Foods from Around the World: POLAND

RYBA PO GRECKU – Greek style fish

Prep: 10 min | Cook Time: 20 Min | Serves: 5


  • 500g white fish fillets (cod, haddock, or any firm white fish)
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 5 tbsp oil
  • 4 med carrots, coarsely grated
  • 2 med onions, chopped
  • 2 med parsnips, coarsely grated
  • ½ med celeriac (celery root), peeled & coarsely grated
  • 6 tbsp tomato paste
  • 5 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 tbsp olive oil + more for frying fish
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 2/3-1 cup water or more depending on preference
  • 2 tbsp flour for coating the fish


Vegetable sauce: chop onion and coarsely grate the other vegetables.  In a pot heat up 3 tbsp of the oil, add the bay leaf, allspice and onions and fry gently over a medium heat for 4 minutes until golden.

Add the grated carrots, parsnip, celeriac, parsley, seasoning, paprika and some of the water.  Stir, cover and cook for 5 minutes stirring often. Add the tomato puree, the rest of the water and continue cooking for 6-8 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Remove from heat, stir in the butter, adjust the seasoning if needed and set aside.

Season the fish pieces and coat in the flour.  Fry in 3 tbsp of oil over a fairly high heat for about 2 minutes on each side (or longer if your fish pieces are thicker). Serve immediately with the vegetable stew. Alternatively chill the fish and stew first, then place the fish in a large shallow dish, cover with the stew and serve.


Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 1 hr 25 mins


  • 2 med chicken leg quarters, skin removed
  • 5 cups water, to cover
  • ½ head cabbage, chopped
  • 2 med carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch ground thyme
  • 1 pinch dried marjoram
  • 1 pinch salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 small dill pickles, sliced
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sour cream


Place chicken legs in a large pot and cover with water. Add cabbage, carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, parsley, garlic, thyme, marjoram, salt, and black pepper.

Cover pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for about 1 hour. Transfer 1 cup chicken and vegetable broth to a saucepan. Heat broth and pickles over medium-low for about 15 minutes. Return pickle broth to large pot.

Mix flour and sour cream in a bowl. Stir into soup; bring to a boil until thickened, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

GOLABKI – stuffed cabbage

[pronounced goh-wom-kee]

Prep Time: 45 mins | Cook Time: 90 mins | Serves 8


  • 2/3 cup white rice
  • 2 heads green cabbage
  • 8 slices bacon, cut in 1” pieces
  • 1½ lb. ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 x 16 oz. cans tomatoes
  • 2 x 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 2 bay leaves


Cook rice according to package directions, cool.

Remove core from cabbage; run hot water into cored area to help remove outer leaves. Remove 8-12 leaves from each head of cabbage, chop remaining cabbage and place in two baking dishes (or a large dutch oven), sprinkle with salt.

Boil cabbage leaves until limp, about 5 minutes, drain and rinse in cold water. Cut about 2 inches of the heavy center vein from the leaves.

Cook bacon with ½ cup onion till bacon is crisp. Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, and bay leaves, simmer, covered, while preparing the rest of the dish, remove bay leaves before adding to dish. Combine cooked rice, egg, ground beef, the remaining ½ cup onion, 1 tsp salt, and pepper; mix well. Place about 1/4 cup rice mixture in centre of each cabbage leaf; fold in sides and then roll ends over rice. Place rolls, seam side down, on top of chopped cabbage. Pour tomato mixture over cabbage rolls.

Cover; bake at 350 degrees for 1¼ to 1½ hours. Freezes well.

KROKIETY – Polish Croquettes

Veggie fillings should be finely chopped. Meat fillings should be cooked, shredded or ground.


(for crepes: see Nalesnika recipe below)

For filling:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 8 ozs mushrooms, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ½ cup sauerkraut, drained
  • ½ cup meat of your choice
  • ½ cup grated cheese or white sauce (you could use jarred Alfredo sauce)

For assembling:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • oil for frying


For the filling: Add butter and chopped mushrooms, and onion to a frying pan and cook until tender. Add sauerkraut and cooked meat. Add grated cheese or white sauce and stir to combine. Set aside.

To assemble: Put 2 tbsp of filling on a crepe, if the crepe were a clock, position the filling between 10 & 2 o’clock, keeping it about an inch from the edges, fold the top over the filling and fold the sides in and continue rolling. Repeat until you run out of crepes or filling.

Whisk egg and water. Carefully dip rolled crepes in the egg wash and then roll in breadcrumbs. Heat oil, about ½” deep, to 350 F over high to medium high heat. Carefully place Krokiety in hot oil, cooking until golden brown, about one minute on each side. Serve with mushroom sauce or gravy.

ZUREK – soup with egg and sausage

Prep: 30 mins | Cook: 45 mins | Servings: 6

NOTE: requires 5 days to ferment rye flour with water in a jar.


Ryemeal Sour:

  • 3/4 cup rye flour
  • 2 cups water boiled and cooled to lukewarm


  • ½ lb peeled and chopped vegetables (carrots, parsnips, celery root, leeks)
  • 6 cups water
  • ½ lb fresh (white) Polish sausage (kielbasa)
  • 1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 cups ryemeal sour (see above)
  • 1 heaping tbsp all-purpose flour mixed with 4 tbsp water
  • 1 garlic clove crushed with ½ tsp salt to make a paste
  • 3 large hard-cooked eggs (optional)


Make the Ryemeal Sour:

In a medium bowl, mix together rye flour with lukewarm water. Pour into a glass jar or ceramic bowl that has room for the mixture to expand. Cover with cheesecloth and let stand in a warm place for 4 to 5 days.

Make the Soup:

In a large soup pot, bring soup vegetables and water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.
Add sausage, return to the boil, reduce heat and cook another 30 minutes. Remove sausage from soup, slice when cool enough to handle, and set aside.
Strain stock through a sieve, pressing on the vegetables to extract as much flavour as possible. Discard the vegetables, skim the fat off the stock and return the stock to a clean soup pot. Add the potatoes and ryemeal sour to the stock, adding salt if necessary. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook until potatoes are al dente.
Whisking constantly, add flour-water mixture, reserved sliced cooked sausage and garlic-salt paste. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender.
Serve with half a hard-cooked egg in each serving, and rye bread on the side.

MIZERIA – cucumber salad

Prep Time: 30 mins | Serves 4


  • 2 cucumbers
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp finely cut chives or green onions
  • 1 tbsp finely cut fresh dill
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper


Peel the cucumbers, slice lengthwise and remove the seeds.

Slice as thin as possible, no more than 1/8 inch. Spread out the slices and sprinkle with salt. After 20 minutes pat and press with a paper towel.

Combine the sour cream, vinegar, chives, dill, sugar, ½ tsp salt and pepper.

Mix everything together and chill.

BIGOS – A hearty hunter’s stew, a Polish classic!


  • ½ lb pork, diced
  • ½ lb beef, diced
  • ½ lb ham, diced
  • 1 lb Polish sausage, quartered lengthwise and sliced
  • 4 medium onions, sliced 1 lb slab bacon, diced
  • 1 container mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 lbs sauerkraut, drained, rinsed
  • 2 lbs canned diced tomatoes
  • 4 apples, peeled, cored, grated
  • ½ cup pitted prunes, quartered
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tbsp caraway seeds
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil


Season the pork and beef with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to a large dutch oven, and saute the meat and onions in batches, cooking until the meat is browned and the onions begin to caramelize.
Brown the bacon.
Combine all the ingredients, and simmer at least two hours, or overnight.
Serve as is, over noodles, or with buckwheat.

NALESNIKI [nah-lesh-nee-kee]

– crepes with cheese & fruit

Prep Time: 70 min | Cook Time: 10 min | Yield: 6 crepes


For the crepes:

  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

For the filling:

  • 12 ozs farmer’s cheese
  • 2 ozs cream cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • zest of a lemon 


For the crepes:

Combine the flour, milk, water, eggs, and salt. Let the batter rest for an hour. Add the butter and a little water if too thick.
Heat a pan over medium-high heat, brush with butter. Add a scant 1/4 cup of batter, tilting and shaking the pan to spread the batter into a circle approximately 8” in diameter.
Just as the top of the batter begins to set, flip the crepe and cook the other side for about 15 seconds.
Repeat until the batter is used up

For the filling:

Combine the cheeses, egg yolk, sugar. Stir in butter, salt, and lemon zest.

To assemble:

Spoon a line of filling about 1 inch by 4 inches in each crepe. Fold the sides in and roll to wrap filling.
Lightly brown filled crepes on both sides in butter. Top as desired.

Author: LivingSpaces

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