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Dec 5, 2007 05:08 AM

Polish Recipes needed--no meat, fish ok

I'm making the traditional Italian Christmas eve dinner with no meat, but I wanted to add some Polish dishes for my grandmother. Sticking with tradition, I wanted to make something meat-free, but fish is ok. Any suggestions you have or any resources you can suggest would be great!

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    1. re: jules127

      jules, do you have a recipe for pierogies? Would you suggest Russian-style potato and cheese pierogies or Polish-style kraut pierogies?

    2. I'm Polish and growing up Christmas Eve dinner included pierogies and fried smelts. Polish mushroom soup would be nice too. Here's my recipe, made with dried borowick mushrooms. You could substitute veg. stock for beef broth is that's an issue.

      1. I make the traditional polish Xmas Eve feast every year! It depends on the part of Poland your Grandma is from, but I will tell you something everybody agrees on- there have to be 12 dishes (for 12 apostles) and no meat allowed! It's all about fish (carp is traditional), cabbage, flour, poppy seads, walnuts abd mushrooms (porcini style). I will tell you some of the dishes that were served in my house when I was growing up.
        The meal starts with breaking bread (like the host in church) and then it's time for a soup. Most of the time it's either mushroom soup or borscht ( it's a clear soup), then cold fish, usually carp Jewish style (in aspic with raisins), various herring dishes (either in olive oil, pickled or in sourcream with apple). Later on it's pierogi time- usually 2 kinds- russian style (potatoes with farmer's cheese and sauteed onions), and with cabbage and mushrooms. They also serve breaded and sauteed in butter pieces of fish (in Poland it's always carp), along with sourcraut with wild mushrooms and/or lentils (sometimes all 3). During that night you do not drink any alcohol, but a very traditional dried fruit compote (prunes are the usual choice, sometimes they add appleas and pears). As far as sweets go, it is usually a poppy seed cake and a cheesecake (but made out of farmer's cheese).
        I make some of these things, let me know if you are interested in a specific recipe, or maybe ask your Grandma if she has a craving for one of these dishes.

        3 Replies
        1. re: polish_girl

          Our feast is nearly identical, except we never have cold fish, we usually have shrimp cocktail, and we always have mushroom soup made with those wonderful (probably radioactive) mushrooms from Poland. I hate the breaking bread part of the night, but I make my kids do it, because it's tradition. Ha, I must be a good actress, they think I love it!

          1. re: polish_girl

            Oh my God, this sounds amazing. I wonder if I can find a restaurant serving a Christmas meal like this.

            1. re: polish_girl

              Very similar to Lithuanians' Christmas Eve dinner; however, along with no meat being served, nothing from animals is served, eggs, dairy, gelatain, etc.

            2. I do a traditional wigilia every year. The menu varies, but always has a cabbage dish, soup (either barszcz (beet) or potato), cheese pierogi, and a mushroom dish, usually mushrooms baked in sour cream. Soups are probably the easiest - just make a regular vegetable soup with a vegetable stock instead of a meat one. Any Polish or Russian cookbook should have suggestions.

              The simplest dish I can think of is red cabbage braised in butter with shredded apples and caraway seeds.

              1. Anna Thomas's original Vegetarian Epicure has vegetarian Polish Christmas recipes. I can't vouch for their authenticity, though.