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Old 12-25-2013, 11:17 AM
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Default Polish food on Christmas Eve

I decided to honor the Polish side of my family, now all gone except for one aunt, by serving a meal of Polish dishes to my Dad (they were his in-laws) on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve was the big deal on the Polish side of the family - all the traditional food dishes were served then, and all the gifts (usually between 75 and 100!) were opened that night.

Anyway, last night, for Dad and myself, I served kielbasa, kapusta (cabbage) and kluski (noodles). Please excuse all misspellings!

The kielbasa was a fresh Boar's Head, put in a baking pan, with water halfway up. Baked in a 350 oven for half hour, flip the kielbasa, bake for half hour more.

Lee's Kapusta

There are as many different variations of "Kapusta" as there are Polish cooks. I just went with cabbage, dill, butter and some re-hydrated dried wild mushrooms (not pictured).

1 small head cabbage, large chopped
1/4 cup fresh dill
1/2 stick butter
splash of vinegar
1/4 cup rehydrated wild mushrooms (optional)

Boil the cabbage until just tender. Drain WELL.

Mix in butter, dill and salt. Add a couple of drops of vinegar. Mix in chopped rehydrated mushrooms, if desired.


Lee's Kluski

1 bag egg noodles
2 pkgs. Farmer's Cheese (or drained ricotta)
small chunk salt pork
small yellow onion
lots of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chicken broth (or use water from noodles)

Small-dice salt pork and slowly render out the fat, until cubes are crisp. Drain and set aside.

Chop onion and cook in fat until lightly browned. Drain and set aside. Discard fat unless you want to make "squarkie" sp?(my Aunt Stella saved the fat and poured it in a bowl, over chopped raw onions. She would spread the congealed mixture on rye bread. Sounds awful - tasted wonderful!)

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain WELL.

Break up the Farmer's Cheese a big and grind black pepper all over it.

Mix the cheese with the hot noodles, adding in a little broth or noodle water to make the mixture less "gloppy). Mix in salt pork and onions.

Add more pepper - the black pepper makes the dish!

Kapusta (cabbage, dill and butter)

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Fried out salt pork cubes

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Salt pork and onions, draining

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Farmer's Cheese

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Kluski (noodles, cheese, salt pork, onions, BLACK PEPPER!)

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Boar's Head fresh kielbasa

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Polish dinner

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Old 12-25-2013, 12:15 PM
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Default Re: Polish food on Christmas Eve

I remember all the Polish Food we would get at holiday time.
Babka, Chruschki (love knots), Polish rye bread, Christmas kielbasa, have to have horseradish with it, pierogies, ham, kabanosa (dried kielbasa-delish to munch on) Polish mustard, prune babka, poppy seed cake....punchkies (like a jelly donut).....yum! and the Polish Cheesecake! wow--not as sweet as regular cheesecake but so good!
My dad loved the fresh kielbasa also... and the sledgies (pickeled herring)
and the Kolendies---Polish Christmas Carols.....
My dad and I would spend over a hundred dollars at the Polish Store. We would give some babka's and chruschki out as Christmas gifts to our friends.
I miss all that now. It will be 3 years since I had any of this. January 3rd will be 2 yrs since my dad passed...
The Kolendies are beautiful...
I am so glad that you continued the tradition for your dad! I am sure he appeciated and enjoyed it throughly...
When my dad was able to eat it, his kapusta had the dried mushrooms, kielbasa, and sauerkraut in it...delish!
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Old 12-25-2013, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: Polish food on Christmas Eve

Hi Cooksie!

I didn't know you were a "paisan"!

Yep, we had horseradish with the kielbasa, and I thought of rye bread, but we thought the noodles were enough.

I haven't had chruschki in years! Yum!

As for Kolenda, I started singing a carol to my aunt in the nursing home, hoping she would join in, but she was more interested in opening her gifts, lol! Wish I had someone to sing them with now!

Was the Polish store your Dad went in the Boston area? Do you remember what it was called and where it was? I would love to try some of that dried kielbasa! Wonder if I could make some???

Lee
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Old 12-25-2013, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Polish food on Christmas Eve

Yes, I am a 'paisan'! LOL
There is a Polish store in, I think South Boston or Dorchester. I have never been there, but my cousin has. I think the name is Polonius.
Also, there is one in the Salem mall. That one is ok--lots of a variety of things. We did not care so much for their brand of kielbasa.
The one we went to was in Haverhill. We thought it was the best of the bunch. It is really a small farm stand/market, called Wally's Vegetables. The kielbasa we love is Blue Seal from Chicopee. They used to get their supply in once a week, the bread on Saturday mornings around 11am.
It was a drive getting there, from Revere, but the owners and staff (one person) were so helpful and kind. The kabonosa was kind of like a 'slim jim'. It is great to much on. The pierogies were labeled Polish Queen, I think. The horseradish is the red (beet) one-Wolzniak. We also preferred their babkas.
Oh, and try the dill pickles! YUM! They are a brand name but so much better than what you can get at the Stop & Shop..
I hope it is still there. I have a hankering for some real Polish food now.
I have also made golumpkies on several occasions. So much work, but so good.
Never mastered pierogies, though...

PS
I purchased my kolendy cd's from Amazon.
Let me know if you visit any of these places. I would love to know what you thought of them.
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Old 12-25-2013, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: Polish food on Christmas Eve

Cookingirl, I'm going to save your post because want to see if I can find one or more of these places!

Blue Seal is the BEST kielbasa, since I can't find First Prize. I adore dill pickles, and want to try those.

Pierogi is best made with three people. It's okay with two, and possible for one, but a PITA.

Here's a good thread from here, about homemade pierogi. http://www.netcookingtalk.com/forums...hlight=pierogi

I would be happy to help you master them, if you'd like.

Lee

Last edited by QSis; 04-27-2014 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 12-26-2013, 07:08 AM
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Default Re: Polish food on Christmas Eve

Thanks for the link. I will save it.
My mom used to make pierogi, by herself! She was a great cook!
It is so good to remember the traditional foods we grew up on!
If you do visit any of these stores, or find a new one, please let me know!
I think a trip in mid-January, depending on weather and if/when I have shoulder surgery, is in order!
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