Thursday, 26 August 2010

Polish cooking and pottery (or The crazy ladies road trip to Poland).

We did this trip ages ago. Sorry ladies, that it's taken me so long to post.

What a crazy, fun trip! We drove to Poland to cook, shop, explore, eat and to be pampered. In Boleslawiec, the best place to stay is the Blue Beetroot.  It's run by John and Barbara, who are just delightful. And they do fantastic guided tours, and cooking classes. They'll even organize pampering sessions (manicures, pedicures and massages) at the inn for you.

Some of the ladies did a guided tour with Jarek and some of us stayed behind and did the cooking class.

70 grams dry curd cheese (full fat)
1 kilo 20 grams potatoes, peeled and cut (older potatoes are best)
1 big onion or 3 small onions, finely chopped
Salt, Pepper
Vegeta (Polish vegetable stock seasoning)

Place cheese in large bowl
Boil potatoes in salted water
Drain and mash potatoes
Saute onions with butter and a little oil
Add cooled potatoes and onions to cheese
Add salt, pepper and vegeta to taste
Mix all ingredients until well blended

1 kg flour
4 tablespoons oil

Pour flour into large bowl
Add oil and salt to flour
Add water until right consistency
Knead in bowl initially, then move to floured surface
Knead for about 10 minutes, using palms not fists, and folding over in circular motion to add air
Sprinkle a little flour on surface of dough and wrap in cling wrap or cover with towel

To make pierogies:
Roll dough flat (less than ¼ inch)
Cut out circles of dough using cookie cutter or a glass
Spoon filling into center, rolling into a ball
Fold in half (like a taco); patting filling down
Pinch sides closed tightly
Place on floured dish

Place pierogies into boiling, salted water. Remove when they float to surface. Drain, wash with water and add a little oil.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve with onion and bacon sauteed in butter or sour cream

Bigos Staroplski
Cabbage 1,5 kg
Sauerkraut   0,8 kg
Bacon 0,2 kg
Sausage 0,4 kg
3 Onions
Tomato paste approx. 4 tablespoons
English spice
Bay leafs
Pepper, salt

There are so many amazing pottery places in Boleslawiec. We visited so many that I lost count after number 12. Ceramika is probably my absolute favorite. Next in line would have to be Andy's. Here is a excellent link that lists other pottery stores in Boleslawiec (includes web sites, addresses and opening times).

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Cooking with Thermomix in Switzerland

I've fallen in love with the Bimby (also called the Thermomix) and I want one, even though since PhD'ing again, my husband has taken over most of the cooking. Here in Switzerland, one way to get the Bimby at slightly cheaper price, is to host a demo. You need to invite 3 friends who also love gadets.  Do it before August 31st, 2010, you'll save 150.- SFr. (retail price in CH is 1650.- SFr).

We sat in the garden last night and watched Antonella cook up a storm in minutes with her Bimby.

Vegie-fruit drink for starters, bread, veal with rice and vegies and peach granita were on her menu.

Here's Antonella's delicious bread recipe:

100g "Dinkel" seeds (you can use any seeds)
1 block of fresh yeast (42g)(you can find it in the fresh dough section in Migros or Co-op)
400g flour
pinch of sugar
11/2 ts salt
270g water
50g bacon, cubed (or olives, herbs or whatever you fancy)

Baking tray, lined with baking paper

 Add the seeds to the Theromix and grind them for 20-40 sec on the Turbo setting. You end up with something that looks like flour. Add the remaining ingredients and let the Thermomix do the kneading ('Knettaste' for 3 min). Here the machine is absolutely amazing!

Place the bread into a cold oven (it rises as the oven heats). Bake at 200C for about 30 minutes.

The texture of this bread is a bit denser than bread that has been allowed to prove before baking. If you have time to let the dough prove for 30-60 minutes before baking, you can decrease the amount of yeast to about half.

Summer is finally back in Switzerland (at least for the next few days)!