave to go cold.
  • Remove the spices and lemon peel.
  • Blend the cherries to a pulp.
  • Mix the potato flour and a little of the liquid in a small dish.
  • Add the potato flour mixture to the blended cherries.
  • Bring up to the boil gently, stirring often.
  • Simmer and stir until the soup thickens.
  • *
  • Serve hot or chilled with cold pasta.
  • *
  • I like this best hot – even on a warm day.

 

Strawberry Soup

  • This is best eaten chilled – the strawberries are not cooked.
  • If you prefer a tangier taste add the juice of a lemon at the end.

Ingredients

  • 450-500g  strawberries
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of potato flour
  • 1 litre of water
  • 250ml of soured cream

Method

  • Add the sugar to the water and bring this to the boil.
  • Mix the potato flour with a small amount of water.
  • Add this to the sugar water.
  • Heat and stir till it thickens.
  • Leave to chill.
  • Add the soured cream and mix together.
  • Remove any leaves and stalks from the strawberries.
  • Gently wash the strawberries.
  • Blend the strawberries to a pulp.
  • Stir the strawberry pulp into the chilled thickened sugar – cream mixture.
  • Chill for 30 minutes.
  • Serve with sponge fingers or sponge drops.

 

Served in –

  • Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982 – 1998
  • Midwinter – Spanish Garden – 1966 – 1982