Polish cuisine presents a unique combination of the culinary traditions of the various nationalities, that have lived in this country for centuries - Hebrews, Ukrainians, Belarusians and Lithuanians. Beside them, we see Russian, German, Czech and Austrian influences, as well as dishes typical of Italy, France and the Middle East.
A proven Polish specialty is "kielbasa". This is a sausage exposed to the smoke of junipers and fruit trees. In general, Polish chefs are experts when it comes to smoked ham, fillets and bacon. Meat pâtés are widely popular, as well as wild game.
Soup is a main part of the everyday eating habits of the Polish. One of their traditional soups is "borscht" or borscht with beetroots, usually served with "ushka" - small pelmeni with meat or mushrooms.
Preparation: Grate the beetroots and carrot on a course grater. Stew in a pot and add the tomatoes and pepper. Cut the cabbage into thin strips, and the potatoes into cubes. Also add in the meat, diced into smaller pieces, along with the water and broth. Boil in a pressure cooker for 45 min. It can be served with a spoon of sour cream or yoghurt.
Meat in Polish cuisine is prepared in every way possible - stewed, baked and fried. It is served both warm and cold. It is garnished with various sauces, mustard, grated horseradish, marinated mushrooms or pickles. The most well-known culinary specialty is "kotlet schabowy", which is essentially fried pork tenderloin.
Ingredients: 1 pork tenderloin, 3 crushed garlic cloves, 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, 3 basil leaves, 3 bunches of parsley, 1 cup of oil/olive oil, 1 tbsp dark balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp soya sauce.
Preparation: Remove the membranes from the tenderloin. Chop up all the spices, crush the garlic. In a bowl mix the olive oil with all of the spices and stir until homogeneous. Dip the tenderloin in this aromatic oil thoroughly. Leave it like this for about 1 hour, flipping it over often. Heat a saucepan on medium heat. Place the pork fillet in it with oil and fry, flipping over on both sides. Fry for about 8 minutes until golden on both sides (for a thinner tenderloin; and about 10 - 12 min. for a larger one).
The national dish of Poland is called "bigos". It is cooked for duration of 3 days. It contains sauerkraut, a few types of meat, smoked sausages and mushrooms. One of the tastiest dishes with beef is called "zrazy zawijane" - stewed roulade, stuffed with marinated pickles, sausages and mushrooms, and served with buckwheat.
When it comes to desserts, Polish cuisine takes pride in its stuffed rolls with poppy seeds or dried fruits and nuts and "mazurek" - a layered dessert, as well as "sernik" (similar to cheesecake), which is made using cottage cheese.
Ingredients: 1 and 1/4 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of margarine, 2 egg yolks, 1 egg white, 1 and 1/4 cups of powdered sugar, cream, 1 pinch of baking soda, 2 tsp of butter, 2 tbsp of cocoa, 1/2 cup of milk, carbonated water.
Preparation: Sift the flour with 1/2 a cup of powdered sugar and the baking soda. Add the finely cut margarine and crush the mixture. Add in the egg yolks and the cream. Make a hard dough, divide it into 3 parts. Roll out 2/3 of it into a sheet in the form of a rectangle. Place in an oven dish, cut off the edges and smear with the egg yolk.
On top, place cylinders made from the remaining 1/3 of the dough. Press them carefully so that they stick well. Bake in a strong oven until golden. Add 3/4 cup of powdered sugar and some carbonated water to the warm milk. Boil, while stirring constantly, until the glaze thickens. Add in the butter, and the cocoa after a little bit. Boil until you get the required consistency. Once the mazurek cools, pour this resulting glaze over it.