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Polish Delights

POLISH PANCAKES WITH SMOKED SALMON AND SALAD GREENS

 

A trip to London in April and May gave me plenty of opportunity to try different restaurants and different nations’ recipes. First dinner out with members of the Hammersmith Rotary Club was at a Polish Restaurant. Below are three delicious recipes, the latter being the healthiest Polish dessert that I could find!

 

BEET SOUP – AN EASY POLISH BORSCHT RECIPE
Prep time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 10 minutes. Serves: 4

4 freshly roasted beets, washed, or 2 cups sliced canned or bottled
4 cups vegetable stock
2 minced cloves garlic
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice or 1 tbsp red-wine vinegar
Sea Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Chopped boiled potatoes, optional
Garnish: Chopped fresh flat parsley or dill

In a medium pot, bring 4 cups vegetable stock to boil. Add *cooked and sliced beets (or canned or bottled beets), garlic, fresh lemon juice (or red-wine vinegar), salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 10 minutes. Serve hot with boiled potatoes and garnish.

*Note: To roast fresh beets, heat oven to 400 degrees F. Wrap 4 beets in aluminum foil and roast until tender, about 40 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel and slice into strips or julienne.

Hint: To serve cold – cool soup quickly in an ice-water bath and refrigerate. Garnish before serving.

 

POLISH PANCAKES WITH SMOKED SALMON AND SALAD GREENS
Prep time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 10 minutes. Serves: 4

3 – 4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled
1 small onion, peeled, finely chopped and squeezed dry
1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp plain flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Oil for shallow frying

Use the coarse side of a box grater, grate potatoes and soak, rinse with cold water until water runs clear; pat dry. Put potato and onion in a large bowl with garlic. Add egg, flour, salt, and pepper; stir everything together – the mixture should be quite thick. Heat a little oil in a heavy skillet, over high heat. Drop three or four mounds of the mixture in the skillet and flatten to make small pancakes. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, turning once, until golden brown. Transfer fritters to a warmed plate lined with a paper towel. Repeat until all the potato mixture is used. Add a little fresh oil when necessary.

To serve: Present potato pancakes on warm plate with an attractively placed piece of salmon on top with a mound of salad greens, and drizzle of good Balsamic Vinegar.

Hint: You can serve the pancakes immediately or keep them warm, wrapped in aluminum foil in a warm oven.

 

NALESNIKE AKA CREPES *WITH SWEET CREAM CHEESE AND SOUR CHERRIES
Prep time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 15 minutes. Serves: 4 or more

Batter for Crepes:
1-1/2 cups whole milk
4 whole organic eggs
1 cup flour
3 tbsp butter
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp sugar

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until foamy. Refrigerate for about an hour (or at least a half hour). Butter a small skillet and pour in a ¼ cup of batter, swirl to lightly cover pan. Cook 2 to 3 minutes. Use spatula to loosen edges, flip crepe, leave a moment and remove. Place on heated plate with paper towel; fold in half then in quarter. Repeat until all batter is used.

*Note: The Polish fill their Nalesnike (aka Crepe) with the cream cheese and sour cherries, but you can just sprinkle a little icing sugar on top to satisfy your sweet tooth!

 

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