Posts from the ‘polish’ Category

beef broth/french onion soup/polish pork & beans/cucumber apple avocado salad

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i was craving a childhood favorite, Soupe-a-lOignon-au-Fromage-French-Onion-Soup-and i wanted it to be really good, which means making the broth from scratch. i have never done this before so i set out to research a few recipes. being a vegetarian for many years, there are still a lot of meat things i’ve been intimidate by. after some research, i decided on emeril lagasse’s beef stock recipe. i used a combo of oxtail sawed by the butcher into half inch pieces, a few marrow bones & a shoulder. the recipe is simple but very time consuming. it took 6 hours & made a gallon & a half of incredible beef stock. enough to make 3 soups!

after chilling the stock, i removed all of the fat & saved it for cooking. check it out

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i got busy on the french onion soup first. i cooked all day long because chicago is in the deep freeze right now and i was unable to leave my home & it’s too cold due to poor insulation. using the stove was an easy fix. onion soup is very simple. it’s mostly onions, butter & stock topped with toasted french bread & gruyere cheese. to my utter delight, it turned out delish.

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the broth got me so excited i had visions of future bowls of pho & ramen….alas i had a pound of dried navy beans & cooked them in a big casserole for a few hours. i ended up making what i call the yummy dried tomato paste, navy beans, kielbasa, applewood smoked bacon, & one entire head of roasted garlic. turned out fantastic! i called it my polish pork & beans.

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in the meantime, i decided to make a salad with chopped cucumbers & apples with avocados in a home made anchovy dressing-anchovy paste mixed with olive oil, balsamic, salt, pepper & garlic topped with some parmesan/gruyere cheese-DELISH!

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as freezing as it is outside-50 below zero with wind chill-this food will last a few days if i get stranded at home. i’m not sure i’m gonna teach today. it’s just as cold today. but i’m SO glad i got all the ingredients before the predicted cold came. it’s been 27 years since we’ve had this kind of weather. nothing to do but knit, cook, watch tv & wait until the weather gets warm enough to go into. several people have died from this & tons went to the hospital for frozen injuries like frostbite. i hope to god i don’t have to deal with this today. yoga is not that important in my book. wish me luck 🙂

hand-crafted pierogi

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pierogi. i’ve made them a few times before but it’s been years. 4 dozen took over 5 hours from start to finish. you have to love these to work this hard. and it is hard. i respect bakers. dough can be back-breaking work if you do it right. you have to knead it for about 10 minutes, give it the proper time to sit, keep it from drying out, roll perfectly-this has to be very thin. and it’s so hard! practice practice practice. there’s nothing more to say.

i researched a few dough recipes & settled on one that i’m pretty sure will be my stand-by. pierogi & vareniki dough is perfect. & if you don’t have cake flour on hand, just put 2 tablespoons of corn starch in a one cup measure, add regular flour to the rest. i did this & it worked perfectly. and 10 minutes is a long time to knead, but you have to get that gluten going. when you start to roll, cut the dough in fours. and roll it until you can’t get it any thinner. it takes awhile. i used a 3 inch diameter serrated edged cutter.

filling is tricky. you have to stretch the dough in the air all around the dollop of potato mixture & seal well. it took me a couple of hours to do 48 of these. you can use any kind of filling out there. my favorite pierogi is potato cheese onion, so i started with a standard recipe but instead of using onion powder & garlic salt, i used real onion & garlic. the farmer cheese is important for the flavor so don’t skimp if you decide to make this flavor. here’s the recipe for potato and cheese pan-fried pierogi. it’s excellent & you can easily cut it in half. i was left with tons. however, it tastes so damn good it’s not a bad thing to have it to eat on the side.

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you finally boil until they float-5 minutes

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they did turn out pretty good. i’m a little intrigued to work with dough again. i enjoy the challenge. & i enjoyed the backbreaking work involved in making this beloved polish comfort food.

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