Smacznego! – Polska

Polska: Farmer’s Cheese, Rye bread, Kielbasa, Pierogi, Kapusta z Grochem, Kapusta z Kielbasa, Mizeria


This was a really fun meal to cook and host (and eat!). A few months ago I saw that my friend was teaching a class on making pierogi at the Rochester Brainery, so I signed up to learn all things pierogi. It was a fantastic class and I felt quite prepared after the class to cook pierogi for a crew. I sat with a wonderful couple at the class who told me about their family’s heritage of Polish food and culture. 2016-02-01 19.19.072016-02-01 19.23.35

2016-02-01 19.38.512016-02-01 20.09.10I planned out my menu, and it was only until I started cooking that I realized that for a meal highlighting cheese and carbs in the form of pierogi I’d decided to make cheese and carbs for an appetizer (bread and cheese). Oops! Or, Awesome! Depending on your perspective 🙂 2016-02-27 13.39.31

I’ve been into making homemade bread lately, so I made homemade Polish rye bread – a simple version that uses buttermilk rather than a starter. And so easy with the Kitchenaid. It’s a dense bread that smells heavenly while baking and perfect for slathering with butter or cheese.

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I made homemade farmer’s cheese to accompany the bread, which is a common cheese in Poland. It’s super simple and similar to making ricotta cheese. I let it drain a little too long, even though I didn’t use the weight like the recipe suggests, so it got a bit dry and crumbly, but still had great flavor with the herbs.

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To round out the appetizers I bought two types of smoke kielbasa at Polska Chata, a great Polish store in Rochester. 2016-02-25 17.02.43-2

Double smoked and garlic kielbasa worked great as appetizers and I served it with mustard and horseradish.2016-02-27 16.25.51

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Next up – pierogi! I made cheese and potato pierogi, though there are many variations of fillings. I cooked the filling the night before the dinner to spread out the workload, and that worked well.2016-02-26 22.15.082016-02-26 22.21.53

You should take Anna’s pierogi class at the Brainery to learn how to make this version! But in the meantime here’s a recipe from the husband’s grandmother of the couple I sat with at the pierogi class.

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I served the pierogi with carmelized onions and sour cream, and it really doesn’t get much better than that for a cheese/potato/sour cream lover! 2016-02-27 12.56.32 2016-02-27 12.57.20 2016-02-27 13.05.172016-02-27 13.51.342016-02-27 13.54.302016-02-27 13.54.522016-02-27 13.55.512016-02-27 14.18.252016-02-27 15.47.08

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I made two versions of kapusta (cabbage) – one with kielbasa and one with split yellow peas. For the kielbasa version I used this recipe and for the split yellow pea version I used this recipe. For the vegetarian version I ended up cooking it longer and adding brown sugar per the other recipe, since that seemed like it would add more flavor. Ultimately I ended up liking the flavor of the split pea version best because the fresh cabbage diluted some of the sourness of the straight sauerkraut, and the peas added some sweetness.2016-02-27 12.11.11 2016-02-27 12.36.222016-02-27 16.10.522016-02-27 16.13.03

To add a little freshness to the dinner I made Mizeria, a simple Polish cucumber salad.2016-02-27 15.54.57

For dessert, I bought some Polish chocolates at Polska Chata and Ashley made really delicious doughnuts.2016-02-27 17.41.39

There were eight adults and two babies for this meal and we had a great evening of chatting and laughing and eating, all while listening to polka music!

About couchcuisine

I like traveling, cooking and eating...especially with friends.
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2 Responses to Smacznego! – Polska

  1. Jessica Bugos says:

    Looks like a lot of fun! 🙂 I wish I lived closer so that I could do some of this type of cooking with you and/or participate in the meals! What is your nationality, by the way (or the main mix of nationalities)? Just curious.

    Jessica 🙂

    Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2016 19:08:16 +0000 To:

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