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!

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