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Apr 4, 2008 04:39 PM

Polish cooking - any knockout recipes?

I've been asked to a bring a dish to a party where I am supposed to represent my heritage, only I've never done much polish cooking. I like making kasza, but I don't think of it as a party food. Any ideas as to something I could pull off as a first time try? Thanks!

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  1. Yes! Polish "burgers" with or without saurkraut. Unfortunately, I don't have the recipe, but my dad does! When is your party? He is out of town until Monday and then I can call home and have someone read it to me. Basically, it's ground meat (I can't remember if it's beef or beef and pork or pork and veal...), breadcrumbs, butter, maybe some onion...mixed together and grilled in bacon fat. Mmmmmmm delicious. My grandfather was Polish and the recipe is from our beloved Polish cookbook.

    Edit: Just kidding, I found the recipe! I knew it had to be somewhere.

    Polish hamburgers (do not serve on a bun...well, I guess you could, but I wouldn't. we always had them with saurkraut, though I'm not sure how Polish that is).

    1 onion, chopped
    2 tablespoons bacon drippings
    3 slices white bread
    1/2 cup milk
    1 egg
    1 lb. ground beef
    1/2 lb. ground pork
    salt and pepper (to taste)
    1/3 cup breadcrumbs

    Fry onions in 1 tsp. drippings till golden
    Soak bread in milk
    Combine onions, bread, milk, egg, beef, and pork
    Season and mix very well.

    Form 8 patties, roll in bread crumbs
    Brown in remaining hot drippings
    Place in 350 degree overn for 20 minutes.

    I cannot even describe how good these are.

    6 Replies
    1. re: mariannas

      Do you have a recipe for a "Potica Bread?" My friend bought some in Colorado and it is the best but can't find a recipe for it. It has ground nuts and cinnamon rolled up in it. It is wonderful!

      1. re: Sandyb1115

        We *might.* I don't have it here though. I probably won't be going home for a few months, but if someone from my family comes to Seattle to visit me I'll make sure to ask them for the Polish recipe stash - we might have one in there.

        1. re: Sandyb1115

          I'm not Polish, but I got this recipe from a friend who is.


          3 1/2 cups flour, all-purpose
          1 package yeast -- active dry
          1 cup milk
          2 tablespoons sugar
          2 tablespoons butter or margarine
          1 teaspoon salt
          1 egg

          2 cups walnuts -- ground
          1 egg -- beaten
          1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
          2 tablespoons honey
          2 tablespoons milk
          1 tablespoon butter or margarine -- melted
          1 teaspoon cinnamon -- ground
          1/2 teaspoon vanilla

          In large mixer bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast. In small saucepan, heat milk, sugar, butter, and salt just till warm (115 to 120 deg. F), stirring constantly till butter almost melts. Add to dry mixture in mixer bowl; add the first egg. Beat at low speed of electric mixer for 1/2 minute, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. By hand, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough. Turn dough out onto large floured cloth. Knead dough till smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place dough in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover and let rise in warm place till double, about 1 hour. (Dough may be placed in unheated oven with pan of hot water.)

          Meanwhile, prepare filling: In mixing bowl combine walnuts, beaten egg, brown sugar, honey, milk, the 1 tablespoon butter, ground cinnamon, and vanilla. Stir till well mixed. Set filling aside. Punch dough down; cover and let rest 10 minutes. On large floured cloth, roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness, about 25x10 inches. Stretch gently with hands, working from center to edges, pulling very thin, to about 30x20 inches. Spread dough evenly with walnut filling to within 1/2 inch of edges of dough. Starting at long side, use cloth as guide to lift and roll up dough jelly-roll fashion. Pinch edge to seal. Place one end of roll in center of large greased baking sheet. Coil dough to make a snail-shaped spiral; seal end. Cover; let rise in warm place till nearly double, about 30 to 45 minutes. Bake in 350 deg. oven for 30 to 35 minutes or till golden brown. If desired, top with powdered sugar icing. Makes 1 large coffee bread.

        2. re: mariannas

          Oh, sauerkraut is _very_ Polish. Sounds delish!

          1. re: Mawrter

            Interesting! I was never sure if sauerkraut was something that was actually Polish or if it was something my Polish grandfather just liked.

            One of the best memories was my great aunt and uncle visiting from Poland in 1988 or 1989 and making Pierogis. I have never liked any of the pierogis I've had since then. I could have done without the cabbage rolls though...not my favorite!

            1. re: mariannas

              I didn't enjoy sauerkraut as a kid, but there was certainly plenty of it. It's popular in Polish, German, Austrian and Alsatian cooking.

              And I bet some of those awesome pierogis from your Polish relatives were cabbage/sauerkraut! :-)

              I don't really do any Polish cooking, either, but i'd love to learn to make pierogi. I get it from a good local Eastern European bakery and occaisionally I've found this amazing frozen pierogi at Whole Foods - that's imported from Poland. I was disappointed that I didn't like that brand's mushroom pierogi, because I love mushrooms, so it sounds like it would be great. Instead it was horribly salty and vinegary. But the others were great - potato and blueberry. The brand name was something like "Jawa" (???).

        3. My family is polish, and one of our favorite foods is pierogie (small polish dumplings). They'd make a wonderful party food because they're easily shared. Plus, I have lots of non-Polish friends who have tried them, and they seem to be universally liked. My sister and I recently looked for our grandfather's dough recipe but couldn't find it, so we used Martha Stewart's instead, which was absolutely wonderful and didn't take much time to prepare (it helps if you have someone helping you):

          That's the recipe for the potato-filled ones (we substituted our own mashed potato recipe), but you can stuff them with just about anything you want. I also make cheese pierogie that I stuff with sweetened farmer's cheese (the kind used in blintzes).

          Or if you're wanting to try something more desert-y, babka would be another good party choice (really similar to an Italian panettone), and which you can also find on Martha Stewart's website:

          1. Kapusta and Kielbasa in the crockpot is great for a crowd. Here's how I make it:

            1 big onion, diced
            1/2 lb bacon, cut up in small pieces and fried crisp, reserve the grease
            1 lb. of the best kielbasa you can find, smoked or fresh, cut up in 2 inch chunks. If you live in Detroit, I can tell you where to buy the best.
            4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
            1 large can of Silver Floss sauerkraut drained, reserve juice (this is the best brand of sauerkraut I know of)

            Put the potatoes in the bottom of the crock pot, and top with bacon. Add onion to the bacon grease and saute until tender, and pour the onion and bacon fat on top the potatoes. Add the sausage chunks, and then top with kraut. Cook on LOW for 8 hours. If it gets dry while cooking, taste it...if it is not sour enough for your taste, add kraut juice, if it tastes right, add water.

            7 Replies
            1. re: momskitchen

              Being that I live near a Polish community thats in Riverhead N,Y, I can easily obtain most or all of these products now can I mix both smoke and fresh or cook the kielbasa separate and how about fresh made kraut????????? This is a farming town plenty of potato's and cabbage as well as other vegees

              1. re: scunge

                Sure you can mix them if you like. I would definitely put some kind of sausage in with the kraut, though, for the slow cooking. The kielbasa gives it great flavor. I find fresh kielbasa that's been browned more visually appealing, so if I were going to use both kinds, I'd put the smoked in the crock pot and then bake the fresh in the oven so it is well browned and cooked through and then add it to the kraut right before eating.

                1. re: scunge

                  I have never pickled kraut from scratch, because I am the only person in my house that will eat sauerkraut. It's really not worth the effort unless you want to make quite a bit of it. Since you live in a farming community, I am willing to bet there's a farm that sells their own canned sauerkraut.

                  It is fermented like brined pickles, in a crock with just cabbage and pickling salt. This is something you'd want to do this summer, when the cabbage crop comes in, not now.

                  If you are interested, here's how you do it:


                  Let us know if you do! I love home canning stuff...

                2. re: momskitchen

                  Just what I was going to suggest. In childhood, this was my dad's favorite and now is my brother's and mine. Take a package/ can of saurkraut and cook w/ 1/2/ to a whole head of cabbage, add some sliced onion and carrot coins and carraway seed , After cooking for an hour(I've never owned a slow cooker!), add the kicker, a rack of spareribs, layered in the kapusta. Boil the kolbasa, add to the kapusta the last 20-30 min. uncovered to brown and cook down the kapusta juice. Serve w/ mashed potatoes, horseradish, a thick slice of good rye bread and butter and good cold beer. Great Polish beers are imported. Heaven!
                  Shen dobri.

                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                    Is yours cooked in the oven? You mention browning... Am I to assume you take the lid off and let it brown, in the oven?
                    I had so much savoy cabbage last year! The recipe sounds great! Who needs kielbasa with ribs?

                    1. re: Scargod

                      "who needs kielbasa w/ ribs?" Why I do of course! One man's lingua taco is another mans' kraut w/ ribs and kolbasa! Yes, started on range top, baked in oven, lid removed, brown kielbasa in oven and reduce kraut juice! And don't forget wicked hot horseradish and a cold brewsky or 3!

                      1. re: Scargod

                        I make it in a crock pot - I only brown fresh sausage in the oven. You could make sauerkraut in a really slow oven, though.

                  2. How about HALUSHKI (Noodles and Cabbage)

                    1 head cabbage
                    8 oz. pkg. noodles
                    1 lg. onion
                    4 tbsp. butter

                    Shred cabbage and boil in a little water for about 6 minutes. Cook noodles until soft. Drain. Brown onion in 4 tablespoons butter. Mix all ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Preparation: 10 minutes. Cooking: 15 minutes.

                    1. I lived in Poland as a child and LOVED "plotski." (Not sure of the spelling) They were potato pancakes with sour milk on top. I remember the pancakes as being unlike the shredded version--they were more blended. I've made a home-made version with raw potatoes, an egg and flour in the blender, then cooked on a griddle and served with sour cream. But if anyone has a real recipe I'd love to have it!