Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dear Readers,

I have the pleasure of introducing Anna, my partner from the Swap-Bot Guest Blog Post swap.  I can hardly wait to try this!


Hello everyone! My name is Anna, 19 and I am from Poland. I like to eat and cook (not much but it’s also fun!) and I go to gastronomy high school. Today I’m the one who gives you something to read about and since this blog has some recipes I decided to write about Polish traditional food. So let’s start! But first some informations.

After the end of World War II, Poland fell under Communist occupation. Restaurants were at first nationalized and then mostly closed down by the authorities. Instead, the communists envisioned a net of lunch rooms for the workers at various companies, and milk bars. The very few restaurants that survived the 1940s and 1950s were state-owned and were mostly unavailable to common people due to high prices. The lunch rooms promoted mostly inexpensive meals, including soups of all kinds and staples such as pierogi. A typical second course consisted of some sort of a ground meat cutlet served with potatoes. The kotlet schabowy is similar to the Austrian Wiener schnitzel.
We can still find some milk bars in Poland.

Bigos, originally uploaded by UnorthodoxY.
Today’s recipes: BIGOS aka Hunter’s Stew

•       1 cup pitted prunes
•       1/2 ounce dried Polish or porcini mushrooms
•       2 cups boiling water
•       1 tablespoon bacon drippings or vegetable oil
•       1 medium onion, chopped
•       1 small head fresh cabbage, chopped
•       1 pound sauerkraut, rinsed well and drained
•       1/2 pound smoked Polish sausage ("kielbasa"), cut into 1-inch pieces
•       1/2 pound cooked fresh Polish sausage ("kielbasa"), cut into 1-inch pieces
•       1 pound leftover meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
•       3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
•       1 cup dry red wine, preferably Madeira
•       1 bay leaf
•       Salt and black pepper to taste

1.  Place prunes and dried mushrooms in a medium bowl. Pour over boiling water and let steep for 30 minutes or until mushrooms have softened. You may chop the mushrooms and prunes, but leaving them whole makes for a chunkier dish. Set aside with soaking liquid.

2.  Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or large pot with a lid, saute onion and fresh cabbage in bacon drippings or vegetable oil. When cabbage has collapsed by half, add sauerkraut, meats, tomatoes, wine, bay leaf and reserved mushrooms and prunes and their soaking liquid, being careful not to pour off the sediment in the bottom of the bowl.

3.  Mix well and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat to low and simmer covered for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding liquid as needed to prevent burning.

4. The longer this cooks the better it tastes, and it's even better served the next day. It's a natural for outdoors cooking in a cast-iron kettle winter or summer. The dish lends itself well to potlucks and tailgate parties, slow cookers and freezes well.

The recipe is from this website

That’s how my mother does it too. It tastes very good and we usually eat it with bread.

The most typical ingredients used in Polish cuisine are sauerkraut, beetroot, cucumbers (gherkins), sour cream, kohlrabi, mushrooms, sausages and smoked sausage. A meal owes it taste to the herbs and spices used; such as marjoram, dill, caraway seeds, parsley, or pepper. The most popular desserts are cakes and pastries. A shot of vodka is an appropriate addition to festive meals and help you to digest the food.

Every state (województwo) has its typical recipes.

If you want to know more about traditional Polish recipes as for example pierogi go to google. That’s all I wanted to write.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that you learned something.
THank you all for reading!



David and Annie said...

Wow! What a great guest post!

Lola said...

This is a great post. It's so nice to see such a traditional and unusual recipe. -hollychihuahua from Swap-Bot

P.S. Please visit my partner's guest post if you have time. Thanks.

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I blog about life and soup, but mostly soup.