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Posts Tagged ‘Polish’

postheadericon Kolacz Slaski – Sweet Cheese Bread

Kołacz (from Polish:  Koło: “disk”, “circle”, “wheel”) is a traditional Polish pastry, originally a wedding cake (Kolacz Weslney) dating to the start of the 13th century, that has made its way into American homes, including homes in the Anthracite Coal Region due to the heavy influence of Eastern European immigrants to the area to work in the coal mines. Served around the Christmas and Easter holidays, this “cake” is a yeast-raised coffee cake similar to babka but made in a round pan without a central hole (wheel shaped).

Kolacz traditionally is made in four different varieties: with just crumbs (without filling), with cheese, poppy or apple filling. Some make a lattice top over the filling, others adorn theirs with braids and bird shapes. This recipe is for the popular cheese-filled version and has a crumb topping. This recipe traditionally uses pot cheese in the cheese layer. Pot cheese is very simple to make yourself, takes only three ingredients, and not a lot of time. It keeps in the refrigerator up to four days, so you could make it ahead for use. If you do not want to make pot cheese or cannot buy it, drained cottage cheese may be substituted.

Kolocz Slaski – Sweet Cheese Bread

Kolocz Slaski – Sweet Cheese Bread

Polish Kolacz

Ingredients

    Dough
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, warmed to 105 - 110F degrees
  • 3 cups flour or as needed
  • 2 egg yolks (reserve whites for use in filling)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
    Cheese filling:
  • 2 cups drained cottage cheese (drain in cheesecloth lined colander until liquid is gone)
  • OR Homemade pot cheese (See "Notes" below for making your own pot cheese)
  • 2 whole eggs plus reserved egg whites from the cake
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
    Topping:
  • 1/4 of cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of all purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the milk. Let it stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Separate the eggs, reserving the whites for use in the cheese filling.
  3. In stand mixer, beat the eggs with 1/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add yeast mixture and the remaining cake ingredients to the mixer bowl. Mix well with a dough hook to obtain a smooth dough.
  5. Spray the dough with cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap and a towel and allow to rise for 1 hour or until it doubles in size.
    Filling
  1. Separate the eggs.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the two reserved eggs whites from the dough to the other two whites and beat until stiff peaks.
  3. Place the pressed cottage cheese in another mixing bowl and add sugar and blend it together.
  4. Add egg yolks one at a time to the cheese mixture, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Add the egg whites in two steps, folding in gently after each addition.
    Assembly
  1. Spray a spring form pan with a non stick spray and line the bottom with a parchment paper circle.
  2. Divide your dough in to two parts.
  3. Spread one part on the bottom of the pan, add the cheese in a layer, then cover with the remaining dough.
  4. Brush top with melted butter.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for about 30 minutes.
    Topping
  1. In a mixing bowl add cubed cold butter, sugar and flour and blend with a pastry blender or two knives until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  3. Sprinkle top of the cake with topping mixture and bake for 55 minutes.
  4. Cover with aluminum foil if it starts brown too quickly.
  5. Cool completely before un-molding and cutting.

Notes

Pot cheese is very east to make and is a consistency between cottage cheese and the firmer farmer's cheese. You only need 3 ingredients and a little time. This can be stored up to four days so you can make it in advance.

Ingredients: 6 cups of whole milk 2 cups of full fat sour cream 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Instructions: Combine the milk and sour cream in a heavy bottomed saucepan set over medium-high heat. Cook stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. The milk will begin separating into curds. Add the salt and continue stirring for 30 seconds longer. When the curds are separated, turn off the heat. Cover the pot with a towel and let it set for two hours. Using a knife, run it back and forth across the pot in both directions to lightly break up the curds into smaller pieces Using a slotted spoon, gently transfer the curds from the pan to a large colander lined with 3 layers of cheesecloth. Bring up the edges of the cheesecloth, squeeze lightly, then fasten or tie the ends together forming a pouch. Leave the pouch in the colander and set the colander over a bowl and let the whey drain off for 30 minutes. You can adjust this time to get the cheese to your desired consistency. Drain longer for a firmer cheese and less for a looser cheese. Transfer to a clean container and use immediately or place in the refrigerator. It will stay keep in the refrigerator for up to four days.

http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/03/21/kolacz-slaski-sweet-cheese-bread/

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postheadericon Easy Homemade Farmer’s Cheese

Farmer’s cheese is a fresh or un-aged cheese. It is also known as dry curd cheese or peasant cheese. This type of cheese is used in countless Eastern European cuisine recipes. It is also a part of Pa. Dutch (German) cuisine, often served as crumbles which resemble cottage cheese. Farmer’s cheese goes by many names in different languages: twaróg in Polish, surutka in Croatian and Serbian, tvaroh in Czech and Slovak, túró in Hungarian, varškės in Lithuanian, lapte covăsit in Romanian, tvorog in Russian, skuta in Slovenian, and syr in Ukrainian.

You can make farmer’s cheese easily at home with basic ingredients.. And you do not need a cheese press (unless you inherited one from your grandma … if you did, now is the time to dig it out of the “what am i ever gonna do with THIS thing” box!)

The whey or liquid by-product of the cheese making process is excellent to use when making bread; use the whey in place of water or milk. It can also be used as a soup base. Some people have even been known to drink it! As previously mentioned, it can be left crumbly or formed into a solid piece.  Some people slice it and fry it or eat it on bread with honey, some use the crumbles as a spread or in pierogi filling, add it to scrambled eggs as they’re cooking, or make it into a filling for blintzes. There are many uses, and you can add herbs like dill or chives, mix in basil and diced sun-dried tomatoes if desired.

Easy Homemade Farmer’s Cheese

Easy Homemade Farmer’s Cheese

Homemade Farmers Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts milk (whole; use pasteurized, instead of ultra-pasteurized, if available)
  • 2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • OPTIONAL: caraway seeds
  • OPTIONAL: herbs, additions of your choice
  • Cheesecloth or muslin
  • Butcher's or kitchen twine
  • Cooking Thermometer

Instructions

  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot, over low heat, slowly heat the milk up, stirring often, until it is just about to simmer (about 180 F).
  2. Stir in the buttermilk, and then the vinegar, and turn off the heat.
  3. Very slowly stir until you see the milk separating into curds (the solids) and whey (the liquid). Leave undisturbed for 10 minutes.
  4. If using caraway seeds, stir them in now.
  5. Line a large strainer with 3 layers of cheesecloth and place over a stockpot to catch the whey.
  6. After the 10 minutes are up, ladle the curds into the cheesecloth and allow the whey to drain for 10 minutes.
  7. Gather up the edges of the cheesecloth and tie a string around the top to form bundle. Tie the string to a wooden spoon/dowel/kitchen sink faucet and hang the cheese curds over the stockpot and continue draining for 30 minutes.
    To use as loose curds
  1. After draining, remove the cheese from the cloth, and transfer into a container. Stir in the salt and refrigerate. Cheese can be used for up to 5 days. Use as a spread, or as you would use cream cheese, or cottage cheese.
  2. Store it in a nonmetallic container, cover, and refrigerate.
    To Form Into a Solid Disk
  1. Once most of the liquid has dripped out, give a last good wring, tie the bag securely, place it between two clean cutting boards and put a heavy weight on top of it to squeeze out the rest of the liquid.
  2. Press the cheese somewhere it can be undisturbed for 8-10 hours or overnight to set. The longer you press the cheese, the drier it will be.
  3. Gently remove the cheesecloth, place the cheese on a plate, lightly salt it on all sides to taste, and put it on a rack to let it dry a little so a thin rind forms.
  4. Store it in a nonmetallic container, cover, and refrigerate.
  5. .
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/03/19/easy-homemade-farmers-cheese/

 

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postheadericon Red Beet Horseradish – Cwikla

Grated horseradish with beets is known as cwikla (CHEEK-wah) in Polish. Horseradish root is native to the warmer areas of Eastern Europe and it appears in recipes worldwide.  Here in the Coal Region, a commercially prepared and bottled version is easily found in the grocery store, but for those who cannot get it in stores or PREFER TO MAKE THEIR OWN, this recipe is for you! Cwikła is the perfect accompaniment for Polish sausage and ham and is an indispensable condiment at Easter time often used spread on a kielbasi or ham sandwich with a slice of hrudka (egg cheese) nestled between two pieces of paska bread. Cwikła (or plain horseradish – chrzan) is one of the foods included in baskets taken to church on Holy Saturday to be blessed in parishes with Eastern European ties. The horseradish is a reminder of the bitterness and harshness of the Passion of Jesus, and the vinegar it is mixed with symbolizes the sour wine given to Jesus on the cross. Although associated with Easter, this tasty condiment will find its way onto your plate all year round.

You can use fresh or commercially prepared horseradish and/or fresh cooked or canned beets. Making your own means you can adjust the degree of heat from the horseradish to your own taste; some folks believe, the more horseradish the better! You can also adjust the salt, vinegar, and sugar to find what’s just right for you. If you are unsure about the amount of horseradish, start with less — you can always add more but you can’t take it out.

A NOTE when using fresh horseradish root: Use caution! The root is pungent. The biting flavor and smell of horseradish strengthens when the root is grated due to mustard oils released by enzymes when the cells are crushed. The mustard oil dissipates within 30 minutes of exposure to air, and it is destroyed by heat, so vinegar is usually used to stop the reaction and stabilize the flavor. The release of the oils will burn your eyes and throat. Work at an arm’s length away and whatever you do, don’t deliberately smell the grated horseradish! (I made this mistake once. ONCE. I put some horseradish root my Dad bought at a local farmers’ market in the food processor, grated it, popped the lid off the processor and leaned over the bowl and inhaled.  My knees buckled, my throat seized up, my eyes felt like someone sprayed me with tear gas. I gasped for breath and went into full blown panic mode. It took a while to pass and it was not pretty. It was not a mistake I will ever make again!!) You might want to wear gloves and eye protection. Work cleanly; don’t spread the mixture to your body or other foods.

Red Beet Horseradish

Red Beet Horseradish

Cwikla - Red Beet Horseradish

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup homemade (or purchased horseradish)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound beets (cooked, peeled, cooled, and grated) or 1 14-ounce can prepared beets (drained and grated)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix vinegar, brown sugar, horseradish, and salt until well combined.
  2. Add beets and mix thoroughly.
  3. Pack into clean glass jars and store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/03/08/red-beet-horseradish-cwikla/

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postheadericon Paska Bread

Paska is a traditional Easter bread originating in countries with predominant Eastern Orthodox religion or cultural connections to the ancient Byzantine Empire and are a traditional element in the Easter holidays of Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and Slovakia among others; countries well represented in the Coal Region. The liquid drained from another Eastern European traditional Easter food, Hrudka (Egg Cheese) is often saved and used in the making of the Paska bread (using this liquid as the “water” in the recipe). Hrukda is often served on Paska bread with kielbasi or ham, topped with red beet horseradish. Christian symbolism is associated with features of paska breads and the dough is usually shaped into round loaves decorated with religious symbols made of dough.  The bread is often made on Good Friday, placed in a basket along with other items like hrudka, butter, eggs, horseradish, kielbasi and ham to be taken to church and blessed on Holy Saturday, then enjoyed at Easter morning brunch. These items were forbidden in the Middle Ages during the Lenten fast. When the feast of Easter brought the rigorous fast to an end, and these foods were again allowed at the table, people showed their joy and gratitude by first taking the food to church for a blessing. Today the Easter blessings of food are still held in many churches in the Coal Region and across the United States, especially in parishes with Eastern European roots. This recipe uses raisins; some family recipes do not. None are “right” or “wrong”, do what suits your taste!  This recipe has directions for using a stand mixer, it can also be made by hand.

Paska

Paska

Paska

Ingredients

    Dough
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup lukewarm (100 to 105F) water
  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 5 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 large eggs + 2 egg yolks
  • OPTIONAL - 1 cup golden raisins
    Egg wash
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tablespoon cold water

Instructions

  1. Heat the milk, butter sugar and salt in a sauce pan over low heat until the butter and sugar are melted. Do not boil. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to lukewarm (100 - 105F).
  2. Place the lukewarm water in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Leave for 5 minutes or until the yeast is foamy.
  3. Add 2 cups of flour to the yeast mixture and mix on low-speed until combined.
  4. Add the lukewarm milk mixture, eggs and the remaining flour. Mix until combined. The dough should be pulling away from the sides of the mixer bowl. If the dough seems loose add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until it pulls away from the sides of bowl.
  5. Switch to the dough hook and knead for 5 -8 minutes until you have a soft smooth dough which springs back slowly when you poke your finger into it.
  6. If adding raisins, knead them in now.
  7. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm spot for 60 to 90 minutes, until puffy.
  8. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface; divide it into two pieces, one twice as large as the other.
  9. Form the larger piece into a ball and place it into a well-greased 9″ x 2″ round pan or springform pan.
  10. Divide the remaining piece of dough into three equal pieces, and roll each out into a 20″ strand. Create a braid with the strands.
  11. Place the braid on the round main loaf around the inside edge of the pan, or use it to form a cross over the top of the larger piece of dough.
  12. Cover the loaf and let it rise until doubled, about 45 - 60 minutes.
  13. Preheat oven to 350°F, with a rack in the center.
    Egg wash
  1. In a small bowl, beat the egg with the water. Brush the mixture gently over the top of the dough.
  2. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Remove it from oven, turn out of the pan, and cool completely on rack.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/03/06/paska-bread/

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postheadericon Hrudka (Egg Cheese)

Hrudka (aka cirek, sirets, sirok, sireczs) is a simple custard cheese that’s essential for many Eastern European Easter tables. It’s served cold, sliced and eaten by itself or often as part of a ham or kielbasi sandwich made on Paska bread that’s slathered with beet horseradish. For many of us in the Coal Region who have Eastern European roots, the making of  hrudka  is among some of our favorite traditions of the Easter holiday.  Hrudka is often included in a basket of food taken to church blessed on Holy Saturday. This Catholic ritual has been cherished for generations among many Coal Region area families. The roots of this tradition date back to the 12th century early history of Poland, however, the Eastern Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians, including Czechs, Croatians, Hungarians, Lithuanians, Russians, Slovaks and Ukrainians, also participate in this holy ritual. The blessed food is not eaten until after mass on Easter Sunday.

The basic recipe is mixing eggs and milk, adding salt, and cooking it while continually stirring until the curds form.  Many families have their favorite version of hrudka and many include sugar and vanilla in their recipes.  Once the ingredients are cooked, the contents of the pot are poured into a strainer that is lined with cheesecloth or a porous towel. When the liquid drains, the cheesecloth is gathered and the liquid is squeezed out by hand to form the ball. The cheesecloth is tied to keep the ball shape, then hung over a container to allow remaining liquid to drain for a few hours or overnight. The hrudka is stored in a refrigerator for the Easter feast. Some use the leftover liquid in other recipes, such as paska bread. NOTE: Cooking in the microwave shortens the cook time and eliminates the scorching that sometimes occurs with cooking on the stovetop. Directions for both cooking methods are included.

 

Hrudka (Egg Cheese)

Hrudka (Egg Cheese)

Hrudka (egg cheese)

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • OPTIONAL (for sweet hrudka)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar (or to suit your taste - some people add up to a cup)

Instructions

  1. Beat eggs. Add milk, salt, (if using) sugar and vanilla and beat well.
  2. Cook in double boiler, stirring constantly, until the mixture turns to curds and "white water".
  3. Cook the mixture for a few minutes after the white water appears. Be careful not to allow the mixture to scorch.
  4. *** OR USE THE MICROWAVE COOK METHOD:
  5. Cook in the microwave on high, fluffing with a fork between blasts:
  6. 4 minutes-fluff
  7. 4 minutes-fluff
  8. 2 minutes-fluff
  9. 2 minutes-fluff
  10. 1 minuet + fluffing until it looks like watery scrambled eggs (the fluid will be clear). Then follow directions for straining and hanging below.***
  11. Pour the mixture into a strainer lined with a cheesecloth or a porous kitchen towel.
  12. Squeeze out the liquid, being careful not to burn yourself.
  13. Tie the cloth tight and hang it in a place where it can drip dry. (Some use a kitchen faucet for this purpose, others use a wooden spoon placed across the top of a pot.
  14. Allow the hrudka to cool, squeezing it a few more times to really squeeze the water out of it.
  15. Place it in the refrigerator. Allow it to hang to set for several hours or overnight, unwrap..
  16. Store well wrapped in the refrigerator.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/03/04/hrudka-egg-cheese/

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postheadericon Baked Paczki (Polish Doughnuts)

As the Easter season approaches, many of us in the Coal Region look to tradition for our final indulgences in foods that were often abstained from during the Lenten season.  The day before the start of Lent, known as “Fat Tuesday” (or Shrove Tuesday) in many regions is often referred to as “Donut Day” or “Fasnacht Day” in the Pa Dutch and Coal Regions. Due to our heavy influence of Eastern European cultures and immigrants, it is also known as “Paczki Day” in many Polish households. As with other cultures in our region, the making of paczki is traditionally a way to use up all of the fat, sugar, and fruit in the house–things that are forbidden during the strict Polish Lenten season. In Poland, Paczki Day, the day when all of the last paczki are consumed, is the Thursday before Ash Wednesday. In the USA, Paczki Day is the day before Ash Wednesday. The difference between these and a basic doughnut is that paczki are made with a very rich, sweet yeast dough consisting of eggs, butter and milk. Sort of like a brioche doughnut. Traditionally, paczki are fried in hot fat, but many people either do not have the kitchen equipment to deep fry, or they prefer not to do so due to health or safety concerns. This is a recipe for BAKED paczki that are just as delicious as their fried counterparts and baking them gives you a great kid-friendly recipe and opportunity to involve the younger members of the household in the process to introduce them to family traditions! Paczki can be filled with a variety of fruit jams or cremes, but the most traditional filling is a stewed plum jam or rose hip jam. The easiest way to fill these is to use a pastry bag fitted with a Bismarck Tip. If you do not have a bag/tip, you can cut a slit in the side of the baked dough and spoon in some jam. Fill with your favorite fruit preserve or even lemon curd or custard. Baked paczki last longer than fried, but are still best consumed the day they are made.

Baked Paczki (Polish Doughnuts)

Baked Paczki (Polish Doughnuts)

Baked Paczki (Polish Donuts)

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups warm milk (105 to 110 degrees F)
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) room-temperature butter
  • 1 large room-temperature egg
  • 3 large room-temperature egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon brandy (or rum)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • Optional: Granulated sugar, Confectioners' sugar, and fruit paste or jam for filling

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, add yeast to warm milk, stir to dissolve and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat in egg, egg yolks, brandy or rum and salt until well incorporated.
  3. Still using the paddle attachment, add 4-1/2 cups flour alternately with the milk-yeast mixture and beat for five or more minutes by machine and longer by hand until smooth. The dough will be very slack. If very soft or runny, add up to the remaining 1/2 cup flour.
  4. Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk approximately 1-1/2 to 2 -1/2 hours. Punch down, cover and let rise again.
  5. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Pat or roll to 1/2 to 3/4-inch thickness. Cut rounds with 3-inch cutter. Remove scraps, and re-roll and re-cut. Transfer rounds to parchment-lined baking sheets, cover and let rounds rise until doubled in bulk, 30 minutes or longer.
  6. Heat oven to 375F degrees.
  7. Place pączki in the oven on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until toothpick tests clean when inserted into center.
  8. Remove from oven and roll in granulated sugar while still hot or confectioners' sugar when cool.
  9. To fill the pączki, let them cool completely then pipe or spoon in filling.
  10. Baked pączki are best eaten the day they are made.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/02/14/baked-paczki-polish-doughnuts/

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postheadericon Stove Rags or Lokshe

Made from mashed potatoes and flour, these are kind of like Slovak/Polish tortillas. You can make them with day old mashed potatoes or cook some potatoes, make them into your regular mashed potatoes and use them that way. They are thin pancakes made out of potato dough that are baked on a hot plate or an ungreased frying pan but “back in the day” they were often cooked right on the surface of the hot coal stove.

Stove Rags or Lokshe

Stove Rags or Lokshe

Stove Rags

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cold mashed potatoes( use left-over mashed potatoes or mash hot boiled potatoes. Add milk/cream ,butter, salt as you normally would.
  • Add 2 tbsp. sugar (optional) & cool if necessary.
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together and shape dough into balls a little larger than a walnut. Roll out dough into circles on a floured board until thin.
  2. Brown each in a dry skillet on medium high (cast iron works well), then turn over and brown on other side.
  3. Put on plate, brush with melted butter, stack on a pile until done.
  4. Roll up and enjoy. Jelly can be used, too.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/01/14/stove-rags-or-lokshe/

 

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postheadericon Meatless Borscht (Red Beet Soup)

A twelve-dish Christmas Eve supper is traditionally prepared in many Central European and Northern European cultures, especially those that were formerly part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, including Polish, Lithuanian, Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian. Many modern age descendants of immigrants from those areas who settled in the Coal Region embrace some, or all, of their heritage’s Christmas Eve and Day customs. The meal consists of twelve meatless dishes representing the twelve months of the year (and perhaps in more recent times, the 12 Apostles). The tradition of the supper can be traced back to pre-Christian times and connected with remembrance of the souls of deceased ancestors. Fish, mushrooms, pierogies with assorted fillings and sweets in some cuisines are part of the meal. The Christmas Eve supper is usually held under candlelight and starts in the evening after the first star appears in the sky. The star symbolizes the birth of Jesus in Christian tradition and a soul of deceased ancestors in pre-Christian beliefs. In Poland, Russia and Ukraine an extra plate and seat are always left at the table in the belief the spirits of the departed members of the family visit on the night. It is also very customary to be even more hospitable and invite unexpected visitors to the supper. This soup is often found on the table for Christmas Eve and is a meatless version because in many of these households, Christmas Eve is a fast day and no meat is consumed (In Ukraine, for example, some people abstain from eating all-together for the whole day, until the first star appears, when a 12 course meatless meal is served for the whole family, to break the fast.). To serve this at any time when it is not necessary to be meatless, use chicken or beef broth as the base. (Source of historical information: Wikipedia)

Meatless Borscht (Red Beet Soup)

Meatless Borscht (Red Beet Soup)

Meatless Borscht

Ingredients

  • 6 cups boiling water, or vegetable soup stock
  • 2 medium red beats, peeled and shredded
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 2 Tbs white vinegar, or lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 cup Savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 whole onion
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 1 Tbs fresh dill , chopped
  • Sour cream for garnish

Instructions

  1. Saute 1 chopped onion in 2 Tbs oil until golden.
  2. Add shredded beats, carrot and celery.
  3. Cook for about 10 min.
  4. Add tomato paste and white vinegar, or lemon juice (I use vinegar)
  5. Cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Add to the boiling water or soup stock.
  7. Add whole onion, bay leaf , peppercorns.
  8. Bring to boil again and simmer for 20 min.
  9. Add shredded savoy cabbage.
  10. Simmer for another 15 minutes, or until cabbage is done.
  11. Remove the whole onion , bay leaf and peppercorns.
  12. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Add chopped dill (for a more tangy flavor, you may add more vinegar, 1 tsp at a time).
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/12/21/meatless-borscht-red-beet-soup/

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postheadericon Pickled Beef Tongue

Beef tongue has been prepared and eaten in different regions of the world since ancient times. Beef tongue is found in many cuisines that make up the Coal Region including Eastern European, German and Pennsylvania Dutch, English, Italian, and Mexican to name a few.  In Russian cuisine the cooked beef tongue is sliced and served cold for “zakuska” (a starter) by itself or as a part of assorted cold meats platter. Tongue can be roasted, boiled, barbecued, smoked, or pickled. Although it might seem intimidating, cooking beef tongue is quite simple to do. It is tender and delicious and can be served on a sandwich, with mustard and/or horseradish sauce. Some pickled beef tongue recipes call for “pink salt” aka potassium nitrate in the brine which helps the meat retain its pink color (think corned beef or salamis), but this one does  not.  Some cooks prepare it by doing nothing more than cooking the tongue in salted water, cleaning it, slicing it, pouring pure vinegar over it in a jar and allowing it to marinate.

Pickled Beef Tongue

Pickled Beef Tongue

Pickled Beef Tongue

Ingredients

  • 1 - 3 to 4 pound beef tongue
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon pickling spice
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 rib celery
  • 1 small peeled onion

Instructions

  1. In large pot, cover tongue with cold water, add salt, carrot, onion, celery; cover and simmer until tender (a couple of hours).
  2. Drain and reserve 2 cups broth.
  3. Cool tongue until able to handle, then peel off thick covering.
  4. Combine reserved broth with the vinegar, sugar, and pickling spices. Add salt to taste.
  5. Place tongue in non-reactive bowl or jar. Cover with vinegar mixture.
  6. Cover, chill for 48 hours. Remove from vinegar mixture, slice across the grain and serve.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/12/17/pickled-beef-tongue/

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postheadericon Lithuanian Bacon Buns

The Southern Coal region of Pennsylvania is known as “Little Lithuania”.  Anthracite and the industry surrounding it lured many Lithuanians in during the 1860s-1910s era.  Shenandoah (Pa), earned itself the nickname, “the Vilnius of North America” and was a much larger town then than it is today, with a population of upwards of 40 000, a quarter of them Lithuanians.  Lithuanian migration to the Coal Region was often a result of Lithuanians back home being discriminated against under the Russian Imperial rule with their language banned between years 1865 and 1904.  The locations with the most Lithuanian heritage in Schuylkill County are Shenandoah itself, Shenandoah Heights, Frackville, Mahanoy City, Mount Carmel, and Tamaqua.  Almost every town here has (or had) a Lithuanian church, cemetery, and club(s).  Is it any wonder that Lithuanian foods are such a part of our Coal Region heritage and holiday celebrations?  A Christmas time treat in many homes in the Coal Region is lasineciai – Lithuanian Bacon Buns. These special bites of heaven are passed  around during Christmas in Lithuanian homes. accompanied with the salutation, “Linksmu Kaledu,” which means Merry Christmas!

NOTES:

  • Semi-frozen bacon is much easier to cut into pieces.
  • Use a nice, meaty bacon like you find at a good farmers’ market or butcher shop.
  • You can make these with frozen, thawed bread dough from the grocery store, but they will not be the same taste and texture as the scratch made dough – which is rich and a little sweet like a brioche dough – but it does cut down dramatically on prep-time.
  • As you make successive batches and get more proficient, you may find you prefer to pinch off individual balls of dough and flatten, fill, and shape them using that method rather than a cutter.

Lithuanian Bacon Buns

Lithuanian Bacon Buns

Lithuanian Bacon Buns

Ingredients

    Filling
  • 3/4 pound good bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
    Dough
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons from a jar of yeast
  • 3 large room temperature eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    Egg Wash
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons water

Instructions

    Filling
  1. Put bacon and onion in frying pan, add water to barely cover. With lid on, simmer until water evaporates watching closely.
  2. Place filling in refrigerator to cool completely.
    Dough
  1. Scald milk. Whisk in butter, sugar, and salt. Cool to lukewarm (110 - 115 F degrees).
  2. Whisk in the yeast.
  3. Place this mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer or other large bowl.
  4. Add the beaten eggs and flour and beat vigorously with wooden spoon or mixer's paddle attachment until smooth.
  5. Lightly grease top of dough, cover bowl with towel and let rise until doubled in warm spot.
  6. Punch down dough and let rise until doubled one more time.
  7. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut in half and work with one half of dough at a time, keeping other half covered.
  8. Roll dough about 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick. Cut out 3 inch circles of dough with a round cutter.
  9. Place a tablespoon or so of cooled bacon mixture in center of circle.
  10. Fold over and pinch edges of dough together to completely cover the filling.
  11. Shape into a ball or torpedo shape and place seam side down on parchment lined baking sheet leaving space between buns to rise and expand. Repeat with other half of dough; re-roll scraps.
  12. Cover rolls lightly with greased plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled.
  13. Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Brush rolls with egg wash.
  14. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Brush with butter when removed from oven if desired.
  15. Can be served hot, at room temperature or reheated in the oven.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/11/29/lithuanian-bacon-buns/

 

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