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In the intro to this blog, I wrote about how my family was the root of my love of cooking, and no time is more filled with that feeling than these last days of December. Therefore this post will be a little less about recipes, and a little more about the tradition that is our Christmas Eve family meal. More »

apple pie ready

This classic deep dish apple pie is perfect not only for Thanksgiving but Christmas holidays as well. Since making pies is not really a Polish thing it took me a while to understand the difference from other baked desserts, but also to figure out a perfect crust and filling recipe. I again used America’s Test Kitchen instructions and they never let me down. I tried other recipes but the crust was never tender enough. Some recipes asked either for cold water or sour cream but this one asks for vodka. I know you may think that I made it up because I’m Polish but it wasn’t me this time! The vodka will make the crust easy to roll out, will keep it moist, and will leave no taste of vodka to it in the end. Another problem I always had with pies was the apple filling; it would be too watery, and the apples would be mushy and never stay in place when cutting the slice. So the solution for that was to use two different types of apples and precook them. Heating the apples will help keep them firm and not mushy after baking in the oven because their pectin, when heated, changes into a stable form. More »

16. December 2013 · 2 comments · Categories: Pork · Tags: , , ,

loin2

This is definitely one of my favorite pork recipes. It’s a large serving so I would make it for special occasions with a few guests. And it just makes such a great presentation when ready that it doesn’t need much comment. All you will hear from your family and friends is mmmm and ahhhh.
I have brined the pork to make sure it will remain juicy throughout the whole cooking process. I’m also making a little chunky apple sauce so that you can serve the pork on a “cushion” of apples.
This is definitely a great recipe that I would recommend for the upcoming holidays. Pork and apples is the best marriage, and this one also goes perfectly with braised red cabbage with bacon and maple syrup. More »

cabbage2Fall and winter season seems like the perfect time for cooking more cabbage. My husband says that everything tastes better with bacon and with this cabbage it really does make a difference.
It’s a perfect side dish with roasted pork rib. It’s rich and hearty and will warm up your belly on a cold night. You can prepare it ahead of time on the day before you want to serve it. More »

10. December 2013 · 11 comments · Categories: Pork · Tags: , ,

bigos10
Since a friend asked me for a recipe for Polish traditional bigos (BEE-ghos) / hunter’s stew I thought it would be the perfect time to make some. It’s a very traditional Polish dish, and it’s prepared for the First Day of Christmas, for Easter, or for bigger family gatherings because, believe me, no matter how hard you try to make just a little, you will always end up with a giant pot of bigos. The cooking process should take 3 days if possible, but this time I decided to cook it for just 2 days. It doesn’t mean that it’s cooking for 72 hours non-stop. You cook it for minimum of 3 hours every day and then let all the ingredients combine while keeping it in the fridge.
The great thing about this dish is that you can always freeze it and have it whenever you feel like having a bowl filled with cabbage, meat and wild mushrooms. And it goes great with a shot of vodka, making a fantastic meal for a cold winter’s day. More »