Cooking Polish Meals Abroad When I am Missing My Country & Feeling a bit Sentimental and very Homesick
I love the Capital of Gastronomy and all the foods it offers. I am not going to complain as I do enjoy the French meals indeed…but I am a Polish girl by birth, by heart and by my stomach…so there will be moments when I am feeling homesick and I miss my family, friends and Polish food but especially my Dad’s cooking and My Mum’s baking…I come from Silesian region which is well known for the good comfort food and very tasty regional specialities that the rest of Poland is jealous about..and the ones we love and we are proud of. So we do eat very traditionally at my family home in Poland.
Thankfully my parents have been good teachers so I master a few baking and cooking tips therefore I have been able to duplicate some of the Polish meals when living abroad…sometimes they turned out ideal, sometimes there have been small disasters…mostly they have been eatable!
So if I want to summarize what are My Top Polish Meals I Miss When I am Abroad and Top Polish Meals I Cook When I am Abroad here comes the Comprehensive List of The Hungry Polish Girl…as it is said We Polish People Eat A Lot (that is a fact):
Kotlet schabowy: this is a boneless center-cut pork chops or pork tenderloin which I pound gently and thinly, coat it in the egg and breadcrumbs and then fry on a pan. It tastes the best with potatoes or dumplings with the gravy and beetroots or sauerkraut salad.
Kluski slaskie: there is no traditional Sunday lunch without dumplings! These are Silesian dumplings made from mashed potato, the special Polish potato flour and egg. You roll them in a shape of small balls with the small hole (for gravy) and boil for few minutes. The traditional way of eating them is to be always served with the gravy, Polish rolada/schabowy and red cabbage.
Rosół: it is a simple noddle Polish Sunday lunch soup that my Dad loves to make. I never liked it so much but when abroad I started to crave for it and made my first one already! It’s not that difficult at the end, you just need a chicken piece, some vegetables and some spices. There is a lot of tasting involved as you need to get the proper flavour of the broth with the mix of spices. It is also a great first line of defence remedy when you are sick, it gives you energy back.
Bigos: this is a hearty stew with sauerkraut, cabbage, 3 types of pork and actually many more different meats, many smoked ones like sausage, bacon or ham hock etc. It is my Dad’s speciality and it is ideal for meat lovers.The trick is that it tastes well with whatever leftover meat you have in the fridge! Then you need to add the variety of mushrooms and tomatoes (the fresh ones or the tomato paste) so it gives a nice orange color to the stew.
Pierogi: these are the Polish pride. They are dumplings which come in different varieties depending on the stuffing. So they can be filled either in the sour or sweet way. The traditional sour pierogi are filled with sauerkraut with mushrooms, cheese and potatoes, meat etc. The sweet pierogi are stuffed with the sweet white cottage filling, and all sort of fruits especially strawberries and blueberries. They are quite time-consuming to make. When I was a kid, my Mum called all of us and we were making loads of them for the whole family – it was a fun time. Nowadays, we get ready-made ones which are still very nice. Here in France I am force to make them…but that brings my good memories back!
Knedle: they are a different type of stuffed dumplings as they are made from the potatoes actually. So you need mashed potatoes and potato flour to create them. You make round balls and fill them with plums. The Polish sweet main meal. Yes, we have few sweet dinners indeed. You serve it hot and add the melted butter with sugar and breadcrumbs…all goes well, trust me!
Kopytka: they are very easy, cheap and popular potatoes dumplings (I come from the Silesia region so we do eat a lot of dumplings indeed). They are quick to make and famous cause of the hoof shaped. Cheap – as you eat them on their own (as gnocchi). They are just accompanied by a fried bacon and onion or varieties of gravies (red, white, mushroom etc)
Kotlet mielony: this is a type of steak which you would use for burgers yet it’s a bit different as it has much more flavour and it’s not pure meat. I mean to prepare it it is very easy yet creative. You mix minced meat with a bit of onion and egg and wet/soften roll. You add spaces and roll the steaks, you cover them in a breadcrumbs and fry on the pan. The typical dinner consisting of mielony will not be accompanied by the burger roll but potatoes and some cabbage.
Lazanki: as I say…Poles have their pasta as well. It just sounds weird as pasta is typical for Italian and then all the world would cook Italian pasta with its sauces whereas Poles will have the other type of pasta, they will add fried bacon and sauerkraut to it and serve it hot. It gives you totally different taste you have never had before thanks to the cooked sauerkraut you use on there.
Gołąbki: don’t be mistaken. These are not birds = pigeons! This is another meal which will involve cabbage. This time you will use just some white cabbage leaves to wrap all the mixture into small pieces. The mixture consists of the minced pork, rice, onion, mushrooms. Then you put all those pieces into the big pot and cover with the tomato sauce and cook till the leaves are soft and gentle.
Placki ziemniaczane: these are pancakes made of potatoes. Its true! But what is interesting the potatoes are grated and mixed together with a bit of flour, onion, species, egg and friend on the pan. What is more interesting, is the fact that Poles can eat them sweet way…simple way…just spreading a sugar on top of that! Can you imagine such a dinner? I like them with sour cream rather than sugar but actually you can eat it as a side dish to any meat you want and top up with a gravy. They are potatoes.
Zapiekanka: his is a grilled half of the baguette with an interesting toping. It is very popular Polish ‘fast food’. Basically you top the roll with the fried mushrooms, cheese and pickled cucumber. You can add ham and variety of species but the main ingredients will be mushrooms and melted yellow cheese. You eat it hot and crunchy with the ketchup.
Sałatka warzywna: I like to make this one. It’s easy and tasty. You just need some boiled root vegetables such as carrots, parsley, potatoes, celery, then you add hard-boiled egg, peas, pickled cucumber, all of these should be cut into tiny square pieces. The dressing for this salad consists of mayonnaise and mustard, salt, pepper…simple and very yummy indeed.
Interesting? Do you find them interesting & tasty? Yes, the Polish food can be impressive so whenever you have a chance to taste it, do not hesitate …Smacznego! If you want to do it my way…mix it with the French cooking then use my Mini Recipe Book of My Top Lyonnais Meals which you can view here. Get this Lyonnais Cookbook downloaded here for FREE. There are 20 recipes in English for you in English…Enjoy & Bon Appetite!