Barszcz Czerwony – Polish Red Borscht

A simple, yet healthy recipe. Borscht is made in Eastern Europe; from Russia to Ukraine, to Poland. Poland also has another borscht, that is white (without beets, barszcz biały).

After browsing recipes in English and Polish, the Polish variety of borscht is very simple. Some may make a fermented beet starter, also known as kwas. Others simple make it a beet soup. You can’t really add beets to anything without making a mess, so be prepared for some clean up (I don’t recommend storing leftovers of this one as this can make a mess)

There are basic ingredients in the soup, nothing fancy:

  • Beets, or beet kwas
  • Garlic
  • Onions (white or yellow)
  • Beef, Vegetable, or Chicken Broth
  • Marjoram or allspice
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Vinegar, or lemon juice (if omitting the kwas
  • (Optional: carrots and celery)
  1. You can either bake the beets in the oven first, or add in them chopped, raw. Either way, start with sautéing your onion.
  2. Then add garlic and beets, and any other vegetable you are using.
  3. Add stock, vinegar or lemon juice, and seasoning, and simmer for as long as you would like.
  4. It is optional to top with fresh dill and/or sour cream as well.

Side note: the Polish borscht is the simplest of them all. Russians may add cabbage and meat as well, and the Ukrainians add extras as well. There is also a traditional Christmas meal in Poland where mushrooms are added to the borscht.

I hope you enjoyed reading, learning, and cooking!

New Scandinavian Cooking

A show on KLRN that showcases the beautiful land of Scandinavia as well as the cuisine of Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, and Denmark.

Each show features a different area such as the mountainous regions of Norway to the southern coastal lands of Finland. The regions have their own cuisine and the host really focuses on the history and why the food is popular where it is. For example, rye grain is heartier than wheat and actually become a staple out of necessity in order to brave the tough years where wheat would not survive.

The meals they make during each show is not cooked in a kitchen but rather the outdoors. They have a mobile cooking setup where you see the beautiful scenery while getting to know Scandinavian cuisine.

Salata Od Hobotnice -Octopus Salad

This is a Croatian dish, specifically from the coastal region of Dalmatia. It starts with a simple dressing mix of:

  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • S+P
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Olives and/or capers
  • Vinegar (I used balsamic vinegar)
  • Lemon Juice

It then gets mixed with cooked octopus (I used the frozen cooked squid tentacles and threw in some mussels as well), and also boiled golden potatoes cut into chunks.

  • Octopus or squid (cooked)
  • Golden potatoes
  • Mussels not standard but optional

Not traditional, but I also topped it with:

  • Pimiento

Banana peppers may added as well, and again; mussels are not the standard

Other common ingredients include:

  • Bay leaf
  • Onions

Haluski

An Eastern European food typically attributed to Polish origin. It can be a vegetarian dish by not using pork, and is mostly omitted anyways. I added it for more filling. This takes about 10 minutes from starting your prep to finish. Cheap, delicious, and easy.

  • Butter
  • Onion
  • Cabbage
  • Egg noodles
  • (Optional) – pork: bacon, pancetta, kielbasa
  1. Heat a pot of water and a pan with some butter and pork if using.
  2. Chop the onion then put in pan of butter and sauté for a couple minutes
  3. Add egg noodles to water then chop your cabbage
  4. Add your cabbage and some salt and pepper to pan of onions and cook until soft
  5. Add drained egg noodles.
  6. Done

Himmel und Erde

“Heaven and earth”. Mashed potatoes and apples.

  1. Peel an equal amount of apples and potatoes, then large dice the potatoes and large slice the apples.
  2. Boil gently until both are tender in salted water.
  3. Drain, mash together, then add butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Rödkål

A Swedish way of cooking red cabbage. It is very similar to the German Rotkohl, except I found there are less recipes with green apple. I originally found Rödkål in “Swedish Touches”, and then looked for recipes in Swedish.

  1. Sautée shredded cabbage in butter or lard
  2. Add water and salt, then cover. Simmer until halfway done
  3. Add cloves, apple cider vinegar, and sugar. Finish cooking

Gnocchi

Gnocchi is a very simple potato pasta.

  • Potatoes – 2lbs, peeled
  • Flour 3/4-1 cup if baking potatoes, 1 1/2-1 3/4 if boiling potatoes
  • 1 egg
    Peel potatoes and slice into big chucks and boil gently until mashable, or bake on 350 until mushable.
    If you have a ricer, that is great; if not, mash your potatoes as finely as possible, then add the egg and some salt
    Add flour
    Knead until combined, but do not overmix, adding any flour as needed. As always, start with less and work your way up.
    Get a salted pot of water gently boiling
    Grab a small handful of dough while keeping the rest covered with a wet towel, and roll out the dough into 1″ cylinders. I use non-stick spray when rolling, but you can use flour.
    Use a pastry cutter to cut them into bite-sized pieces and roll smooth; it is optional to roll with a fork to create indentions, or you can even buy a gnocchi board for about $10.
    Boil for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Once they all float, I give it 20 seconds. I like mine al dente though you can cook it farther depending on preference. Scoop and drain them, and set on parchment paper.
    Sautée in butter or lard and use whatever sauce you choose

Arancini

More information about Arancini and possible variations is under recipe as always.

Classic Sicilian Arancini – Steps: Risotto, Meat Sauce, and Breading

Arancini is stuffed risotto, classically with a ragù sauce, then battered and deep or pan fried.

Risotto – make sure is it thick and the liquid is absorbed properly for shaping https://food-heritage-archives.com/2020/08/10/risotto/

Meat Sauce

  • Onion sautéed in oil
  • Ground Meat – your choice
  • Tomato Sauce and Paste
  • Peas
  • White or Red Wine
  1. Sautée onions in oil then brown the meat
  2. Deglaze with wine, then add peas, sauce, and paste to finish cooking meat
  3. You want the sauce to be the same consistency or thicker as the photo below as you will need to stuff the rice with this. If you think it is too thin, run the sauce through a sieve and add more tomato paste
  4. Put on a sheet pan to cool quicker

Breading – dip in flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs of choice.

  1. Put your risotto into one hand, flatten, and then add a heap of sauce. Cup hand to help shape into a ball, adding more risotto if needed to fill gaps. The size of a small lemon is perfect.
  2. Bread the arancini then let set in fridge for a good 1/2 hour at least. They are great to make ahead of time and then fry when you’re ready.

Frying

  • You oil should be in the the range of 350F if deep frying, but pan fry like any other food, rotating it as needed

Serving – It goes great with tomato sauce and some arugula. You can top with crispy bacon and mozzarella or try multiple cheeses to find your favorite.

More About Arancini, and variations

Arancini has been around for at least 1,000 years, so there have been many variations throughout the years, a very classic Italian way is this Sicilian style. Although most arancini you find in recipes or restaurants is strictly cheese-based, it traditionally has meat, and cheese is optional.

Good variations to do will be to actually add cheeses inside, such as half a small marinated mozzarella ball, or fontina.

A good option for the meat is pancetta or pork jowl, or, chicharrones or cracklings.

Kapuśniak

A Polish sauerkraut and pork soup. The pork used can include: bacon, Kielbasa, pork ribs, ham hock, or a combination of them. The vegetables used are normally: carrots, celery, potatoes, and of course cabbage in the form of sauerkraut. Common spices used are: peppercorn, allspice, bay leaves, dill, paprika, marjoram, parsley, and salt.

Recipe. Meat 1/3 lb chopped bacon, 1 lb pork ribs cut into 1 rib pieces. Vegetables (all diced except sauerkraut) 1 medium onion, 2 carrots, 1 lb sauerkraut, 1 large or 2 medium peeled potato. Spices 64 ounces of chicken stock, 3 allspice, 3 peppercorn, 3 bay leaves, 1/2 tsp marjoram.

  1. To start: Heat 2 tbsp of butter in a large pot and then put in the bacon, onions, carrots, and ribs. Brown the ribs slightly and crisp the bacon.
  2. Add the stock and the spices. Bring to a simmer then cook ribs to about 165, until almost fall off the bone.
  3. Put drained sauerkraut in a separate pan with 2 tbsp of butter and 3 tbsp sugar; cook until brown.
  4. Add sauerkraut and potatoes to pot and finish cooking ribs, until about 190 or when ribs fall off bone.