Here I am, hurriedly trying to take advantage of Treat’s nap and edit and upload photos for today’s post. As I open up my WordPress there isn’t a single draft to be found. I’m a compulsive “saver,” too, so I’m not quite sure how that happened – other than my computer died before I could plug it back in. But even still! Truth be told, I’m surprisingly taking this better than I could be. Here’s to hoping I can recreate my thoughts. Ready. Set. Go!
I can’t believe it’s taken me a good 7 months to finally crack into Rose Petal Jam: Recipes and Stories from a Summer in Poland. When Tara did a review of this spectacular cookbook, I knew I had to have it. Seriously, go read her post and you’ll be scrambling to order yourself a copy, too.
When my parents were here last month I had my mom look through the cookbook. My mom doesn’t mind cooking, but she says she hates deciding on what to cook. In fact, my blog has helped her find some new favorite dinners, and she is my biggest fan. Granted, she’s kind of obligated. Whenever she comes to visit I’ll ask what she wants for dinner and I’m always met with the same “I don’t decide” answer. Even tasked with making a decision from this Polish cookbook she wouldn’t commit to a recipe! She narrowed it down to 2 or 3 and I made the final verdict.
This Pork with Caraway and Onion (Pieczen Wieprzowa z Kminkiem) is the ultimate comfort food. Deliciously tender pork is flavored simply with salt, pepper, and caraway seeds seared and roasted underneath a pile of sweet onions.
Before I get on to the recipe I have a few notes to make:
- Pork neck is also called pork collar. I found my roast at a local Korean meat market.
- I only used about half of the rub.
- My onions didn’t get as golden as Beata’s, so I decided to caramelize them on the stove top while the meat rested. (Yum!)
- We served this roast with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut.
Pork with Caraway and Onions
- 2 lb pork neck or pork collar
- 2 tbsp caraway seeds
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1/2 C water
- Using a paring knife, cut shallow diagonals on the surface of the pork.
- In a small bowl, combine caraway seeds, salt, and pepper. Rub on the pork. Let rest 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Sear the pork on all sides. Top with the onions and add the water. Place in the oven and roast 40-50 minutes, or until a minimum internal temperature of 150 degrees F is reached. Allow pork to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.
Phew! Post scheduled as Treat’s cries come out over the monitor. Perfect timing!
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It’s that time of year
When the world falls in love
Every song you hear
Seems to say….
bake some cookies!
The opening lyrics are to The Christmas Waltz, a not as popular holiday song that was my first ever solo in middle school and a song that I hold dear.
But seriously, it’s that time of year for holiday parties and cookie exchanges and who better to have a cookie exchange than a wonderful group of food bloggers?! Today’s particular cookie exchange is with the Sunday Supper Movement. Be sure to scroll past my recipe for an incredible selection of cookie recipes to brighten your holiday season.
After the birth of my baby boy my mom was here for a couple weeks helping me adjust to life with two children. It was then that we decided to bake cookies, one of the culinary tasks my mom enjoys doing. We picked something of Polish origin – kolaczki. Mom remembers having these jam filled cookies as a kid. While the majority of the recipes online show a “rolled” cookie, Mom remembers having them as more of the typical “thumbprint” cookie. We decided to try the rolled cookie form – only 5 held their shape, so we made small circles from the remaining dough.
This recipe makes 4-5 dozen cookies.
- 3 sticks butter, softened
- 8oz cream cheese, softened
- 3 C flour
- jam for filling
- powdered sugar for rolling
- sugar for rolling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the flour, one cup at a time, and mix until incorporated. Refrigerate dough at least one hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets.
- Combine equal parts powdered sugar and sugar for rolling the cookie dough.
- For rolled form: Roll dough out to 1/6″ thickness, cut into 2×2″ squares, place jam diagonally down the center, fold two opposing corners over the filling. For thumbprint form: Make small balls from the dough and roll in the sugar mixture. Press flat and create a well for the jam.
- Place cookies on prepared baking sheets. Bake 15 – 20 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
*This recipe is adapted from Barbara at http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/polishdesserts/r/kolaczki.htm*
Plus, 20 Cookie Baking Tips and Holiday Cookie recipes from Sunday Supper
Join the #SundaySupper #Cookielicious Exhange Party conversation on twitter on Tuesday December 1st! Our chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.
This meal was always Mom’s request for her birthday dinner. (Maybe I get my love of breakfast for dinner from her!) She sent me Busia’s recipe and I got to cooking. I am excited to report that I only lost two pancakes during the process – the first I forgot to spray the pan and it stuck and ripped, the second was my last one and I used too much batter because I misjudged what was left in the bowl.
I wasn’t sure if this recipe was an actual Polish dish or simply one of my family’s creations. Turns out, these rolled crepes are called Nalesniki!
Nalesniki are Poland’s version of a crepe. The batter is thin and cooked in the same method you’d use for making crepes. You fill the pancake with whatever filling you like – I used cream cheese, orange marmalade, raspberry jam, and blackberry jam. The pancakes are rolled around the filling, placed in a casserole dish and baked. Top them with powdered sugar and you’re in for a delectable breakfast.
- 1 C flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 C milk
- 1/2 C water
- 1 tsp vanilla
- whatever fillings you want
- In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients. In another bowl whisk together the wet ingredients. Pour wet into dry until combined – it will be a thin batter.
- Pour 1/4 C batter into a small greased skillet. (I used non-stick cooking spray between each pancake) Swirl the pan around to create an even pancake. Once the pancake browns flip and cook another minute. Remove from skillet and fill with 1 tbsp of your filling. Fold pancake like you would an enchilada. Place seam side down in greased casserole dish.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees while you make the remaining pancakes. If you’re an impatient cook like me, I found that the amount of time it takes to fill and roll one pancake your next will be ready to flip! Don’t forget to respray the pan after each pancake. If you don’t lose any pancakes during the process, you should get 12 rolled pancakes.
- Bake 20 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
Happy Birthday, Mom!
Every Christmas Eve we have the traditional Polish meal of Pierogi. I have so many memories of helping my mom and grandma (Busia) assemble the pierogis. Busia would always make the dough and together the three of us would fill, pinch, boil, and fry. Eventually my mom took over the intimidating process of making the dough. And last year, it was my turn.
I followed tradition and made the dumplings about a week or two early and stored them in the freezer. Doing so takes off the stress during Christmas week. Making pierogi is an all day job! Because they freeze well, you don’t have to limit these to Christmas Eve. Make a batch and you have a great homemade freezer meal throughout the year.
Last year I recruited the help of Kate. I turn to Kate whenever I have baking to do, and making a dough is close enough! It’s also great to have extra hands when it’s time to assemble. This year, family friends helped Mom make hers two weeks ago.
The most common pierogi filling known to Americans is potato. But honestly, I’ve never had a potato pierogi. We fill ours with different canned fruits, cheese, and sauerkraut. And we serve them with salt and melted butter. Stuart actually broke the mold and used maple syrup!
Ingredients for dough:
- 1 1/2 C skim milk
- 3/4 C fat free half-and-half
- 5 C flour, divided plus more for rolling
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 XL egg
- 3 L egg yolks
Ingredients for filling:
- Cheese: 8 oz soft farmers cheese, 3 oz cream cheese, 1/4 – 1/3 tsp salt
- Fruit options: canned peaches, canned cherries (not pie filling), canned blueberries (not pie filling), canned strawberries (not pie filling), plums, figs
- Sauerkraut: cook 1 can drained, chopped onion, chopped cooked bacon, caraway seeds, water, little bit of flour to thicken if needed, 1 tbsp brown sugar (This can be made ahead of time and frozen)
- Spray the bottom of a large pot. (I used my dutch oven)
- Over medium heat, bring milk and half-and-half almost to boiling point.
- Whisk in 1 C flour. Switch to a flat bottomed wooden spoon and stir often for 20 minutes over low heat until almost smooth.
- Remove from heat and add butter and 1 tsp salt. Let stand, partially covered, for 1+ hour.
- In a small bowl, gently whisk egg and egg yolks.
- Add eggs to dough along with 1 C flour. Stir until combined. Add another 1 C flour. Stir until combined. Add another 1 C flour. Stir until combined.
- Turn dough out onto a clean table or cutting board and knead in the last 1 C of flour.
- Refrigerate dough for 1+ hour.
- In batches roll out dough to 1/4″ thickness. (Leave dough in fridge) Flour the board, dough, and rolling pin as needed.
- Place filling on dough and fold over. Cut pierogi with a round glass. Squeeze dough shut and pinch the rims. They’ll look like half suns!
- Cook pierogi in boiling salted water for 10-12 minutes. They will float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Refrigerate. At this point you can freeze the pierogi once cooled.
- Fry pierogi in butter before serving.