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CHICKEN BERRY SALAD

1 (3/4 ounce) packet honey mustard salad dressing mix
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
8 cups mixed salad greens
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
8 ounces sugar snap peas
1/2 cup toasted pecans


In a medium bowl, prepare the dressing according to package directions, using vinegar and oil, and substituting orange juice for the water; set aside. Preheat the grill for high heat. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill the chicken 6 to 8 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear. Remove from heat, cool, and slice into strips. In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, salad greens, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peas, and pecans. Pour in the prepared dressing, and toss to coat.


CREAMY THREE - MELON SALAD

1 8-ounce package softened cream cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar (or to taste depending on how sweet the melon is)
8 cups well drained cold melon balls (canteloupe, honeydew, watermelon)
2 cups diced celery
1 cup toasted pecans

Beat the cream cheese, mayonnaise, vanilla, and nutmeg together until light and fluffy. In a large chilled bowl beat the heavy cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Fold in the cream cheese mixture. Fold in the celery. Gently toss the dressing with the melon balls and refrigerate for up to 3 hours before serving. Sprinkle with the pecans before serving.

 

CRUNCHY BROCCOLI SALAD

1 large head broccoli
6 to 8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup raisins, optional
8 ounces sharp Cheddar, cut into very small chunks
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Trim off the large leaves from the broccoli stem. Remove the tough stalk at the end and wash broccoli head thoroughly. Cut the head into flowerets and the stem into bite-size pieces. Place in a large bowl. Add the crumbled bacon, onion, raisins if using, and cheese. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, stirring well. Add to broccoli mixture and toss gently.


FRESH BEAN AND TOMATO SALAD

1 pound green beans (or a mix of green and yellow beans)
1 pound cherry tomatoes
1 large shallot
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Chopped basil or dill

Clean and trim the beans and cut them into large segments. Boil the beans gently in salted water until just tender, about four to five minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking, and spread them out to cool. Cut out the stems from the cherry tomatoes and cut them in half.

For the dressing: Peel and mince the shallot and put it in a bowl with the vinegar and salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Taste and adjust the balance with more vinegar, oil, or salt, as needed. Toss the cherry tomatoes in with the vinaigrette and let them sit for a while. Do not add the green beans until just before serving. Garnish with chopped basil or dill.

 

POLISH POTATO AND EGG SALAD

3 pounds red potatoes
6 hard-boiled eggs
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped celery
3/4 to 1 cup mayonnaise
1 to 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped dill
1 tomato, sliced
1/2 cucumber, sliced


Scrub the potatoes well -- or peel them. The salad looks very pretty if you leave the red peels on. Cook the potatoes in salted water until just tender. Cool and slice into large chunks. Peel the eggs and cut into thick slices. Combine potatoes, egg, onions, and celery in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and mustard, add dill, and salt and pepper to taste. Add more mayonnaise or mustard to achieve the desired consistency. Then add the dressing to the potatoes and eggs and toss gently. Check for seasoning. Top salad with thinly sliced tomatoes and cucumber. Garnish with more dill.

Chill well before serving.

 

POLISH CUCUMBER SALAD - MIZERIA


3 medium cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
3 tablespoons dill, chopped
Dill leaves, for garnish, optional

Place sliced cucumbers and chopped onion in a medium bowl. Add salt. Mix lightly until salt adheres evenly to cucumbers. Cover and refrigerate for one hour. Drain juice from cucumbers. In a small bowl, combine the remainder of the ingredients. Add to cucumbers, mixing gently. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with dill before serving.

 


SHRIMP AND ARTICHOKE SALAD

1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves - shredded
1 red onion - thinly sliced
1 ripe avocado - thickly sliced
16 ounces cooked shrimp - peeled, tails off
14 ounces (1 can) arichoke hearts - drained

1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 bag or container of mixed greens
salt and pepper to taste

Chop garlic. Place garlic and salt in a medium bowl and mix with mustard to form a paste. Beat in the vinegar and then pour the olive oil into the bowl slowly, whisking it in to make a thick and creamy dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Add basil and onion and stir. Let dressing stand for at least 30 minutes at room temperature. Stir in shrimp and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

To serve the salad, drain the artichokes and cut in half. Peel and slice the avocado.
Make a bed of both lettuces mixed together on a large platter. Spread artichokes and sliced avocado over lettuce. Immediately before serving, pour shrimp and marinade on top of the salad. Garnish with additional basil leaves. Serve with toasted and quartered pita bread.


HEALTHY BLACK BEAN AND AVOCADO SALAD

1 (16 oz) can of black beans
2 vine ripe tomatoes
1 red onion

1 ripe avocado
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Using colander, rinse and drain black beans. Finely chop onion. Coarsely cut tomatoes and avocado into chunks. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.


 

 

Polish cuisine is rich with many delicious and unusual soup recipes. A traditional Polish dinner always starts with a soup course, that's why so many soup recipes have been created over the centuries. Dinner is not considered dinner if it does not start with a soup!

In the summertime, cold soups made from either fruits and vegetables are very popular. Here is a sampling of Polish summer soups, both hot and cold!

 

LEEK, ASPARAGUS AND SPINACH SOUP

For a nice fresh taste of summer, try this leek, asparagus and spinach soup your entire family is sure to love.

2 leeks, 1 onion, 2 Tbs butter, 3 potatoes,
2 carrots, 8-12 asparagus spears, 1 10-oz bag of spinach leaves, 1/4 cup uncooked rice, 1 cup half and half, salt to taste, 10 cups of hot water

Carefully rinse and clean the leeks, then slice them thinly, discarding the dark green parts. Finely chop one onion. Heat the butter in a large saucepan and then add the leeks and onion. Toss the vegetables in the butter and sauté over low heat, covered, for about 5 minutes (do not allow to brown). Add finely diced carrots and roughly chopped potatoes, hot water, and salt.

Bring to a gentle boil, then lower heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add rice, mix well to prevent sticking, and cook for another 15 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the asparagus spears by peeling them and cutting off the tough lower stems. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces and add to the pot. Cook for another 10 minutes. Wash and cut spinach into thin strips, add to soup and cook for 10 minutes more. Slowly add the half and half, bring to boil, cover and refrigerate for a day. To serve, heat while stirring. Serves 8.


COLD BEET AND CUCUMBER SOUP

A Polish summertime favorite is called "chlodnik" which is a soup served cold. This chilled beet and cucumber soup is a tasty-and healthy-treat on a hot day!

1 lb cooked, peeled, and sliced beets (or 1 can sliced beets); 1 1/2 cups buttermilk or plain kefir; 1/4 cup sour cream; 1 small seedless cucumber, peeled and quartered. 1 hard-boiled egg, quartered; salt and pepper to taste; extra cucumber slices, sour cream, and dill
for garnish.

Place beets in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and puree until thick and creamy. Adjust seasonings. Chill for two hours or overnight. Serve in small glass bowls or goblets, garnished with an extra cucumber slice, a dollop of sour cream, and dill. Serves 4.


STRAWBERRY - RHURBARB CHLODNIK

This classic combination of the two best tastes of summer, strawberries and rhubarb, comes together well in a cool, refreshing soup that is often served over noodles for lunch on hot summer days.

1 pound rhubarb, trimmed, peeled, and chopped, 1 pint fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and halved, 5 cups water, 1 cup whole milk, 1 cup yoghurt, 1/2 to 1 cup sugar (to taste), 8 oz. kluski egg noodles, 1/4 cup sour cream.


Place rhubarb and water in large pot. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until rhubarb is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Puree in blender in batches. Return to pot and heat slowly. Dissolve cornstarch in milk and whisk into hot soup. Bring to a boil and simmer 3 minutes. Chill soup in an ice bath and refrigerate. Before serving, puree fresh strawberries with yoghurt and sugar and add to rhubarb mixture. Taste and add sugar and more milk if needed. Cook kluski, drain, and divide among four plates. Ladle soup over kluski and add a dollop of sour cream and a fresh strawberry for garnish.


CHILLED BLUBERRY SOUP

This soup is tart and refreshing and bursting with the tastes and smells of summer. Serve it as a first course for luncheons, picnics, or dinners served outdoors. Not only is this soup delisious, it is also good for you. Blueberries are a power food, packed with valuable vitamins and antioxidants.

3 cups blueberries, 4 cups water, 1 pinch salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 1/2 cup sour cream or yoghurt, 3 Tbs flour, 1/8 tsp cinnamon

Boil 2 cups of blueberries in 4 cups water. Stir in salt, cinnamon, and sugar. Remove from heat. Whip flour into the sour cream gradually until well blended, then whip both into the hot liquid, stirring until smooth, return the pot to the heat and bring to a slow boil. Reduce heat and stir until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries, and chill in refrigerator. Before serving, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of blueberries, check for sweetness and add more sugar if desired, and ladle into bowls. Serves 4 as a first course.

 

 

 

 

ROASTED EGGPLANT SANDWICH WITH WHITE BEAN SPREAD & PESTO

Sandwiches are always an easy, go-to recipe - here is one for those of you who want a change of pace from luncheon meats or tuna. A truly delicious vegetarian sandwich that makes an excellent lunch, or can be combined with a soup to make a nutritious and healthy dinner for your family.

2 medium eggplants, quartered and cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 medium red onions, quartered and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons chives (optional)
1 loaf fresh sourdough or country white bread, cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 10)
1/2 cup pesto
1 cup white bean spread (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggplant, onion, olive oil and salt. Toss until fully coated and then turn out onto a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Shake the pan to make sure the vegetables lie flat and have the maximum possible surface area exposed. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. With a spatula, redistribute the vegetables so they brown on the opposite side and return to the oven for another 10-20 minutes, until the vegetables are dark brown and caramelized. Remove to a bowl and toss with the lemon juice and chives, if using. (Eggplant can be made up to 2 days in advance). Lay 6 slices of bread on a work surface. Slather each with pesto and divide the eggplant among the slices. Slather the remaining bread with the white bean spread, and top the sandwiches. If traveling, wrap each individual sandwich in foil and take with you to your picnic.

White Bean Spread

One 15-ounce can cannelloni or white beans
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary or thyme leaves (optional)
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a small food processor or blender, puree the beans, lemon juice, herbs (if using), garlic, olive oil and salt. Add another tablespoon of olive oil if the mixture is still coarse, and puree until smooth. Spread some on the above vegetarian sandwiches and use the excess spread as a dip for crudités or slather it on crusty bread and serve as a crostini.

SWEET POTATO SALAD


Dressing

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


Salad

6 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 red onion, chopped
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup dried cranberries


Whisk all dressing ingredients to blend in small bowl. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Steam sweet potatoes in batches until potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes per batch. Transfer sweet potatoes to large bowl. Cool to room temperature. Add green onions, parsley, pumpkin seeds, and dried cranberries. Pour dressing over; toss gently to blend. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

 

KAPUSNIAK - POLISH SAUERKRAUT SOUP

This hearty Polish soup can be turned into a one-course meal that's perfect for a cold autumn day. Serve with rye bread and butter.

1 lb. spare ribs, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 lb. Polish sausage, cut into 2-inch slices
8 cups water
1 tsp. salt
1 med. onion
2 cups sauerkraut, rinsed in cold water (set aside 1/2 cup of the kraut juice before rinsing)
2 cups fresh cabbage, chopped thickly
1/2 cup kraut juice
2 cups beef broth
1 grated carrot
3 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
8 sm. whole potatoes
1/2 c. chopped mushrooms (optional)

Cover ribs with water. Add salt and bring slowly to a boil. Skim. Add Polish sausage and chopped onion. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add sauerkraut, fresh cabbage, carrot, kraut juice, and beef broth. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Blend butter and flour in a pan and brown lightly. Pour some soup liquid into mixture. Stir until smooth. Add to soup. Add potatoes and mushrooms. Cook until potatoes are done. Salt and pepper to taste. Place a rib and a potato into each bowl of soup. Serves 8.

 

KOTLETY SCHABOWE- POLISH BREADED PORK CHOPS

4 boneless pork chops
salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup plain flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
3-4 tablespoons oil
3-4 tablespoons butter


Cover pork chops with plastic wrap and pound until very thin. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Set aside. On separate plates, place flour, eggs, and bread crumbs. Dip each chop into the flour, coating on both sides, then into the beaten egg, and then into the bread crumbs, ensuring even coating.

Heat oil and butter in a large frying pan. When very hot, add the pork chops, lower heat to medium, and cook 4-5 minutes on each side. Do not crowd the meat. Pork chops can be covered with foil and placed in a warm oven until ready to serve.

Breaded pork chops are traditionally served with mashed potatoes and accompanied by dill pickles, sauerkraut, cucumber salad, or creamed beets.

 

ZUCCHINI CASSEROLE

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for topping
3 large yellow onions, cut in 1/2 and sliced
2 pounds zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick (4 zucchini)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup hot milk
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated Gruyere

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a very large (12-inch) saute pan and cook the onions over low heat for 20 minutes, or until tender but not browned. Add the zucchini and cook, covered, for 10 minutes, or until tender. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes. Stir in the flour. Add the hot milk and cook over low heat for a few minutes, until it makes a sauce. Pour the mixture into an 8 by 10-inch baking dish.

Combine the bread crumbs and Gruyere and sprinkle on top of the zucchini mixture. Dot with 1 tablespoon of butter cut into small bits and bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and browned.

 

PUMPKIN WALNUT BREAD

1 can pumpkin (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (room temperature)
3 eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoon baking powder (above 5000 feet reduce this by half)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Set a rack in the middle of the oven.

In a large mixing bowl combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs and butter. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon..

Sift the dry ingredients, minus the walnuts, into another bowl. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in three equal portions. Stir to combine into a firm batter. Quickly stir in the walnuts.

Using a spatula pour equal portions of the batter into two 8 x 4 non-stick loaf pans. Use the spatula to even out the top of the batter.

Slip the pans into the oven and bake for 1 hour. Use a long tooth pick or a wooden skewer to test for doneness. The probe should come out clean. If it does not, give the loaves another 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow the bread to stand in the pans for 10 minutes. Gently turn them out onto a wire rack and allow to cool.

The bread tastes better after standing for a few days. For the best of both possible worlds, eat one loaf fresh out of the over-and save the second loaf for later.

 


 

WINTER SOUPS

Nothing tastes better on a cold winter's day than a hot steaming bowl of soup! Here are a few winter soup recipes for you try as we count down the days to spring!

 

SQUASH SOUP WITH POLISH SAUSAGE

 

 

 

2 medium butternut squash, about 3 lbs each, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
6-8 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper
12 cups chicken stock
2 cups chopped onions
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 lb Polish sausage, cut into slices
2 cups corn kernels
1 1/2 cups half-and-half or crème fraiche
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the squash with 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 1 hour or until tender. Remove from the oven and cool completely. In a blender or food processor, puree the squash with 2 cups of the chicken stock and set aside.

 

In a large frying pan, saute the onions in 4 tablespoons of olive oil until golden brown and set aside. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the sausage and brown for 3-5 minutes. Add the onions, squash puree, and remaining chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface. Stir in the wild rice and corn and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the half-and-half, and check for seasoning. Pour into soup bowls, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.

 


SPLIT PEA SOUP WITH HAM AND CROUTONS

 

 

 

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, thinly sliced
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cans (14.5 ounces) chicken broth
1 bag (16 ounces) green split peas, picked over and rinsed
Ham bone plus 2 cups of chopped ham cut into 1/2-inch cubes
-or- 2 ham hocks
2 tablespoons butter
4 slices sandwich bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

In a heavy pot with a lid, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 8 minutes. Add broth, split peas, ham bone or ham hocks, and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and partially cover; simmer until peas are soft, 30 to 45 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, make croutons: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add bread and cook, tossing occasionally, until browned and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Remove bone or ham hocks from soup. Add ham cubes. (If using hocks, let them cool for a bit, and then cut off some of the meat, cube, and add to soup.) Simmer until heated through. If necessary, thin with water. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with croutons.

 


CARROT AND GINGER SOUP

 

 

 

 

2 tablespoons olive oil (or unsalted butter)
1 1/2 cups onions, diced
2 celery ribs, sliced
4 cups peeled and sliced carrots
1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
1/4 cup orange juice
2 cups milk
1 cup half and half, heavy cream, or creme fraiche
Sour cream for garnish
Salt
Paprika

Saute the onions in the olive oil in a large pot. Use low to medium heat; the onions should cook but not brown. Stir constantly, 3 to 4 minutes. Add carrots, celery, ginger, and broth and simmer 25 to 30 minutes until carrots are tender.

Puree the soup in a blender or processor, using small batches. Blend as long as necessary until smooth. Return to large pot. Slowly stir in orange juice, milk, and cream. Season to taste with salt and paprika. Heat but do not let boil. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

 


POLISH CAULIFLOWER SOUP

 

 

 

4 cups chicken stock
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 cup carrots, julienned
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons flour
1 egg yolk
2 tablepoons fresh dill

Simmer cauliflower florets in the chicken stock for 20 to 30 minutes. In a small bowl combine the cream, flour, and egg yolk with a whisk. Add 1 cup of the hot chicken stock to the cream mixture, blend well, and then gradually pour the mixture into the stock, stirring constantly. Add carrot strips. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not boil. Garnish with dill before serving.

 

 


POLISH POTATO SOUP

 

 

 

7 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch cubes
3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
6 cups water
2 cups broth (chicken or beef)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup sour cream
Chopped parsley or dill for garnish


Place the potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion into a large pot. Add the water and broth, and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Cook the soup over medium heat for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it bubbles. Add 1/4 cup of the sour cream, stirring till smooth, then add the remaining sour cream and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Gradually stir the cream mixture into the soup. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve the soup hot, garnished with chopped parsley or dill.

 


POLISH CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

 

 

 

1 roasting chicken, about 3 lbs
6 teaspoons chicken bouillon
6 whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 onion, chopped
1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced
4 stalks celery, sliced
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb kluski-style egg noodles, cooked


Cover the chicken with water in a large stock pot and bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, skimming the protein foam that forms. After the foam has subsided, add the bouillon, peppercorns, and bay leaf; simmer uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the chicken and allow to cool. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Add the onion, carrots, and celery to the stock and simmer for another 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Once the chicken is cooled, remove skin and bones and discard; cube the meat and add to stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the parsley; stir. Serve over egg noodles.

 

 

 

RECIPES FOR MARDI GRAS - FAT TUESDAY

Deep-fried pastries in the days leading up to Ash Wednesday are a very old tradition in Poland. People fill up on these tasty and rich delicacies before the fasting of Lent begins in earnest. Paczki or jelly-filled doughnuts, sometime called "little pillows," and chrusciki or crullers, sometimes called "angel wings," are the two most popular pastries prepared during Fat Week. Two recipes for paczki (one using mashed-potato dough) and one recipe for chrusciki follow. Enjoy!


PACZKI

 

 

 

 

2 cakes yeast
1 1/3 cup milk, scalded then cooled till lukewarm
1 cup sugar
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup butter, melted
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 shot glass rum
1 cup prune or other fruit filling
powdered sugar
Shortening or vegetable oil for frying

Crumble yeast into bowl and add lukewarm milk. Add half of flour; mix well. Beat eggs and egg yolks with sugar and salt; add to first mixture. Add melted butter, vanilla and rum. Work in remaining flour. Allow to rise in warm place until spongy, about 2 hours.

Turn dough out on floured surface and cut into even sections with juice-size glass. Spread the dough apart enough to fill with prepared prune or other filling and seal the filling into the dough. Allow paczki to rise in warm place until double in bulk.

 

Then fry in hot, deep shortening until brown. Turn just once. Drain on absorbent paper. While still warm, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

 

PACZKI

 

 

 

1 1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 cup potato water
2 packages dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
3 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. mace
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
6-7 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 TBS rum (more optional)

Peel and boil potatoes. Mash or puree in blender. Scald milk, stir in butter, sugar and mashed potatoes. Add flavorings. Sprinkle yeast over 1/2 cup lukewarm potato water. Stir. Mix together with above mixture and beaten eggs. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and spices.

Gradually stir flour mixture into egg mixture, blending well to make a soft dough. Knead by hand or using a mixer with dough hook. Let rise till double in a buttered bowl, 1 to 2 hours. Punch dough down and roll out on floured board to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Cut rounds with water glass. Separate to add a teaspoon of filling or preserves. Place on waxed paper, let rise about 30 min.

Heat shortening in a heavy pan, adding one tablespoon of water to the cold shortening. When melted, it should fill the pan about halfway up the sides. Test fat by dropping a cube of bread in -- if it browns in 1 minute, it is hot enough, the fat should not smoke. Paczki can be turned when brown (only once). Drain on absorbent paper. Sprinkle with powdered sugar while warm.

 

CHRUSCIKI

 

 

 

5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 large whole egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon rum or brandy
2 cups all-purpose flour
Canola or vegetable oil
Powdered sugar fior sprinkling

Combine egg yolks, whole egg and salt in bowl of mixer. Beat at high speed until thick and lemon colored, about 5 minutes. Beat in sugar, cream, vanilla, and rum. Add flour and beat until blisters form, about 5 minutes. Turn dough out onto a floured board, divide in half, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 20 minutes.

Working with half of the dough at a time, roll out to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch-wide strips. Cut these strips on the diagonal at 4-inch intervals. Heat 2 inches of oil in a large, deep skillet to 350 degrees. Make a slit in the center of each strip of dough. Then pull one end through the slit to form a bow.

Fry 6 chrusciki at a time for 1 minute or less per side or until golden. These fry quickly, so watch closely. Drain on paper towels. Dust with powdered sugar.

 

 

 

LENTEN RECIPES

Try one of these recipes for a light and tasty meatless lunch or supper -- during Lent -- or anytime!



SPINACH LASAGNA



12 to 16 dried or fresh lasagna noodles
3 to 4 cups tomato sauce
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cups cooked spinach, squeezed dry and chopped
1 1/2 cups ricotta
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated mozzarella
2 cups grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

If you're using dried pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. If you're using fresh pasta sheets, cut them into long wide noodles approximately 3 inches by 13 inches, or a size that will fit into your lasagna dish. Cook the noodles (6 at a time for dried noodles) until they are tender but still underdone (they will finish cooking as the lasagna bakes); fresh pasta will take only a minute. Drain and then lay the noodles flat on a towel so they won't stick.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a rectangular baking dish with the olive oil, add a large dollop of tomato sauce and spread it around. Put a layer of noodles (use four) in the dish, trimming any overhanging edges; top with a layer of tomato sauce, one-third of the spinach, and one-fourth of the ricotta (use your fingers to spread it evenly) , the mozzarella and the Parmesan. Sprinkle some salt and pepper between the layers of tomato sauce and spinach if desired.

Repeat the layers twice, and top with the remaining noodles, tomato sauce, ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan; the top should be covered with cheese; add more ricotta and Parmesan as needed. (The lasagna may be made ahead to this point, wrapped tightly and refrigerated for up to a day or frozen. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.)

Bake until the lasagna is bubbling and the cheese is melted and lightly browned on top, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest a few minutes before serving, or cool completely, cover well, and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze.


EASY BAKED FISH FILLETS

 

1 1/2 pounds grouper or other white fish fillets
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine, melted
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 425 F. Place fish in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine lime juice, mayonnaise, onion powder, and pepper in a small bowl, and spread over fish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs; drizzle with butter. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Sprinkle with parsley.

Note: Haddock or cod would make good substitutes for the grouper. Adjust the baking time depending on the thickness of the fish.

 

NALESNIKI
Stuffed Crepes

 

 

These thin crepes or blintzes can be stuffed with sweet fillings (jam, apples, cheese) or with savory fillings (cabbage, mushrooms, meat). The meatless ones are ideal for light Lenten suppers - but they are a popular comfort food in Poland any time of the year.

SWEET CREPES

Batter
3 eggs
3-6 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar

Filling
1 cup raspberry preserves; or 1 cup stewed apples; or 1 cup farmer's or dry cottage cheese, blended with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1 egg yolk, and 4 tablespoons sugar.

Topping
1/2 to 1 cup sour cream
1-4 tablespoons sugar to taste
powdered sugar for sprinkling

Directions
Blend sour cream and sugar for the tipping and chill. Prepare batter by blending eggs in a blender, then slowly adding flour, followed by milk. Let sit 5 to 20 minutes. Heat butter or spray cooking spray in frying pan. When pan is hot, pour in a small amount of batter (only enough to make a paper-thin pancake), turning pan to coat the bottom. When crepe is golden brown on one side, flip for a 30-40 seconds to cook on the other side. Use medium-high heat.

If using jam, spread thinly with the preserves, roll, top with sweetened sour cream and or dust lightly with powdered sugar, and serve. If using apples or cheese, spread the filling, roll, and place crepes in lightly buttered baking dish. Optional: Drizzle with melted butter before placing in oven. Warm in 350-degree oven for 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

 

SAVORY NALESNIKI

 

 

 

Batter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mushroom Filling
1 cup finely chopped fresh mushrooms
1 small finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
In a large skillet, saute mushrooms and onions in butter until onion is tender. Remove from heat and cool. Add remaining ingredients, mixing well. Spread filling on crepes, roll tightly, place in buttered baking dish and heat in 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Nalesniki can also be heated in butter in a frying pan, just before serving.

 


LAZY PIEROGI
Leniwe Pierogi

 

 

 

 

To get the taste of pierogi with much less work, try this casserole for an easy Lenten supper.

1 lb kluski-style noodles
2 large onions, diced
4 cups mashed potatoes
2 cups cheese (farmer's cheese, dry cottage cheese, shredded cheddar, or ricotta)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter.

Cook potatoes and let cool (or use leftovers). Cook noodles according to package directions, drain, and cool. Saute 1 large diced onion in butter and added to cooled mashed potatoes. Add 2 cups of cheese and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. In a large buttered cassrole, spread 1/3 of the noodles on the bottom of the pan, add 1/2 of the potato and cheese mixture, followed by another 1/3 of the kluski, followed by the rest of the filling, and topped with the rest of the kluski. Dot with butter, cover dish, and bake in 350-degree oven for 1 hour.

 


POLISH TUNA SALAD
Salatka z tunczyka

 

 

 

Adding more vegetables, eggs, and fresh dill to the tuna gives a new twist on tuna salad sandwiches.

Salad
2 cans of tuna fish in olive oil
1 small can of corn niblets
1/2 small can of baby green peas
4 hardboiled eggs, chopped
1 or 2 dill pickles, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Dressing
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh dill, copped

Mix tuna, vegetables, and eggs in medium bowl. In small bowl, mix ingredients for the dressing. Add to salad and mix well. Spread on slices of dark rye bread or pumpernickel.

 

CREAMED HERRING FILLETS WITH BAKED POTATOES
Sledzie w smietanie z ziemniakami

 

 

 

1 large or 2 small jars of herring fillets in cream
4 large russet potatoes
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sour cream

Place herring fillets in large bowl. Add onions, apples, and sour cream. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to use. Scrub potatoes, rub with oil, wrap in foil paper, and bake in a 350-degree oven for 60 minutes. When a fork pierces the potatoes easily, remove from oven, remove foil, place potatoes on plates, top with herring mixture, and serve.

 

 

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