Leczo Inspired Pepper Stew

Leczo is a bell pepper stew that originally hails from Hungary (where it is spelled lecso). At some point, variations made their way through the region and over to Poland. This is NOT a recipe for an authentic Hungarian Lecso, but it does contain some of the necessary fundamentals: peppers, onion, tomato, and paprika. The end result is still delicious and can be a vegetarian stew/ragout used to top something like rice or buckwheat, or it can include kielbasa or other meat to make it a heartier standalone stew. Or it can just be a great side. This recipe is also much thicker than a lot of other leczo recipes out there, but you can obviously combine elements of all and adjust based on your preferences. 🙂 Continue reading

Pirozhki (Stuffed Buns) with Sauerkraut and Onion

Pirozhki are fried or baked stuffed buns made with yeast dough. Popular in Russia and other countries in eastern Europe and central Asia, they can be stuffed with virtually anything, but common fillings include potatoes, cabbage, ground meat, or even sweet fillings.

This one here is a simple mixture of onion sauerkraut, and carrot (which could also be a great filling for pierogi). Typically, the are oval or crescent shaped, but I got distracted and formed round ones. Oh well, they taste the same. Adding an egg wash before baking will add a nice shine, but is optional, as are seed/toppings…I just happened to have everything bagel seasoning on hand and added it. This recipe will make about 30 pirozhki, but can very based on the size you choose to make. Continue reading

Farina with Strawberries and Rose Water (Kasza Manna)

Kasza manna/farina is very popular and economical breakfast choice for people all around the world. And while this recipe could be eaten for breakfast, the sugar content makes it better suited for a quick and easy dessert. The simple combination of strawberries and rose water turns this regular old bowl of porridge into something a little more special. Continue reading

Cod Cakes with Leek Mustard Sauce

These cod cakes help make just over a pound of cod (or other fish) go pretty far, so they’re good for a small crowd or family dinner. This leek mustard sauce has some sweet and tangy notes that come from white wine, mustard, sour cream, and apricot jam, which might seem like an odd addition, but it works! If you don’t have apricot jam, you could add a few pinches of sugar, or maybe a tablespoon or two of orange juice. Just make sure to wash your leeks very well before cooking–there is a 100% chance that there is a ton of dirt in between the layers! You can either slice lengthwise and run each layer under water, or, you can chop to your desired size and then put in a large bowl of water. This way, the dirt will settle to the bottom and you can scoop out your clean leeks from the top. I promise it isn’t that much of a hassle, and the leeks are worth it! Also, you can use fresh dill if you want for the cod, I just haven’t had any luck finding it in stores since the start of the Covid lockdown. Anyway, here is the recipe. Smacznego!

*Makes approximately 11-14 cod cakes

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Poppy Seed Pastries

Before I go into the recipe, I just wanted to say that I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy and listening to guidance from their respective health officials!!! These days, hand sanitizer is worth its weight in gold, and I don’t think anyone has seen yeast on a grocery store shelf in weeks (why has that been such a hot ticket item along with TP)?

That means there’s 0 chance of makowiec for for Easter this year, as the dough requires yeast. Makowiec is a traditional Polish poppy seed roll cake that is served on holidays such as Christmas and Easter. Poppy seeds are admittedly always hard to find in regular grocery stores, but I had a bag in the back of my kitchen cabinet that I picked up at a Russian store…you’ll find the most luck in any Polish or Russian or other eastern European deli/shop. I also had a package of puff pastry in my freezer. So, with no yeast available in the greater metro area, I decided to make poppy seed puff pastries for Easter this year instead of makowiec. They aren’t the real thing, but they have a lot of the familiar flavors and are faster to put together.

DO NOT EAT THESE (OR MAKOWIEC) IF YOU ARE EXPECTING A DRUG TEST ANYTIME SOON. These desserts use a lot of poppy seeds, and I’m just sayin’ you might test positive for opiates. Yes, it can happen. Continue reading

“Use Everything” Beet Root n’ Greens Salad

While there is more to Polish food than beets, I would like to feature just one more recipe that stars these ruby roots.

Do you know how much food Americans waste every year??? No, I won’t tell you, because it’ll be too upsetting. But it’s a lot. And we have a tendency to get rid of perfectly edible parts of produce all the time (green part of leeks, broccoli stems, etc.) that just need a little love, and usually garlic. Continue reading

Baked White Beans with Tomato Sauce (Fasola Pieczona)

Well hello! It’s been a while. But I’m back with an easy and filling recipe that is kind of a cross between Breton Beans (Fasolka po Bretonsku), which are very popular in Poland, and Greek Gigantes.

You can basically turn these into Breton Beans if you add kielbasa or boczek before baking. These are plenty flavorful without meat. Continue reading

Roasted Carrots

Carrots deserve so much more love than they usually get. With the right seasoning, these budget-friendly vegetables make a great side. Organic carrots truly do taste better, and at approximately $0.89 per lb, it is definitely worth it. If you find them with leaves, you can leave some of the green on, don’t be scared!!! Continue reading

Pierogi with Potato and Cheese (Ruskie Pierogi)

Pierogi1

Pierogi are addicting.

The most common fillings are potato and cheese, ground meat, and sauerkraut and mushroom. Sweet cheese and berries are also popular.

They can be served boiled or fried, almost always have a side of sour cream, and the savory versions are usually topped with diced caramelized onions.

Today, we will work on the potato and cheese, aka ruskie pierogi. Continue reading

Pan Fried Cauliflower with Farmer’s Cheese Dipping Sauce

cauliflower

Ingredients

Cauliflower:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Hungarian paprika

Farmer’s Cheese Dipping Sauce:

  • 4 tbsp. sour cream
  • 4 tbsp. farmer’s cheese (twaróg)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. fresh chopped dill

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