Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Polak won! Great remix!

I am always happy for talented Poles!
Polish composer and producer Radzimir Dębski - Jimek won Beyonce's "End of time" remix competition.
His remix was selected from 3000 entries!
Enjoy! :)

I'm sharing this link via YouTube (I don't own it).

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Kisiel & Budyń

Kisiel & Budyń...
What a couple! :-)
Childhood memory...
Thanks to my friend Ania for sharing these goodies with me! 
Spoons up!
YUM - Pychotka ;-)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Kopytka - mashed potato dumplings

Kopytka - "little hooves" are potato dumplings that are very popular in Polish cuisine.
They are easy to make, satisfy hunger and can be served with different toppings.
My favorite toppings are: butter with breadcrumbs, beef sauce and mushroom sauce.

5 medium/large potatoes, cooked and mashed,
2 cups all-purpose flour,
1 egg, beaten,
1 tsp salt
  1. Peel and cook potatoes. Mash them well making sure that there are no lumps.
  2. Combine all ingredients and knead a dough.
  3. Sprinkle working surface with flour and roll the dough into long, 1 inch thick pieces.
  4. Cut diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces.
  5. Bring water to a boil and cook kopytka until they float.
  6. Serve with favorite toppings.
  • butter and breadcrumbs (1:1 proportions)
  • chopped, fried bacon
  • beef sauce
  • mushroom sauce
Mushroom sauce - "sos grzybowy":
1 container mushrooms (I use baby portobello),
2-3 Tbsp butter,
sour cream,
chopped parsley leaves,
salt & pepper to taste
  1. In a medium pan heat butter and add mushrooms.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and cook until mushrooms get soft.
  3. Add 1-2 Tbsp of sour cream and stir quickly.
  4. Stir in chopped parsley leaves.
  5. Serve over kopytka.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Polish sausage - Polska kiełbasa

Bigos (Hunter's stew) and sausages at our Polish wedding:))
Talking about Polish sausages...
Poland is known for a large variety of sausages and their awesome taste.
Polish sausages are smoked or fresh, made of pork, beef, veal, turkey and lamb. They are seasoned with pepper, garlic, marjoram and caraway. Sausages can be grilled, fried, boiled, and many of them can be eaten cold. They are a great addition to soups, Hunter's Stew (bigos) and Breton beans (fasolka po bretońsku). Fried or grilled sausage is often served with caramelized onions, pickles, slice of bread, ketchup and mustard. Sauerkraut and horseradish are also popular sides.

I definitely miss having a large selection of flavorful Polish sausages, so what's left is searching for Polish and European stores.
After we moved to Minnesota, our search led us to the store in Minneapolis, where the sausages are made! We stop there to buy fresh, traditional Polish sausage and blood sausage, called kaszanka/kiszka. Apparently kaszanka is my husband's favorite and he is looking forward to another trip to Minneapolis and buying more sausages for BBQ! :)

A few Polish sausages worth knowing about
(please keep in mind that there are hundreds of sausages, that differ from region to region):
  • kabanosy (kabanos - singular form) - dried, very thin, usually long sausage - great for snacking, often served as appetizer.
  • kiełbasa krakowska - smoked, thick sausage - served sliced, on bread, topped with tomatoes, seasoned with salt & pepper.
  • kiełbasa myśliwska (Hunter's sausage) - smoked and dried sausage with characteristic taste and aroma of juniper - great with bread.
  • biała kiełbasa - white sausage - served with traditional Easter soup "żurek" ("żur") or baked with onions; can be served with horseradish sauce.
  • kaszanka/kiszka - black sausage, blood sausage - served grilled or fried with caramelized onions, slice of bread, ketchup and mustard, often with sauerkraut.
Tradition - Polish sausage by the campfire...
And sound of the guitar....
Great times!

    Thursday, April 12, 2012

    My first "Mazurek"

    My first "Mazurek" turned out more brown that I anticipated...
    My oven was sweating after all the baking that I was doing that night :)

    With Easter behind us, cake crumbs on a plate and a few extra pounds - time for reflection! :)
    This year, I wanted to bake something traditional for Easter, so I chose "Mazurek" - typical Easter cake.  
    Crust for "Mazurek" is thin and usually topped with orange/apricot/raspberry jam, nut/almond/coconut paste or poppy seed.
    "Mazurki" (plural form) are known for rich decorations. You can go overboard while decorating: dried fruit, nuts, almonds, candy, coconut flakes... The more the better!

    I love poppy seed, so I chose to make "Mazurek makowy".
    I decorated it with almonds, coconut flakes and "Almond Joy" candy pieces.
    Not the most successful baking in my life, but I didn't get discouraged!

    "Mazurek makowy" w/shortbread crust and poppy seed filling:
    150 g (1 cup) flour,
    150 g butter,
    150 g powdered sugar,
    1 egg yolk,
    pinch of salt
    1 can (354 g) of poppy seed,
    decoration of your choice
    1. Mix all ingredients and quickly form a ball. Refrigerate for 30 min.
    2. Roll out the dough and place on a baking pan. Poke with a fork in few places.
    3. Bake for 15 min at 400º F.
    4. Spread poppy seed filling over the crust. Lower the oven temperature to 375º F and bake for another 25 min.
    5. Cool and decorate.

    Saturday, April 7, 2012

    Kraszanki - how to dye eggs in onion peels


    Dyeing eggs in onion peels used to be the most common method in our family.
    It's probably one of the most popular methods to color eggs in Poland.
    Eggs colored using natural ingredients are called "kraszanki".

    Here are the instructions on how to do it.
    You will need:
    - desired amount of eggs
    - 2 Tbsp vinegar
    - onion peels (onion peels from one onion/two onions per one egg)
    - pot with water

    Place onion peels in a pot with water and vinegar. Boil for 20-30 minutes.
    Transfer eggs into the solution and gently wrap each egg in onion peels, making sure that they are covered.
    Boil 10-12 min or until desired color appears on your eggs.
    You can also use eggs that were boiled before.
    ***Longer cooking gives better results, however it's not recommended to eat eggs that were cooked for too long - depends on what your purpose is. If you wish you could prepare a solution with onion peels one day in advance - boil onion peels and set a solution aside. Then place eggs in a solution the next day.
    ***When eggs are ready, decorate them by scratching different designs using a needle or razor, or leave them plain.
    ***Rub a little bit of oil over eggs to give them a nice shine :)

    Friday, April 6, 2012

    Happy Easter in Polish

    My crocheted Easter eggs. "Crochet-anki" :))
    I had lots of fun making them!!
    Happy Easter!
    "Wesołych Świąt Wielkanocnych!"

    Easter - "Wielkanoc"
    Happy Easter - "Wesołych Świąt Wielkanocnych"
    Happy Hallelujah - "Wesołego Alleluja"


    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    Żurek for Easter - how to make "zakwas"

    Instant soup - can be purchased online
    If you ever wondered what's a typical Easter soup in Poland, the answer is: "Żurek" or "Barszcz biały".
    Both soups are white and sour, served with white sausage and hard boiled egg.
    Both are made of sour base - "zakwas" that is achieved by fermenting flour.
    While "Żurek" is made of rye flour, "Barszcz biały" is made of wheat flour.
    The fermenting process takes between three to five days, so it needs to be planned in advance.
    After reading a recipe, I'm more convinced to give it a try. It seems really easy.

    1 lb rye flour,
    6 cups water,
    1-3 garlic cloves,
    slice of rye bread (optional).

    Boil water and mix some of it with flour until loose batter forms. Let it cool. Stir in remaining lukewarm water, add garlic and slice of bread. Set aside for three days. Pour into air tight jars/bottles and store in a fridge up to 2 weeks. "Zakwas" should have clear color.

    When this part is done (and remember that it takes at least three days), "Żurek" is made by combining vegetable or meat broth with some of the sour base (approximately 4.5 cups of broth and 2 cups of sour base). You can add some vegetables, such as carrots, celery root and parsley root (white part of celery and white part of parsley), chopped & fried onions, garlic, bay leaf, salt, pepper and marjoram.
    Add fried slices of white sausage, hard boiled egg and enjoy!

    And if this seems too much, use an instant version! :) I can't complain about this option... :))