Staples of a Polish Feast
Polish cuisine is a favorite among Americans with Polish descent, as well as people without ties to the cuisine. Typically hearty and filling, Polish dishes are usually made up of enough carbs and meat to keep you full for days. A lot of work and care goes into preparing a traditional Polish feast, so they tend to be observed for special occasions, like holidays. If you’re up for a new challenge, take your culinary academy skills to the next level and try your hand at preparing some of Poland’s most beloved dishes:
Stuffed eggs: While deviled eggs are popular appetizers all over the world, the Polish step it up a notch with their traditional stuffed egg recipes. What sets these apart from traditional deviled eggs is that the shell is kept on while serving, and the person eating them scoops the egg out of the shell. After hard boiling them, cut the egg in half lengthwise and remove the yolk. Mix the yolk with sour cream or mayonnaise, fill the egg white back up, and dip the stuffed side in breadcrumbs. Once the egg has been covered, put it face down in a buttered hot skillet and garnish with some fried onions or chives. These are sure be a hit at your next party, whether they’re served alongside other Polish dishes or not.
Hunter’s stew: Another huge staple in Polish cuisine is cabbage. Cabbage or sauerkraut is a main ingredient in bigos, or hunter’s stew. Meat is also an important part of the dish – though there is no strict rule about which kind of meat to use. Kielbasa is a favorite, but you can also use pork, ham, bacon, veal or beef. If you want to get a little more daring, don’t hesitate to use venison or rabbit, either. Most variations of hunter’s stew utilize plenty of spices and seasonings, like juniper berries, bay leaves or caraway, as well as some red or white wine. This dish is usually made in big batches, so it can last days, and is served alongside mashed potatoes or bread. Many Polish restaurants even spoon it into bread bowls.
Pierogi: Pierogi is one of the most popular Polish dishes in the U.S., and for good reason. Is there anything not to love about a noodle stuffed with potato and cheese? However, potato and cheese isn’t the only way to prepare these delicious dumplings. Some variations of pierogi are stuffed with a sweet cheese called farmer’s cheese, while others house sauerkraut or a mixture of meat and onion. Dessert pierogi is also especially popular in the U.S., usually stuffed with strawberries or blueberries and a sweet cheese. Pierogi can be boiled, sauteed or even fried.
Paczki: Paczki is a special type of doughnut typically eaten in America as part of a Fat Tuesday celebration. However, in Poland, these doughnuts are typically served throughout the summer or carnival season. One of the post popular Fat Tuesday paczki is custard filled. Though in Poland, they’re typically filled with jelly, rose marmalade or various liqueurs.