> Lemon and Strawberries: December 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The best herring salad ever! (Polish Christmas food #6)

As you might have noticed, we're eating a lot of fish on Christmas Eve in Poland - it's because traditionally we're not supposed to eat meat that day. And this is why we get pretty creative when it comes to fish based dishes! This salad is a perfect appetizer - it combines saltiness of herrings, sweetness of raisins and sour taste of the marinade it's made with. And before you'll think it's weird to make fishes with raisins - trust me, it's a perfect combo! Surprising, but amazing. This herring salad is one of traditional foods for Christmas in my family's house - my mom was the first to make it and since everyone loved it from a first bite, it became a must-have for every year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Honeypie with walnuts (miodownik) - Polish Christmas food #5

This is my favourite Christmas cake - it smells and tastes like heaven - honey & walnuts combination is simply amazing! It's made with two or more layers of honey shortbread with semolina based cream and topped with walnuts layer. This cake is another traditional food you'll find on my family's table during Christmas - since I remember it was a part of our celebration - sometimes my grandma made it, sometimes my aunt or my mom. Now I'm making it in Greece too and it's one of the greatest Christmas hits!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Cabbage rolls with mushrooms & gravy - Polish Christmas food #4

Continuation of my Polish Christmas preparation! Today "gołąbki" - cabbage rolls! You might have tried traditional cabbage rolls (or made lazy version of them). Usually they're filled with rice, minced meat and onion. This particular type is a meatless version - the one we serve on Christmas Eve in Poland. They're stuffed with mushrooms and rice or buckwheat. Plus, there is a mushroom gravy and hey, who doesn't love gravy?
These cabbage rolls are great not only as part of Christmas dinner, but also as an alternative if you're a vegetarian or you just want to try something different!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Borscht with "uszka" (mini dumplings with mushrooms) - Polish Christmas food #3

I'm continuing my preparation for Christmas Eve dinner. In Poland, we're having a festive dinner on 24th of December - so you may say we start celebrating a day before everyone else!
This day is very special and so is the food we serve. There is twelve traditional dishes and the custom says you need to at least take a bite of every one of them!
Today's recipe - borscht with uszka is served for starters. "Uszka" are tiny dumplings stuffed with mushrooms - their name means "little ears" and it's because of their shape. This type of borscht is light, spicy and it will warm you up - necessary thing in the Winter! We make several types of borscht, but this one is different than others - clean, made only with few ingredients and no meat, as we're not eating any on Christmas Eve. Borscht is specific for a region of Poland I grew up in, in other places at that day they may serve you mushrooms soup or fish soup. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Pierogi with sauerkraut and mushrooms (Polish Christmas food #2)


As I mentioned some time ago, pierogi are one of the most popular and characteristic Polish dishes and come in many tastes and variations (like "ruskie" with cottage cheese and potatoes). The ones I'm presenting today are a traditional Christmas version - stuffed with sauerkraut and mushrooms.
Of course you can make them anytime you want, but it's something else if you wait a whole year to make them  - just for Christmas Eve's dinner!
This is my second Polish recipe for Christmas (first is here if you want to check: fish a'la greek) and there will be more. Hopefully I can make it all before Christmas!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Fish a'la greek that no Greek ever heard about (Polish Christmas food #1)

Have you ever heard of "fish a'la Greek"? Well, for sure if you're Polish and almost certainly no if you're Greek! Nobody knows how name of this dish was developed, but it's widely known in Poland. It's also one of the twelve traditional Christmas dishes in many houses, including mine.
Fish a'la Greek is light, delicious and aromatic dish, that is great not only for Christmas! It's made with fish fillets fried and then braised or mixed with vegetable sauce.
Christmas season has started - this is a first recipe of more to come - we'll be celebrating Polish style, so join me!