TST, Vol. 9, Issue No. 26/2002
EASY SWIECONE FOR BEGINNERS
PACKAGE MIX EASTER SOUP (zur lub bialy barszcz blyskawiczny) -- Prepare instant zur or bialy barszcz (for instance: Winiary or Knorr brand -- available at Polish delis) according to directions on package. Serve over sliced hard-cooked eggs.
EGGS IN MAYONNAISE (jaja na twardo w majonezie) -- Top hard-cooked egg halves on lettuce-lined platter with a dollop of store-bought mayonnaise. Garnish each dollop with some finely chopped chives and/or dill.
COLD SMOKED-MEAT PLATTER (polmisek wedlin) -- Artistically arrange thin slices of imported Polish canned ham (and/or other boiled or baked ham), Polish canned pork loin, Polish canned Canadian bacon, krakowska (sausage), etc. Trim edge of platter with thin rounds of cooked fresh kie_basa, smoked kielbasa or hunter's sausage. Decorate platter with sprigs of parsley, radish roses, pickled mushrooms, gherkins and or bell-pepper rings or strips.
EASY EASTER SALAD (latwa salatka wielkanocna) -- In salad bowl combine 2 c diced cooked potatoes, 1 c drained canned navy beans, 1 c drained canned peas & carrots, 2 peeled, cored, diced apples, 3 diced dill pickles, 2 diced onions. Sprinkle with lemon juice, salt & pepper and laced with just enough mayonnaise to coat ingredients. Chill and let stand covered over night before serving.
PAN-FRIED KIELBASA (kielbasa podsmazana) -- Cut fresh kielbasa, cooked the day before and refrigerated over night, into 3 or 4 servings. Place in lightly buttered or oiled skillet and brown on all sides until heated through. Serve hot with cwikla (below).
EASY BEETS & HORSERADISH RELISH (cwikla najlatwejsza) -- Combine 2 c coarsely grated canned, drained pickled beets with 2-3 T prepared horseradish and 1 c apple sauce. Season with salt, pepper, ground caraway, sugar and vinegar to taste. Cover and chill overnight.
WAFER-TYPE PLUM MAZUREK (mazurek sliwkowy na oplatku) -- Thinly spread an oplatek-type wafer (normally used for ritual sharing on Christmas Eve) with powidla (Polish plum butter). Cover with another oplatek. Spread it with powidla as well and cover with a third oplatek. Press down gently so oplatek doesn't crack. Cover with clean dish towel and weight down with a heavy book over night. Before serving, spread top and sides with canned vanilla or chocolate icing. Cut into squares and serve.
OTHER FOODS -- If you live near a Polish neighborhood, stock up on the deli items, baked goods and other Polish-style Easter treats you lack the time, energy and know-how to prepare at home.
COMMUNITY SWIECONE BUFFET (swieconka, Dyngus Day)
Set out bowls of hard-cooked eggs, whole or halved and separately provide different sauces for your guests to choose from. It might be a good idea to label the similar-looking sauces. The sauces are also good with various cold smoked and cooked meats (below).
HORSERADISH-MAYONNAISE SAUCE (sos chrzanowy na majonezie) -- Depending on the potency of your horseradish and how zingy you want your sauce to be, fork-blend 1 heaping T prepared horseradish or more with 1/4 c sour cream (or plain low-fat yogurt) and 3/4 c mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt, vinegar and sugar. Use to garnish hard-cook eggs and cold meats.
CREAMY HORSERADISH (chrzan smietankowy) -- Fork-blend 1/2 c prepared horseradish with 1/2 c whipping cream (unwhipped), seasoning to taste with a little sugar.
APPLE-HORSERADISH SAUCE (sos jablkowo-chrzanowy) -- Fork-blend 3/4 c sour cream with 1/4 c prepared horseradish, 1/2 c apple sauce and juice of 1/2 a lemon: season to taste with a pinch of salt & sugar.
MUSTARD SAUCE (sos musztardowy) -- Depending on how mustardy you want your sauce to be and how sharp a mustard you are using, fork-blend 1/2 c sour cream (or plain low-fat yogurt) and 1/2 c mayonnaise with 1 heaping t to 1 heaping T mustard, preferably brown Polish-style or Düsseldorf type. If using a very sharp Dijon type, reduce the amount slightly to taste. Season with salt, vinegar and sugar to taste.
HOME-MADE TARTAR SAUCE (sos tatarski domowy) -- Combine 2/3 c mayonnaise with 1/4 c sour cream, 2 T brown prepared mustard and 1 T prepared horseradish. Add 3/4 - 1 c finely chopped vegetables: gherkins and/or dill pickles, green onions, chives, pickled mushrooms and capers. Fork-blend and season to taste with salt, pepper, lemon juice and confectioner's sugar.
GREEN SAUCE (sos zielony) -- Fork-blend 1/3 c sour cream (or plain low-fat yogurt) and 1/3 c mayonnaise with 1 level t brown prepared mustard or prepared horseradish. Stir in 3/4 c finely chopped greens in any proportion you like, including chives, green onions, dill, parsley, fresh basil and fresh spinach. Capers and finely chopped dill pickles may also be added to sauce. Optional: Serve dashes green hot pepper sauce will perk up the flavor.
SPRING SAUCE (sos wiosenny) -- Combine 2/3 - 1 c finely chopped spring greens (green onions, radishes, chives, parsley, dill, garden cress) with 1/2 c mayonnaise and 1/2 c sour cream. Season with 1 t prepared horseradish, 1 t lemon juice, 1/4 t salt and several dashes of pepper.
MUSHROOM-STUFFED EGGS (jaja nadziewane pieczarkami) -- In saucepan sauté 4 oz finely chopped fresh mushrooms and 1 finely chopped med. onion in 2 T butter or margarine until fully cooked (about 15 min.), stirring frequently. Peel 6 hard-cooked eggs and remove yolks. Mash yolks and combine with cool mushroom-onion mixture. Stir in 2 T sour cream and 3 T finely chopped fresh parsley. Mix well, salt & pepper to taste and use mixture to stuff whites. Garnish with finely chopped chives. and/or a little freshly grated yellow cheese (podlaski, tyl?ycki, gouda, edam brick, etc.).
HOT STUFFED EGGS IN SHELLS (jaja faszerowane na cieplo) -- Hold cold, hard-cooked egg against cutting-board and tap it lengthwise with a sharp, thin-bladed, straight-edge, preferably heavy knife. With swift cutting motion cut through to cutting-board shell and all. With small spoon gently scoop out yolk and white and side aside, taking care not to break the shell. Carefully remove and discard and loose, jagged shell fragments that adhere to eggs or rim of shells. Set shells aside. Simmer 2 finely minced onions in 2 T butter until tender and golden. Grind or chop eggs fine and combine with onion. Add 1-2 heaping T finely chopped fresh dill 1 heaping T finely chopped chives and salt & pepper to taste. Mix ingredients well. Fill shells with mixture pressing it down very gently. Sprinkle tops generously with bread crumbs, pressing them in gently. The stuffed eggs can be refrigerated until ready to serve. To serve, fry stuffed eggs, open-side down in 2 T butter or margarine until a golden crust forms on the bottom and tops of shells are hot to the touch. Serve hot or at room temp.
COLD ROAST-MEAT PLATTER (polmisek zimnych mies) -- On lettuce-lined platter run different types of cold cooked meats in rows. This could include roast pork loin (schab pieczony), boiled beef tongue (ozor wo_owy gotowany), roast veal (piecze? ciel?ca), roast beef (piecze? wo_owa), larded beef roast (sztufada), beef tenderloin (pol?dwica wo_owa), roast turkey (indyk pieczony) and/or smoked turkey slices. Trim platters with spiced cherries and/or plums, sliced radishes and dill-pickle spears. Some of the above are available at Polish delis.
COLD BEEF TONGUE (ozor wolowy na zimno) -- Place beef tongue in pot, add water to cover it by 2-3 inches and 1 T salt and cook 2 hours. Add 1 portion soup greens, 10 peppercorns, 1 bayleaf, 2 cloves and 3 grains allspice and cook another hr or until fork-tender. Remove white skin under cold running water and set tongue aside to cool. When cooled to room temp, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Slice when well chilled. Arrange slices on platter trimmed with spiced cherries and/or plums and sprigs of parsley. Each slice may be topped with a grating of fresh horseradish root on platter.
COLD ROAST TURKEY (indyk pieczony na zimno) -- Arrange slices of home-roasted or deli-bought roast turkey on platter and decorate with spiced plums and/or spiced cherries.
POTATO SALAD (salatka kartoflana) -- Cook 7-8 med-large potatoes in skins in boiling water until fully cooked but still firm (no falling apart). Remove skins under cold running water and set aside to cool. Dice potatoes and place in salad bowl. Add 1 finely chopped onion and 2 chopped dill pickles. Season with salt, pepper, caraway seeds (about 1/2 t partially crushed in mortar)and 1 T or so finely chopped fresh dill. Fork-blend 1/3 c cider or white wine vinegar with 1/2 c extra virgin olive oil (or other salad oil) and pour over salad. Toss gently.
GREEN PEA SALAD (salatka z zielonego groszku) -- In salad bowl combine 4-5 c drained, canned baby peas, 1 bunch finely chopped green onions, 2-3 diced dill pickles, 1 diced sweet red bell pepper, a heaping T capers and 3 - 5 diced hard-cooked eggs. Lace with just enough spring sauce (above) to coat the ingredients.
STUFFED HAM ROLLS OR HORNS (ruloniki lub rozki z szynki nadziewane) -- An attractive (and economical!) way to serve sliced boiled ham is to spread each slice with a little green pea salad (above) and roll up into an roll or a horn (open at one end and closed at the other). Decorate with fresh bell pepper strips and/or pickled peppers, radishes, sprigs of parsley, tufts of chives, etc.
FRESH BEER-BAKED KIELBASA (biala kielbasa zapiekana w piwie) -- Place 3 lbs fresh kielbasa in single layer in baking pan. Drench with 2 c beer and enough water to barely cover the sausage. Bake in pre-heated 375? oven 30 min. Smother with 4 thinly sliced onions and bake another 30 min. Cut into 4 to 5-inch portions and serve.
BEET & HORSERADISH RELISH (cwikla tradycyjna) -- In pot combine 2/3 c 6% distilled, cider or wine vinegar, 1/2 c water, 1 t salt, 2 T sugar, 1 t caraway, 2 grains allspice, 1 crumbled bay leaf and 8 peppercorns. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 min. Scrub 4 beets but do not peel. Bake in pre-heated 350? 90 - 120 min. or until a fork goes in easily. Plunge into cold water and, when cool enough to handle, peel. Grate coarsely, toss with 2 - 3 heaping T prepared horseradish. Pour strained, slightly cooled marinade over beet mixture, seal and refrigerate overnight.
KIElBASA & SAUERKRAUT (kielbasa zapiekana w kapuscie) -- Drain and rinse in cold water 2 - 3 qts sauerkraut. Drain, press out moisture, chop coarsely if desired, place in pot, scald with boiling water to cover, add 1 bay leaf and cook uncovered 60 min. Drain and transfer to baking pan. Cut baked fresh kielbasa prepared as above into 2Ó or 3Ó pieces and mix with sauerkraut together with the kielbasa pan drippings. Sprinkle with 1 crushed mushroom cube and bake in 350? oven 90 min or so. Leave in oven 20 min after switching off heat. Taste improves with each reheating. Note: Smoked kielbasa may also be used.
VEAL ROAST (pieczen cieleca) -- Slice 2-5 cloves garlic into 4-6 vertical slivers. In a 6-7 lb veal rump, loin or boneless shoulder roast make as many incisions as you have slivers of garlic. Sear the meat all over in hot fat until a brown crust forms on the outside and place in uncovered roasting pan on rack in a preheated 350 ?- 375? oven. Place several thin strips of pork fatback on meat and roast about 3 hr or until done. Cool to room temp and refrigerate over night. Slice thin when cold and arrange on platter with desired platter-trimmers of choice.
EASY BAKING-POWDER BABKA (latwa babka na proszku) -- Cream 1 c + 1 T butter or margarine with 1-1/4 c sugar. Continue beating while gradually adding 4 eggs, alternately with 1-1/2 c flour mixed with 3 t baking powder. Add a pinch of salt, 1/2 c raisins and several drops of flavoring extract of choice: vanilla rum, almond or lemon. (Variation: 1/4 - 1/2 t cinnamon may be used in place of flavoring extracts.) Mix well, transfer dough to greased, flour-sprinkled babka pan and bake at 350? about 1 hr. Glaze or dust with confectioner's sugar.
HAZELNUT MAZURKA CAKE (mazurek orzechowy) -- Mix 1-1/2 c uncooked rolled oats with 1/2 c ground hazelnuts (filberts) and brown in hot, dry frying-pan, stirring constantly. When cool, stir in 4 T sour cream. Separately, beat 3 raw egg yolks with 1 c confectioner's sugar until white and combine with oat-nut mixture. Add 1 level t baking powder, several drops almond extract and a pinch of salt. Mix well. Beat 3 egg whites to a stiff froth and gently fold into mixture. Transfer mixture to greased baking pan and shape into 3/4' tall square or rectangle. Smooth top and even out sides. Bake in pre-heated 375F oven about 20 min or until golden. After cake has cooled, glaze with icing, made by combining 2/3 c confectioner's sugar, 2 T cocoa, juice of 1 lemon and 1 T boiling water. Decorate top with hazelnut halves.
ul. Kaniowska 24, 01-529
* How Polonia in US celebrates Easter
* Easter: Trendy or Traditional?
* The Polish Chef
* The Polish swiecone spread
© Copyright 2002 by Andrzej M. Salski