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Polish Recipes-Side Dish

Polish Recipes-Side Dish

These classic Polish foods have remained unchanged for centuries. Served on their own or as an accompaniment, vegetables in Poland reflect the cold climate. Cabbage, beet root, turnip and the staples are often preserved by salting or pickling. Mushrooms and potatoes are very popular in Polish cooking. Uszka - "little ears", are mushroom dumplings, traditionally served in Poland with clear soups. They are delicious on their own, tossed in a little melted butter.

Polish Beets (Buraczki po Polsku) 
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup yogurt
5 medium cooked beets, peeled and shredded
3 tablespoons horseradish, to taste
12 teaspoons sugar
pepper, freshly ground
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Saute the onion in the butter for three to five minutes. Stir in the flour. Add the yogurt and heat to just below the boiling point. Add the beets, horseradish and sugar, and heat thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with the parsley.

Polish Dumplings (Pierogi, Pierozki) 

5 cups flour
1 tablespoon salt
2-3 eggs
1 cup water (enough to bind ingredients, but not sticky)

Mix dry ingredients. Combine eggs with 2/3 of the water, mix into dry gradually, then add more water until a fully formed well mixed ball comes away from the sides of the bowl. Let rest for 10 minutes - covered. Sprinkle a little amount of flour on board. Divide dough and roll thin. Cut circles with a large biscuit cutter or drinking glass. Place a small spoonful of filling in center of each round; fold and press edges together firmly to seal. Make sure edges are sealed tight before boiling. Drop the pierogi into salted boiling water. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Lift out of water with a perforated spoon.

Pierogi can be frozen after boiling. You can fry them immediately in a large skillet with sautéed onions and butter. Fry pierogi on both sides till golden brown.

Cheese and Chives Filing:
1 pound Ricotta red label
3 chive stalks finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt

Mix together in one bowl. Cover and set aside.

Cheese Filing:
1 cup dry curd cottage cheese or farmer's cheese
2 tsp butter, melted
1 egg beaten
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Run the cheese through a ricer or a coarse sieve. Mix well
with remaining ingredients.

Cabbage Filing:
1 Small Head cabbage
7 Cans of sauerkraut 10 oz. cans
1 Small onion
1 Clove of garlic
10 Tbsp. butter
Salt and Pepper to taste

Shred cabbage, scald with boiling water to cover, bring to boil, and cook 15 minutes. Rinse, drain, cool, and thoroughly wring moisture from cabbage and sauerkraut; set aside. Separately, in skillet simmer chopped onion and garlic in 3 T. butter until tender. Add cabbage, sauerkraut and remaining butter to onions in skillet, stir to mix ingredients, salt and pepper to taste, and simmer under cover till tender. Uncover and simmer a while longer, stirring constantly until moisture evaporates. Transfer to sieve and press out excess moisture. Chop fine or grind. Allow mixture to stand in refrigerator (in covered bowl) for twenty four hours prior to filling pierogi dough.

Mushroom Filling:

16 oz. Fresh, wild, or store-bought mushrooms
1 oz. Dried mushrooms, soaked, cooked and chopped
1 Egg
2 Onions, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
4 Tbsp. butter
Salt and Pepper to taste

Wash, chop and simmer fresh mushrooms together with onions in butter under cover about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover, add cooked and chopped dry mushrooms and continue simmering until moisture evaporates and mushrooms begin to sizzle. Run mushrooms and onions through meat grind together with 1 dry Kaiser roll. Add 1 egg to mixture, mix well. Add salt, pepper add a chopped parsley, and firm up with a little bread crumbs if necessary. You can keep mixture in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Potato Filling:
2 lb Potatoes (6 medium)
1/2 lb Butter
2 Onions
1 Egg
2 Tbsp. bread crumbs (optional)
2 Tbsp. chopped chives (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook peeled potatoes or potatoes in jackets (skins), and peel under cold running water. Mash well . Meanwhile, lightly brown finely chopped onions in butter. Combine the potatoes with the onions, egg, bread crumbs, and chopped chives. Note: The egg and bread crumbs may be omitted.

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