Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Front cover design approved!

Witamy!  It’s a great day because the publisher approved our front cover design. It features a heritage recipe for Hunters Stew, a delicious one-pot meal which blends sauerkraut, kielbasa, pork, dried mushrooms, plus apple and tomato for deeper layers of flavor. We display it in a beautiful, handmade ceramic bowl from Poland. The colors are striking and we hope the cover image will get folks excited about the traditional recipes we chose for this book. Unfortunately we had to cut down the page count so we lost a few recipes, but they’ll be back.

In honor of the front cover, the recipe for today is Hunters Stew from Warsaw, a similar version to the recipe in our book.

Hunters Stew from Warsaw
Serves 5
4 dried mushrooms or 1/2 pound of fresh sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup water
1/2 lb. pork or 1 cup leftover meat
1 tbsp. bacon drippings
1 lb. sauerkraut, washed
1 cup cube bouillon
1 cup diced Polish sausage
1 lb. cabbage, finely sliced
3/4 cup diced bacon
1 large onion, sliced
2 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. water
3 tbsp. tomato paste
salt and pepper
1/2 cup red table wine
potatoes or rye bread

Soak the mushrooms in 1/4 cup water for 2 hours. Brown the pork in hot drippings on all sides. Place in a kettle. Add sauerkraut, bouillon, sausage, and dried mushrooms with their liquid. Simmer for 2 hours. Take out and slice pork. Cook the cabbage in a separate saucepan for 20 minutes, drain. Fry the bacon with the onions until golden. Add the flour mixed with 2 tablespoons of water, fry for a few more minutes, stirring. Add to the sauerkraut stew: the cabbage, bacon and onion mixture, fresh mushrooms (if they are being used), tomato paste, pork, salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Prepare a day ahead. It is best reheated. Reheat in a moderate 375 degree oven for 1 hour. Add wine before serving. Serve with potatoes or rye bread.

© Copyright 1968 Alina Zeranska. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, or redistributed without written permission from LoraPeet Ventures LLC

The Polish phrase for today is;  Co bedzie na obiad?   (phonetically:  tso benje nah obiad)  meaning “what’s for dinner” --  hopefully the answer is Hunters Stew, or something other than:  “anything you make”  or “whatever is on the restaurant menu when you take me out to dinner."

Monday, November 29, 2010

A food re-shoot and Rice & Apple Casserole

Witamy! As it turns out, the book is too long and we need to cut out ten recipes…that will be tough because so many are big winners and absolute favorites. If we do more books in the series, then they’ll be put to good use.

We also need to change some of the photos, so we did another photo shoot this past weekend.  Matt and Dan, the photographer and food stylist, always come hungry, hoping to eat what they photograph.

 The Polish recipe of the day is a sweet dessert dish:

Rice and Apple Casserole 
Serves 4

2 cups cooked rice
2 cups peeled, shredded apples
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 tbsp. sugar
3/4 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 375

Arrange the rice and the apples in layers in a baking dish. Start and top with rice. Sprinkle each layer of apples with cinnamon and sugar, using only half the sugar. Cover and bake for 35 minutes.

Beat sour cream with the remaining sugar and serve in a separate bowl. It's nice to serve this dessert after a nourishing vegetable soup.

© Copyright 1968 Alina Zeranska. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, or redistributed without written permission from LoraPeet Ventures LLC

The Polish phrase for the day is:  kiedy bedzie obiad, pronounced almost the way it looks:  “kiedy bendjeh obiad,” and it mean’s “when is dinner?” Use this one wisely and be prepared for an often-heard response in our house:  “as soon as you set the table!”  This may be better than “where are you taking me tonight?”

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cruise news and Pork Loin with Apples

Witamy! (that’s Polish for Greetings!):  We’re back at it again after being away for a couple of weeks.  We were on a cruise with a group of ballroom dancers and had a ball.  We met the ship’s Food & Beverage Manager who is half Polish and loves our food.  He was very interested in the book and wants a copy.  I tried to get him to sponsor us for a Polish cooking demonstration on an upcoming cruise but he didn’t go for it.  Too bad!

Here's a great recipe my mom used to make:

Photo by Matthew Aron Roth
Pork Loin with Apples
Schab z jablkami
Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds pork loin, boneless
1 3/4 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon bacon drippings
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
3 tablespoons water
3 large onion, sliced
4 cooking apples, peeled, cored

Sprinkle the meat with salt and flour. Brown in hot drippings. Place in a kettle, pour the drippins over, sprinkle with caraway seeds. Add water, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Add the onions and the apples, simmer for 1/2 hour more.

Remove the meat, slice and place on a warmed platter. Rub the sauce through a sieve, add the leftover flour, bring to a boil. Pour over the sliced meat.

Serve with potatoes, cabbage and dill pickles.

© Copyright 1968 Alina Zeranska. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, or redistributed without written permission from LoraPeet Ventures LLC

The Polish phrase for today is:  daj mi buzi, pronounced:  “dai mi boozhee”, which means “give me a kiss.” What you do with this is totally up to you!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


We are a husband and wife team who are writing a cookbook of traditional Polish cuisine.  It’s called Polish Classic Recipes and it will be out in the Spring, 2011.  Every dish is a heritage dish handed down from generation to generation.  Every recipe has been thoroughly tested and updated for modern kitchens.

We’re writing the book for two reasons - the first is because Peter’s Mom wrote an iconic Polish cook book in 1968, The Art of Polish Cooking, which still sells well but could be brought into the world of microwaves, standing mixers, immersion blenders, etc.  Her publisher suggested we write a new book instead of trying to revamp the first one.

The second reasons is to provide younger generations with Polish roots or an interest in Polish culture, wherever in the world you may live, with an easy way to discover the fabulous flavors of traditional Polish dishes that we grew up with.  Certainly there are other Polish cookbooks on the market but ours truly focuses on just a few truly memorable, successful, classic dishes.

This is just our first book. If it does well, the plan is to produce a few more, focused on special categories such as soups & stews, or desserts.  From time to time we’ll be posting our experiences, sharing some recipes and inviting you to share with us and other followers, your experiences with Polish food, your memories of fantastic Polish meals, and your favorite Polish recipes.

Smacznego!  (Polish for Bon App├ętit!)